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As complicated as the rhetoric has seemed to become since the dawn of the millennium, there are really only two kinds of punk band: those who make punk rock reliant upon sound and form, and those who are punk in ideal. The most visible camp has traditionally been the “sound and form” set – they wear the uniform, are the most outspoken and have the biggest personalities – but the ones who tend to have a little more endurance (read:...

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Thursday, 21 July 2011
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How's tricks ya punks?Awright, I'm not exactly sure wha's been goin' on lately, but has anybody else noticed how many cover songs're bein' released these days? Wha happened? Did bands start fergettin' how ta write songs or somethin'? There ain't been'is many cover songs on reckids since da 1980s – I need'is explained ta me. It's like heroin wasn't good enough no more, so everybody's turnin' ta designer drugs. Ah well, it'least I foun' some good ones fo'ya dis week,...

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Wednesday, 20 July 2011
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Discussions with Shilpa Ray are a surreal experience; there is a very clear difference between her musical persona and personal demeanor. Both onstage and on-record, Ray just unloads on listeners with a booming and tormented but soulful bellow not unlike what one might expect to come out of Shirley Bassey if that singer were to down a fifth of whiskey before a show. That voice is genuinely imposing and, if all a listener knew of Ray was that sound, it...

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Tuesday, 19 July 2011
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Playing on what may have been the smallest stage he has ever stepped foot on in the city San Francisco, Ted Nugent brought his I Still Believe Tour to the Independent last week, and also brought with him enough energy, showmanship and guitars to command an arena-sized stage. Judging by the roar of the crowd, an arena-sized crowd may have shoe-horned itself into the venue. When the Nuge and his band finally hit the stage and immediately ripped into "Free...

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Monday, 18 July 2011
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In the decades since rock n' roll first took off, there are plenty of records which “should have been huge,” but just weren't. There are as many reasons why those records didn't become classics as there are albums that fall into this ill-fated 'heartbreaker' category but, really, it can all be boiled down to a couple of nagging variables: either A) The record in question simply didn't get enough exposure or into the outlets where it would have generated the...

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Wednesday, 13 July 2011
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Gimme yer shoulda fer a minute junkie, I'm tellin' ya, it's been a long fuckin' week, an' it's only Wednesday! Damn! Lettin' my sticky fingas do da walkin' is busy, tirin' work – 'epecially when I'm doin' it all fer you little sos-an'-sos. I might be run ragged, but I gotta good haul fer you reprobates'is week, 'at's fer sure. First off, I nabbed the new Blitzen Trapper tune fer yer thievin' pleasure. Their las' reckid was great – it...

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Wednesday, 13 July 2011
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When former 102.1 The Edge program director Alan Cross interviewed Mudhoney last year, he asked them to comment on the Soundgarden reunion to which front man Mark Arm replied “Have you heard Cornell’s solo stuff? The reunion was inevitable.” Well put Mark. After more than a decade of bad Cornell material and Matt Cameron slumming it with Pearl Jam while Kim Thayil and Ben Shepherd have been taking it easy in Seattle, the seminal Nineties alt-rockers walked onto the Molson...

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Wednesday, 13 July 2011
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As I’ve said before, the Swingin’ Utters are one of those bands that changed the game for me. I’m speaking of course of their self-titled album, which is not only their most ambitious work to date, but quite possibly started the cow-punk genre. Strangely, the band’s output has been minimal since the release of that debut but now, after eight years, we finally get a new Swingin’ Utters album. To say I’m an Utters fan understates things, so it’s almost...

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Wednesday, 13 July 2011
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There are many rules to being a band’s true fan. First, you’re only allowed to own a band’s apparel if you own more than two of their albums, your favorite song must be a rare one (preferably a B-side from an obscure, out-of-print 7-inch) and your favorite album by the band in question is one they don’t really play much live anymore. All of these rules hold true for me here. The Bouncing Souls are a strange band to be...

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Tuesday, 12 July 2011
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Just six months ago, OFF!'s situation was very uncertain. The band had just released its First Four EPs vinyl box set in the latest of late days in 2010 and, while it had been warmly received by the portion of the punk rock community who knew about it, there was still some concern that the band may not be able to break bigger than that. There were reasonable concerns that the aggressive, adrenaline-saturated, minute-long songs that the band was making...

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Monday, 11 July 2011