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Emmylou Harris has done as much as anyone to make me a country fan, and Old Yellow Moon demonstrates how. Put simply, she and Rodney Crowell deliver the deep heart and soul of country music on this album. Harris has always had a amazing talent for picking musical partners. She has worked with everyone from Bob Dylan to Neil Young, Linda Rondstadt to Willie Nelson, Steve Earle to Mark Knopfler. With each collaborator, she manages to work within their style,...

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Friday, 31 May 2013
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Haya doin' junky?I know haya SHOULD be doin', ya vein tappin' scum, ya should be itchin' somethin' fierce cuz I ain't ben'ere fer a coupla weeks! So're youse feelin' the need ta getcha hands on some new SWAG? That's what I thought. Lucky fer youse, I ben savin' up an' gotcha a great BIG bag o' SWAG dis week. Are ya happy 'bout dat? I thought so. Awright, le's start wit' a big name first: I swiped to kick-ass tune...

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223
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Friday, 31 May 2013
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While it was never really addressed at the time of its release, Era Vulgaris was a very problematic album for Queens Of The Stone Age. At the time of that album's making, the record-buying public was snapping up everything it could find with Josh Homme's name on or associated with it and calling it all genius. The storm of approval was spectacular and thick and a lot of Queens' early work was deserving of such praise but, when Era Vulgaris...

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239
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Thursday, 30 May 2013
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To be perfectly frank, country music has only suffered from one problem for the last forty years: a massive inferiority complex. For the last forty years, Country has continually grabbed for the brass ring that Pop music wears, and tried to succor some of the genre's listeners away by trying to play by pop's rules with thoroughly mixed results. In the Seventies and early Eighties, country tried to employ the cartoonishly large disco instrumental arrangements of the day to get...

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231
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Wednesday, 29 May 2013
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Most regularly, people look at the largest visible moments in a band's career and assume that those are the explosive instances which define all the successes that said band has enjoyed, but that isn't always true. If one were to look at Rise Against, for example, they'd see 2004's Siren Song of the Counter Culture as being the moment when all of the elements aligned and the band just exploded into the world's popular consciousness. There is validity in that...

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298
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Wednesday, 29 May 2013
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When does a band finally get to stand outside the shadow of its own past? That is the first question those who listen to The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here will ask themselves in frustration, because Alice In Chains appears right back where they were when Black Gives Way To Blue came out in most listeners' mind's eye; facing a wall of dubious expectation. Listeners will find themselves asking if singer William DuVall can stand up to Layne Staley's legacy (just...

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337
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Wednesday, 29 May 2013
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Of Monsters And Men are certainly wearing their newfound fame and attention well. Formed just three years ago, the folk-flavored quintet charged out of Iceland like a force of nature and has captivated audiences with the beautiful, stunning and soulful vocal interplay of multi-instrumentalists Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir, Ragnar Þórhallsson, Brynjar Leifsson, Arnar Rósenkranz Hilmarsson and Kristján Páll Kristjánsson and their intricate, folky charms as well. The innate accessibility of...

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278
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Monday, 27 May 2013
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As news of Ray Manzarek's death floated across the internet (including the bizarre, beyond post-modern moment when the story that his death was really an internet hoax turned out to be an internet hoax in itself), I was struck by a couple of recurring threads in my friends' Facebook posts. Of course, there were the inevitable video clips of the Doors, including a few which actually featured Manzarek as much as the other dead Door. There were also, just as...

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275
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Monday, 27 May 2013
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If there's one performer destined to go the route of showtune slingin' cheesedick mediocrity in his golden years, it's Rod Stewart. Even at his commercial zenith, around the time of Blondes Have More Fun and "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy," The Mod had already cashed in any vestiges of credibility and masculinity along with, more importantly, the will to muster half a concern over the loss. Having held out on the Faces with his A-list oeuvre at the dawning of his...

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241
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Thursday, 23 May 2013
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...

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301
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Thursday, 23 May 2013