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Not far removed from the middle of winter in the southern hemisphere, it was a cold and wet Melbourne that hosted Jared Leto & Co. at Festival Hall. Touring on the back of their disappointing 3rd album ‘This Is War’, this tour was for some reason titled ‘Into the Wild’. I’d research why, but the fact this blog has been written 2 weeks after the event should tell you how motivated I am at present.

The best seat in the house?

The venue is not exactly much loved around these parts since (ignoring its summer air-conditioning issue which leaves it feeling like a sauna) it is spatially challenged. Spreading sideways instead of back, even some of the best seats in the house (ignoring a limited capacity balcony section which is centrally located) leave attendees with too much of a side view feel. Thankfully, yours truly had one of those best seats for this particular concert since there was no way I was going to submit my ears to the screaming 13 year old girls on the venue’s floor section… The fact that the floor section was also unlicensed is irrelevant… Well, not really, but anyway…

The Art

Arriving as the support band was playing their first song; it was not a great surprise to see The Art receive a lukewarm response. Previously


Mustaine: A Heavy Metal Memoir

By: Dave Mustaine & Joe Layden
Released: August 3, 2010
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: It Books

Mustaine: A Heavy Metal Memoir has something for even the most apathetic of Megadeth fans and is written in a very entertaining manner thanks to the dry humor and no-holds-barred attitude of Dave Mustaine.
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I’ve never considered myself a huge fan of Megadeth. Their earlier albums always seemed to be very inconsistent in terms of quality, and their mid-era commercial attempts were mostly terrible. There are exceptions of course, Rust in Peace is easily one of the best thrash albums of all time and Endgame is just about equal (and sometimes better, depending on my mood) – but this isn’t about me and isn’t really about Megadeth either. This is about Dave Mustaine; the man that has had the great fortune of being part of two of the biggest metal bands of the last thirty years. He’s also the man that everyone has loved to hate due to his tendency to speak his mind and treat fellow band mates as if they were totally expendable (in hindsight one could argue that they really have been). If anyone in the metal community has lived a life that is worthy of having a book written about him, it is Dave Mustaine. The man has dealt with drug use, the stigma of being dropped from Metallica, the total…


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Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of August 10, 2010. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

Amorphis – Forging the Land of Thousand Lakes [CD/DVD] (Nuclear Blast America)
Angelfire – Angelfire (THE RECORD LABEL)
Ayatollah – Live From the MPC 60 [3 CDs] (Green Streets Entertainment)
Black Label Society – Order Of The Black (E1 Music)
Sarah Blasko – As Day Follow Night (Universal Music Group)
Bottomless Pit – Blood Under The Bridge (Comedy Minus One)
The Budos Band – The Budos Band III (Daptone Records)
Kathryn Calder – Are You My Mother? (File Under: Music)
Common Grackle (Factor) – The Great Depression (Fake Four)
Charlie Daniels – Land That I Love (Koch Records)
George Duke – Deja Vu (Heads Up)
Exile – AM/PM (Plug Research)
Kataklysm - Heaven’s Venom {EU} (Nuclear Blast)
Killola – Let’s Get Associated (Killola)
Landing On The Moon – We Make History Now (Young Love Records)
Language Room – Language Room (Anti-)
Lights Out Asia – In the Days of Jupiter (n5MD)  – Adam Downer
Lost In The Trees – All Alone In An Empty House (Anti/Epitaph)
Madlib – High Jazz [2 LPs] (Madlib Invazion)
Moe Pope – Life After God (Brick Records)
Mike Posner – 31 Minutes To Takeoff (J-Records)
Noblesse Oblige – Malady (Metropolis Records)
Over-Reactor – Lose Your Delusion, Vol. 1 (Free Download)
Blake Shelton – All About Tonight…


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Huge, yearning, beautiful. What the avalanches might have sounded like in 2010, where dilla may have been going. Star Slinger picks up where they left off, and, when he’s on his game, brings it to the moon. Four minutes of bliss.

“Bumpkin”

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I post this slightly poor-quality recording of ‘Suspect Device’ from an Ulster Television broadcast in 1978 not because it’s a particularly good representation of the song – in fact, it does very little justice to one of the best punk songs ever written – but purely because it challenges the myth of what “punk,” in its earliest form, stood for.

