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What's in a name? As fashionable as it might be to say that such qualifying measures are meaningless or useless when it comes to the arts, musicians live and die with generic names and their perceived status in pop culture. Think about it – how many new buzz words crop up per year/per month/per week to define the sound of the new “it” band? How do people view it on the basis of that nomenclature after its' fanfare has waned?...

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Monday, 29 November 2010
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When A Perfect Circle announced that they would be playing three nights in San Francisco, and playing a different album in it's entirety each night, I was a bit torn as to what show I wanted to attend. In the end I chose the third and final night, where the band would be playing eMOTIVe, their album of cover songs. Knowing that they had not really played these songs live before, I was a bit curious to see how they...

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Monday, 29 November 2010
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Alright junky, si'down a minute an' listen up, So I thought I was doin' good by ya. I thought, y'know, thirty new bits o' liberated music a week? That ain't bad right? 'At's what I thought, an' prolly whatchu thought. It was a good deal, but then the holidays started hittin' and the gates swung open; what I'm findin' now makes what came before look like a drop in the bucket or like I was holdin' out on you! I...

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Thursday, 25 November 2010
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Trying to measure the influence of The Lowest Of The Low and their debut album, Shakespeare My Butt, on modern rock is impossible. That isn't any kind of overstatement – when the album dropped in 1991, an entire generation of Canadians (and those Americans living close enough to the border that they picked up Canadian radio stations) heard it because the album managed to penetrate several schools of sensibility at once; for some, the band's smart-assed (and shockingly literate), punk...

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Tuesday, 23 November 2010
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Over the years, Screeching Weasel has built a deserved reputation as one of the truly great skate punk bands of the Eighties and Nineties. Since first blasting out of Chicago in 1986, SW has hammered flat, honed and perfected their sound to the joy of their devout and rabid fan base but, in all of the band's storied history, one album has always stood out as the “whoops!” release, and even the most dogged and vocal Weasel fans will sheepishly...

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Friday, 19 November 2010
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How does one adequately express when a new album sounds good without actually sounding new? It's not that the songs are re-recordings of old material done to reflect the changes a band has undergone over time, just that the album sounds incredibly derivative of several other sources compiled into one. Listening to Smoke Or Fire's new album is like that; from the opening run of “Integrity,” listeners will be able to pick melodic and instrumental similarities between some of the...

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Friday, 19 November 2010
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When I first heard about this album, it sounded like an odd pairing – a pop superstar and an old-time rocker whose brief moment of glory had come and gone nearly forty years ago. But once I heard the history behind it, the collaboration made much more sense. Elton John was the opening act for Leon Russell's 1970 U.S. tour; a point when Russell was the rising star, and John just a struggling beginner. Over the years, their status flipped...

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Thursday, 18 November 2010
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Hey junky,How're ya keepin'? Have ya got the shakes yet or what? Don'chu worry, doctor Donnie's here to cure what ails ya witta great big bag o' new tunes. An' I got some doozies for ya this week too — I tracked down some o' the new Dre reckid that ain't come out yet (same Dre a decade later, but I ain't shortin' him – it's still great), an' I foun' some Kanye West to getcher inner street thug movin'....

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Thursday, 18 November 2010
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As early as 1982's Imperial Bedroom, Elvis Costello demonstrated that he was more than just an angry young man with a talent for hooks and clever wordplay. He was one of pop's great songwriters; able to conquer a wide variety of styles and emotions. Throughout his long career, he has consistently proven this. He has had his share of hits and misses, of wild experiments (Juliette Letters, North and that collaboration with Burt Bacharach), of stylistic expansions (from Almost Blue...

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Wednesday, 17 November 2010
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Four years ago, Damon “Badly Drawn Boy” Gough hit the wall. After the tepid reception for his fifth album, Born In The U.K., failed to live up to the singer's own critical expectation, he began to slow down dramatically as he battled depression and attempted to discern his next course of action. The failure of Born In The U.K. was a difficult blow to take for the singer, and it's easy enough to understand why; after gaining momentum with his...

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Tuesday, 16 November 2010