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Just over seven miles away from my lovely abode, in the small community of Graniteville, New York (actually located in Staten Island) is where you will find the Public School 22 chorus.  Behind the auditorium doors of PS22 are a group of 5th grade elementary school students that are belting some of my favorite songs by my favorite artists, such as Beach House, Phoenix, and Jay-Z.  And while this is going on, all I can think about is how awful the songs were in my music class, headed by a music teacher who was likely older than my grandmother.  We would sing the “Finger Song” and a tune that named all of the states in alphabetical order with their accompanying capitals.  Ugh.

At any rate, the PS22 choir have been endorsed by a slew of celebrities ranging from Oprah to Matisyahu to B.J. Novak of The Office fame.  In fact, their stardom has led this yearly changing choir to record and sing on Passion Pit’s Manners and have had performances recorded where the actual artist, like Matisyahu and Fleetwood Mac, either asks to join the choir, or asks the choir to join onstage during the songs that were covered.  The passion and enthusiasm coming from each fifth grade class that have passed through Gregg Breinberg’s auditorium (more commonly known as Mr. B, of course) is unmatched.  It’s inspiring, uplifting, and certainly worth the accolades that this choir has received, and hardly need celebrity endorsements to enjoy.

Below are just…


Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of July 20, 2010. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

12 Stones – The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday [EP] (Wind-Up)
The Acacia Strain – Wormwood (Prosthetic Records)
Birds of Tokyo – Birds of Tokyo (MGM Distribution) – Davey Boy
Black Veil Brides – We Stitch These Wounds (Stand By Records)
The Books – The Way Out (Temporary Residence)
Chimaira – Coming Alive [CD/DVD] (Ferret Records)
Sheryl Crow – 100 Miles From Memphis (A&M)
Brian Culbertson – XII (GRP Records)
Darkseed – Poison Awaits (Massacre Records) – Trey Spencer
Department Of Eagles – Archive 2003-2006 (101 DISTRIBUTION)
East of the Wall – Ressentiment (TRANSLATION LOSS)
Electric Wire Hustle – Electric Wire Hustle (BBE Music)
David Garrett – Rock Symphonies (Decca)
Jimmy Gnecco – The Heart (Bright Antenna)
The High Confessions (Sonic Youth drummer Steve Shelley, Chris Connelly of Ministry, Revolting Cocks) – Turn Lead Into Gold With High Confessions (Relapse)
Honor Bright – Action! Drama! Suspense! (Triple Crown)
John Robinson+LewisParker – International Summers (Project Mooncircle)
Shawn Lee – Sing A Song (Ubiquity Records)
Lil Joe – Lil Joe High School Dropout (Thizz Nation/Romp’t Out)
Lower Dens – Twin-Hand Movement (Gnomonsong)
Lydia – Assailants (Self-Released) – Alex Silveri
Mad Caddies – Consentual Selections (Fat Wreck Chords)
Moka Only – Airport 4 (Legendary Entertainment)
Potluck – Greatest Hits w/ My Buds (Suburban Noize


When asked to make a playlist of summer jams, most people immediately think to include chill music. Music meant to complement feeling good, soaking up sun, swimming pools, et cetera. The archetypal summer playlist has a little bit of classic rock, a little bit of hip hop, definitely some reggae (though not much more adventurous than Bob Marley), and for those who like to kill many genre-birds with one stone, just a bunch of Sublime.

For me something feels hollow about these playlists. For me summer is not some hazy crossfaded daytime party, but is more like a sweaty, heated game of capture-the-flag. Whether it’s soccer, tennis, skateboarding, teaching myself NOFX guitar solos (2000), or failing to learn Between the Buried and Me guitar solos (2003-present), summer is fast and engaging. To honor the nostalgia I have for the unchill summer I wanted to post a track by an unknown (or maybe just forgotten) hardcore band, Someday Somehow.

