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Issue 46 Cover - July, 2010 - Innocent Words
 
Interviews & Features Minimize
What’s that old axiom? What’s old is new again? That’s what seems to be going on right now in music, at least in the Greater Northwest music scene.
For nearly two decades, Justin Currie played a phenomenal catchy blend of pop and rock with the Scottish group Del Amitri that rivals just about anything bands like Squeeze or Big Country ever put out.
Philadelphia’s Everyone Everywhere has decided to follow up last year’s 7-inch vinyl release by taking a giant step forward.
Foxy Shazam have always had a hard time fitting in. But they seem to be fine with their lot in life.
It's funny to think that 30 years ago, when the guys in legendary British punk band GBH were putting together their first demo, Pete Wentz was still in diapers and Taking Back Sunday’s Adam Lazzara was little more than a dirty thought in his parents’ minds.
After putting in solid six years with melodic death metal group Light This City, longtime collaborators Ben Murray and Laura Nichol decided to call it quits and go back to their first love: punk rock.
Malin spoke recently about his new band, the fate of DGeneration and getting sprung from cages by Springsteen.
Arguably one of the best quotes to sum up the Seattle band The Redwood Plan was penned by Megan Seling of The Stranger when she wrote “The Redwood Plan makes me want to dance and kick some ass….possibly at the same time.”
After his show at the Knitting Factory in Boise, Idaho, promoting his latest record Hard Luck Stories and ahead of his debut performance at Lollapalooza, Ike Reilly was kind enough to entertain random questions from one of our most emotionally troubled writers at Innocent Words Magazine.

Once More With Feeling Minimize
No matter how good you think your memory is, Duran Duran’s self-titled debut was not nearly as good as you remember it being.
With time passing, the true metal gods are getting older and in the case of Ronnie James Dio, they are passing away. There aren't too many metal legends anymore save for Ozzy, the remaining members of Black Sabbath, and maybe a few others, including the kings of '80s British metal Judas Priest.
Although they were only around for a handful of years, the Swedish hardcore band Refused left their mark. Forming in 1991 and breaking up in 1998, the band put out a mixed bag of releases in that time including five EPs, three full lengths, and a couple of DVDs.

Book Reviews Minimize
Over a span of 224 pages in this beautifuly constructed hardback book “Neil Young: Long May You Run: The Illustrated History,” authors Gary Graff and Daniel Durchholz capture the awe-inspiring career of Young in illustrated form.
Beyond politics and the rationale of why we are in Afghanistan or how long we will remain, Junger uses “War” gets to the real story: the one about the soldiers who are actually in the desert doing the fighting, not sitting around debating the merits of it.
John Hughes has been given God-like status by hordes of Gen X 30-somethings like me. His movies spoke to teenagers, not at them, in a way that had never been done before or since.

Movie Reviews Minimize
Heartbreaking. That’s the first word that comes to mind when watching Brendan Toller’s “I Need That Record.” As a person who worked at a independent CD store for nearly a decade, this hour-plus long documentry was like living the nightmare all over again.
I would like to rip MVD Visual a new one for putting out this garbage. But, in all honesty, I can’t fault them - they were up front from the start. After all, the title is “rare and unseen” and the packaging is labeled, “… a random trawl through 45 years of news coverage of the greatest rock band in the world.”
On January 19, 1984 my life changed. I was 15. It was a Thursday. A friend fell ill and I received a late invitation to go to a concert. The Kinks touring in support of their great album State of Confusion. I was a casual fan at that time. Little did I know that I was about to become super fan.
Eight years after the animated show “Daria” ended its five seasons run, the series - tailor-made for Generation X - is finally being released in its entirety. The collection includes the pilot, episodes from all five seasons and a bunch of extras. They may have taken their time rolling this one out, but they did it right.
Much like the tabloids it parodies, the Courtney Cox-starring cable show “Dirt” is a guilty pleasure: Pure trash, little redeeming value, but extremely hard to turn away from.
I’m still amazed that “Twilight” has sucked up most of the vampire hype. Sure it has the tween-friendly sulking vampires, but when you stack it up against HBO’s own vampire series, the much gorier and far sexier “True Blood,” the very PG “Twilight” kids don’t stand a chance.

Table of Contents

Issue 46/July 2010
Features: Satchel, Justin Currie, Everyone Everywhere, Foxy Shazam, GBH, Heartsounds, Jesse Malin, The Redwood Plan, and Ike Reilly
Album Reviews: Batusis, Big High, Common Loon, David Cross, Justin Currie, (Damn) This Desert Air, Dead Country, Doomstar!, Down to Earth, Flogging Molly, GBH, Jared Grabb, Patty Griffin, Greg Laswell, Murder by Death, Pearly Gate Music, Portugal. The Man, Rasputina, The Redwood Plan, Satchel
, She Bears, Suzanne Vega, War of Ages, Paul Weller, Various Artists (Sound vs. Silence vol. 2)
Once More With Feeling: Duran Duran, Judas Priest, Refused
Book Reviews: "Neil Young: Long May You Run: The Illustrated History" by Gary Graff and Daniel Durcholz, "War" by Sebastian Junger, "You Couldn't Ignore Me If You Tried" by Susannah Gora
DVD Reviews: I Need That Record  by Brendan Toller, The Rolling Stones: Rare and Unseen, You Really Got Me: The Story of the Kinks, Daria: The Complete Animated Series, Dirt: Season Two, True Blood: The Complete Second Season

