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I Wanna Be Literated! 120
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Propaganda and the Public Mind by Noam Chomsky, David Barsamian   The world is a better place because it has Noam Chomsky and his books. And it’s in that spirit that Haymarket books has taken up the task of putting out a series of new Chomsky books and republishing and updating some new ones for our benefit. And Propaganda and the Public Mind is a good place as any to start with this collection. Composed of his interviews with David...

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Thursday, 25 August 2016
Vinyl Vlog 161
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A deeper look at the grooves pressed into the 2016 vinyl reissue of the Psychotic Supper LP by Tesla. It’s a little hard to believe now but, twenty-five years ago, the music business seemed to be getting suddenly and violently pulled in several directions at once. At that time, glam metal and hard rock were still pumping out some pretty important albums – Guns N’ Roses would release both Use Your Illusion albums in ’91, Metallica released The Black Album,...

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Thursday, 18 August 2016
Vinyl Vlog 160
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A deeper look at the grooves pressed into the Basses Loaded LP by (The) Melvins. It’s mind-boggling how such a prolific band can be so under-appreciated. Krist Novoselic of Nirvana fame has said that the Melvins are the only band left standing from the grunge-rock cacophony of the Nineties (take that, Pearl Jam), and even the new kids like Mastodon have gone on the record as saying they’re one of the greatest bands on earth. Of course, the Melvins don’t...

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Monday, 15 August 2016
Vinyl Vlog 159
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A deeper look at the grooves pressed into the Guitar Boy LP by Bloodshot Bill. The moment I first saw Bloodshot Bill will forever be burned into both my eyeballs and my memory. It was at the Middle East in Cambridge while waiting for the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion to go on. And here comes this guy, wearing a robe, hair slicked back, armed with nothing but a guitar, bass drum and hi hat. What followed was thirty minutes of...

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Sunday, 14 August 2016
Vinyl Vlog 158
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A deeper look at the grooves pressed into the vinyl reissue of the Twin Peaks Original Soundtrack. The current rage of soundtracks on vinyl has definitely contributed to the fun of collecting vinyl. Although there are a lot of companies putting out extraordinary releases, the king of the crop currently has to be the good folks over at Mondo. The attention to detail is simply top notch, with releases that serve to charm in both sound and visuals; absolutely kickass...

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Sunday, 14 August 2016
Vinyl Vlog 157
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A deeper look at the grooves pressed into the vinyl reissue of Hater’s self-titled debut album. I must confess that I had never heard of Hater before Ben Shepherd put out In Deep Owl a couple of years ago. I was really, really taken with that album and had been thrilled at the prospect of taking an interview with him when the opportunity came up; in fact, I jumped at it. It was during that interview when I learned about...

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Tuesday, 09 August 2016
I Wanna Be Literated! 119
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A critical evaluation of Trouble Boys – The True Story of The Replacements by Bob Mehr. Maybe it has something to do with the sort of “Little Rascals” image that The Replacements have always given off as a lateral by-product of the band’s popular “loveable loser” image and mythos, but even just reading the words “The True Story of The Replacements” – specifically that nagging word “True” included up front – can get a mind percolating. This is a band...

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Monday, 01 August 2016
The Classics 024
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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
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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
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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