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Vinyl Vlog #213
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311 Selftitled Have you considered the reputation 311 gets nowadays? I’ll refer you to a running gag on the Eric Andre show where they substitute the names 311 and 911 when quoting conspiracies. These were followed by surf-rock-type flailing and hippy dancing. At the end of last season they actually had 311 on to torture while they performed Down. It’s all in good fun, however, as Andre has gone on record saying that he thinks 311 is an underrated band....

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Friday, 31 March 2017
I Wanna be Literated #149
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The Gene: An Intimate History by Siddhartha Mukherjee As a scientist, it’s hard for me to back up and realize that the general public’s understanding of DNA and genes in general is incomplete and vague. Lucky for us we have people like Siddhartha Mukherjee and his book The Gene which is truly one of the great science books aimed at the general public. An old mentor of mine once said that even as we advance in our career as scientists...

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Tuesday, 28 March 2017
Vinyl Vlog 211
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A deeper look at the grooves pressed into the white/blue split pressing of the Shit Don’t Stop LP by G. Perico. There’s something about G. Perico which just inspires listeners to want to back the emcee with every fibre of their being. It might have to do with the fact that he’s from just the right part of town to get a little musically nostalgic for (he’s from South Central L.A. – east of the Forum, west of the Watts...

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Sunday, 26 March 2017
Vinyl Vlog 210
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A deeper look at the grooves pressed into the We All Want The Same Things LP by Craig Finn. Saying that some musicians are just natural-born rock phenomena might sound unbelievable on the face of the statement, but let’s be honest – some rock singers/frontmen were built for the job and could not easily be seen doing anything else. Where else, for example, could anyone imagine seeing Jeff Tweedy or Neil Young but at stage centre in front of a...

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Friday, 24 March 2017
Vinyl Vlog #209
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A deeper look at the grooves pressed into the 2LP Astralwerks reissue of Come With Us by The Chemical Brothers. Ever experienced a moment when, through no fault of its own, an album just seems to go underappreciated and/or just generally taken for granted, reader? It’s not an incredibly common occurrence, but it does happen; every so often, an album will suffer because it really just feels like “more of the same,” no matter how good it might be. For...

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Thursday, 23 March 2017
Vinyl Vlog #208
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Teenage Bottlerocket Tales From Wyoming Teenage Bottlerocket are the purveyors of skate pop punk in our modern times. They’re not reinventing the wheel, of course, but it helps to understand this band if you consider that they’re just sticking to a formula and tampering with it. And what a formula it is: Teenage Bottlerocket are responsible for some of the catchiest melodies and sauciest riffs in the genre. Strangely, they haven’t written their masterpiece yet, and instead have kept on...

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Thursday, 23 March 2017
I Wanna Be Literated #148
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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Ultimate Collection, Vol. 1 by Kevin Eastman, Peter Laird The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are a force that transcends generations. My version of the heroes in a half shell involves the Saturday morning cartoon on TV in the early 90s: what I consider to be the “right” content for turtles fan. I just couldn’t get enough of them, and considering how slim the pickings were for a kid growing up in the Caribbean, I did...

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Wednesday, 22 March 2017
I Wanna Be Literated #147
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Moonglow by Michael Chabon I know we run a column here on Ground Control called I Wanna Be Literated but the fact is we’re not literary guys here on the site. We know what we like, but we’re not going to argue for or against an Oxford comma, for example. One thing is clear, though: this reviewer definitely has a soft spot for Michael Chabon. I first heard about Chabon on the Simpsons (again, we are NOT literary guys) and...

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Thursday, 16 March 2017
Vinyl Vlog #207
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The Bouncing Souls Simplicity The Bouncing Souls will always be an important band in my life. Not just because they were my gateway band to punk rock and some truly great music, but because when I put on some of their records, they still manage to move me after all these years. These would be their Maniacal Laughter, the Selftitled, and Hopeless Romantic. Track for track, these albums are simply classics and monsters of punk rock. But I started noticing...

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Thursday, 09 March 2017
Vinyl Vlog #206
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A deeper look at the grooves pressed into the 2LP reissue of Surrender by The Chemical Brothers. Then as now, the conventional wisdom is that Dig Your Own Hole has the biggest of The Chemical Brothers’ entries into the mainstream but, for this critic’s money, the greatest creative triumph of the group’s storied career is their third full-length, Surrender. With Surrender, the group had the mainstream’s attention and knew it, but rather than shying away or being evasive of their...

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Tuesday, 07 March 2017