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Magic Hour, the latest from Scissor Sisters, is no Night Work but that's just fine. The NYC-based dance-pop group reached the culmination of condensing forty years of club-going culture into one band’s discography on their last full-length. The undertaking was of such deadly seriousness to mastermind Jake Shears that they had scrapped the initial attempt at a third LP and allowed four years to go by since they had reached well beyond the gaze of private eyes with “I Don’t...

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Thursday, 14 June 2012
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"There is nothing quite like a Dinosaur Jr. album. The best ones are always recognizable from the first notes. And even though J tries to trip us up by smearing “Don’t Pretend You Didn’t Know” with keyboards, it’s clear from the moment he starts his vocals that this is the one and only Dinosaur Jr., long reigning kings of Amherst, Massachusetts (and anywhere else they choose to hang their toques). I Bet on Sky is the third Dinosaur Jr. album...

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128
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Wednesday, 13 June 2012
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A little background is required for reviewing Sebadoh’s debut album. It was 1988 and Lou Barlow, having been bounced out from under the oppressive regime that was quickly becoming J Mascis’ Dinosaur Jr. by the guitarist himself, went back to the absolute basics of his songwriting; once again making lo-fi basement tapes and refining his craft. He reconnected with Western Mass. scenester Eric Gaffney and the duo began passing a 4-track tape recorder back and forth – eventually cobbling together...

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231
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Wednesday, 13 June 2012
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It's really hard to believe that the Bay Area's alternative radio station Live 105 has been putting on their annual "BFD" for eighteen years now, but indeed they have – and this year's edition proved to be one of their biggest yet. From headliners Jane's Addiction to the rapidly rising Neon Trees to local favorites The Limousines, the all day music celebration had something for everyone. Highlights of the Soundcheck stage, which features some of the top notch local bands...

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204
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Tuesday, 12 June 2012
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As he sits and plans out how his next six weeks are going to go, Ryan Dahle can't help but smile. Much of that time period will be spent re-examining his mid-Nineties project Limblifter and, while he takes great care to make clear that “return” is probably too strong a word, the prospects and possibilities of the venture are beginning to grow on him. The singer/award-winning record producer is now in a position where he doesn't have to hang any...

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187
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Tuesday, 12 June 2012
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Do me a favor. Hit the play button you see above as you read this. It’s a necessity. Nigga. Yea I said it. I was called it by a truck full of white dudes after 9/11 so I have as strong a claim to the word as those who are a darker shade of brown than me. So if you don’t like the word. Here’s your exit point. (Notice how the song matches my review?) The only difference between my...

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223
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Tuesday, 12 June 2012
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As he sits and plans out how his next six weeks are going to go, Ryan Dahle can't help but smile. While much of that time period will be spent re-examining his mid-Nineties project Limblifter (he takes great care to make clear that “return” is probably too strong a word), the singer/award-winning record producer is now in a position where (as was most certainly not the case in the Nineties) he doesn't have to hang any hopes or future plans...

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155
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Monday, 11 June 2012
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Some records are able to grab a listener's attention for the simple reason that they sound exactly nothing like anything else on new release racks at that particular moment. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but the catch is that after the album has managed to steal its way in, it has to have something about it which holds the attention of listeners and captures their imagination. that is the part which proves to be a little more difficult to...

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174
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Sunday, 10 June 2012
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As most people who came of age in the Seventies and Eighties can (and will) tell you, Todd Rundgren's  impact on pop music is near-incalculable. Both with The Nazz and as a solo artist, Rundgren co-wrote and recorded some of the great rock standards which helped to inspire band's including The Replacements, Ben Folds and Rufus Wainwright (and, surprisingly, writers and filmmakers including Nick Hornby and Stephen Frears) – to name only a few. Not only that, his talents as...

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269
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Sunday, 10 June 2012
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Those patently foolish idealists under the mistaken impression that great music always gets noticed by the record-buying public need to go out and find a copy of The Pink Album by the Avengers. Since its original release in 1983 (four years after the band broke up), The Pink Album has appeared on store shelves courtesy of no less than four record labels on a multitude of formats – singer Penelope Houston even did a mail order business selling CDR copies...

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173
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Saturday, 09 June 2012