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Ever since I heard them, The Avett Brothers have held a special place in my heart. They’re one of those bands that came at the right time and delivered the right content. And as anyone who has heard  their album, Emotionalism, will tell you, the Avetts have the ability to move you, even when you’re stubbornly in place. A band that can pull this off successfully and suck you into their world on an album has their work cut out...

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Wednesday, 11 November 2009
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There's a misperception among music fans that the material a player is most commonly associated with is also the stuff that sums up who he/she is. It's a reasonable enough assumption to make; in every other line of work, if you sign your name to something, you're supporting the decisions made and are responsible for it right? That's a very two-dimensional way of looking at it though. Members of the arts community in general (but musicians in particular) work at...

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214
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Tuesday, 10 November 2009
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Since the late 1980s, with the emergence of every new pocket of alt-rock (or 'indie rock,' or 'college rock' – pick your favorite title) bands that come together and get noticed for their sound as a community, there are always a few bands that get lumped into the mix, but don't exactly fit in. In Seattle, for example, while Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam and Alice In Chains were drawing a lot of spotlight to their scene, The Factbacks, Melvins and...

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177
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Tuesday, 10 November 2009
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Listening back, it's funny and strange to hear these lost sessions by Snoop Dogg – if only in observation the distance between them and the position that the emcee occupies now. Recorded during his stretch on Death Row Records, this album puts into relief how much times have changed for the emcee in the sixteen years since they were recorded. Dogg says it best himself on his “Soldier Story” introduction  to the album as he recounts the first very quick...

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173
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Tuesday, 10 November 2009
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Ever get the impression that you might be bearing witness to a trend forming? Less than a month after the release of Sufjan Stevens' incredible instrumental offering Run Rabbit Run that offered a thrilling outlet to explore, now audiences receive a second such performance in the form of The BQE. Well, sort of. True, The BQE is a multi-player, orchestra-centered, instrumental score, but that's really where the similarities between this album and Run Rabbit Run end. In spite of the...

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177
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Tuesday, 03 November 2009
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As the story goes, when Rosanne Cash was eighteen years old, her father (Johnny Cash, for the clueless) gave her a list of one hundred essential country songs as a gift to educate her about what he did at work. That list lay fallow in the singer's effects for decades until the listener inadvertently let the existence of it slip in 2006; and that's when the wheels started turning. Hounded by fans to know the contents of the document and...

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178
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Tuesday, 03 November 2009
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Since forming twenty-eight years ago, Slayer has established itself as one of the most blistering and aggressive metal acts in North America – that's on the books, it's not news. The band has won a wildly dedicated following on the strength of their hard-and-fast-as-hell brand of thrash that could (and probably has) break land-speed records for depravity; the tales of other bands revered as heavy hitters in their respective genres that have quit tours with Slayer (Alice In Chains leaps...

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153
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Tuesday, 03 November 2009
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To paraphrase The Tragically Hip, a couple of years ago when most of his bandmates started splintering off from The Strokes and starting their own solo and side projects (drummer Fabrizio Moretti formed Little Joy, Albert Hammond Jr. has released two solo albums now, and bassist Nikolai Fraiture co-founded Nickel Eye) singer Julian Casablancas must have started getting nervous. He didn't want to get ditched and, besides, what good is a rock singer without a band at his ready disposal?...

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190
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Monday, 02 November 2009
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Since Dave Grohl first rose from the ashes of Nirvana in 1995, he has managed to set himself apart from the Grunge scene that first drew him notice and establish his own unique voice that has won its own dedicated fan base over the last fourteen years. It wasn't easy and the road to the lauded position he now occupies (having played with everyone from Josh Homme to Jack Black to Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones) is littered with...

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Sunday, 01 November 2009
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In just six short years, Joss Stone has run through an accelerated career arc that has been both blessed and cursed with a trail of the highest peaks and the deepest valleys. The differences in reception for albums like The Soul Sessions,  Mind, Body & Soul and Introducing Joss Stone is just staggering – Stone has been the next big thing and regarded as creatively down and out – and remarkable given that it was taken it has taken other...

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182
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Sunday, 01 November 2009