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Issue 42 Cover - March, 2010 - Innocent Words
 
Interviews & Features Minimize
Born in a small Alabama town, singer songwriter Allison Moorer has had music in her blood since the day she was born.
"Of The Blue Colour of The Sky is probably the most direct and melancholic record we've ever made, both lyrically and thematically," says Damian Kulash. "The inspiration behind the heaviness comes from the fact that we were all going through tough times, both personally and also on a global level. This record is about trying to find hope in what feels like hopeless situations."
The leap from banging around on the your dad’s spare drum kit in the basement to backing up Bruce Springsteen night after night is almost too surreal for even James Thurber to dream up for Walter Mitty. But 19-year-old Jay Weinberg – son of legendary E Street drummer and Conan O’Brien band leader Max Weinberg – did just that this past summer, when he was asked to fill in for his dad on Springsteen’s recent European tour. Not bad for a kid who started playing drums less than five years ago.
Looking at the list of Tegan and Sara Quin’s accomplishments in 2009, it’s more a question of what they did not do. Yet, in the midst of their performing, writing, traveling and everything else, Sara found the time to talk about their recent adventures.
Chad Price has had a pretty impressive career so far. As front man for the pop-punk band All, he helped inspire a slew of teens to write three-minute punk songs. He then took time to stand in the spotlight as singer for the equally influential alt-country band Drag the River. Price has just added another line to his growing resume: solo singer/songwriter.
As a great singer/songwriter once warbled, “She's opens her mouth to speak and what comes out’s a mystery. Thought about, not understood … she’s achin’ to be.”
"Are you serious?" asks Billy Jeans. "Have you ever been serious? Because, I haven't. Are You Serious? is a 90 MPH Astroglide Slip N' Slide through Keanu Reeves' butthole. To jam the record is to go tubin’ down the Slime Pipeline with Malibu the American Gladiator, a couple of beautiful babes and a case of 30 Stones. Someone is bound to spew, but it'll be worth the ride. The songs are short and fast and mostly about partying."

Book Reviews Minimize
Spitz’s book shows Bowie growing up and creating a musical life for himself as someone we can relate to on one hand, and deeply admire (or at least be fascinated by, depending on your musical tastes) on the other.
There are very few records that could illicit the almost academic-like study of its origins, but Bruce Springsteen’s career-defining Born to Run is one that can.

Movie Reviews Minimize
After watching the entire second season, I can finally say “I get it.” The action comedy by “O.C.” creator Josh Schwartz has a brilliant mix of both. And you need not be entirely versed in Klingon to enjoy the show (though there are plenty of funny geek-targeted jokes, like quips at AOL and Zune).
There have been a slew of movies created this decade with the backdrop of the Iraq war, but most have failed miserably. It seems British director/writer Armando Iannucci may have finally found the right formula.
This doc on Sid Vicious is appropriately brief. Considering the second bassist for The Sex Pistols was barely in the band before the group imploded on their first U.S. tour, the fact that this documentary is 80 minutes long is actually pretty impressive.

Album Reviews Minimize
While there’s no doubting the fact that the band can craft some quality tunes fit for arena tours (“Down,” “Believe”), overall this record is simply lacking something.
I’ll admit I can only understand about one in 10 words Jello Biafra sings, but this style of punk gets his point across.
With Witness, these boys have fully lived up to, if not far surpassed, their potential.
With There is No Enemy, Built to Spill ends their three-year studio album drought with a flood of sound that immerses the listener in a bath of warmth and fuzziness.
A mesmerizing combination of New Order/Joy Division influences and the post-hardcore sounds of singer Wes Eisgold, an easy way to describe the band would be electro-synth-pop.
If you're into or missing the jangly ring of early '90s Britpop, Death to God is the album for you.
Like some of the best glam-rock musicians, vocalist/keyboardist Ad Frank has a persona onstage that – while it may or may not be based on his real personality – seems to become someone larger than life through his songs.
Former Husker Du co-founder, drummer Grant Hart has a bit of a reputation for being a tad bit erratic when it comes to releases, so the fact that he hasn’t put out a proper album in 10 years, should come as little surprise.
If I’ve said it once I’ve said it a hundred times … Juliana Hatfield is one of the purest voices in rock 'n' roll. Not only in terms of presentation but also in regards to her lyrics and songwriting. Peace & Love is Hatfield’s 11th solo album. Eleventh! And this, quite frankly, might be her best to date.
Steve Schlitz is the lone musician on Tonight is the Ghost, and because of that, the album manages to stick with the same laid-back, late-night vibe.
It kind of sounds like a joke searching for a punchline, but what do you get when you pair up legendary snowboarder Jamie Lynn with legendary producer/musician Jack Endino? You get the brains and brawn behind the Seattle band Kandi Coded, which will give you faith that there are still kick-ass guitar-driven punk rock bands out there.
On Locksley's sohphomore album, Be In Love, the subject matter is apparent, "Love is awesome, duh," and the hooks are plentiful.
Crows is a polished and distinguished album laden with honest lyrics. Moorer’s signature sultry and soulful vocals are still front and center, but anything you remember from her earlier releases can be thrown to the wayside.
Cokie the Clown is fast, loud and thoroughly uncompromising. It's five tracks long and clocks in under 20 minutes.
While there are only a handful of chord progressions over the course of these songs, the repetition isn’t annoying, but instead kind of puts you into a pleasant daze that makes you want to slip into that ethereal desert scene on the cover of this release.
This collection was put out to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the birth of Elvis. It includes 100 of his songs remastered – from his “Blue Kentucky Moon” in the mid-'50s up to the remix of “A Little Less Conversation” in the '00s. You’d be hard-pressed to find a song missing from this collection, and the quality of the sound of these songs is fantastic.
Chuck Prophet’s Let Freedom Ring! is all I need or want in a great rock ‘n’roll record. This guy is cool, writes and sings great songs and with his band, just hits all the sweet spots.
System and Station, a band long-lived since the 1990s, have delivered yet another impressive release they can proudly add to a lengthy DIY discography. One thing I love about System is their ability to preserve the '90s post melodic sound on even their most recent releases.
Love, ecstasy, torment, discovery and loss. All cliché. It takes a certain kind of rock band to write an album dealing with this subject that’s been long worn out by all of its predecessors. Thomas’ Apartment is that type of band.
Throughout the dozen tracks on What to Say, Willis’ energy is front and center, offering up an edgier take on the singer-songwriter stereotype.
Gordon Withers' instrumental second album is an impressively diverse and artistic album that defies the boundaries of both indie rock and the cello.
Recorded in 2008, the CD/DVD Live at the Roundhouse London beautifully captures the energy from this late '70s pop-punk band, reunited after more than a decade apart.

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