“This Is How You Left Me” is short, simple, and ridiculously poppy. The recording quality is mediocre at best. The drums are galloping and the guitars are punchy. There are breakdowns that aren’t self-conscious and contrived. The lyrics are adolescent but unabashed (“I’m throwing rocks at your window / I’m singing under the lights / I’m holding my heart in my hands / Is that alright?”). There are few songs as effective as “This Is How Left Left Me” at conjuring the whimsical, hopeful energy of summer, and to think an obscure…


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Any review for Big Boi’s album Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son Of Chico Dusty can inform you about his history.  So, without any further verbal vomit, “Tangerine,” the fifth iTunes single from Sir Lucious Left Foot, is dope, raunchy, and infectious.


Earlier this week, we offered Sputnik users the chance to win a copy of the new Converge single, ‘On My Shield,’ which is currently only available at the merch table on the band’s European tour.

The way the original post was worded, it appeared that the contest was in some way endorsed by the band. This was a failure on our part and we apologise for any confusion caused. I personally attended a date on the band’s tour earlier this week and bought the record myself to give away as a “thank you” to the community for all that you contribute to this place.

On Thursday, we were contacted by the band’s label, Deathwish Inc., and asked to take the contest down. We opened a dialogue with Converge singer Jacob Bannon in an attempt to reach a compromise but were told in no uncertain terms that Converge/Deathwish are to retain full control of all contests. In hindsight, we should have asked the band for their approval in advance, but we have been left in no doubt that no permission would have been granted had we done so.

I am prepared to take full responsibility for this as it was my haste that caused the situation, and Deathwish/Jacob Bannon were fully within their right to tell me to go fuck myself. Which they did.

Once again, sorry guys.

We would hate to leave you guys shorthanded, though, so the competition will go ahead as scheduled with one minor alteration –…


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m/ Leather Jackets, Gravestones and a Pontiac Trans-Am m/

Years back I was dragged to a show in Toronto’s Kensington Market. It was sort of a guerrilla affair—not only was it BYOB, but it was held in a trashy little skate shop, its storefront packed full of smelly, scraggly dudes (and their equally scraggly, slightly less smelly girlfriends). In its backroom, a makeshift skate park consisting of little more than mini-pipe and a few dinky, chipped rails, there was sort of a stage (but not really). The whole thing didn’t vibe with me at the time. Firstly, I hadn’t picked up or stood on a skateboard for years by that point and secondly, my buddy thought it prudent to bring mass quantities of Shlitz, which for the uninitiated, is cheap and disgusting. So after a couple beers I left.

Turns out I was missing one of Rammer’s last shows. At the time this meant nothing to me. Now? It fucking sucks. See, Rammer are flat out incredible. They’re volatile and disgusting and their unrelenting, uncompromising blend of death and thrash metal is exactly the kind of sound the increasingly puerile metal scene needs more of. What makes it more bittersweet is that they’d been toying with new material before their split. More on that later.

Throughout their ten year career, Rammer were as active as anyone in the Toronto metal scene but the fact remains that their early work just isn’t very good. It’s not…


Featuring some sexual production from dubstep producer Rusko and English DJ Switch, “Teqkilla” is easily one of the best tunes of M.I.A.’s love-it/hate-it new record. Like a certain fine south-of-the-border spirit, “Teqkilla” is the kind of thing that becomes more agreeable with each spin, glitchy beats and tribal drums propelling a ferocious beat.

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Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of July 13, 2010. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

Anti Citizens – The Awakening [EP] (2012 Dynasty)
Audrey Assad – The House You’re Building (Sparrow)
Autechre – Move Of Ten (Warp Records)
Blink-182 – Blink-182 [Vinyl Re-Issue] (Geffen Records)
Capone-N-Noreaga – The War Report 2 (Ice H20)
Crowded House – Intriguer (Fantasy)
Curren$y – Pilot Talk (ISLAND/DEF-JAM)
Danger Mouse And Sparklehorse – Dark Night Of The Soul (Capitol Records) – Alex Silveri
Dom Pachino (Killarmy) – Tera Iz Him 2 (Napalm Recordings)
Duck Down Music – 15 Years of Duck Down (Duck Down Records)
Joe Elliott – My Regeneration (Mailboat Records)
Escape Artists – Coming Of Age (Self Released)
GM Grimm – Digital Tears [Re-issue] (Day By Day Entertainment)
Great Big Sea – Safe Upon the Shore (GREAT BIG SEA)
Hellyeah – Stampede (Epic)
In This Moment – A Star Crossed Wasteland (Century Media) - Davey Boy
Jungle Brothers – Straight Out The Jungle [2CDs] (Traffic Ent. Group)
Korn – III Remember Who You Are (Roadrunner Records)
Jane Krakowski – The Laziest Gal In town (Drg)
La Coka Nostra – The Audacity of Coke (DJ Eclipse)
Tony Lucca – Rendezvous With The Angels (Rock Ridge Music)
The Maine – Black & White (Sire/Wea)
MF Grimm – The Downfall Of Ibliys (
M.I.A. – ^^^y^ (Interscope Records) – Alex Silveri
Mystery…