Here we see a decent-sized crowd of disaffected Northern Irish youths kitted out in the usual punk clobber – ripped shirts, shredded jeans, leather jackets and even the odd dog collar – and seemingly united in their desire not to be seen showing any form of emotion. You’ll notice a trio of lads jumping around in euphoria towards the middle of the video – rest assured they were not representative of the crowd and were soon removed from the venue.

It’s worth considering the context in which bands like Stiff Like Fingers and the Undertones entered the music scene: groups like the Sex Pistols and the Clash may have been infuriated by the extent to which their mummies didn’t pay enough attention to them, but these groups of Catholic Irish teenagers experienced real hardship and oppression on a daily basis, and they made a conscious choice to break the mould by fighting back with their music rather than guns and improvised explosives.

The lasting legacy of these groups’ music was to unite thousands of middle class teens from across the religious divide would unite against a bitterly unfair regime –…


My renewed obsession with reading books combined with my lack of Internet access has led to a waning interest in listening to new music.  It is sad, I will admit, that even if I did have Internet access, I would probably not be using it to procure new music.  Furthermore, I am unable to listen to music while I read, as some can, and so the only time I listen to music lately is in my car, where I choose from a large but still limited selection of CDs. 

But I have found a sense of freedom in all of this.  I read all the time and I write all the time and as I grow in both of those areas, I am able to further appreciate music I’ve already heard in new ways.  Undertones of emotion that were heretofore unheard by my ears have been opening themselves up to me, turns of phrase stand out not like sore thumbs but like oases, and song structure has become revelatory.  Even production techniques – something that I had previously paid attention to only in a disengaged manner – are wells of inspiration.  So it is through this disillusionment with music that I have come to appreciate music more.

I have always been a lover of lyrics; for as long as I’ve been listening to music, the words have been equally important as the music and melody.  Lately though, I have been able to analyze lyrics more deeply, to pay attention to…


I love music. I would argue that I have the ability to love all music (except for country… sorry, ex-girlfriend!), although some would argue that they think that I have absolutely no sense of taste when it comes to music (see: my pie chart).

And somehow, I wound up a music journalist for a print publication (amongst other things, anyway) and an editor for an online publication (take a guess as to what that might be – and if you haven’t figured it out by now, drink the first thing you find underneath your kitchen sink).

Note: festive attire optional.

I have interviewed famous people (and not-so-famous people) about their bands and I have a blast doing so because I make it fun for them. I would ask them questions like, “Do you think homeless people hate knock-knock jokes?” or “What smell would you NOT want your shampoo to smell like?” and other such unprofessional absurdities to facilitate the more important (and significantly more appropriate) questions.

For the record, Andrew W.K. thinks homeless people LOVE knock-knock jokes and thinks that a shampoo that smells like Ranch dressing would be the worst shampoo ever.

And, while being a music journalist and a music editor are fun gigs, there came a point when I stopped liking being the former for a bit.

In particular, I stopped liking the unprofessionalism exhibited by bands.

Every time I got on either Gmail or Facebook –…


Salem

I heard Salem’s “King Night” a little over a month ago when a few blogs started premiering it, but I have to admit that I hardly paid attention. To be honest, I have no idea how this did not draw me in back then. What was I distracted by? It could have been The Roots, Big Boi, Sleigh Bells, or any of the other incredible music I had been digesting around that time, but “King Night”, the first track released off of Salem’s forthcoming album of the same name, shows just as much promise as any of the great music that has already come out this year. It’s a post-dubstep masterpiece, and not in the way that Mount Kimbie makes a weak, watered-down mixture for the headphones. “King Night” moves the grimy underbelly of Burial to a cathedral, featuring none other than a choir singing “O Holy Night” with walloping, powerful bass as the choir’s accompaniment. It’s an inspired tour de force of music for the new decade.

King Night is released on September 28th.

