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The Classics 021
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A deeper look at the grooves pressed into Circle Jerks’ debut album, Group Sex. At this point, six years after the band that Keith Morris, Steven McDonald, Dimitri Coats and Mario Rubalcaba started took off (ahem – no pun intended) and brought hardcore punk into a much brighter and broader spotlight before a much larger audience, the history of where OFF! came from and the circumstances which got them started have been well-documented. It is already a matter of public...

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Wednesday, 27 January 2016
Just One Song 005 – Plainclothes Man, by Elliott Smith
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Here’s a treat for the Elliott Smith fans out there, a new version of the song ‘Plainclothes Man’ – originally recorded by Elliott when he was with Heatmiser, has been released. It’s a track that will be included on the soon to be released soundtrack album for the documentary about Elliott’s life, ‘Heaven Adores You’. A press release about the film reads: “Heaven Adores You is an intimate, meditative inquiry into the life and music of Elliott Smith (1969-2003). By...

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Wednesday, 27 January 2016
I Wanna Be Literated! 097
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Title: The Method of Freedom: An Errico Malatesta Reader Author: Errico Malatesta AK Press has been doing scholars a service these past few years by putting out some pretty stellar anthologies of some of anarchism’s greatest writers. First it was Proudhon and the Property is Theft! anthology. Then, there was Kropotkin’s Direct Struggle Against Capital. Both edited by Iain McKaye and both informative and thorough. But this anthology on Errico Malatesta takes the cake.  I don’t...

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Tuesday, 26 January 2016
I Wanna Be Literated! 096
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101 Artists To Listen To Before You Die Author: Ricardo Cavolo I have to tell you, there’s nothing that irks me more than false advertisement. Even if Cavolo tells the the reader right at the beginning that this is just a collection of his 101 favorite (or essential to him, at least) artists. Whatever the case may be, 101 Artists to Listen to Before You Die is not what it claims it is, and Cavolo himself admits it. What this...

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Tuesday, 26 January 2016
Just One Song 004 – The Wheel, by PJ Harvey
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PJ Harvey has been working on her 9th album as part of a live art installment at London’s Somerset House. This is the first track that has been released. It’s a catchy tune with lyrics that speak of atrocities committed against children. We can only guess that a music video may come along later that is interspersed with images of starving and abused children from around the world. “28,000 disappeared” is the ringing chorus that will stick in your ears…...

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Tuesday, 26 January 2016
Just One Song 003 – Bring My Baby Back, by Dr. Dog
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On January 5th, Philadelphia based indie rockers, Dr. Dog released this new single. It’s sort of in celebration of their finally making an official album release of their very first cassette-recorded and online-bootlegged “first album”, Psychedelic Swamp. Their sound is kind of 60’s inspired psych-pop and is very easy on the ears. The band describes the music thusly; “This song is filled with things that nobody knew what to do with but just didn’t have the heart to throw away,” says Toby...

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Saturday, 23 January 2016
I WANNA BE LITERATED! 095
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Smoke Gets In Your Eyes & Other Lessons from the Crematory, by Caitlin Doughty There’s no doubt in my mind how this book became a New York Times Bestseller. This is the most important non-fiction title I’ve read in years, and I suggest that everyone, EVERYONE, EVERYONE read it. We are all going to die, or will have to deal with the death of someone close to us and this book helps us come to grips with the harsh realities...

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Saturday, 23 January 2016
I Wanna Be Literated! 094
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A critical evaluation of Feminist Theory from Margin to Center by Bell Hooks. Without knowing the context in which Feminist Theory was written, it’s hard to distinguish whether it was written as a response to feminism today or thirty years ago – but that doesn’t matter, really. What does matter is that there are many things we (feminists or not) can learn today from this book. Now I’m going to avoid writing Bell Hooks’ name after this sentence because I...

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Sunday, 17 January 2016
From a Deadbeat to an Old Geezer 003: Memories of visiting the Oracle – David Bowie
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From a Deadbeat to an Old Geezer 003: Memories of visiting the Oracle – David Bowie   Two of David Bowie’s best live recordings were concerts I actually got to attend; 1978’s David on Stage, and 2004’s A Reality Tour. On hearing the news that David Bowie left his physical body today, I’ve been reflecting on how much his personality and his music has affected my own life. I started listening to Bowie in the mid-70s, Young Americans was the...

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Saturday, 16 January 2016
Vinyl Vlog 114
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A deeper look at the grooves pressed into a vinyl copy of Sore by Dilly Dally. As music in general, Dilly Dally’s debut album, Sore, is incredible (not for nothing did it end up appearing on this writer’s Top Ten of 2015 list) – but the vinyl presentation of the album transcends such praise and offers listeners an experience several steps beyond that of the compact disc. It’s unbelievable. It’s a game-changer. Such claims may read as unlikely, but it’s...

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Wednesday, 13 January 2016