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As much promise as a band might hold when it first appears on the public radar, sometimes there's no way to account for the sudden jump forward that they might make from one album to the next; sometimes a band might have been good on one album but they're absolutely mind-blowing on the next. Such jumps are not commonplace (if they were, there would be no such thing as a mid-level band) but it's really exciting when they do happen;...

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Monday, 28 February 2011
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Ever been walking along a busy city street at night and, out of the corner of your eye, you could've sworn you saw someone you used to love knowing? It could be anyone – a drinking buddy who moved out of town for work, the waitress who always used to smile at you when she delivered your coffee at your local shoppe but left unexpectedly for school, the girl who got away – but the possibility of reconnecting with that...

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Friday, 25 February 2011
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Remember when punk rock music didn't need a bunch of frills, bells, or whistles strapped to it in order to be considered good? It seems to have been a while since that was the case, and you can start flipping through your record collection to try and figure out when exactly punk started crutching on novelties, gimmicks, cross-genre blending and every other new trick in the book to achieve a short-lived “wow” factor, or you can just throw on The...

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Friday, 25 February 2011
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Sixteen years ago, The Tea Party ruled Canadian rock radio airwaves and the band's singer, Jeff Martin, was already an icon. Between the group's first two albums (Splendor Solis and The Edges Of Twilight),  The Tea Party shattered alternative rock conventions of simplicity being the first, best way to a hit by incorporating elements of world music (mainly that of East India) and Classic Rock's love of instrumental virtuosity (the band really did sound like the best possible cross between...

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Friday, 25 February 2011
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I would like to say I didn’t have to leave this show early due to a foot injury that was making it increasingly painful to lean over the barricade for photos. I’d like to say that the venue understood the difference between stating “show starts at 8” and “doors open at 8.” I’d like to say that. I’d be lying, but I’d like to say that. Wounded, sitting on the floor of the Academy of Contemporary Music Performance Lab (previously...

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Thursday, 24 February 2011
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Hey d'ere kiddies,So here we go again wit' another great bag o' SWAG from me ta yous. I tell ya, they ain't gettin' any lighter now! An' 'ey're gettin' better too! I foun' some bits o' the new album by R.E.M. 'at was just layin' around so I picked 'em up an' put 'em in 'ere, an' I also foun' some o' dat new Foo Fighters, Descendents an' Tune-Yards for yer swipin' pleasure, but 'at's the gravy this week. The...

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Thursday, 24 February 2011
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While it has been six years since the band released an album of new material (the re-recorded, remunerated reissue of their debut doesn't count), it's clear in listening to Safeways Here We Come that Chixdiggit has no intention of changing or growing up. In just over sixteen minutes (which comes very close to being able to fit on a seven-inch, incidentally), Fat Wreck's original Canadian signing immortalizes the joys of ramen noodles, the woes and inherent comedy of bad haircuts,...

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252
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Wednesday, 23 February 2011
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Listen to enough music, and eventually the lines between novelty, shtick, fallacy and fanaticism begin to get a bit blurry. As record labels worry evermore about their bottom lines and market shares and attempt to compensate by releasing more material than the other guys, the possibility for genuine tripe getting more attention than it deserves becomes increasingly real. How could it not? When every concept of a band is getting unloaded, there's bound to be a couple dogs in the...

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Tuesday, 22 February 2011
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Some things never go out of style after they first come in. If one looks at The Dixie Chicks, for example, it's possible to notice that each successive release since  the band's breakthrough Shouldn't a Told You That in 1993 has been rapturously received and even side projects like Courtyard Hounds have done well. Likewise, while the performers' names and faces may change, girlie pop acts have been doing well since the advent of pop music as (in this writer's...

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Monday, 21 February 2011
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Having just released their seventh studio album,  punk rock legends Social Distortion returned to the Bay Area for the first time in almost two years to play back to back sold out shows at San Francisco's Warfield Theater earlier this month and proved they are still a force to be reckoned with.

 Opening the show with “Road Zombie,” the guitar driven instrumental on the just released Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes, it quickly became apparent that Mike Ness meant business....

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Monday, 21 February 2011