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It's been twelve years since the release of Massive Attack's iconic album, the dark and sometimes sinister layers of Mezzanine. And, while we’re counting years, it’s been seven years since the 2003 breakup of the core duo of Robert “3D” Del Naja and Grant “Daddy G” Marshall. With the 2010 release of their much-anticipated fifth studio album Heligoland, it was clear that their two-night stop at The Warfield in San Francisco should not be missed.  Setting the tone for the...

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Wednesday, 09 June 2010
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Oh, you lucky little parasites, So last time I saw you, I walked up with a great big bag o' SWAG for you to raid to make a soundtrack for your summer right? Wow – did I ever just the gun on 'at. See, I didn't even think about the fact that this is summertime – and you know what that means? That means the damned dam burst wide open and everybody with a pulse in the music business rushes...

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Wednesday, 09 June 2010
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Remember about sixteen years ago when 'punk rock' was punk rock, 'hardcore' was simply hardcore and the thousand-and-one hybrids or minor alterations made to those sounds had yet to germinate into autonomous sub-genres? It's not easy to recall anymore – everything from pop-mosh to emo to screamo to post-industrial hard-mosh-pop-core (somebody has to be qualifying their music that way) and “power slop, but with an edge” and dozens more obscure the basics – but Off With Their Heads and their...

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Wednesday, 09 June 2010
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I know what you're thinking. You're looking at this band's name and wondering to yourself, “Really? Heartsounds? Bad name – is Epitaph still trying to tow some sort of emo line? And that blue-and-green color scheme on the album's cover makes it look like a rejected image from Polar Bear Club's last album and EP! That is so last year!” Cold or not, that's a reasonable assessment of the surface of Until We Surrender. Heartsounds is a lousy name and...

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Tuesday, 08 June 2010
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If there is anything that could be taken as a given in this life, it is that there are no givens in this life. As smoothly as something might be running or as set as a course might be, the wise man knows that there is always the possibility of events suddenly turning south toward disaster. Such was the case on January 6, 2009 when, out of the clear blue, Ron Asheton was discovered dead in his home of a...

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Monday, 07 June 2010
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Anyone with a snse of history knows that the Sixties were a tumultuous time in American history. With the war going on in Vietnam and shady dealings taking place in every corridor of the White House, the world suddenly didn't feel like such a safe place anymore, and the artistic community caught onto that sense. Bands and musicians began to chronicle their interpretations and feelings on this suddenly unsafe and unjust world they were living in and, because recording techniques...

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Monday, 07 June 2010
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The last twenty months have been a hectic time for the Eagles of Death Metal. Since the release of Heart On on October 21, 2008, the band has shattered all previous expectations of them by establishing themselves as an internationally celebrated touring act, broken into the Top 100 in no less than four major international markets and been featured in major advertising campaigns as well as appeared on several film...

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Monday, 07 June 2010
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Anyone that has ever spoken with bassist Mike Watt knows he loves what he does. Since co-founding The Minutemen with guitarist D. Boon and drummer George Hurley in 1980, Watt has seemed to eat, sleep and breathe his instrument and reveled in the fact that he gets to do for a living what some people only dream of and would love to do if only they could. Watt is the first to say that he is lucky to be able...

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Saturday, 05 June 2010
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Sometimes album art can be remarkably of what a pop star has in store for fans, whether they know what to make of it right away or not. Christina Aguilera's new album is a perfect example of that; at first glance, the tidy but mildly unsettling image of a Christina cyborg looks like something that could have graced the cover of a hair metal band's album in the Eighties or Nineties (it reminded me a bit of the album covers...

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Friday, 04 June 2010
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Over the last few years, Willie Nelson has seemed to take great joy in playing against both his image and standing as one of the most venerable and celebrated living names in Country music. To name just a couple of examples, Nelson passed the dutchie and played out some Jamaican reggae rhythms for an album's length of time on Countryman in 2005, he scrubbed up and got uncharacteristically tidy in 2009 for a set of uptown contemporary covers on American...

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Thursday, 03 June 2010