Category Archives: 2008

Review: Spirits of the Dead

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Label: White Elephant Records Released: September 29, 2008 Even those who love prog rock often understand that its shortcoming stems from putting the head before the heart. While no genre in rock can compete with prog’s technical prowess, it’s still often dismissed as self-indulgent and lite where the true spirit of rock n roll is the exception, not the rule…. Read more »

Review: Buried in Leather – We Are Gone

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Label: Teenage Heart Records Released: August 11, 2008 Perhaps nowhere did the earliest marriages of punk and metal produce better material than in Boston. The early 80s found the likes of Gang Green and the FUs infusing their street punk with more than just a hint of metal. A lot of this was forgotten later in the decade as thrash… Read more »

Review: Benard/Worn in Red – Split 7″

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Label: Alaska Records/No Breaks Released: July 2008 If one word could describe this 7″, it would be visceral. Nothing seems calculated or planned. Benard blasts through two songs of dissonance, frantic rhythms and pure passion in just under five and a half minutes. In that short time, they leave everything out there, their hearts on their post-hardcore sleeves. Saying that… Read more »

Review: Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan – Sunday at Devil Dirt

Label: Fontana International Released: November 11, 2008 There aren’t many albums as low-key as Sunday at Devil Dirt. Every movement of the album is so subtle that it’s difficult to discern. The first two tracks, “Seafaring Song and “The Raven,” seem more like movie soundtrack material than the road into a dynamic album, but they set the sparse scene for… Read more »

Review: Rod Stewart – The Definitive Rod Stewart

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Label: Warner Brothers Released: November 18, 2008 Rod Stewart may have the perfect rock voice. It’s raw and honest and warm and he expresses emotion with ease. Its rough edges are its primary strength. The first handful of tracks on this collection, rock songs tied tightly to their folk, boogie and blues roots, are ideal vehicles for Stewart’s perfect imperfection…. Read more »

Review: Buffalo Killers – Let It Ride

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Label: Alive Naturalsound Released: July 8, 2008 It would be easy to get tired of hearing the 70s rehashed over and over if there weren’t a few bands really doing something special with it. Buffalo Killers is just one of those bands. Though not quite as raw as their debut, Let It Ride turns up the soul, an ingredient not… Read more »

Best Albums of 2008

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Baseball Project – Vol. 1: Frozen Ropes and Dying QuailsJust on the surface, this great album about baseball is worth hearing, but what it tells us on a deeper level is its (and baseball’s) case for greatness. Bigelf – Cheat the GallowsAll that’s grand gets both celebrated and criticized on this amazingly present retro album. De Novo Dahl – Move… Read more »

DVD: The Who – Kilburn 1977

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Label: Image Entertainment Released: November 18, 2008 I’ve always known that the Beatles are rock’s greatest band. There’s no denying it. But I do have to wonder why I question that every time I listen to the Who. I think it’s because the Beatles made rock music what it is, but the Who actually embodied it like no one else…. Read more »

DVD: Smashing Pumpkins – If All Goes Wrong

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Label: Coming Home Media Released: November 11, 2008 In June of 2007, the reunited Smashing Pumpkins (or Billy Corgan, Jimmy Chamberlain and some new members) decided to forgo a US tour and instead do two residencies, one in Asheville, NC and the other at the vaunted Fillmore in San Francisco. This was, as Jimmy Chamberlain said in the documentary portion… Read more »

Review: Amadan – Pacifica

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Label: Afan Music Released: December 9, 2008 Amadan incorporate bits of the Clash, Billy Bragg, John Fogerty and the Mighty, Mighty Bosstones, but what I suspect they’re really going for is the Pogues mix of traditional Irish folk and biting punk rock swagger. They don’t nail the latter, but their success in other areas makes them a worthwhile listen. There’s… Read more »