White Lung – [Live]
LIVE MUSIC

White lung Brighton Music Hall – Boston, Massachusetts – July 30, 2016   There are many ways to describe a White Lung show: ferocious, loud, energetic, threatening, powerful, transfixing. I’ve seen this band three times now, and I’m extremely glad to report that they have not lost a single beat. White Lung are one of the best bands active today and one of the greatest live acts currently touring . Their albums have a tendency to contain the same song-writing...

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Sunday, 31 July 2016
The Classics 024
COLUMN

R.E.M. Monster (Warner Bros., 1994) To this day (now) twenty-two years after it was originally released, R.E.M.’s ninth album, Monster, still feels like it should have been a risky record for the band to make. By then, the band had long since broken through the glass ceiling between the underground and the mainstream; they had become patron saints of the thinking man’s end of college rock (which later got annexed by alt- and is currently a province of the indie...

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Friday, 29 July 2016
Vinyl Vlog 156
COLUMN

Louis CK “Live at Madison Square Garden” picture disc.    We might all owe a debt of gratitude to Louis CK. Not just for his numerous comedy specials or his great TV show, but for bringing “alternative” comedy to the masses and for making comedy “cool” again. It would be completely ridiculous to say he reinvented standup, but what he most certainly did was present this idea to the mainstream that standup can be smart, challenging, and angry. And while...

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Thursday, 28 July 2016
Vinyl Vlog 155
COLUMN

A deeper look at the grooves pressed into the Pick Your Poison split 7” by Control and Harrington Saints. While I happily admit that I appreciate the 7” single as a format, a split 7” is often a much harder sell with me. Why? Often, the focus feels too diverted on a split; the amount of time that each band involved has to leave an impression is very short and splitting focus two ways only makes it that much more...

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Saturday, 23 July 2016
I Wanna be Literated! 118
COLUMN

A critical evaluation of Hellboy in Mexico by Mike Mignola, Richard Corben (Illustrations) and Paul Gulacy (Illustrations)   Hellboy has always been one of the coolest comics. It’s actually one of those titles that I know I love but I don’t read enough. I partly blame it on my recent avoidance of mainstream comics in search of what the smaller guys have been up to. Turns out that the independent publishers have been knocking it out of the park all...

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Friday, 22 July 2016
TV Party Tonight! 015
COLUMN

Ollie Ottoman delves into the new Ultimate Blu-Ray release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice has probably had more shit thrown its way than any other movie this year. And for good reason: its title alone reeks of inelegance and leaves a bad taste in your mouth. Even the cover is tedious and uninteresting: it’s the three main characters just standing there…looking at the viewer. But dear readers I am here to tell...

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Friday, 22 July 2016
Vinyl Vlog 154
COLUMN

A deeper look at the grooves pressed into the 10” reissue of the Airplane Tracks EP by The Burdocks. It might seem unbelievable, but perhaps the greatest creative crime that Sloan ever committed was being so good and becoming so popular and casting such a large shadow in the 1990s and early new millennium that they completely eclipsed all of the other bands which were beginning to appear in Canada’s maritime provinces. Really think about it, reader – Thrush Hermit...

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Thursday, 21 July 2016
Misfits – [EP]
REVIEWS

The Misfits Friday The 13th EP (Misfits Records/Sony Music) While there’s no small part of this critic that wants to hang this band which calls itself The Misfits and dismiss them as heretics (I’ve done it continually for years), the truth is that I just can’t do it now. The truth is, the four songs which comprise the Friday the 13th EP are the best that the band has done in years; they’re dark but urgent and walk that ever-so-treacherous...

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Friday, 15 July 2016
Vinyl Vlog 153
COLUMN

A deeper look at the grooves pressed into the Blatant Propaganda LP by The Bar Stool Preachers. It’s pretty incredible how much a band seems to change as soon as people start paying attention to them and their fanbase swells. History is littered with band who seemed not to change for years as they attempted to get legs under them (see Social Distortion, Against Me, Black Flag, Bad Religion and  Rise Against – to name only the first which leap...

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Thursday, 14 July 2016
Vinyl Vlog 152
COLUMN

  A deeper look at the grooves pressed into the The Impossible Kid LP by Aesop Rock. I remember the moment that the world of Hip Hop was opened to me. Years ago, I was interviewing Dillinger Four at the Trocadero in Philadelphia, talking to their bass player about music. He said something along the lines of mainstream rap being in a deplorable state; to the effect that standards and quality control didn’t exist anymore – in his opinion. Lucky...

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Wednesday, 13 July 2016