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While the business might often seem like an exercise in organized chaos, in fact there is often some very rigid methodology as well as a few time-honored conventions set deep within the madness of the music industry which all help to make it run smoothly and be exciting to watch. One of the oldest and most universally followed traditions revolves around what is known as (in industry parlance) the 'album cycle.' The concept of an album cycle is so simple...

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Tuesday, 30 July 2013
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Just as the Mountain Goats and Patrick Watson did before them, Hey Marseilles have emerged wearing their theatrical persona front and center on Lines We Trace – the band's sophomore album. This time, the elements of theater and drama which were only just implied on the band's debut album are pressed to the forefront of their sound proudly for all to see from the moment “Tides” introduces the album and runs unchecked until “Demain” closes it. This time, singer Matt...

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Monday, 29 July 2013
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The problem with rock n' roll and the new bans and records which have come along over the last few years is that it has all attempted to diversify so much that a lot of it has just ended up becoming static in the process. Everyone seems to want to really stand apart from the pack and the first way to do so has been to add some oddball extra sound which just sits awkwardly in the mix. That so...

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Monday, 29 July 2013
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If one were to expand the scope of the outsider/outcast allegory which has run through all of the music that Mark Oliver Everett has recorded over the span of his career, it should almost be expected that a prequel album which helped to lay the groundwork for Eels would exist, somewhere. As it turns out, there IS one – but Everett is a little embarrassed by it and has gone out of his way to keep it from circulating too...

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Saturday, 27 July 2013
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Hiya junky, Nice ta see youse – yer lookin' well how have you been? Ya see what I did there? I went outta my way ta be nice an' polite ta youse moogerfoogers, 'cause dat's what gets readers, according ta fi'dollar Billy. 'At ain't me though, an' youse all know it! I'm da guy thit gets ya some new music wit' a sneer on my face an' answers ta da name Don Loder! So here goes…. Dis week, in addition...

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Thursday, 25 July 2013
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It might not sound like a glowing endorsement at first sight, but look at the following sentence twice and understand the compliment that it's meant to serve: “No band sets out to make an album like Health – The Heavy Blinkers' fifth album.” It is meant to compliment the effort, patience and care which was put into the record's crafting and to recognize how fine the results are;  Health is the sort of treasure which gets revealed to everyone eventually,...

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Wednesday, 24 July 2013
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I first saw Raw Geronimo in a packed, hot performance space in Echo Park on my birthday; they were performing on a bill with a friend’s band, Jail Weddings. Some readers might be interested to get that background on how I cam upon the band but, really, it's completely irrelevant; what matters is that I was floored by the energy and complexity of their music. “Prog-punk,” I thought to myself. “Or is it punk-prog?” Either way, they played prog structured...

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310
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Tuesday, 23 July 2013
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Booker T Jones is the sound of Memphis Soul. Best known for the instrumental hit “Green Onions,” he wrote and, with his band the MGs, played on numerous hits, including many by Otis Redding and Albert King, as well as pretty much anyone who recorded with Stax Records in the Sixties. He left Stax in the early Seventies and, although he had some success in the Eighties, had largely faded from view. In recent years, he has been staging a...

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Tuesday, 23 July 2013
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In life – as well as in music – everything is about balance. The entire musical spectrum cannot simply boil down to one idea; sure, the incendiary sparks of excitement which can be found in the best punk records can feel like a new reason to live when caught by ears ready to receive them, but equally important is the other calmer and more temperate side of life. Every yin needs a yang and incendiary sounds need temperate ones to...

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Monday, 22 July 2013
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I have mixed feelings about remixes. (Remixed feelings? Sorry.) While I have certainly heard a number of interesting ones, but too often they seem like a self-indulgent exercise which adds nothing to the original song. I would apply the same criteria for judging remixes that I apply to cover songs: if you’re going to do it, make something original out of the song. Make it your own. So here we have remixes of Bob Marley’s entire Legend album. Marley seems...

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Sunday, 21 July 2013