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There are few things which scream “music business” – that is, the business of producing articles centered arounf a band for consumption by a base of established fans – louder than a compilation of music videos by that group. Really, who would such a set attract other than a portion of that group's long-established supporters? There is no possibility of a new potential fan “discovering” a band from a set like this, the only people who are likely to see...

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Friday, 31 August 2012
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"What is truth?” It's important for a review of The Boy In The Song – The True Stories Behind 50 Rock Classics to ask that question only because it also needs to ask if a convenient re-telling of established and well-documented facts coupled with some colorful but vague conjecture can pass for truth these days. While this novel can be entertaining, it is entertaining in a 'fluffy storytelling' way  – not in a way which even fumbles toward fact-finding or...

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Wednesday, 29 August 2012
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Over the last couple of years, plenty of bands have tried to update punk rock in one way or another but the results have always ended up being pretty mixed. Part of that has to do with the fact that some of what's come out has just been too ambitious; conspicuously, many of the new signings to Epitaph Records look and sound more like metalheads and angry mallrats than anything, and they're all trying too hard to “make a mark”...

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Tuesday, 28 August 2012
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Homer once said that “The charity that is a trifle to us can be precious to others.” There's no debating that wisdom but, as WhoCares' debut album proves, it is possible for a charitable effort to be recognized and appreciated by everyone too. Spurred by the incredibly well-received charity single that Ian Gillan and Tony Iommi released last year, this monster of a compilation arrives with a mind to capitalize on the surprising favor of the single but manages to...

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Monday, 27 August 2012
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To paraphrase an old Saturday Night Live character, “Hey – remember the Nineties?” The Nineties were an unusual decade; pop and rock once again started to come awfully close to being the same thing for the first time in years and a gritty, grimy independent release which had been made on a nothing budget had a chance to be the badge of honor that fans wore wore because they found it before “the next big thing” broke through and conquered...

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Monday, 27 August 2012
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While there are plenty of naysayers who will deny this possibility with shocking passion, I contend that some records are as much about the packaging as they are about the music. That is in no way meant to be a criticism; true, most people want great music complimented by great aesthetics (album art, design, production et c.) but, especially in the cases of new bands who have no name to bank on because they haven't achieved mass appeal yet, sometimes...

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Wednesday, 22 August 2012
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Awrightcha mooks,Yeah, I dunno if I'm early or late anymore eitha – but didja miss me? I see ya shakin' junky, but don'chu worry, I got some stuff right'ere 'at's gonna cure all yer ills. Well, maybe. I ain't gonna lie folks, I'm not quite sure what I got 'ere. I mean, I c'n tell ya I like it an' I c'n tell ya it's good, but'ere's more'n a coupla things inn'ere that I can't tell ya what'ey are –...

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Tuesday, 21 August 2012
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After an almost three-year absence, KISS returned to the Bay Area, stopping off at the Sleep Train Pavilion in Concord with tour mates Motley Crue for an evening of music, guitars, and pyrotechnics. Billed simply as "The Tour,” both bands proved that although they are all significantly older, they still know how to entertain a crowd. Coming down from the rafters on a platform complete with its own lighting rig and plenty of explosions, KISS hit the stage and immediately...

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Tuesday, 21 August 2012
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The truth is that some compilations just don't need to have a bunch of bells, whistles, updates and whatever else a record label can dream up and attach to it; sometimes the music just has to have been good all along to move a few units. That's what the Deluxe Edition of Johnny Cash's The Number Ones illustrates easily; all the biggest songs the singer ever recorded – the ones which really made him a legend – are here and...

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Sunday, 19 August 2012
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After thirteen years' worth of relentless renovation and several complete re-thinkings of form, style, taste and composition, it's good to know that some things are true, and that includes the fact that Lou Barlow and Jason Loewenstein remain two of the best songwriters in rock n' roll. Even now in 2012, the duo's talents exemplified by Sebadoh's body of work remain undiminished by time; the reissue endeavors that the band has undertaken and the tours they've done in support of...

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Saturday, 18 August 2012