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No matter how much buzz they might be generating at any given moment, you have to feel for the “baby band” on the bill of the biggest show of any multi-day, multi-stage music festival. It might be inconvenient to admit it, but the cards are inevitably always stacked against them; when the other bands on a card have more history, they also have a bigger fan base which will, in turn, make them the focus of the proceedings. The old-guard...

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Wednesday, 22 June 2011
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At fifteen years old, I went to my first legitimate rock concert. It was at AJ’s Hanger in Kingston, Ontario and the bands were Rusty and Hhead. During the finale, headliner Rusty’s lead singer Ken MacNeil took a stage dive and landed on top of me. So I stole his shoe. In my fifteen year old mind, I figured that if this band was playing the biggest club in my town and had music videos, they must be millionaires. I...

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196
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Wednesday, 22 June 2011
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Signaling the non-official start to the Bay Area's outdoor Summer concert season, radio station Live 105 brought yet another "BFD" to the Shoreline Amphitheater earlier this month, and it proved to be one of their most diverse lineups yet. With three stages and a DJ tent, there was something for everybody this year, whether it was Moog infused dance music or guitar driven old school Punk Rock. The Local Band stage featured two very promising young bands in Them Rude...

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212
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Wednesday, 22 June 2011
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No matter how much buzz they might be generating at any given moment, you have to feel for the “baby band” on the bill of the biggest show of any multi-day, multi-stage music festival. It might be inconvenient to admit it, but the cards are inevitably always stacked against them; when the other bands on a card have more history, they also have a bigger fanbase which will, in turn, make them the focus of the proceedings. The old-guard fans...

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191
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Tuesday, 21 June 2011
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Say what you will, but the Swingin’ Utters (in spite of their name) are an important band: they’ve put out some of the most seminal street punk albums (see the Scared sessions and Streets of San Francisco), and are probably responsible for the proto-cow-punk genre that many bands are cashing in on these days (think Chuck Ragan and the legion of other folk-inspired acts that have poked their heads up over the last couple of years).  Regrettably, the Swingin’ Utters...

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158
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Tuesday, 21 June 2011
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The Vans Warped Tour is set to kick off its seventeenth run across North America. This year’s edition will feature one of the festival's most diverse lineups with a roster that includes a mix of metalcore, pop punk and hip hop in addition to hardcore and good old fashion punk rock. Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman recently took time to chat with Ground Control about how the renowned festival began, what he’s excited about for this year and where the...

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183
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Sunday, 19 June 2011
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As a longtime Neil Young fan, I have always viewed his Eighties catalogue as "lost years.” Sure – there were some great moments ("T-Bone" on Re-ac-tor, "Sample and Hold" on Trans, "Wonderin" on Everybody's Rockin') but, even as a devout fan, I don't ever go to my record collection with the express intention of putting on some Eighties Neil Young. It just doesn't happen. I respect the historical significance of this period in that Young was defying Geffen Records by...

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167
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Sunday, 19 June 2011
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In my mind, Bob Dylan's career really took off in 1965, when he strapped on an electric guitar and released Bringing It All Back Home. This is not just because I'm more of a rocker than a folkie, it's because his entire songwriting style changed at this point and allowed his true genius to come through. Everything before that was just prelude. Listening to this CD from a 1963 concert only confirms that feeling. First, the basics. This is a...

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163
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Sunday, 19 June 2011
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There's nothing quite like a near-death experience to put things into perspective. Two years ago, producer and punk rock drumming institution Bill Stevenson was diagnosed with a cerebral meningioma which brought his wheels to a grinding halt. It was an understandably scary time – albums bearing Stevenson's name as producer or performer ceased as he underwent surgery to removed the tumor and then took some time to convalesce – but things have...

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167
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Wednesday, 15 June 2011
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At forty-seven years old – after a few twists, turns and significant health concerns – Descendents drummer Bill Stevenson is happy to report that he's in the shape of his life – a fact that will come as no small relief to those who are aware of the events that took place over the last two years. “The one really big event that I've had happen in the last couple of years is that I got very, very ill –...

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180
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Wednesday, 15 June 2011