review

I Wanna Be Literated! #136
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Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk by Legs McNeil, Gillian McCain Having done my fair share of biography readings I have come to appreciate the oral history format more and more as the years go by. It just took a book like Please Kill Me to make me realize what a fun and thorough and effective experience it can be. I like to think of myself as a punk, but since it’s a badge of honor in...

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Wednesday, 30 November 2016
Rascal Flatts – [Album]
REVIEWS

Artist: Rascal Flatts Album: The Greatest Gift Of All Label: Big Machine Records/Sony Music What do people mean when they say “that music moved me”? Moved you from your seat to turn it up? Moved you from the room to get away from the twisted sounds of crashing and banging? Moved you to shake your bottom and get a groove on? For me, music is a background noise that is always on when I am working, cleaning, playing, cooking, bathing...

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Tuesday, 29 November 2016
Vinyl Vlog 183
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A deeper look at the grooves pressed into the Ready Take One LP by Erroll Garner. What do critics really know about jazz? Such was the first question I found myself asking as I wound my way through Popmatters and Jazzwax looking at longer-lead reviews of Ready Take One. Complaints about Martha Glaser’s production styling and the looseness of pianist Erroll Garner’s performances were commonplace, but that really strengthened my resolve to listen closely; any number of things could have...

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Friday, 25 November 2016
Vinyl Vlog 181
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A deeper look at the grooves pressed into the Record Store Day Exclusive Release pressing of Alice In Chains’ Live Facelift 12” EP. While readers may be familiar with parts of Alice In Chains’ new Black Friday/Record Store Day release, Live Facelift, it’s nearly guaranteed that they don’t know the whole thing. They may know some of the songs – like the performance of “It Ain’t Like That” because it was the song which was playing in the background as...

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Wednesday, 23 November 2016
David Bowie – [2CD]
REVIEWS

Artist: David Bowie Album: Legacy (2CD) Label: Columbia/Legacy/Sony Music Over the last forty years, there have been a multitude of “Best of David Bowie” compilations to his new release racks. To date, this critic counts eleven good, sturdy ones, but the methodology for making them has always been the same: “ensure that the core of around ten classic tracks which appeared on ChangesOneBowie (the first Bowie hits comp) are present, then mix and match a list of singles which flow...

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Sunday, 20 November 2016
Pink Floyd – [2CD]
REVIEWS

Artist: Pink Floyd Album: Cre/ation – The Early Years 1967 – 1972 Label: Pink Floyd Records/Columbia/Sony Music As every fan of the band knows, there have been three eras in the history of Pink Floyd: the first, Syd Barrett-fronted psychedelic period, the second (epic) Roger Waters-fronted period (which gave us albums like Dark Side of the Moon, The Wall, Wish You Were Here and Animals) and the final David Gilmour-fronted incarnation which has produced albums like The Division Bell and...

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Thursday, 17 November 2016
Mike Watt – [Album]
REVIEWS

Artist: Mike Watt Album: “Ring Spiel” Tour ’95 Label: Columbia/Legacy/Sony Music Ever walked into a record store and, digging through a vast and vastly disorganized bin of CDs, come across a genuine treasure of the sort that no one ever expects to find? That was the feeling which overtook me when I opened my copy of “Ring Spiel” Tour ’95. Now, I’m familiar with plenty of the back story behind that period of time in Mike Watt’s life; the bassist...

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Wednesday, 16 November 2016
Vinyl Vlog 177
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A deeper look at the grooves pressed into the Rendered Obsolete LP by Kicker. Since punk rock got started and really began to develop some momentum many years ago, there has been no shortage of upstarts who have come along certain that those who came before them didn’t know jack and threw out the existing rule book which was governing the genre in order to start fresh. That fact may be inconvenient, but that doesn’t make it any less true;...

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Monday, 14 November 2016
My Chemical Romance – [2CD]
REVIEWS

Artist: My Chemical Romance Album: The Black Parade + Living With Ghosts (10th Anniversary 2CD) Label: Reprise/Warner Upon first sight of the tenth anniversary edition of The Black Parade by My Chemical Romance, even the greatest and most fanatical of the band’s fans will find themselves asking, “What the fuck is this?” They’ll be asking not because anything is wrong exactly, just that they won’t be able to immediately recognize what they’re looking at; unlike the original release of The...

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Sunday, 06 November 2016
Vinyl Vlog 175
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A deeper look at the grooves pressed into the 2016 reissue of the BLACKsummers’night LP by Maxwell. On a superficial level, leaping around an artist’s catalogue can be confusing in a variety of ways; there can be a disconnect in the continuity of the artist’s development and that may mess with the perceptions of their catalogue as a whole. Such a phenomenon is absolutely true of Maxwell’s songbook – when the singer’s started with Urban Hang Suite in 1996, his...

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Friday, 04 November 2016