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  • Article

    Punk Debunked - Rockabilly club

    "This ain't no history lesson," snarls the opening line to the liner notes of Rockin' Bones: 1950s Punk & Rockabilly (Rhino/Wea), an excellent four-CD boxed set. "It's about attitude! This is where punk rock began!" To me, the first and last of t...

    by John Nova Lomax on October 5, 2006
  • Article

    Studying Stones - Truth at 33rpm (self-released)

    Fran Scianna, best known for playing in local rock band The Sciannas with his brother Dan, decided he wanted to make a "deeper, more psychedelic sound" and left to form his own band, Studying Stones, which takes its name from the Ani DiFranco song ab...

    by Niki D'Andrea on October 5, 2006
  • Article

    Me First and the Gimme Gimmes - Love Their Country (Fat Wreck Chords)

    Never base your music on an identity crisis just ask Chris Gaines. Don't remember Gaines? In one of the greatest missteps in recent music history, Garth Brooks attempted to transfigure himself from paunchy Fortune 500 cowboy to pouty goth-rock sing...

    by Casey Lynch on October 5, 2006
  • Article

    R.E.M. - And I Feel Fine . . . The Best of the I.R.S. Years 1982-1987 (Capitol/I.R.S.)

    Compile the best of R.E.M.'s earliest output on one CD, and it's easy to see why they ultimately became one of the biggest bands in the world: optimism. That's the overwhelming feeling pervading Fine, a smartly sequenced collection spanning the Athen...

    by Annie Zaleski on October 5, 2006
  • Article

    Bonnie "Prince" Billy - The Letting Go (Drag City/Caroline)

    There are memorable collaborations throughout Will "Bonnie 'Prince' Billy" Oldham's musically promiscuous career, including recent ones with Tortoise, Matt Sweeney, and Jason Molina. The latest to bear fruit is with Drag City labelmate Dawn McCarthy ...

    by John Schacht on October 5, 2006
  • Article

    Various Artists - Drum Nation Volume 3 (Magna Carta)

    The drummers of rock 'n' roll lore are either dead (Cozy Powell, John Bonham), notorious chick-magnet partyers (Tommy Lee), or both (Keith Moon, Benny Benjamin). The drummers on Drum Nation Volume 3 are none of the above. But they are some of the hea...

    by Niki D'Andrea on October 5, 2006
  • Article

    The Kid's All Right - Piano woman

    Woe betide the child who springs singing from the loins of a rock star. Sure, it might be nice to have Drew Barrymore and R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe for godparents, like Frances Bean Cobain. Or to have received your first guitar from KISS' Gene Simmon...

    by Niki D'Andrea on October 5, 2006
  • Article

    Portastatic - Be Still Please (Merge)

    For those who miss the raw, adolescent, power-crunch pop of Superchunk's early days, Mac McCaughan's new Portastatic album may be disappointing. The Merge Records head honcho has crafted his most adult effort to date, full of oboe, flute, and string ...

    by Jonah Flicker on October 5, 2006
  • Article

    The Songs Are Not the Same - Followed or Led

    Should a plumber receive a royalty check every time a toilet he's installed is flushed? It's an interesting question, posed by Led Zeppelin biographer Alan Clayson as he mounts a defense of what others have characterized as outright theft in the Led ...

    by Ed Masley on October 5, 2006
  • Article

    Goodyfest - More positive than it sounds

    Connecticut's Hatebreed comes out of that whole late-'80s/early-'90s Youth Crew, "We're all about unity and positivity, and we'll kick the ass of anyone who says different" mindset fostered by the New York and Boston hardcore scenes. It has managed t...

    by Phil Freeman on October 5, 2006
  • Article

    Sugarcult - Less annoying to the old folks

    Listening to tracks off Sugarcult's new album, Lights Out (V2), you would never know this is the same group of four men that annoyed MTV viewers senseless with its Van Wilder-tie-in video for "Bouncing Off the Walls" a few years back. Two albums an...

    by Emily Zemler on October 5, 2006
  • Article

    Celtic Frost - Swiss mess

    Celtic Frost is one of the few '80s thrash giants that hasn't been co-opted by the forces of hipster irony. The Swiss hellions released an inexplicable (and excellent) hair metal album in 1988's Cold Lake, but that's not what you want from the death/...

    by D.X. Ferris on October 5, 2006
  • Article

    James McMurtry - Lyric poetry

    Let's face it. Most singer-songwriter music is lukewarm high school poetry without the hooks and energy that seem to make the lukewarm high school poetry you get with Fall Out Boy or even Ashlee Simpson that much easier to swallow. Then, there's ...

    by Ed Masley on October 5, 2006
  • Article

    From First to Last - To screech his own

    Be careful what you ask for. Detractors of the emo scene have complained since guys started wearing girls' jeans and combing all their hair over their faces for something less wrist-slittingly depressing and overall less, well, emo. Well, here it is:...

    by Casey Lynch on October 5, 2006
  • Article

    Underground Thursdays - Flame and fortune

    Although temperatures might be cooling down with the onset of fall here in the PHX, San Francisco's DJ Jacaranda and the flame-flinging freaks of local fire performance troupe S_T_3 are gonna be heating up your Thursday nights over at Ichiban Japanes...

    by Benjamin Leatherman on October 5, 2006
  • Article

    Seven Nights of DJs and Dancing - Who's spinning what, where and when

    Thursday 5 AZ 88: Mr. P-Body (synth pop, electro) Bunkhouse Lounge: DJ Doom (dance) Camus: Pablo Gomez (electronic, rock, pop, avant-garde) Club Central: DJs Ernie G. (hip-hop, R&B) & Luis (salsa, merengue) The Door: DJ J Nasty (hip-hop, ...

    on October 5, 2006
  • Article

    Back Country - Original spin

    Spend one of your Sunday nights, as I did recently, at the Yucca Tap Room in Tempe, and you're likely to see what will at first seem like an anomaly a pretty, diminutive, 30-year-old woman named Dana Armstrong sitting behind two turntables playing ...

    by Brendan Joel Kelley on September 28, 2006
  • Article

    The O Show - Look out above

    Karen O, the focal point of any Yeah Yeah Yeahs show, works the stage like Iggy Pop in fishnets, a force of unnatural nature overdoing every gesture, every post-"Rock Lobster" vocal tic, until you'd have to be a fool to turn away. She's part train wr...

    by Ed Masley on September 28, 2006
  • Article

    Hard Luck of the Irish - Low-down, dirty Shane

    Shane MacGowan's continued existence on the planet is nothing short of a miracle that would test the resolve of even the most determined atheist. I've personally witnessed the notorious Pogues front man who'll turn 49 on Christmas Day ingest an i...

    by Michael Alan Goldberg on September 28, 2006
  • Article

    Prodigal Son - Jonny Lang dumps drugs and finds Jesus

    Six years ago, Jonny Lang faced a crossroads in his music career and personal life. Too much underage drinking, cigarette smoking and drugs, plus an obsession with witchcraft, threatened to ruin his career and create havoc in his personal life. A rev...

    by Robert Hicks on September 28, 2006
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