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If he had to be an instrument, Aloe Blacc would be a piano because, with its chords, bass, treble and melody, his presentation is whole just like his debut solo Shine Through. A musical mosaic composed of a plethora of his influences, Shine Through is a fresh and beautiful display of what Aloe Blacc does. Regardless of the fact that he’s been spitting lyrics since 1995 with DJ Exile as part of rap duo Emanon, he feels he has yet...

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Monday, 08 January 2007
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Sean O’Hagan, indie music’s arranger extraordinaire, applies his unique combination of bouncy plucked bass, vibraphone and lush string arrangements with bold, broad strokes on Can Cladders, the new record from his band The High Llamas. Can Cladders absorbs some of the acoustic meanderings of the previous High Llamas record Beet, Maize & Corn and folds them into a familiar formula of gentle vocals, blue-eyed soul and soft-rock (read yacht rock) leanings. In past records, echoes of Beach Boys Friends-era gut...

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Sunday, 07 January 2007
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When most people think of James Brown, they think of the musical legacy he left behind. Of being the “Godfather of Soul” and making that music into a militant sound BASSed on rhythm called Funk. Of his dancing and excellence in performance. But when I think of him, I think of a man who not only revolutionized music, I think of a man who made a people feel like they mattered. For people who aren’t black that read this, don’t...

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Sunday, 07 January 2007
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It’s hard to endure the dead of winter—regardless of your location—and not feel the need for some music that let’s you just chill out and relax. The outdoors is overrated anyway. During one of those moments when the inside is where it's at, The Phoenix Foundation’s Horsepower will make the inside feel like a sunny day. It’s not that the music is gleeful by any means, it just has this feeling of content and comfort that you need when you’re...

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Friday, 05 January 2007
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For Snoop Dogg, nothing comes easy—even starting a youth football league. New York-based Natural Resources Media & Technology Group has filed suit against the rapper's Snoop Youth Football League Foundation, alleging the foundation made a deal for a reality television series chronicling Snoop's involvement in the league in violation of a pre-existing deal with 20th Century Fox to develop a similar feature film. According to the complaint, filed last week in New York Supreme Court, the June deal purportedly gave...

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Friday, 05 January 2007
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The Shins have unveiled the first leg of their tour in support of their upcoming Sub Pop album, "Wincing the Night Away." The trek will begin Feb. 8 in Minneapolis and continue through Feb. 25 in London, with more shows to be announced. "Wincing" is due Jan. 23. Also on tap is a Jan. 13 appearance on "Saturday Night Live," an in-store at the Virgin Megastore in New York's Union Square at midnight the day of release and another in-store...

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Friday, 05 January 2007
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LONDON, England (Reuters) — The British pop chart will undergo one of the biggest shake-ups since its inception 54 years ago on Sunday when any song downloaded from the Internet will be able to compete for the number one single spot. Up to now, only songs which were physically available for purchase in shops counted towards the weekly chart. Downloads could be included, but only a week before an actual CD single went on sale and for two weeks after...

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Friday, 05 January 2007
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Annuals have been popping up on all sorts of year end lists for their debut Be He Me. So now it's time to see if that youthful exuberance that bubbles all over the record will translate to the stage. I don't see how it couldn't. There's billions of them. Ok, so there's not billions, there's seven. But it sounds like billions. Annuals Tour w/The Dears 1.16 Boston, MA – Paradise Rock Club1.17 Philadelphia, PA – Theatre of Living Arts1.19 New...

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Thursday, 04 January 2007
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Last we heard from the Cold War Kids, they were formulating some crazy-ass scheme to play weekly residencies on both coasts. Well, apparently that's not enough for the fans, those demanding bastards. So the boys have gone and scheduled a cross country tour that runs until April. *Also: Holy shit, there's a club in Ottawa called ZAPHOD BEEBLEBROX? Makes me want to go to Ottawa. **Also Also: Has anyone realized that Wikipedia is basically the beginnings of an actual Hitchhiker's...

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Thursday, 04 January 2007
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NEWS

Call me crazy, but when I was growing up I always thought the one irreplaceable member of a band was the lead singer. I don’t really think the statement needs much clarification but it can be said, they’re generally the iconic symbol of any band. You may go to a concert to watch a guitarist shred but if the singer can’t carry the show, what’s the point? When Michael Hutchence died, I remember being bummed because not only would I...

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Thursday, 04 January 2007