The Panda Bear enjoys a cool bath while contemplating how to best utilize tribal rhythms and brian wilson harmonies while hunting the elusive indie blogger

On Animal Collective’s wildly successful Fall Be Kind EP, Panda Bear pondered: “Will I get to move on soon?” In relation to an ongoing struggle with AC-obsession, the answer for indie bloggers is… no. Because Panda Bear is releasing a new album this year called Tomboy. And the eponymous lead single just dropped. And it is awesome. Panda Bear fans know what to expect: Pounding Drums, Repetitive Motifs, Beach Boys-y harmonies. I won’t tell you much more; you probably activated the player as soon as you clicked this link, anyway. The wait for the Tomboy leak just got worse.

“Tomboy”

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EDIT: And Slow Motion is even better!

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Pele once said that an African nation would win the World Cup by 2000. He was laughed out of the room. Zinedine Zidane, on the other hand, once said that soon, Spain would start winning, and when they did, they wouldn’t stop. How unerringly right he was.

There was almost a sense of inevitability about Spain’s victory. They were clearly the most talented side in the competition, were on an absolute roll going into the finals, and have such an embarrassment of riches at their disposal that players as good as Fernando Torres, David Silva, Cesc Fabregas, Juan Manuel Mata, Jesus Navas, and Victor Valdes – all of them star players for their clubs – couldn’t get into the first eleven. And yet, any idea that this was somehow a disappointing finish to the tournament were ended instantly when the realisation that Spain had won sunk in. This is Spain, the biggest under-achiever in football. A country on the verge of political meltdown. A bunch of (mostly) immensely likeable footballers. And when Iniesta scored the winning goal and tore off his shirt to reveal a tribute to Dani Jarque, the Espanyol captain who died suddenly and unexpectedly earlier this year, it became clear that this wasn’t just fate, it was right. Enjoy it, Spain, and keep on enjoying it – it’s completely deserved.

Plenty of people assume that they are au fait with traditional Spanish music, but they may be surprised to learn exactly what…


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- Dissonant Dissident

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Cyanotic are one of the new breed of industrial metal bands that are helping to pull the genre into the modern era. The song, “Dissonant Dissident”, comes from their second  album entitled The Medication Generation. The Medication Generation was released through Bit Riot records on July 6, 2010. “Dissonant Dissident” is probably one of the best songs on the album, and also a great representation of what to expect. It features huge beats and a perfect blend of guitars and electronics.

Cyanotic Myspace

Song Samples


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Congratulations are in order, then – after a cracking game with Uruguay, Germany have finished third! And they completely deserve it, too.

As a direct follow-on from my little rant about the 2006 World Cup in yesterday’s blog, one of the things Italy’s success at that tournament proved is that you can win the competition without being the best team. Now, I’m not saying that’s the case in 2010 (Spain, of course, beat Germany when it really matters) but after their simply sublime 4-1 and 4-0 maulings of two of the pre-tournament favourites, Germany could certainly make a very, very strong case for having been the best team here. Certainly they’ve been the best to watch, with their extreme youth (experienced old head Bastian Schweinsteiger is only 26) adding a great dollop of fizz and adventure to their finely-tuned, well organized, hard-working tactics. Indeed, a full set of World Cup Oscars would almost certainly favour Germany more than anybody – Joachin Loew for best manager and best dressed, Phillip Lahm for best eyebrows, Hans-Jorge Butt for most childishly amusing surname (shared with Waldo Ponce), Thomas Mueller for best young player, and Mezut Ozil for both biggest revelation and greatest lookalike. Honestly, just look at the range of things this man looks like.

