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After selling over thirty million records worldwide and selling out the Tokyo Dome a record-breaking eighteen times, Japan's answer to Guns N' Roses, X Japan, have finally decided to tour America, and will be hitting seven cities in North America starting September 25th. "We feel like a new band now, like we are going back to the beginning," said X Japan's leader/drummer/pianist/composer Yoshiki recently about the upcoming U.S. concerts, "and it's very, very exciting.  We are looking forward to playing...

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Tuesday, 21 September 2010
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Oh, how times have changed for The Moaners since they first started out. When Melissa Swingle and Laura King first appeared in the earliest weeks of 2005 with Dark Snack, they almost seemed to come on the scene like the underground's answer to grunge and The Black Keys all at the same time; Swingle's guitar threatened to break loose from the singer's control at any moment while King's drums ran damage control and attempted to contain the mania. The sound...

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Tuesday, 21 September 2010
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Common sense dictates that the only way to move forward confidently through life is to know and take notes from the past. Think about it – those who live only in the present subscribing to Henry Ford's proposition that history is “bunk” run the very real danger of repeating the past mistakes of others. In the arts community, some folks are lucky enough to avoid the pitfalls that come along with making new work (music is just one example) in...

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Friday, 17 September 2010
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Someone wise once said that “Change is growth and growth is life” and, as unfashionable as it might be to admit, it's as true for entertainers as it is for everyone else – particularly given that the current pop culture climate has seemed (in some cases) to pare Andy Warhol's fifteen-minute time-frame for fame down to a matter of microseconds. Particularly in the case of pop music now, most bands are left in the uncomfortable position of having to prove...

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Friday, 17 September 2010
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"The drive was pretty long – it was a ten-hour drive – and when we were getting our shit together to go a couple of days ago, we noticed that our van had this massive oil leak but we went and did the first two shows and got it fixed today,” explains a mildly tired Chris Cresswell as he sits down backstage with his dinner at The Flatliners' tour stop in Kitchener, Ontario. “This tour with Against Me! started the...

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Thursday, 16 September 2010
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Awright you so-an'-sos, I ain't gotta lotta time today, so I'll keep this short. "Why haven't you got much time today, Don?" yer askin', but we both know I didn't say it that way. Anyway, I got a bit of a concern brewin' 'cause I know ya wanna know, an' trust me – if it comes together, the ones that win in the end will be you, my loyal fans an' junkies. I can't talk about that right now though,...

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Thursday, 16 September 2010
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After starting strong and hard three years ago with their self-titled debut, Grinderman discovered to their surprise that they had a sizable audience hungry for the dark, lecherous blues they were peddling. At the time, the response to the band far exceeded expectation because, to be perfectly honest, there was no expectation at all; the band slapped the songs together and recorded them warts (and stream of debauchery lyric sheets) and all to blow off steam, but listeners lined up...

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Tuesday, 14 September 2010
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James may never exactly be forgiven in the minds of some listeners for getting “Laid” on the radio in 1993, and the band guaranteed they'd have a tough row to hoe when they allowed that same song to be the last thing people heard after watching a teenager defile a pie on the silver screen but, seventeen years after the first event and eleven after the second, the band at least deserves credit for surviving the stigma they called upon...

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Tuesday, 14 September 2010
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Since the band first knocked fans for a loop in 1996 and released the abysmally received Pinkerton (okay, the album's stature has improved over time, but it was considered their folly upon release), Weezer has upheld a tradition of putting out a blockbuster record (usually referred to simply by the dominant color on the cover) and then following it with a slightly less satisfying (for fans) return. It's shocking when one really thinks about it, but the band's catalogue really...

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Monday, 13 September 2010
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"Growth,” in the sense that musicians can change over time, can be a remarkably dicey proposition. That isn't to say that change in music is abhorrent – unless you're a member of AC/DC, it's impossible to justify making the same record several times over – but the gamble that comes with any artist's indulgence in change is that they also have to hope their fans will bear with them; musicians have to hope that, however they choose to augment their...

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Friday, 10 September 2010