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Remember back in the mid-Nineties when bands like Blur, Oasis and Stone Roses took all the campy, poppy sounds of the British Invasion, added some fresh, MDM-flavored urgency and sparked a new, intrinsically ironic Brit-Pop explosion? It was great right? The members of Beat Mark remember the magic of that moment fondly too and have endeavored to recreate it on Howls Of Joy; except they've (wisely) elected to skip the smarmy sense of irony that Blur and Oasis just couldn't...

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Thursday, 31 January 2013
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Hey there, hi there, ho there Junky,I hafta get outta this habit o' soundin' so damned happy ta see ya, don't I? It's not at all fittin' wit' my nature, that's fer shoore. But hey, what can I say, I'm havin' a good day, an' yer the ones'at're gonna reap da rewards o' my good humor, ain'tcha? Damn rightchu are! So le's get right down innit awready! Ya know what I got fer youse dis week? I nabbed a whole...

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Thursday, 31 January 2013
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It has always puzzled me why this album was called Slowhand, when it is one of Eric Clapton’s least guitar-centered albums. “Slowhand,” after all, was the nickname given to Clapton in the Sixties for his guitar playing prowess. Listening to the album now, I find it more puzzling than ever; coupled with the iconic cover picture of his hand on a guitar neck, it almost qualifies as false advertising. Or maybe it was meant as an ironic warning, for here...

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Tuesday, 29 January 2013
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Anytime a new Otep album comes out, I cringe a little bit before I start to listen to it because I don’t know if I’m ready to descend into the chasms of dark emotions which get opened up before me when I listen. I can’t listen to Otep all the time. I don’t need to – but I do need to hear them every once in awhile in order to open up the places where those deep, dark emotions lay...

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Friday, 25 January 2013
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It's been almost twenty years now since Lisa Loeb stole the public's attention for a minute with “Stay” (the pop ballad which buoyed the singer's sophomore album to the top of the charts briefly) and almost exactly as long since the singer became completely overlooked because of more “serious” singers like Sarah McLachlan, Jewel and Juliana Hatfield. Since then, Loeb released a few more “serious” records which ended up garnering negligible interest (Hello Lisa – Loeb's pseudo-tribute to...

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Thursday, 24 January 2013
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Alrightalrightalrightokayalright awready ya funky junky punks, How's trick wit' youse? Oh me? I'm doin' great! I ben movin' an' shakin' like a rat-racin' fiend, an' nabbin' alla da stuff I can nab fer youse! An' it's lookin' good fer youse dis week, ya lucky bastids, cause dis week my bag o' SWAG ain't bulgin' but it's full of addictive stuff thatcher gonna want all of – I know it. Think I'm lyin'? Get dis – I scored some new Billy...

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Thursday, 24 January 2013
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Many industry critics had already been wondering when the alt-rock which took over the air-waves in the Nineties would finally get filed under the 'Classic Rock' heading quietly for a while now. The timing seems to be about right – there have been about two decades lapsed since alt-rock and grunge exploded and helped to usher in a new era of rock values – and looking at the list of headliners confirmed to play the Rock On The Range music...

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Wednesday, 23 January 2013
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Hey, remember that guy Andrew WK? Yeah, he's the one who had that album about partying where he looks all bloody on the cover. Yeah, him! Ever heard the music inside that album? No? Me neither. At least that's how things were for me until six months ago. Whether you like Andrew WK's music or not, you have to admit, he's one hell of a guy. Just look him up on YouTube if you don't believe me. And his first...

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Tuesday, 22 January 2013
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"A lot of bands say they'll be back next year and they end up in the House of Blues. Not us. We said we'd be back in the Paradise and here we are!" Disconcertingly soon after their last Boston concert date, I find myself in almost the same spot, watching the same band that unexpectedly impressed me so much. Why? partly because The Darkness are so damn likeable (just read that quote), but also simply because: 1. Their shows are...

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Tuesday, 22 January 2013
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It might not be the single easiest thing to definitively contend, but Mike Patton has remained one of the best, most consistently interesting and most consistently creative musicians to escape the wave of crotch-grabbing California bands that appeared in the Eighties. Granted, he's had to prove it without a whole lot of help (Faith No More fell apart in 1998) but he has pulled it off; whether playing with The Melvins, Dillinger Escape Plan, Mr. Bungle, Tomahawk or any of...

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Monday, 21 January 2013