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Since starting his Bootleg Series twenty-two years ago, Bob Dylan has proven that there is definitely lots of material left in the vaults which is worth hearing. There are demos, for example, of material from 1961 through 2006 which give indications of the songwriter's working process, and those have proven to be fascinating – as have the live performances which were not lost to the bulk tape erasers. The different facets of the Bootleg Series have all been very illuminating,...

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Saturday, 31 August 2013
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It may have taken ten years for the band to really loosen up and allow itself to really feel the rhythm and possibilities in its music, but Franz Ferdinand has emerged as a new and finer outfit on Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action – their fourth studio album. The difference between this and every other album in the band's catalogue is apparent right away as “Right Action” swaggers out and opens the record; while they were never strangers to...

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Friday, 30 August 2013
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Good day my troubled brothers and sisters!I have had an awakening! An epiphany! I have seen the error of my ways – seen the light – and wanted to share the good word with you! Life is worth living, and the singer who showed me the way was Zacardi Cortez. I included his song here today as a tribute of enlightenment – it is big and bold and beautiful, and is action-packed with strains which will certainly soothe your much...

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Thursday, 29 August 2013
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In some cases, it's just impossible to appreciate something until you hear it. Such a claim may seem dubious, but it's true – and the proof is contained on Hawkeyes' new cassette, Poison Slows You Down. Yes, you read that right – it's a cassette. Recently, hipsters have been trying to convince the world that, for the value of their economical nature alone (they're virtually indestructible), cassettes are the most pitifully underrated format in human history. To be fair, the...

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Wednesday, 28 August 2013
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"Here's a story,” said Paul Westerberg during the reformed Replacements' performance at Riot Fest in Toronto, “Sitting on the stairs of the bus and I pass a paper over for a signature. James Osterberg writes back, "I owe you nothing" and hands it back to me. I think, "There's something there. I'm gonna use this.” And with that The Replacements launched into "I.O.U," the last song of their triumphant reunion show last night at Fort York, closing out the last...

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Monday, 26 August 2013
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Every now and then, we like to make an exception here at Ground Control for great albums which are not exactly current, but are so great we kick ourselves for not having been the ones that brought them to your attention in the first place. In this edition of the Vinyl Vlog, we bring you just that. Out of left field and completely outside of my radar comes the debut album by Ex-Cult (formerly Sex-cult). This garage punk band from...

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Monday, 26 August 2013
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Selena Gomez "just want to party all night/ in the neon light" ("Slow Down"), and she makes no excuses about it. Oh, wait, yes she does. "Tell them it's my birthday," she sings, "when I party like that" ("Birthday"). Stars Dance is supposedly the album where Gomez grows up. Or, at least, stops being a squeaky clean Disney queen. Which, apparently, means dance all night and, maybe, even have sex. As we have seen, the party all night is pretty...

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Saturday, 24 August 2013
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It is really hard to create music which evokes a previous era without sounding imitative, but Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros pull it off. Listening to their self-titled third album puts you in a time warp back to the late Sixties. Yet only a couple of the songs sound specifically like anything recorded then. It's more a question of attitude – of feel. Lyrics like "Love, love is the mother/ God, god is the human/ You, the generator/ Please!/...

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Saturday, 24 August 2013
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It would be hard to say that the last couple of years haven't been uncertain ones for GWAR. That isn't to say there was any concern that the band wouldn't continue after the untimely passing of guitarist Cory Smoot in 2011 (GWAR's the kind of band which could carry on forever with different members indefinitely, in theory) but, given that the band was really riding on a creative high with the help of Smoot's guitar work on War Party, Beyond...

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Friday, 23 August 2013
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It's funny how, as time has passed, the public's perception of Elvis Presley has changed. Outside of the singer's most devout supporters (of which there continue to be a staggering number), everyone knows Elvis as the hip-swingin' King of Rock n' Roll first, and then as a fried banana sandwich-eating, pasty, bloated codfish at the end of his life. There's no question that both of those images are historically appropriate, but that they're the only two that the average Joe...

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Friday, 23 August 2013