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After thirty-five years and a path marked by both line-up and label changes, it could never be said that The Damned don't still cut a bedeviled image on stage. Currently backed by longtime, on-again-off-again guitarist Captain Sensible, keyboardist Monty Oxy Moron, bassist Stu West and drummer Pinch, Damned singer Dave Vanian took the stage at Slim's in San Francisco on October 29, 2011 and showed concertgoers how gothic a punk band can be. Now celebrating their thirty-fifth anniversary, The Damned...

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Monday, 31 October 2011
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The mixture of music on Alesana's fourth LP (first for punk stalwarts Epitaph), A Place Where The Sun Is Silent, is unlike that of any one band I’ve ever listened to before. By that I can say that Alesana sounds like a melange of several different styles and influences, all of which come together into a cohesive union – right up until the band overreaches and falls, awkwardly (more on that later).

 Alesana have been labeled a post-hardcore band and...

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Sunday, 30 October 2011
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It may have taken almost ten years of hard work, trading record labels, touring constantly and building a devoted fan-base out of almost nothing, but on The Brains' newest album lies the proof that this band has finally hit its stride. This time out, the Quebec-based rockabilly trio has dodged all of the pitfalls that hobbled its previous albums (poor, grainy production and weak, paint-by-numbers songwriting) and produced a record which represents a true high-water mark; the sound is perfectly...

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Saturday, 29 October 2011
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Sometimes you never know which way the wind will blow, or what those winds may bring your way. So when editor extraordinaire Bill Adams sent me a new album, unsolicited, for review with a note attached saying he thought I should check it out because it was my cup of tea, I felt like I owed him one. 

Here is where fate dealt me a wonderful blow. Joe Henry, someone I had never heard of before, released a new album...

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Saturday, 29 October 2011
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Sometimes there's just no way to explain how a musical collaboration between two artists could have happened because, like oil and water, they just don't seem capable of mixing. In the case of oil and water, a mixture is impossible because, on the most basic molecular level, the liquids are incapable of combining into a solution; the best that can happen is that they haphazardly come together as a suspension like salad dressing, but the liquids will still separate if...

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Friday, 28 October 2011
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2011 has been a red letter year for Touche Amore. The band has spent the year touring hard – appearing at festivals like FYF, SXSW, Chaos in Tejas, Hevy Fest (UK), the House of Vans in Brooklyn, and cutting a swath across most of the globe. While all that was happening, the band also released Parting The Sea Between Brightness and Me, to staggering critical acclaim earlier this summer; from the first strikes of their angular yet melodic chords, it's...

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Thursday, 27 October 2011
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Since Tom Waits' music first started appearing on record store shelves thirty-eight years ago, the singer has traveled to all four corners of the musical map. He's been dozens of characters in that time too; he's been a coffee shop crooner, a back-alley bard, a jazz-cat gigolo and (most recently) a backwoods boondock saint as given to pounding on the tin walls of a chicken coop for percussion as he is to finding a drum kit. Waits has been everywhere...

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Thursday, 27 October 2011
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Awrightcha mugs, Good ta see ya. In fact, i's great ta see ya – I ben cooped up in my apartment fer days, layin' low (long story). Anyways, da beauty o' bein' stuck at home izzat I got ta shake as many tunes outta da inta-tree as possible. I got some good ones fo'ya too junky, check t out: I nabbed'a first new song from Bass Drum Of Death ta come out since dey put out ther dig deal album...

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Thursday, 27 October 2011
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Punk rock (one could say the right kind of punk rock) has had a shinier-than-usual spotlight put on it these days, partly because of what bands like Fucked Up are doing. I say “bands like” out of formality because, to be honest, I should say it’s simply because of Fucked Up. Their latest album David Comes To Life is so ambitious, offers so much, and works on so many levels that it’s the perfect album to divert an average non-punk...

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Thursday, 27 October 2011
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Some shows just feel like they are destined to become released as live recordings. The set list, sound engineering and an otherwise indescribable atmosphere that is somehow able to work its way onto the recording all contribute to what makes a memorable live record. These great albums, which don’t come along very often, are captured moments in time – shared events that take on a distinctive quality for those who wish they could have been there and also for those...

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Tuesday, 25 October 2011