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It sounds like a cliche now – particularly because so many artists make similar claims only to only come halfway through when they finally do present new work – but The Sadies truly are one of the hardest working bands in show business. The Toronto-based band seems to never stop; since forming in 1998, The Sadies have released eight albums of their own and contributed their talents to a series of releases for other musicians including John Doe, Heavy Trash,...

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Sunday, 31 January 2010
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Over the last couple of years, a lot of hot air has been blown and ink spilled declaring that folk is the new punk. To be fair, it's a fair assertion to make (within reason); as some punks have advanced in years of experience (Greg Graffin's a good example, as would be Chuck Ragan), they've found a renewed success in the act of dialing back the decibels of their delivery and inhabiting the common  mental and sociological ground that exists...

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Saturday, 30 January 2010
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Transitioning between musical styles can be a risky prospect for a player in the public eye. After a band breaks out, it doesn't take long for the group in question and its members to become associated with a scene or sound and, when that happens, there's suddenly a set of expectations (of community, of performance, of convention and behavior) that they have to live up to; sudden changes can be a treacherous path to take because the fan base they've...

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Wednesday, 27 January 2010
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As exciting as a new, forthcoming release can be for a band, there's something special about the prospect of a vinyl release. Part of that certainly must have to do with the fetish quality inherent to a 7” single or a full-length, 33RPM album; CDs are indestructible compared to those tiny grooves in an album or single, and collectors need to observe the levels of external stimuli including temperature and moisture in order to best maintain their music. Arguments have...

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Wednesday, 27 January 2010
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Ever seen an opening band almost sacrifice the headliner? On a seasonably (and completely expected) cold and windy Friday night in Philadelphia, my friends and I are on the top floor of Johnny Brenda’s thinking just that. We were there to see Kurt Vile, and it just so happened that we showed up early enough to see both opening bands play –  so much for being fashionably late. We made our way on to the top floor, ordered some Oyster...

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Tuesday, 26 January 2010
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It's a good time to be into punk rock. Oh sure, the scene is still dishing out the goods like it always has, and yes, the vinyl is as plentiful as in the 'golden years,' but those tuned into the scene right now get to experience something altogether baffling; punk rockers going the folk singer/songwriter route…solo. It's happening everywhere; Joey Cape, Tony Sly, Nathan Maxwell, Ben Nichols, Tim Barry, Chris Wollard, and most notably to this column, Chuck Ragan. There's...

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Tuesday, 26 January 2010
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Over the last seven years (2003's Lover/Fighter started this trend), Hawksley Workman has continually trailed ever further from the fantastic and plastic vaudevillian center that he established with (Last Night We Were) The Delicious Wolves and elected to test drive a host of personas and images – from the modern and idiosyncratic new romantic aesthete on Treeful Of Starling to a hyper-masculine chest-beater on Los Manlicious to a classic rocking bard on Between The Beautifuls. In each case and as...

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Saturday, 23 January 2010
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In this life, there are dreams come true and there are things one hopes for but does not expect to happen – particularly in the cases of rock n' roll institutions. A lot of that is psychological; for fans, the sound of a familiar and adored but nearly forgotten song can cause memories of events to rush back because the music was there as the soundtrack to them. The same thing happens to those musicians that wrote and recorded the...

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Thursday, 21 January 2010
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Anyone familiar with the city of New Orleans knows it has a rich cultural and artistic history. Over the last fifty years (at least), volumes have been written about the city's contributions to ragtime, soul, jazz, rock and blues as well as the artists that developed their chops in the Big Easy but it's only the history that ever gets addressed; the artistic community of present day New Orleans has been passed over at every turn, no matter how “comprehensive”...

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Wednesday, 20 January 2010
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How exactly Motion City Soundtrack managed to talk themselves into a deal with Columbia after the abysmal flop that was Even If It Kills Me may never be known. That album even saw Alternative Press – previously a notable MCS booster – turn on the band and it's easy to understand why; they overreached and paid for it. The success of Commit This To Memory was well deserved, Mark Hoppus helped to sculpt some fine Top 40 punk out of...

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Monday, 18 January 2010