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There was a time when a new R.E.M. album was highly anticipated and greeted eagerly, but that was twenty years ago. Now, the announcement of a new release from Georgia's favorite sons is more likely greeted with a shrug than a cheer. Why? Well, what does R.E.M. have to offer us today? As confrontational as that may sound, the good news is that Collapse into Now contains everything we have loved about R.E.M. in the past. The bad news is...

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Thursday, 17 March 2011
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BitTorrent Inc., a leading innovator creating advanced technologies to efficiently move large files across the Internet, today announced that Sick of Sarah’s album 2205 has been downloaded over one million times since launch on February 15, according to trackers set up to monitor the album’s proliferation through the BitTorrent community. As of 5 p.m. March 15 (last night), the ClearBits.net trackers had registered 1,365,453 completed downloads of the album. The announcement comes as Sick of Sarah prepares to take the...

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Wednesday, 16 March 2011
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Listen to enough music and you start to notice patterns in the names that bands take; sometimes those names are little hints at what your ears will be getting into. For example, if it’s something offbeat and whimsical, the band probably plays some kind of indie shoe-gazer business. Conversely, if a band's name includes the word “Brothers” (but not bros), there’s a strong possibility for folk resurgence. Death metal bands must, as a rule, incorporate three consonants and two syllables...

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Wednesday, 16 March 2011
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With the release of Endgame, Rise Against commemorates it's ninth year as a band and, while that time has been marked by lineup changes, label changes and other alterations in the band's design and focus, this year marks the first time significant changes have happened outside the band which may actually affect how it functions. Even making such an argument might sound far-fetched, but think about it – to this point, this most politically-charged of punk bands has had the...

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Tuesday, 15 March 2011
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As a point of clarification, I have to ask: who exactly coined the phrase “stoner rock” and applied it to languid, reasonably atonal and/or drone-y rock n' roll? It definitely wasn't a bunch of stoners, nor was it anyone who regularly associates with potheads either; almost anyone can tell you that fans of the herb tend to be an industrious sort – building and making things – and tend to be a fairly content and affable bunch; not a bunch...

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Tuesday, 15 March 2011
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Back in 2000, at the ripe old age of fifteen, I was introduced to a type of music that broke the mould of what I believed heavy metal to be. Metal to me was brash, ugly and dark. Down-tuned power chords and blast beats. Children Of Bodom’s Follow The Reaper swept in with their intricately interwoven guitar melodies atop keyboard licks that created harmonies, the likes of which had yet to be heard by my young and eager ears. Their...

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Monday, 14 March 2011
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The thing about first impressions is that they're perfectly superficial; whether they're good or bad is irrelevant because they're only representative of the tip of the iceberg and what lies beneath the surface might be considerably more substantial. In Action Makes' case, those introduced to the band via their single released on Magnificent 7s four years ago were presented with the image of a band steeped in classic rock tradition (not for nothing did they draw comparisons to the 13th...

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Monday, 14 March 2011
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On Go-Go Boots, their eleventh studio record in just twelve years, The Drive-By Truckers are focused on the softer or more acoustic side of their sound. While most of their records have featured these quieter songs, this is their first album to focus entirely on their country-soul leanings. Recorded at the same time as 2010's The Big To Do, Go-Go Boots features songs from all three Truckers songwriters again, however it is worth noting that this is the second album...

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Monday, 14 March 2011
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One of the fringe benefits to being in a band is that you're able to see the world doing something you love. Really, how great is that? If you're in a band and brave enough to hit the road in support of an album you made, there is the outside possibility that you'll get to see places you wouldn't have had the opportunity to otherwise, and even make a few dollars (maybe) and win a few new fans...

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162
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Monday, 14 March 2011
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From the opening moments of her new album Blessed, it is clear that Lucinda Williams has some spring back in her step. That's not to say that she ever "lost it" – both 2006's West and 2008's Little Honey had some great moments – but Blessed is definitely a more consistent and inspired effort. It's tempting to say that Blessed is her best album since her 1998 breakthrough, Car Wheels on a Gravel Road, because it delivers as consistently as...

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Sunday, 13 March 2011