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Some bands just can't recognize an opportunity when it's staring them in the face, and no singer is more aware of that fact than Keith Morris. For the last three decades, Morris has fronted punk rock stalwarts the Circle Jerks and both reveled in the praise and weathered the storms of critical disapproval with them but, when work began on a new album in late 2009, Morris became dissatisfied with how the sessions were going. He had written some new...

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Tuesday, 18 January 2011
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It's funny to look back now, and see how alternative rock and grunge totally inverted the plains of “mainstream” and “underground” music. In the early Nineties, there's no arguing that bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden and Alice In Chains were the dominant institutions of the day but, if one looks a little closer and deconstructs the fanfare that those bands generated, it's possible to see that there was something very unusual going on underneath; Soundgarden was tied to the...

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Tuesday, 18 January 2011
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There's no doubt that 2011 promises to be a good year for Tom Waits. While rumors of the singer working on a new stage musical with director (and long-time collaborator) Robert Wilson and playwright Martin McDonagh as well as talk of the singer beginning to write new material with wife Kathleen Brennan for a follow-up to 2006's Orphans collection had already begun to circulate and build some excitement, it was announced that the celebrated singer will finally be inducted into...

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Thursday, 13 January 2011
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What do you do after you’ve taken a forgotten scrap of a musical style, dusted it off, polished it a bit and made it suddenly renowned? If you’re most bands, you ride that sound to the bank. If you’re the Decemberists, you work with it until it’s just south of everybody’s playlists, and then you drop it to find the next obscure artifact to meld into artistic genius. The Decemberists made sea shanties popular with the twenty-something crowd, brought back...

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Thursday, 13 January 2011
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Happy New Year ya mooks! Sorry it took me a while to get back, I had a couple of things that needed doin' an' hadda spend a little time somewhere. Apparently, I should not drink Egg Nog in public – ya know what I'm sayin'? I was out at a holiday party an' I might've had a little too much Christmas cheer because, when the cops showed up to try an' break up the party, I tried to break them...

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Wednesday, 12 January 2011
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This isn't meant to sound petulant, but “rare birds” are so-called for a reason and it is this: evolution is cruelest to those creatures that don't easily fit in. Most often, “rare birds” meet unfavorable ends because they have no place of their own and no community. It's a grim reality, but it is the reality which will cause those who find Restorations to hope that the band hangs around for a while; their debut EP, Strange Behavior, is a...

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Tuesday, 11 January 2011
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It's funny how revisionist in nature history can be. Whether intentional or not, some things just fall and disappear into the cracks because other events that happened around the same time were just bigger. Because of that, some minor details  get glossed over for the sake of continuity and making a good story flow. A perfect example of such historical revisionism exists in the early years of California punk's development, but one will only notice if the historical time-line of...

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Friday, 07 January 2011
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After a rousing response at the announcement of their return to active duty earlier this year, Primus closed out the annum with a two-night stand (December 30 and 31) at Fox Theater in Oakland, Ca. The first night (photographed here) saw the band performing its' seminal Sailing The Seas Of Cheese album in its' entirety and, while the lighting left a bit to be desired for photography, the sound was spectacular. Those who caught either show were in luck because,...

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Monday, 03 January 2011
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Who says getting drunk is tantamount to acting irresponsibly? The Johnstones posted the video for their newest single, "Let's Get Fucked Up" both on their web site and on youtube as of midnight this morning. According to the brief description submitted by singer Ryan Long, "The Johnstones found a way to waste thousands of dollars when making the music video for their new single. From the Camera Crew to the Extra's everybody involved was smashed." Needless to say, the band...

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Monday, 03 January 2011
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By now, the lives of most of those who were swept up in the holiday storm have to be reverting to some semblance of normalcy. “The most wonderful (and wildly stressful) time of the year” is over – and now we're left at the dawn of the new year to survey our new-found wealth. So how'd you make out? Did you get everything you wanted? Whether you did or whether you didn't, there are still a few loose ends left...

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Saturday, 01 January 2011