Album Reviews Minimize
Formed by two rock ‘n’roll veteran punk icons, Syl Sylvain (New York Dolls) and Cheetah Chrome (The Dead Boys), Batusis (a Batman TV show pun related to the Watusi) have just released a neat little four-song EP.
Big High is a new Seattle rock quartet featuring Mesa Singer (Black Vinyl All-Stars) on vocals, Ari Joshua on (AriSawkaDoria & Swampdweller) guitars, Sandy Dickerson on bass, and Barrett Martin (Skin Yard, Screaming Trees, Mad Season) on drums.
The Long Dream of Birds is lush and colorful, sweet and polished, and helps extract the antiquated term "psychedelic" from its dated septuagenerian context, and usher it into the present.
He’s been called “the white Chris Rock” and on Bigger And Blackerer, this seems to be a reasonable comparison.
Justin Currie can always be counted upon to deliver world class pop smarts wrapped around smart lyrics. Expertly sung and arranged, fans of melodically charged pop-rock will find The Great War easy to listen to and absorb.
Distance Waits is a resounding success in terms of sound. It’s just a mere six tracks in length, though it doesn’t take but one of those tracks (“Ghost I Own”) to construct a lush and vibrant, yet massively sprawling, musical landscape.
With just four brief songs, Silverlake, CA-based Dead Country say more with their debut EP than most contemporaries say over an entire full length.
Having an exclamation mark in your band’s name is not typically a good sign, (I’m looking towards you, Panic! At the Disco), but Doomstar! is a rare breed, a band with a ridiculous name and a ridiculously good sound. The Cambridge, MA, group understands how to expertly put their own spin on ‘60s garage/psychedelic rock on their EP Rainbow Bloodsucker.
Prisms is a promising second album that may be the vehicle for Down to Earth’s American penetration. Following in the footsteps of the Foo Fighters and Rise Against, the stage is set for Down to Earth to take up the torch of high-energy rock.
Flogging Molly leaves no stone unturned and no musical memory not revisited throughout Live at the Greek Theatre, which easily, very easily actually, ranks as one of the best live records to be dropped in this young year of 2010 and one of the better ones to be released in recent memory.
For a band that has been around for 30 years, one expects that the group will grow and possibly mature over the years. Watching various bands age over time, they may tend to become a little soft. Maybe not rock as hard, or have their lyrics become a little more poignant.
Jared Grabb has a decent enough pedigree. As a one-time member of both The Forecast and Scout’s Honor (where he served as the principal songwriter), you’d expect his acoustic solo record to come off sounding a bit like his fellow punk-rockers-turned-folksters like Hot Water Music’s Chuck Ragan and Avail’s Tim Barry.
So, how do you feel about hipster-imbued gospel country? There are definitely some sublime moments on this record, not least of which is “All Creatures Of Our God & King,” which if you don’t feel some stirrings of human grace, you might need to check your pulse.
With Take a Bow, Greg Laswell’s fourth record (and third full length), the California singer-songwriter has once again found his groove.
Good Morning, Magpie seems a story best fit to be told while perched in a smoke-laden tavern after ordering two-fingers of your favorite scotch, no matter how you order it, neat or on the rocks. Hell, this record might be better suited for consumption after ordering a double.
The self-title debut from Pearly Gate Music – essentially Seattle musician Zach Tillman – is an exercise in patience. On repeated listens the lush indie songs start to grow on you… a bit, but should you really have to force yourself to like a band?
Half band, half beast; who is Portugal. The Man? What do we really know about him? Some say he was born a poor black child and raised largely by congregation; taken into the fold by a southern Baptist gospel choir. Others insist he’s the illegitimate lust spawn of a brief but passionate chemical laden love affair betwixt Jimmy Hendrix and Janis Joplin, birthed breech backstage just a few short months before the untimely passing of both parents. Still some maintain he was abandoned by the mother ship thousands of years ago and has been nomadically wandering the planet ever since sharing his complex cosmic vibrations with the human race out of sheer earthly boredom. It’s far too difficult to determine the absolute truth, but judging by the latest album American Ghetto, all seem equally probable.
In a dark empty room, a lone voice shatters the door. She is then followed by a cello rumble, and a procession of ghosts, dancing with bells on their ankles.
If there was ever a music sub genre called “synth metal” – as in powerful music led by synthesizers – The Redwood Plan would be the Black Sabbath of that genre.
It’s been over a decade since Satchel has played together, but you would have never guessed it by listening to Heartache & Honey.
She Bears might find themselves grouped in with a specific music scene based on their debut full length album I Found Myself Asleep. She Bears are definitely flirting with today’s popular indie pop-rock sound widely held by the likes of Arcade Fire, Spoon, and even Modest Mouse.
Close-Up Vol. 1 Love Songs is easy on the ears, and if you are already, as is your reviewer, predisposed to her New York cool, slightly jazzy vocal inflections, then this is a pleasant way to spend an hour.
Eternal is a force, a sheer slab of textbook melodic metal, a picture of what you’d want your metal band to sound like – stunning riffs, razor-sharp licks and circle pit ready breakdowns lead into immense, immersive hooks that aren’t afraid to soar.
In 2008, Paul Weller realized two milestones: he turned 50 and he released 22 Dreams, an album many fans and critics didn't think he still had in him. Long story short, it put him back on top - a place he'd not been for a decade and a half.
Sound Vs. Silence is a label just how I like them. They have strong do-it-yourself ethics, they are from Seattle and they put out some really great music of varied genres. Volume 2 of their compilation series reflects the vision of the label with its pleasant blend of 16 unreleased and limited edition tracks from Northwest area bands.

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