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Vinyl Vlog 124
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A deeper look at the grooves pressed into the Sounds Wrong EP by Swingin’ Utters. My heart goes out to the Swingin’ Utters, not just because they’re a band who is fantastic in their own right, but because they are a band that has grown and matured over the years and has let me grow along with them. Even so, as hard as they try, they will always be under-appreciated and underrated; but that’s fine. The Swingin’ Utters evolved in...

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Friday, 26 February 2016
Vinyl Vlog 123
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A deeper look at the grooves pressed into Last Of Our Kind by The Darkness. I know I’m a punk and therefore my taste in music has a holier than thou flavor by default, but we all have our guilty pleasures. My greatest guilty pleasure is the music of The Darkness – and there are several reasons I’ve come to love The Darkness over the years. They are the perfect soundtrack for the gym (punks can be healthy too, you...

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Friday, 26 February 2016
I Wanna Be Literated! 099
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A critical evaluation of On Education by Bertrand Russell. Bertrand Russell’s irreverent take on social institution continues through On Education. Here, as expected, Russell takes a very liberal approach regarding how children should be educated and considers the value of ornamental and practical education and its goals (“Hamlet, on the other hand, will not be much use in practical life, except in those rare cases where a man is called upon to kill his uncle”). It also bares noting that...

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Friday, 26 February 2016
The Classics 023
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A deeper look at the grooves pressed into the Psychedelic Sound of The 13th Floor Elevators LP by The Thirteenth Floor Elevators. It’s unlikely that anyone would disagree that The Thirteenth Floor Elevators are a really important band in the evolution of rock. Most would site the band’s debut album as all the proof anyone could need to make the point: “What is it which makes The Psychedelic Sound of The 13th Floor Elevators a classic album?” “Well, first, there’s...

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Friday, 19 February 2016
I Wanna Be Literated! 098
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Oh boy! You know I love science fiction, readers. I’m a fan of Star Trek and Isaac Isamov, and even Andy Weir (who wrote The Martian) and, in an attempt to expand my science fiction literary horizons, I’ve been trying to get into some writers (old and new) to try and figure out what’s out there. Octavia’s Brood got a lot of attention earlier this year for being a collection of speculative fiction short stories written by writers with a...

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Thursday, 18 February 2016
Vinyl Vlog 122
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A deeper look at the grooves pressed into the Sundazed pressing of Safe As Milk by Captain Beefheart. There is a bit on Marc Maron’s standup album Thinky Pain where, after talking extensively about his vinyl midlife crisis and trying to find the perfect record player how it’s time for him to “understand Beefheart.” “I will never be smart enough or large enough of mind to assess and understand Captain Beefheart. It’s just hanging there.” In many ways, he’s not...

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Thursday, 18 February 2016
Vinyl Vlog 121
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A deeper look at the grooves pressed into the vinyl reissue of Grace Under Pressure by Rush. Perhaps the most important thing that Rush proved when they released Grace Under Pressure is that (to paraphrase what George Orwell wrote in 1984) the best albums are those which reiterate those things of which people were already aware. In this case, fans already knew that Rush had been the greatest and best-kept secret in rock n’ roll for years, and had proven...

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Friday, 12 February 2016
Vinyl Vlog 120
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A deeper look at the grooves pressed into the vinyl reissue of  …With His Hot Blue Guitar! by Johnny Cash. Johnny Cash with His Hot Blue Guitar! is a tough album to discuss in 2016 because, honestly, what can we say about Johnny Cash and his music which hasn’t been said countless times already? The man had an incredible impact on world culture and his music is such a big part of American culture that it’s simply embedded in its...

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Tuesday, 09 February 2016
Vinyl Vlog 119
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A deeper look at the grooves pressed into the vinyl reissue of Streets of San Francisco by the Swingin’ Utters. Continuing our coverage, we come to Streets of San Francisco, probably the most important release in the Swingin’ Utters catalogue. I’m going to start off by making it clear that I absolutely adore this album, that it’s one of the greatest street punk records ever released, that it’s a perfect example of a band putting all their ducks in a...

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Tuesday, 09 February 2016
Vinyl Vlog 118
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A deeper look at the grooves pressed into the vinyl version of Searching For Zero by Cancer Bats. Leave it to Cancer Bats to challenge metal convention by scaling back the production values which are normally strapped to metal albums (“bombastic” is an understatement) and just let the raw aggression and technical talent which is present in every damned microtone of each song be the things which make the album’s stylistic ambition undeniable instead. That’s precisely what the group has...

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Thursday, 04 February 2016