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It has never been analyzed too deeply before, but the fact is that all of the great collaborative rock bands and albums start out as loose, fun affairs which only become serious later – after the players who came together to contribute to the project discovered they might just be onto something. For perfect examples of such artistic development-on-the-fly, one could look at the albums that The Travelling Wilburys made or (more recently) the album that Fred Squire, Julie Doiron...

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Tuesday, 31 January 2012
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As has been the case every other time Leonard Cohen has released a new album since 1969, the first question which really begs asking when one examines Old Ideas is how much rhetoric inspired it, how much rhetoric was required to produce it, how much wry wit has been laced into it and how many perfectly polished double entendres fuel it. These are the thoughts that seasoned fans will have before they hear one note of music. Before they hear...

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Sunday, 29 January 2012
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Now about eighteen years after bands like Green Day, NOFX and Rancid broke through into the mainstream, punk rock has changed in some most peculiar ways. After the great renaissance happened in 1994, it didn't take long for other young, hopeful bands to formalize punk rock (see the results in Blink 182 and all of the side projects from that band, Sum 41, MxPx, Simple Plan and We The Kings, and that's just for starters – there are more) and...

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Saturday, 28 January 2012
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It might not sound like it should make sense initially, but sometimes the flaws in a record's presentation can actually enrich the experience of hearing it. Believe me when I say that such an inference is only that – an inference – and not not an ironclad rule, but it was certainly proven to me definitively when I reviewed the People Mover 7” by Toronto-based punks Caiiro Foster. The band's second release in just a few months (their self-titled EP...

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Friday, 27 January 2012
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My understanding of Snow Patrol is perhaps best summed up by a scene from the mediocre comedy Hall Pass. Owen Wilson, whose character is free to cheat on his wife, visits a coffee shop to hit on a sexy barista. He complements the music, which she explains is Snow Patrol. "Ah yeah, good soundtrack. Pretty good movie. Tell you one thing… Cuba Gooding definitely doesn't belong in the snow, does he?" A hipster coworker then mocks him for confusing the...

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Thursday, 26 January 2012
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I missed the first song of Real Estate’s show – and it was awkward. I gauged time badly and arrived approximately ten minutes into the band's set and quickly made my way to the front to appreciate the second half of “Municipality.” When I yelled out “Suburban Beverage” after what I now know was the second song, bassist Alex Bleeker replied, “We opened with that, what did you do – show up late?” Light chuckles reverberated through the crowd; indeed...

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Wednesday, 25 January 2012
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Heya junky,Awright, I ain't got a whole lotta time ta dink aroun' witchu tuhday ya twerps, so's I'mma jus' get in, getchu yer SWAG an'get gone – ya get me? The upside fer you izzat I nabbed some pretty primo gear fo'ya dis week, an' some expensive stuff too. Like I nabbed some major label teasers for ya junky – an' some of it's pretty hard an' rockin'. I nabbed not one, not two, not three but four new songs...

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Wednesday, 25 January 2012
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Secret City is pleased to announce the release of Patrick Watson’s new album, Adventures In Your Own Backyard, on April 17th in Canada. The 12-track album will see release in the rest of the world via Domino. Adventures In Your Own Backyard, the fourth full-length effort from Patrick Watson, was recorded in Montreal after a grueling five-year run that saw Patrick and his band (bassist Mishka Stein bass, guitarist Simon Angell and drummer Robbie Kuster) tour the world in support of...

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Wednesday, 25 January 2012
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Devo brought their Something For Everybody tour back to San Francisco for the second time in less than a year on January 14 and, judging from the capacity crowd who were dancing and spilling their drinks for the entire set, the band did indeed bring something for everybody. Opening with "Don't Shoot (I'm a Man)" from their latest release, Devo took control of the stage from the word go. Their non-stop wardrobe changes and constant switching of instruments didn't distract...

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Tuesday, 24 January 2012
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The peril that every record label faces when they consider reissuing an augmented edition of a record which is already considered a classic is that they run the risk of alienating some fans and/or challenging their perception of it. For some fans of any band, the music is special for them precisely as they first heard it; whether it was including the pops and hisses of a well-worn record, an 8-track, a cassette, a CD or an mp3, the medium...

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Monday, 23 January 2012