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Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of August 03, 2010. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

Arcade Fire – The Suburbs (Merge Records) – Tyler Fisher
Autolux – Transit Transit (TBD Records)
The Black Crowes – Croweology (Megaforce)
Buckcherry – All Night Long (Eleven Seven Music)
Bun B – Trill O.G. (Rap-A-Lot)
Dr. John And The Lower 911 – Tribal (429 Records)
El-P – Hell Megamixxx 3 (Gold Dust Media)
Fleshwrought – Dementia/Dyslexia (Metal Blade Records)
Gaelic Storm – Cabbage (LOST AGAIN RECORDS)
Freddie Gibbs – Str8 Killa (Decon)
Paul Gilbert – Fuzz Universe (Shrapnel)
Gov’t Mule – Mulennium [Live] (Evil Teen Records)
Immortal – The Seventh Date Of Blashyrkh [Live DVD/CD] {EU} (Nuclear Blast)
Lady Gaga – The Remix (Interscope Records)
Lady Gaga – The Cherrytree Sessions [EP] (Interscope Records)
Les Savy Fav – Root For Ruin (frenchkissrecords) – Cam
LloydMiller+Heliocentrics – LloydMiller+Heliocentrics (Strut Records)
Los Lobos – TinCan Trust (Shout Factory!)
Katie Melua – House (Universal Motown)
Queens Of The Stone Age – Rated R [Deluxe Edition] (Interscope)
Secondhand Serenade – Hear Me Now (GLASS NOTE RECORDS)
Squeeze – Spot The Difference (XOXO RECORDS)
Ryan Star – 11:59 (Atlantic)
Tony Da Gartorra vs. Gruff Rhys – The Terror Of Cosmic Loneliness (Self-Released)
Wavves – King Of The Beach [Physical Release] (Fat Possum) – Lewis P.
Wretched – Beyond The Gate (Victory Records)


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A recent New York Times profile of Brooklyn resident David, creator of the Pitchfork Reviews Reviews blog, gives an interesting insight into the online sub-culture that has sprung up in opposition to the influence of the internet’s most far-reaching music reviews site.

Early each weekday morning, the indie music Web site Pitchfork posts five new album reviews. Hours later a 22-year-old reader named David downloads them onto his BlackBerry, reads them on his way to work and muscles out a rambling but surprisingly fluid response using his phone’s MemoPad function: no links, no capital letters at the start of sentences, just adrenalized response.

In essence, what David does is turn the tables on Pitchfork: each weekday, he reads every new review on the site, comments upon it and assigns it a score on a scale of 0.0 to 10.0. Instead of “Best New Music,” he gives an award for “Worst New Review.” As far as satire goes, it’s only marginally more subtle than the Scary Movie series, but it is effective nonetheless. Furthermore, it’s the ideal subject matter for a shockingly impersonal medium like tumblr, where small communities choose to blog about each other’s posts rather than having actual upfront discussions.

It’s not so much ironic as it was inevitable that Pitchfork would reach this position. It was originally created as a counterweight to the hegemonic power of traditional media (your Rolling Stones and, yes, your New York Timeses), and any fule…


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Oh you’re so silent Jens. How long has it been? 3 years since you last charmed us with Night Falls Over Kortedala? Where have you been? What have you been up to? Heartbreak, if “The End of The World is Bigger Than Love” is anything to go by. Staggering, string-laden heartbreak.

Jens Lekman – The End Of The World Is Bigger Than Love by stripeyjumper


With each show, you are presented with a new experience, group of people, and likely venue.  The only thing that remains constant is that you are attending, but your actions at a show can have potentially drastic consequences, both good and bad.  This past weekend, a few of the marquee aspects of show etiquette were broken.  Below, I have outlined the absolute necessities in order to be a respectful fan in a slew of environments.  All of this is done to prepare yourself for every genre, because no one likes a push pit at a Modest Mouse show.

GENERAL COURTESY:

Regarding clothing, specifically shirts, perhaps the number one rule, is NEVER wear a shirt of the band you are about to see.  Everyone knows you like the band because you’re at the show.  If you do wear a band t-shirt, make it count, as in something that is out of that band’s genre.  Also, sandals are generally a bad choice, along with any heavy clothing.  The temperature inside a venue can be brutal, so consider that run from your car to the entrance in shorts during the middle of the winter.

