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Vinyl Vlog 180
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A deeper look at the grooves pressed into the “Christmas In Hollis” 12″ Picture Disc single coming out on Black Friday 2016 from Run-D.M.C. I must confess that I have never been a fan of Christmas carols and Christmas songs. While I understand the idea of having a song in one’s heart around the holiday season, I’ve always thought that the idea of professional musicians recording albums of the same standards with their own small creative stamp on them pretty...

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Tuesday, 22 November 2016
Vinyl Vlog 165
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A deeper look at the grooves pressed into David Bowie’s Let’s Dance LP. To begin with, I have to confess that I disliked Let’s Dance from the time I first heard it until early 2016 – right around the time I first saw the Five Years documentary. In Five Years, both Let’s Dance and the album’s producer, Nile Rodgers, played significant roles and seeing that presentation was what convinced me to revisit the album. Because of that film and the...

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Wednesday, 14 September 2016
Vinyl Vlog 152
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  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
Vinyl Vlog 145
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A deeper look at the grooves pressed into the Means LP by Fews. Even at first sight – before a note of music is heard from the Means LP – those who happen upon Fews’ debut full-length will get the sense that they’re about to bear witness to an important musical event. The front cover poses a bunch of very tantalizing questions; on it, a camera captures a stolen frame of the bandmembers with a brick wall as a backdrop....

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Saturday, 18 June 2016
The Classics 023
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A deeper look at the grooves pressed into the Record Store Day reissue of At Budokan – The Complete Concert 2LP by Cheap Trick. While the 1970s are known for lots of things which happened musically (like the break-up of The Beatles, the deaths of Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, John Bonham and Elvis Presley, the birth of both punk and disco and many other events), perhaps one of the biggest deals was the concept of a live album...

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Sunday, 15 May 2016
Vinyl Vlog 130
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A deeper look at the grooves pressed into the “Gangsterville” single by Joe Strummer, being reissued for Record Store Day 2016! With the benefit of hindsight, the first thing listeners will notice about this single’s title track is how well it dovetails with the final days of The Clash, and where they were when the wheels finally fell off with Combat Rock in 1982...

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Wednesday, 13 April 2016
Vinyl Vlog 129
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A deeper look at the grooves pressed into the Record Store Day-released Goodfriend LP by Matthew Sweet. Chances are, if you grew up anywhere within the reach of a rock radio station’s signal between 1989 amd 1996, you have more than a few memories for which Matthew Sweet’s music provided the soundtrack. Between 1989 and 1996, Sweet was everywhere; a string of singles including “Sick Of Myself,” “Girlfriend,” “The Ugly Truth,” “Time Capsule” and “Evangeline” got heavy...

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Tuesday, 12 April 2016
Fat White Family – [Album]
REVIEWS

Artist: Fat White Family Album: Songs for Our Mothers Label: Fat Possum Records Isn’t it incredible how, over time, the basic structures of established musics can become re-imagined/re-engineered for no other reason than they’ve become displaced from the time and places they were first developed? The possibility of time and place being so important for something non-corporeal like music may seem like a dubious one but, in listening to Fat White Family’s new album, Songs for Our Mothers, it suddenly...

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Monday, 11 April 2016
The Rubens – [Album]
REVIEWS

Artist: The Rubens Album: Hoops Label: Warner Brothers Do you know the reason why the catbird is able to immitate other bird and animal sounds, reader? It’s actually a defense mechanism: catbirds want to either blend in with their surroundings and not get noticed by potential predators, or imitate a sound which will scare potential predators away. The catbird’s abilities come to mind when one thinks about The Rubens too; on first listen, it’s easy for listeners to melt into...

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Friday, 01 April 2016
Ron Hawkins – [Album]
REVIEWS

Artist: Ron Hawkins Album: Spit, Sputter and Sparkle Label: Pheromone After twenty years of trying pretty much any and every permutation of rock which struck his fancy following the first break-up of The Lowest Of The Low in 1994 (projects which followed included designer knock-off stuff with the Leisure Demons, coffeehouse acoustic songwriting elsewhere on his own, bar-rocking with The Rusty Nails and Do-Good Assassins and more), hearing that Ron Hawkins has spontaneously come into his own again and produced...

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Saturday, 26 March 2016