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Vinyl Vlog 188
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A deeper look at the grooves pressed into the Twentieth Anniversary 2LP reissue of Bringing Down The Horse by The Wallflowers. It might not have been the single most obvious thing, but those who remember the times during which The Wallflowers released their sophomore album know the world was a very strange place from an artistic standpoint. At the time (1996), the departure of Kurt Cobain and Nirvana had left an enormous cultural hole that many sounds and bands attempted...

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Thursday, 08 December 2016
Vinyl Vlog 187
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A deeper look at the grooves pressed into the Exit Stencil reissue of the Sings Blues and Hymns LP by Cat-Iron. In my life, I have had three perception-altering experiences with the blues. The first was when I heard Howlin’ Wolf; when I first heard the moans and growls which came off songs like “Smokestack Lightning,” it rattled me to the core and hooked me with the inherent danger of it. The second time the blues changed my life was...

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Wednesday, 07 December 2016
TV Party Tonight! #021
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Mad Max: Fury Road & Fury Road: Black & Chrome Edition Is it possible for a movie to come full circle and end up better than when it started? That certainly seems to be the case for Mad Max. It’s not just that Fury Road has been such a success – much more than the original movies. I was a latecomer to the Mad Max franchise, but of course I knew about it. Hell, I’m a fan of Patton...

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Tuesday, 06 December 2016
Vinyl Vlog 186
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A deeper look at the grooves pressed into the Citizen Of Glass LP by Agnes Obel. As one listens to Agnes Obel’s third album, Citizen Of Glass, it quickly becomes apparent that it’s only a matter of time. The first couple of albums Obel released really only set a scene and made introductions for the artist – now though, the inevitability that she WILL be the next fringe superstar – like Bowie, like Bjork and like Tom Waits – is...

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Monday, 05 December 2016
Vinyl Vlog 185
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A deeper look at the grooves pressed into the For The Kids EP by Baby In Vain. Some self-important critic somewhere will review Baby In Vain’s first EP and say they saw it coming. Over the last couple of years, bands like Dilly Dally, Like A Motorcycle and Ex Hex have all come along and resurfaced the road which once traced the way between hardcore, metal and grunge and also renewed interest in hearing strong, distinct female creative voices. Call...

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Monday, 05 December 2016
Vinyl Vlog 184
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A deeper look at the grooves pressed into the Fortieth Anniversary, Legacy Celebrates edition picture disc reissue of Boston’s debut album. How does one attempt to celebrate the release of an album like Boston? To date, the record has sold twenty-five million copies worldwide. The breakthrough single from the album, “More Than A Feeling,” has attained a status which makes it rank among some of the most instantly recognizable songs of all time; the average Joe on the street might...

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Friday, 02 December 2016
I Wanna Be Literated! #137
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Ape-Men of the Apocalypse by Brad Dwyer I finally was able to understand the Cosmic Superhero Epic genre when I read Joe Casey’s G0DLAND. Until then I had only read Jack Kirby’s Fourth World series and was thoroughly shocked by it. Shocked because it was so terrible. Honestly, there’s bad and then there’s embarrassing. The dialogue and story and characters were so laughable that I thought I was reading the wrong comics. Then G0DLAND came along and I understood the...

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Friday, 02 December 2016
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
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 182
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A deeper look at the grooves pressed into the Record Store Day release of The Real Royal Albert Hall Concert 1966 2LP by Bob Dylan. It’s incredible how personally fans of folk music took the form in the 1960s. Back then, any new development or movement away from classicism was seen as abhorrent and rejected wholesale by purists. Of course, taking such a rigid stance was akin to inviting some upstart to come along and upset it and, in 1966,...

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Thursday, 24 November 2016