Regarding height, if you are on the short side of the stick, know if the venue has some sort of in-house elevation, or get there early so you are in the front of the stage.  Also, don’t complain when someone is tall, like myself, is in front of you.  There are hundreds upon thousands of different spots that you…


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James LaBrie has made a new track called “One More Time” available for streaming (courtesy of AOL’s Noisecreep). The song is taken from his upcoming solo album, Static Impulse, which will be released on September 28 through InsideOut Music.

 

James LaBrie is best known for his work with Dream Theater, but they’re not his only musical endeavor. Most people probably don’t know that he released his first solo album, Elements of Persuasion, back in 2005. It was a powerful album that would probably surprise a lot of Dream Theater fans due to its heaviness. Well, it seems that this album is going to surprise even more people. The song is heavy and aggressive but combined with a huge chorus that rivals anything that he has done with Dream Theater. What is going to surprise people even more is the aggressive side of James’ voice. If the rest of the album is anything like this, it has the potential to be great.


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Leading up to this weekend, shows have been hard to come by this calendar year, however that was about to change.   On Thursday I was going to see The Antlers with Dinosaur Feathers while on Sunday I planned on seeing Cap’n Jazz twice, once with Lightning Bolt and No Age and the other with Gauge.

Image Credit: Chris Wang

Thursday night, The Antlers played a free concert as a part of the Hudson River Park’s River Rocks concert series at Pier 54.  The picturesque night started with melodious three-piece known as Dinosaur Feathers.  While they will not blow anyone away with any sort of dramatic climaxes or intricate passages, Dinosaur Feathers make up for that with their precision and dreamy pop songs, such as “Teenage Whores.”  Unfortunately for Dinosaur Feathers, the generator powering the show went down during the middle of their set, which caused a nearly thirty minute delay and Dinosaur Feathers to play at about a quarter of the original volume without electronically produced drums supporting their sound, all while organizers scrambled to get another generator for The Antlers’ set.  Dinosaur Feathers could have easily stopped playing, but they persevered through the technical difficulties, and they deserve a heap of credit for keeping a somewhat disgruntled crowd happy.

Once The Antlers took the stage, another generator was in place and the sun was setting over the Hudson.  Flowers lined two keyboards as “Kettering” began ever so softly.  One detail that…


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Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of July 27, 2010. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

2 Hungry Bros & 8thW1 – No Room For Dessert (Domination Recordings)
36 Crazyfists – Collisions & Castaways (Ferret Records)
Clay Aiken – Tried & True Live! [DVD] (Decca U.S.)
Avenged Sevenfold – Nightmare (Warner Bros.) – Mike Stagno
Best Coast – Crazy for You (Mexican Summer) – Kiran Soderqvist
Blind Guardian – At The Edge Of Time {EU} (Nuclear Blast)
Kimberly Caldwell [American Idol contestant] – Without Regret (Vanguard/Capitol)
Called to Arms – Peril and the Patient (Tragic Hero Records) – Adam Thomas
Charlotte – Medusa Groove (NIGHTMARE RECORDS)
Cut Chemist – The Sound of the Police (A Stable Sound/Soul Kitchen)
Decrepit Birth – Polarity (Nuclear Blast)
Demiurg – Slakthus Gamleby (Cyclone Empire)
Eatmewhileimhot! – xALBUMx (Loveway Records)
Fat Joe – The Darkside (E1 Music)
The Dream Jam Band – Leave it in the Soup (EMI Label Services)
Dru Hill – Indrupendence Day (KEDAR ENTERTAINMENT)
Jesca Hoop – Hunting My Dress (Vanguard Records)
Incognito – Transatlantic RPM (Shanachie)
Insidious Disease – Shadowcast (Century Media)
Iron Thrones – The Wretched Sun (Self-Released)
Ivoryline – Vessels (Tooth & Nail Records) – Davey Boy
Shawn Jackson – Brand New Old Me (Tres Records)
Tom Jones – Praise & Blame (Mercury Nashville)
Jorn – Dio (Frontiers)
Killah…


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