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It has long been contended that some of the best songs ever made tell a story and that is a reasonable assertion, but the truth is that sometimes there's a little more to it than that. Sometimes what really makes a song stick with people is a combination of the images created by the lyrics and the character of the music, with some additional knowledge of the auteur; it's less tangible, but sometimes that is the truly enduring quality of...

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Monday, 31 May 2010
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Every now and again, an urban myth comes true and the living, breathing, panting and screaming release/reissue of the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion's Controversial Negro is proof of that. “Reissue?” you ask, “I thought it was a myth that this album even existed. I never saw a copy of it – and I looked – so I just assumed that someone telling me they had a copy of Controversial Negro was just the talk of an earnest, wannabe poseur.” That's...

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Saturday, 29 May 2010
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By the time the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion even started to think about making Now I Got Worry – what would be their fourth domestically released studio album – they had already tread pretty far from their beginnings as a Pussy Galore-d, pigfuck-ed, dirty shirt rock n' roll band. JSBX' self-titled debut successfully finished out the train of thought that Spencer had started with Pussy Galore on Right Now! In 1986; Extra Width had polished up the rough edges of...

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Saturday, 29 May 2010
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Hey there you little scavengers o' human decency, So what's goin' on? Whaddaya need this week? I'm feeling a little charitable to you because it's comin' up on summer. You know summer? Not that girl up the street that cuts her bags of China white with baking soda – not that Summer (she owes me money, that bitch) – I mean the season when school lets out and turns all o' you troublemakers loose on the world. It's a fun...

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Wednesday, 26 May 2010
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Ever been surprised by those moments when a musician takes a significant creative turn that didn't even appear to be on the horizon? It's not uncommon for fans to only be acquainted with a musician through his body of work – that's how artists are introduced to the public – so any psychological profile or assessment of musical values that listeners might develop (if that's something you're prone to doing) is based on a very outward-facing persona. In that sense,...

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Sunday, 23 May 2010
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It's funny how things can change and evolve, and sometimes all it can take is a slightly different perspective to spur it. As a perfect example, just look at twenty-first century punk rock. Over the last few years, the genre has become so institutionalized that some quadrants of it have mutated wildly as perception in-breeds it; like when punk fused with pop and hard rock years ago, it marked the birth of emo. When punk fused with pop, hard rock,...

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Saturday, 22 May 2010
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While Soulfly has been instrumental in seeing metal be infused with a variety of different styles since the band formed in 1997, such stylistic incorporation (including punk rock and hardcore of course, but also elements of different musics native to South America) has always been a little bittersweet for devout metalheads; for whatever reason, metal fans tend to take an 'all metal, all the time' stance to the music they like and balk at anything that doesn't fit the paradigm....

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Saturday, 22 May 2010
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The surest way to disrupt a comfort zone is to bombard it with outside stimuli and, clearly over the last year or so, that has been precisely the plan for Mark Oliver Everett and the Eels. Following a four-year absence from recording after the release of Blinking Lights And Other Revelations, Everett broke the silence and released Hombre Lobo on June 2, 2009. Fans were in fits of ecstasy at the return and Hombre Lobo was received very well by...

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Saturday, 22 May 2010
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Maybe it's just the power of suggestion but, while Heart That's Pounding is the singer's first album, it's impossible not to feel like you've heard Sally Seltmann before, somewhere. From the very beginning of “Harmony To My Heartbeat,” as the drums tap gently open and Seltmann meekly coaxes every ounce of attention out of anyone and everyone listening to join her in her own stolen moment, something seems familiar; it's a little sweet, a little euphoric and very, very infectious....

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Friday, 21 May 2010
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There are only a few guarantees in the music business. Counting on record sales is next to impossible these days stacked against digital retail and the fickle nature of it, and the timeline attached to phrases like “here today, gone tomorrow” and “fifteen minutes of fame” have been exponentially reduced; trends and fads are changing faster now than they ever before which makes most everyone's livelihood in the music business all that much more uncertain. With such instability in evidence,...

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Thursday, 20 May 2010