What’s The Big Idea, Ben Shepherd?
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Soundgarden bassist Ben Shepherd has a lot of big ideas. Recently, he has entertained the idea of creating a zip-line range at a location where “you can go tearing from location to location in the tree tops, but you can only get to it by boat or if you already know where it is” and developing a concert experience whereat a band (which the bassist has dubbed Forming Policy) will experiment with different sonic frequencies and motifs for the purposes...

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Tuesday, 10 September 2013
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It could very easily be said that 2012 was the year musicians raised their voices and proved that some sounds need technology to be heard. Folk Music reasserted its grip on imaginations as a kind of countrer-cultural movement in a most incredible way, and the public really appreciated it; bands like Mumford & Sons, My Morning Jacket, The Lone Bellow, The Avett Brothers and dozens of others crashed the gates of pop music glory and stole music away from computers...

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Tuesday, 10 September 2013
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Bill Adams vs. Ben ShepherdBS: Hell, Bill? BA: That's me, how're you doing Ben?BS: Not bad, yourself? BA: Pretty well, thanks. Where are you right now?BS: Bainbridge Island, outside of Seattle. BA: So you haven't left home yet then.BS: No, we leave on Sunday. BA: Okay, so it's just a little more waiting when it comes to really examining this record then. It was three years in the making, or something.BS: Which album – Deep Owl? BA: Yeah.BS: Yeah, that...

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Monday, 09 September 2013
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What makes great music? Tough question, I know. So maybe it's better to ask, "Why do we listen to music?" What does music have to offer? Well, that is going to vary from person to person, but I think most people can agree that good music does something to you. It changes your mood. It takes you from point A to point B. It has the power to liberate you. It empowers. 

In order to do that, one first must...

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Sunday, 08 September 2013
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Hesitation Marks is Nine Inch Nails' first CD in five years and, on it, Trent Reznor doesn't sound fully convinced that making it was the right move, either for himself or his audience. The very first words on the CD are "I am just a copy of a copy of a copy/ everything I say has been said before" ("Copy of A"). Why bother? he seems to be asking, “I'm just going to give you more of the same.” On...

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Saturday, 07 September 2013
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Hey Junky,Awright, I'm onna run ta-day, so there's not gonna be any goofin' around lik ther wis las'week. In out'n done, wham-bam-inna-vein-an' yer good, here it is. I grabbed some good, good stuff fer youse dis week junky, like a new tune from Earthless (ya know – da stoner-rock band J Mascis does, like he doesn'got enough ta do awready), a new tune by XNY which's pretty fuckin' awesome, two songs thit I boosted offa Justin Wong, a repeat from...

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Thursday, 05 September 2013
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While the release of a double album always marks a special achievement in any band's career, it also needs to be understood that some special achievements are more impressive than others. As a case in point, one listen to Meet Me At The Edge Of The World (Over The Rhine's twelfth twelfth studio album since forming in 1991, and second double album after 2003's Ohio) reveals its quality quickly and without question. Spread over two discs (one intended to represent...

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Thursday, 05 September 2013
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At a certain point, a band just has to get real when it comes time to make a new record. 'Getting real' just means being themselves; eventually, a band comes to realize that they don't have to be a dynamic force of nature or a spectacular phenomenon, they just have to remember what got them excited about making their own music in the first place, capture it on record and give it to fans. There's no particular timeline on which...

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Monday, 02 September 2013
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Depending on the day, it's very easy to love and very easy to hate the side project albums that members of well-known punk bands make. On the days when the average listener loves them, they'll appreciate the deliberate departures from their established comfort zones that artists make; sometimes it's fun to listen to Chuck Ragan get all folky or hear Chris Wollard take to the mic with the Ship Thieves. It can be fun, but none of that is really...

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Sunday, 01 September 2013
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For some records, the quality of the songs on them is only part of their lasting appeal; the historical merit of the record coming along when it did is part of the story too, as is the personality of the band as it appeared at the moment the tape rolled. That all contributes to the make-up of a classic album but, more than that, there is something intangible about the music which causes it to continue standing out years after...

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Sunday, 01 September 2013