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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 150
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A deeper look at the grooves pressed into The Anti-State War Machine EP by Kriegs Legion. It’s impossible to listen to Kriegs Legion’s new EP and not flash on the crew of bands which came before them who didn’t exactly typify hardcore or punk rock in any manner, but did explode forth with a sound and vision all their own under those banners. Bands of this tradition included names like D.O.A., Cosmic Psychos, Negative Trend and Agnostic Front; a diverse...

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Friday, 08 July 2016
Vinyl Vlog 149
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  A deeper look at the grooves pressed into the Songs For Our Mothers LP by Fat White Family. It doesn’t happen often in the post-CD, post-digital music marketplace but, with Songs For Our Mothers, Fat White Family has proven that creating a satisfying and balanced long-playing vinyl album – with the peaks, valleys and thematic movements which propel the music along smoothly from A-side to B- without being “a formless collection of songs” – is not a lost art...

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Monday, 04 July 2016
Vinyl Vlog 148
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A deeper look at the grooves pressed into the NØ FUTUR(E) 7” by Garbageface. For the release of his new album, Karol “Garbageface” Orzechowski has decided to challenge the usual methodology and manner in music is released. His way flies in the face of how music has been marketed ever since Napster turned the music business back into a singles-driven enterprise again; while everyone else is digitally distributing singles into the world and hoping they’ll entice those who find them...

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Monday, 04 July 2016
I Wanna Be Literated! 117
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A critical evaluation of Noise Uprising: The Audiopolitics of a World Musical Revolution by Michael Denning. A blurb on the back of Noise Uprising states “Any future attempt to analyze the sounds and politics of international music industry will need to reckon with this powerful book.” I think that such a claim might be a fantastic over-estimation. There is no doubt that Noise Uprising deals with some interesting and important aspects regarding the birth of recorded music, but it’s almost...

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Monday, 04 July 2016
I Wanna Be Literated! 116
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A critical evaluation of ApocalyptiGirl: An Aria for the End Times by Andrew MacLean. I know ApocalyptiGirl has gotten some very positive feedback, and I love Dark Horse comics (maybe the biggest comics publisher right now still putting out good titles), but is it OK to say that I was simply unimpressed by this comic? It certainly has lots going for it: cool setting (post-apocalypse survival), cool art (crude-like character designs, and dim colors make for a perfect way to...

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Monday, 04 July 2016
I Wanna Be Literated! 115
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A critical evaluation of The Recording Angel: Music, Records and Culture from Aristotle to Zappa by Evan Eisenberg. See if you can process this statement: the Recording Angel reads like I wished I would sound when I talk about music. In other words, this book is a complete nerd-out on music but at an in-depth academic level. We never find out just what Eisenberg’s background is in music (is he just a fan?), but he sure knows how to put...

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Monday, 04 July 2016
Vinyl Vlog 147
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A deeper look at the grooves pressed into a vinyl copy of Distortland by The Dandy Warhols. It might seem silly to entertain the idea that The Dandy Warhols could be suffering from a mid-life crisis but, listening to Distortland, that appears to be the case. The emotional state of the band is particularly evident in listening to the vinyl pressing of the album as the five-per-side running of it gently divides the running into two separate movements which lead...

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Tuesday, 28 June 2016
Bipolar Explorer – [Album]
REVIEWS

Bipolar Explorer Electric Hymnal (Slugg Records) I knew what I was getting into when I said that I’d like to receive a free copy of this latest release by New York City’s BIPOLAR EXPLORER, I didn’t know how deeply into it I’d be going. My last contact with the band’s leader, Michael Serafin-Wells was last December and he mentioned that they had been working on some new pieces that were inspired by the time he’d been spending in a West...

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Sunday, 26 June 2016
The Low Anthem – [Album]
REVIEWS

The Low Anthem Eyeland (Washington Square/Razor+Tie/Concord) To say that the last ten years have been busy ones for The Low Anthem would only betray a gift for understatement in the one who said it. In that time, the band has bounced between no fewer than three record labels in addition to releasing a couple of albums on their own. They’ve been toasted as great additions to the “new folk” and “Americana” fads, only to abandon them as quickly as the...

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Sunday, 26 June 2016