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Issue 34 Cover - June, 2009 - Innocent Words
 
Featured Articles - Stories and Interviews Minimize
John B. Moore
You’d think with George W. Bush & Company back on the ranch in Texas, the political punks in Anti-Flag would finally be able to take a few years off. You clearly haven’t been watching the news lately.
John B. Moore
Did you really expect From First to Last’s side project to make a pop record? Nah, the screamo, throat-shredding duo just found an excuse to get heavier.
John B. Moore
Though they didn’t technically break up, fans would be forgiven for thinking Fastball had called it quits after 2004’s Keep Your Wig On, arguably their best album to date.
Troy Michael
Some music fans, or maybe just music elitists, find an unknown band and just love them. In fact, they love said band so much that they don’t want anyone else to discover them – kind of like a child finding a new toy. But deep down, they want that band to be discovered because they are so fucking good. It makes them scratch their heads and wonder: why the hell isn’t my new favorite band popular?
John B. Moore
For nearly three decades, Tommy Keene has been quietly churning out power pop, jangly guitar masterpieces, while everyone from R.E.M. to Matthew Sweet managed to snag all of the glory.
John B. Moore
There are really only three guys named Elvis worth knowing. There is Elvis Presley, who died on his toilet in 1977, there is the legendary Elvis Costello who married jazz singer Diana Krall and finally Elvis Cortez, the founder and front man of Left Alone, the phenomenally catchy punk ska band from Wilmington, Calif.
John B. Moore
It’s not hard to imagine MC Lars, one of nerdcore’s most famous ambassadors, lip syncing to Weird Al songs as a youngster. It was a bit of idol worship then, when the twenty-something rapper found himself recording with the accordion-toting parody king last year. Weird Al was just one of over a dozen guests who stopped by to share the mic with MC Lars for his latest, This Gigantic Robot Kills.
Lisa Zyga
Dylan Magierek – songwriter, guitarist, and name behind the band Misc. – has been obsessed with recording since the early 80s. After spending his teen years in Albuquerque, fiddling with drum machines and boom boxes (before home multi-track recording units), he founded Badman Records in Portland, Ore.

Book Reviews Minimize
John B. Moore
Writing a great rock novel is a whole lot harder than it sounds. There have been countless attempts over the years and the result is usually a collection of boring tour urban legends and rejected VH1 “Behind the Music” scripts. It’s a pretty big feat then that both Michael Shilling and Jason Buhrmester have managed to turn in solid rock stories just months apart from each other.

DVD Reviews Minimize
Jeremy Farrance
All Together Now is an 84 minute film charting the creation of the LOVE™ show, featuring Sir Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono Lennon, Olivia Harrison, Sir George Martin, Giles Martin, Guy Laliberte and show director Dominic Champagne.
John B. Moore
I’ve never really understood the fascination with concert DVDs. They always seemed to be a bit like dry humping to me - not even close to the real thing. The whole point of a going to a show is the experience: sweating your ass off, getting beer spilled on you, leaving the club with ringing ears and your voice shot. Thankfully, NOFX’s latest video tour diary – originally aired on Fuse TV - offers so much more than the standard concert footage.
Eric Savage
Lust For Life is no mere concert DVD, and nor is it an interview DVD. Lust for Life is an autobiography of Iggy Pop. The DVD is a combination of alternating concert footage and interviews.
John B. Moore
On the surface, the concept behind HBO’s drama In Treatment doesn’t seem to elicit the same excitement as, say, a show about Jersey mobsters or Hollywood hangers on. But given a chance, the series is remarkably addictive.

