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Issue 39 Cover - November, 2009 - Innocent Words
 
Featured Articles - Stories and Interviews Minimize
The band that was never comfortable with fame and notoriety is still on the forefront of rock ‘n’ roll, this time dropping an album that satisfies the mainstream as well as the diehard Ten Clubbers.
Seattle musicians Pete Droge and Elaine Summers have been long-time musical collaborators, but they have recently taken their partnership a couple steps further.
On her latest release, Magic Neighbor, the sticker on the outside of the CD states that Lisa Germano is “the queen of heartache and dreamy bliss.” She is so much more than those few adjectives.
Fans can finally exhale with the release of the band’s latest Dear Friends and Gentle Hearts, a dozen tracks of frank lyrics and razor-sharp hooks.
Pete Wentz wasn’t even wearing eyeliner when brothers Shawn and Mark Stern decided to start BYO (Better Youth Organization) Records 25 years ago.
Cobra Skulls is finally back, this time with their strongest record (American Rubicon), a stronger sense of purpose, and fresh laundry for the next road trip.
Indie rock, emo, whatever label you want to toss on it, there’s no denying that The Get Up Kids - likely the biggest act to ever come out of Kansas City, Mo. – has influenced countless indie rockers.
The Teenage Bottlerockets are in the process of becoming the next great pop punk overnight success. And, it’s only been eight years in the making.

Book Reviews Minimize
”Kill the Music” is a frank and funny memoir of Plumides’ days as a pioneering college radio DJ and club owner in the scarlet "Red States." It’s a love letter to the real ideals of rock.
It’s amazing this book ever made it to print. Music writer Barney Hoskyns was shut out at just about every attempt to interview anyone who was even remotely close to the notoriously media shy Tom Waits.

DVD Reviews Minimize
“Rare and Unseen” is more of an hour-long advertisement for the band that few need to be convinced to love.
It's one special, but with Willie Nelson you get three little shows in the package. That is the kind of guy he seems to be. He isn’t afraid to take a back seat to let the others shine with their music.
Scales after scales along with double finger-tapping on the fret board, and more – it’s all here. His playing is so tight and explosive you are just waiting for his custom Jem guitars to break, or at the very least, the tremolo bar to snap off.
While over in Iraq, a microscopic alien life is found, which has the ability to raise the dead. When the U.S. Army discovers the micro alien they try to use it for good in bringing back fallen soldiers to life. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work out how they had hoped.
You’d think the joke would be wearing a little thin after two seasons, but "Flight of the Conchords" – HBO’s take on New Zealand folksters/comics Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement – still comes off surprisingly fresh.
Like trying to live up to its extremely popular older brother, “Fringe” was unfairly being compared to “Lost” even before the first episode aired.

Album Reviews Minimize
Back in Blood by the 69 Eyes is something of a triumph of metal music.
Aluminum Babe is a band of 1980s new wave anime robots. They are something altogether unique: a surreal mixture of funk/disco beats and ethereal vocals, with a few robots singing backup in beeps and waves.
As long as I can calm down and realize that not everyone from over the pond can be bloody brilliant, there’s a lot to praise on Eyes Wide Open.
It took 19 years and seven albums, but The Casualties – one of the few bastions of classic, aggressive punk rock – have released their most accessible and arguably best record to date.
Everything Looks Worse in Black and White, the debut album from The City and Skyway, is a real album, one that isn’t overproduced, retouched or anything close. When you listen to this record you are getting TCAS in all their stripped down glory.
It’s apparent that Datarock don’t take themselves too seriously, yet the Norwegian duo manages to produce some seriously enjoyable tunes.
While some band names sound like the name of a person, the Droge and Summers Blend is a band-sounding name that actually refers to two people: Pete Droge and Elaine Summers.
If you currently have a pulse, I dare you to avoid the irresistible pop songs of Eva and the Heartmakers.
When Every Time I Die’s last album The Big Dirty came out, I recall there being some detractors who felt that the band was maybe going soft, maybe turning a poppy direction, if there even is such a thing in hardcore punk.
“You have your brush, you have your colors, you paint paradise, then in you go.” - Nikos Kazantakis
Without Woody Guthrie we probably never would have gotten Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson and many others. Without those three great songwriters alone you can’t even imagine the void that not having their influence would leave.
Good singing, good song-writing and crisp execution unfortunately don’t add up to a compelling record.
In his first record in four years, Robert Earl Keen demonstrates with ease and naturalness why he is in that elite league of the Texas songwriters.
Formulaic songs, machine-like drumming, huge guitars and mostly terrible vocals - what else have you come to expect from Kittie?
America Underwater sounds more “mallcore” than anything; something you’d probably be listening to at Hollister while getting doused in cologne, rather than a place like Hot Topic.
The band has matured since their youth in the best way: the bratty ska energy has ripened into a tuneful musical wisdom.
What some may not know is Martin is one of the most talented diverse drummers/ percussionists of the last decade or more.
Chicago folk rocker Michael McDermott has been compared to everyone from Springsteen to Dylan over past 18 years that he’s been bumming around small clubs across the country. Really?
The themes of partying and violence are still front and center, but Make it a Double also mixes in a bit of their lounge lizard alter egos (aptly named Slower).
Muir has that old-world charm in her haunting intimate vocals in which you would find in a season veteran of the recording industry. And to think Poet's Lovely Daughter is the singer’s debut makes it all the more special.
Songs like “I Think I Have a Tumor” and “Bad News From the District” are pretty much guaranteed to get even the tightest of tight asses shaking it.
This album began life in 2001 as an instrumental series inspired by the animals of the Chinese Zodiac.
Suit of Lights are prepared to blaze their own trail, this time together as one, and the band's latest, Bacteria, should be the fuel they need to start the fire.
If you're in love with the dirty, raw dissonance of no wave and unstructured noise, this three-piece Seattle band offers an album of alluring guitar drones that should satisfy that taste.
Jesy Fortino’s music will probably appeal to such a small cross section of devoted fans, that the approach is quite intriguing.

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