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So Beautiful or So What is the epitome of aging gracefully. The CD deals with the big questions which come with the passage of time – “where have I come from,” “where am I going,” “what does it all mean?” – without expressing bitterness, despair or smugness. Not only does Simon approach these questions with a level temperament, he demonstrates that gaining wisdom is far different from having the answers. The music which accompanies these ruminations is similarly graceful. A...

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Tuesday, 17 May 2011
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Upon starting this review, I realized that I had never seen a Roy Orbison record that wasn't some sort of compilation. For every other artist of Orbison's stature, I could quickly name a career defining record; Elvis' self-titled debut, Cash's At Folsom Prison, Dylan's Blonde On Blonde, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers' Damn The Torpedoes… but for Orbison I came up blank and realized that I generally knew very little about him – outside of the voice, the glasses and...

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Monday, 16 May 2011
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Looking for something light to listen to this morning? Something kind of upbeat, peppy, even? If that's the case, Soon The Birds is not for you. If, however, you find yourself hankering for some lonely country twang that you can drink whiskey to, then you just hit thirty-nine minutes of pay dirt with this album. The sixth album by Canadian alt-country singer Suzie Ungerleider, Soon The Birds is a work in slow progression; the album moves in a sleepy, heavy...

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Monday, 16 May 2011
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Be a working musician for as long as Iggy Pop has been (about forty-three years, if you didn't know) and keep a regular touring and release schedule for about the same amount of time, and it's likely that a pretty sizable bank of legally questionable releases will begin to accumulate. Some of those bootlegs have even been known to take on a celebrated status with the passage of time; some continue to reappear perennially because there was “this moment during...

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Monday, 16 May 2011
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Although the current incarnation of Sepultura is a far cry from the line-up that delivered some of thrash metal's finest moments with records such as Morbid Visions and Beneath the Remains, the band rolled into San Francisco last week and proved that they can still deliver the goods after all these years, without a doubt. Hitting the stage and ripping into "Arise,” Sepultura had the crowd worked up to a frenzy within a matter of seconds. Singer Derrick Green paced...

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Monday, 16 May 2011
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What's a musician to do when the limelight has faded completely? Granted, The Supersuckers were not the single greatest band to come rushing out of Seattle (by way of Arizona – in this band's case) in the 1990s, but they at least drew passing favor as a solid, journeyman band and their stellar work ethic has kept them going for years after the wheels fell off and the hype wore out. The Supersuckers have taken themselves as far as they...

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Sunday, 15 May 2011
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As good as some stories might be, one must ask if they're really so good that even the post-scripts need to be recounted. That question deserves asking as one listens to the reissue of South Saturn Delta; originally released in 1997, SSD was the first compilation released by the Hendrix family after they put out First Rays Of The New Rising Sun (the album left unfinished by Jimi Hendrix at the time of his death in 1970). Fans found satisfaction...

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Sunday, 15 May 2011
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When the Guantanamo School of Medicine (GitSOM) released The Audacity Of Hype in 2009, singer Jello Biafra accomplished what many assumed to be impossible: he managed to get the whole world (all of it – not just punk rockers) to begin looking at him as a musician again – not just as “that outspoken social and political critic/satirist Jello Biafra.” He fired all of his guns at once on Hype and the result was phenomenal, but even he would admit...

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Saturday, 14 May 2011
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LA band Dawes keep good company. Their 2009 debut North Hills was born out of informal jam sessions with Bright Eyes' Conor Oberst, the Heartbreakers' Benmont Tench, The Black Crowes' Chris Robinson and Wilco's multi-instrumentalist Pat Sansone. More recently, Robbie Robertson selected them to be the backing band for his public appearances in support of his new record, How To Become Clairvoyant, on which singer/guitarist Taylor Goldsmith also guests. Their sophomore effort Nothing Is Wrong again features Tench and sees...

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Friday, 13 May 2011
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Compared to the average working practices of most other bands in the last ten years, OFF! must have just run back into the studio following the first promotional tour they embarked upon in support of their First Four EPs release. Granted, a new seven-inch from the band isn't so shocking as it would have been to see another full-length offering, but the pair of songs presented on this single already imply growth and betray the fact that the band members...

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Thursday, 12 May 2011