Album Reviews Minimize
John B. Moore
Cincinnati's favorite sons, 500 Miles To Memphis, obviously have their share of Willie and Waylon CDs in constant rotation on their tour bus. Probably best described as country punk, the band blends the noise and energy of Social Distortion with the song writing of the Highwaymen.
Eric Savage
Antennas Up's self-titled album opens with 'Break Me Down', a song that hooks the listener with a bass line that can only be described as “crunchy.” Good lyrics combined with birth-of-rock-and-roll rhythms reel you in, and before you know it you're in deep.
Shane Matthew Stiles
From Lawrence, KS, The Appleseed Cast has been a recording machine since they started. The band has released seven full studio albums, a 7”, a split, and a compilation of b-sides in eleven years. If you’re keeping count, that’s almost a release a year. What’s even more shocking is that not a single release is bad.
Judy Nelson
The Black Lips have managed to make an impressive career based solely on the popularity of a throwback sound. The rise of their popularity is much more complicated than a band like the Strokes, who threw back to the same era of fuzzy, garagey, bluesy rock but with a modern twist that made it accessible. 200 Million Thousand is The Black Lip’s fifth proper full length in the last six years, and they are relentless in their commitment to the genre. While this album shapes up to be pretty similar to the other five, they seem to have grown up a little bit, and sound more musically tight.
Cody Sokolski
By all rights, it would be reasonable to keep expectations low for fresh inspiration on Roll On, JJ Cale’s 16th LP. 70 years old, laid back, and seemingly inured to the vagaries and “charms” of the record industry, and with bizarre and quaint production values such as songs and grooves, Cale just seems to roll on.
Brian Campbell
No, this isn’t a new Romeo Void album, its Roxy Epoxy’s new album with her band the Rebound. Band Aids on Bullet Holes is an album that would have been a better fit for the mid-1980’s, but we all know history is doomed to repeat itself, right? This band is literally one keytar and drum machine short of a full blown eighties revival.
Jonathan Tuttle
This five-song live Alejandro Escovedo gem was recorded in June of 2008 at the Sirius XM Studios in New York City for their show “Kick out the Jams” with Dave Marsh.
Shane Matthew Stiles
There’s a multitude of jangly piano laced rock bands on the market now and The Fray is rising to the top of the crop, especially with the release of their self titled album. The Fray is riding strong on the radio hit “You Found Me” but that’s just the start of their wonders. Albums like The Fray’s newest record show that there’s still some heart and soul left in the major label rock machine.
Jonathan Tuttle
With their thundering blend of post-hardcore and punk music, the Belgium band Hitch returns with their latest release, Clair.Obscur.
Greg Walker
Canadians sure do have some fantastic indie-pop sensibilities. Acts like The New Pornographers, Arcade Fire, Destroyer and A.C. Newman have proven countless that they know to record engaging, well-structured songs. Another group that can easily fit in with this list is Immaculate Machine.
John B. Moore
As bassist and front man for Australian rockers The Church, Steve Kilbey has had a hand in turning out some of the more influential psychedelic pop songs of the late 80’s/early 90’s alternative scene. On his latest solo offering, his sixth, however Kilbey is running out of steam.
Shane Matthew Stiles
After the release of The Loved Ones’ self-titled EP, the American punk rock scene would never be the same. Those five energetic tracks from ex members of Kid Dynamite, Paint it Black, and The Explosion rocked the world to the core.
Lisa Zyga
On Happiness is Easy, Dylan Mageirek, guitarist and songwriter, seems to pull out catchy hooks from the instrumental-heavy atmospheric music like pulling string from a jumbled ball of yarn. The entire album is delicately crafted, albeit slow-moving at parts.
Carly O'Connor
Out of curiosity, I recently Googled New Found Glory’s latest album, Not Without a Fight, to see what people out in consumer-land had to say about it. While I had to navigate through quite a few reviews written in teeny-bopper web speak (ie: NFG’s new album is Gr8t!), I did manage to find one line that really stuck with me: like a fine wine, they only get better with age. (Insert snarky comment and obligatory eye roll here. No seriously, do it. I did).
Brian Campbell
Right from the start of Oh No Not Stereo’s latest, 003, a few things should jump right out at you.
John B. Moore
Let the Pitchfork reading hipsters disagree, but Radiohead’s three best releases came out in the early to late '90s, before the band became obsessed with synth-driven experimental songs. It’s satisfying then that Capitol chose to put out Special Collectors Editions of Pablo Honey, The Bends and OK Computer.
Jonathan Tuttle
Normally I am not a fan of bands like Static-X, the relentless hard pounding drums, unrecognizable lyrics, and general chaos. But when I heard their 1999 debut Wisconsin Death Trip, there was something there that just struck a chord with me.
John B. Moore
If Billy Bragg, God forbid, decided to finally put his guitar back in his case and call it a day, rest assured Damion Suomi would be ready to pick up the slack. Playing the role of folksy, rock-tinged singer songwriter, Florida-based Suomi has turned in a fantastic debut.
Brian Campbell
Telling on Trixie’s Ugly, Broke and Sober is an interesting record with frightening artwork, great vocals and even better hooks, but bland music. It's indie rock in that South-meets-Midwest flavor made famous by Fastball. This record hearkens back to the nineties when bands took their time crafting solid pop rock hooks. Remember those days? Ah, those were the good old days.
Brian Campbell
Thursday is back…well, sort of. Common Existence is a sonic cultivation of everything Thursday has done musically and endured personally to this date.
Greg Walker
One listen in to Tiny Animals’ debut release Sweet Sweetness, the meaning behind the album’s title becomes apparent, this is some sugary sweet, ‘90s-inspired pop/rock goodness.
Brian Campbell
With Vanna’s latest, A New Hope, you can expect to sing as much as you can expect to head bang. It doesn’t take much of this new release to realize just what this New England quintet is all about – strenuous breakdowns and soaring choruses.
Jonathan Tuttle
It could be argued that the Vaselines would be just a footnote in music history if it wasn’t for the unyielding respect of their fellow musicians, namely Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain. The Vaselines weren’t even from Seattle, nor did they form in their “grunge era.” They were from Scotland and formed in 1987 behind the artistry of singers/guitarists Eugene Kelly and Frances McKee.
Lisa Zyga
Although Victorian Halls’ self-titled EP is short, it’s complex and simply good enough to listen to repeatedly. The four-piece band from Chicago blends a mixture of garage, pop, and punk that obviously follows in the footsteps of the Blood Brothers, but also proves that chaos comes in many flavors.
Brian Campbell
You wouldn’t know it from the music, but half of the Vox Jaguars are actually still in high school. That pent-up youthful angst and pre-pubescence might lead you to believe that their debut self-titled EP would be something of a trendy scene castoff, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Sure, their debut EP might be a mere four tracks in length, but it is precise, and straight to the point.

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