I spent far too long working on that.

Where to start with German music, then? How do you even begin to approach such a vast, famous, dominant entity? How do you narrow down a possible…


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If you’ve been paying attention to this blog (and if you haven’t, I forgive you), you’ll have noticed that the three teams yet to appear include one team in Sunday’s final, and one team who’ve made tomorrow’s third-placed playoff. So far, so good, but the third team haven’t been a part of the World Cup since the 24th of June, when they unceremoniously dumped out of the competition by Slovakia, having failed to win a single game or keep a single clean sheet (how shameful for the country that invented pragmatic, ultra-defensive football!). And yet, they are (for the next two days, at least) the reigning champions of the world.

Truthfully, the campaigns of 2006 and 2010 weren’t that far apart for Italy, at least from the eyes of the neutral. They didn’t thrill here, and didn’t have any star stand-outs, but then, they didn’t in 2006 either – in fact, their victory in that dull, dull final was a crushing blow to anybody that appreciates attractive attacking football (especially coming after Greece’s similarly bloody-minded win in Euro 2004). And yet they won. Of course they won – it is the Italian way. They are a country that historically comes out on top – the Roman Empire, Catholicism, the Renaissance, numerous examples in football – to the point where failure isn’t really considered as an eventuality until it’s already happened. Music is no different; it’s just another field where Italy have consistently been world leaders.

Italy’s pre-eminent musical genre…


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Ladies and gentlemen.

It is with a great deal of sadness that Sputnikmusic.com will cease to exist as of this month. Online media is well and truly dead, folks, and Sputnikmusic has to move with the times. However, we are excited to announce a brand new venture in the exciting world of print journalism: from July 31, Sputnikmusic will be available exclusively as a supplement with the Saturday edition of the Daily Mirror.

Well, not really.

But were confirmation ever needed that silly season had well and truly begun, it crashed through the ceiling on Monday with vuvuzelas blazing when Prince declared the internet (yes, the whole thing) to be “over” in an interview with the aforementioned British redtop. He said: “The internet’s completely over. I don’t see why I should give my new music to iTunes or anyone else. They won’t pay me an advance for it and then they get angry when they can’t get it.”

He went on: “They just fill your head with numbers and that can’t be good for you.” From the man who brought us such classics as ‘1999,’ ‘I Would Die 4 U,’ 3121 and ‘Nothing Compares 2 U,’ this is indeed a withering assessment of numbers. Perhaps more crucially, it represents the end of an era, not for online music, but for Prince’s association with a platform that he very much helped to mold in its infant state. Back in 1998, Prince became the first high-profile artist to sell an album…


It’s something that will probably be lost to time and forgotten about entirely, but one of the most disappointing things about this World Cup is that so many African stars, given the first chance to represent their nations in their own continent on the world’s biggest stage, never got the opportunity. Cameroon’s Samuel Eto’o can count himself very lucky that he made it to the tournament fully fit, because it seems like he was the only one – Michael Essein and John Obi Mikel both missed out entirely through injury, Benni McCarthy wasn’t even picked to play, Sully Muntari seemed to be out of favour with his manager, and Dider Drogba – the man Ivory Coast’s hopes rested on, broke his arm. He eventually played a part in every game of their campaign while wearing a cast, but he was off the pace and understandably shirked a few challenges; it – along with Luis Suarez’s Hand of God II: Electric Boogaloo – was the most immediate symbol of the rotten luck Africa had throughout. Many felt that Ivory Coast would qualify from their group with relative ease, so uninspiring were rivals Portugal in qualifying for the tournament, but Drogba’s arm, and the subsequent loss of momentum it brought (and North Korea’s incompetence against Portugal, in fairness), stopped them from getting the results they needed. Drogba – a hero right across Africa – should have been one of the tournament’s stars. Instead, he barely got out of first gear. Côte d’Ivoire’s…


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