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Issue 49 Cover - October, 2010 - Innocent Words
 
Interviews & Features Minimize
So, what do you do if you’re an established band who hasn’t made a record in 20 years and hasn’t had a popular radio single in nearly 30 … yet, you notice that most of modern day pop music is beholden to your past works?
After an eight-year absence, Smith, Hagar, Gossard and Berg are back with their first album of new material on the curiously titled album Best Friends?
George W. Bush has been blamed (rightfully so) for a lot that’s currently wrong with this country - a crappy economy, unwinnable wars, a sharply divided nation. But to be fair, he also deserves a little credit for helping inspire a slew of fantastic songs (check out just about any punk album made during his tenure in office) and in the case of The Dollyrots, the band owes their existence, in part, to the former Commander in Chief.
As shocking as it sounds, there’s actually not much of a burgeoning punk rock scene amongst the heart-shaped bathtub crowd in the Poconos. So accepting their fate, the guys that make up The Holy Mess packed things up and relocated to Philadelphia.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, drummer Jack Irons has had a big hand in shaping some of rock ‘n’ roll’s greatest bands from the last two decades.
It takes a lot to be a fan of The Posies. Sure, they’ve churned out some of the best alt rock of the '90s (“Dream All Day,” “Flavor of the Month”), helped Alex Chilton revive the highly influential Big Star, and remain as some of the best songwriters of their generation. In return, audiences have been put through emotional gymnastics, waiting years between albums and having to wonder if the band members are even talking to each other that week (if you’re thinking about 1998, they probably weren’t).
It helps to have powerful friends. Unsigned pop rockers Scarlet Grey have put out a stellar EP that, unfortunately, would have likely gone unnoticed by many if not for a relationship the band has with punk heroes AFI.
It’s been a rough couple of years for Long Island hardcore mainstays This is Hell. Parting with half of their band and their former label, not to mention scrapping the first few takes off of what would become their new album (Weight of the World), all in the span of about a year, it’s been… well, hell.

Movie Reviews Minimize
This is not a presentation for everyone. However, this is a concert that will appeal to several audiences: 1. fans, or those curious about Emerson Lake & Palmer; 2. fans of prog rock and 3. fans of classical music. It’s a vivid performance, full of flash and accomplished musicianship. “Pictures at an Exhibition” is a true treat for any historian tuned in to the changing movement of the 1970 music scene.
What better way to celebrate Halloween in New Oreleans than with Jane’s Addiction at the Voodoo Experience featuring all four original members. “Live Voodoo” is Jane’s first-ever live DVD and features 13 classic songs spanning their entire catalog. And as you might expect on Halloween, the band makes it a show with a pair of New Orelans burlesque dancers on stage for several songs.
Since making his professional debut in 1971, Nils has flown under the radar of the music buying public. He’s released upwards of 40 albums; either solo or with his first band Grin … that’s not counting the numerous other albums he’s appeared on as a guest. In his spare time, he’s contributed music/songs to “The Simpsons,” written television theme songs and from 1991–95 he was the CableAce Awards musical director and composer.
The Rolling Stones “1969-1974: The Mick Taylor Years” is a fascinating DVD which explores an interesting period for the band. It was a time which many consider their “golden age” … for this was the time when the band moved into arenas and solidified their reputation as the bad boys of rock.
The title “Defiled: Anonymous Internet Sex Addiction” is kind of misleading because this film isn’t about addiction to the internet or sex addiction, but the title is a nice play on words.
In the mid 1980s there was a burst of pop teen sensations going on in the music industry. Before there was Britney and Christina, there was Debbie (Deborah Gibson) and Tiffany.
The concept behind the History Channel’s documentary series “Life after People” sounds a bit dry on the surface, but is anything but. Scientists and architects go into fascinating detail speculating on the fate of monuments and iconic buildings after all of mankind has disappeared.
I’ll readily confess up front that I call bullshit on the entire premise of “Paranormal Cops.” But my cynicism aside, there is no denying that this reality show is immensely fun to watch.
When you think of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, you possibly think of the sandy beaches, clear ocean waters and sexy girls in thong bikinis. But there is more to that, a lot more. Film maker Justin Mitchell captures the escape of two young kids who use surfing as a way out of poverty.
There is no other way to put it. Robert Knight is a rock legend. No he is not a muscian, but you’ve seen his work. He is one of rock ‘n’ roll’s most celebrated photographers.

Table of Contents

Issue 49/ October 2010
Features: Devo, Brad, Dollyrots, Holy Mess, Jack Irons, The Posies, Scarlet Grey, and This is Hell.
Album Reviews: American Hi-Fi, Arcade Fire, The Clutter Family, Dollyrots, Elsinore, Hell Yeah, Impending Doom, Interpol, Jack Irons, Just Surrender, Lissie, Dina Maccabee, Mice Parade, Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band, Norma Jean, Mark Olson, The Posies, Terrible Things, Valient Thorr,
Victoire, The Waylons, and Wolf Parade.
Book Reviews: "Neil Young: Long May You Run: The Illustrated History" by Gary Graff and Daniel Durchholz; "Secret Historian: The Life and Times of Samuel Steward, Professor, Tattoo Artist and Sexual Renegade" by Justin Spring; and "Shelter from the Storm: Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Years" by Sid Griffin.
DVD Reviews: "Emerson, Lake, and Palmer: Pictures at an Exhibition"; Jane's Addiction: "Live Voodoo"; Nils Lofgren: "Cry Tough"; The Rolling Stones: "1969-1974: The Mick Taylor Years"; "Defiled: Anonymous Internet Sex Addiction"; "I Think We're Alone Now"; "Life After People: The Complete Season Two"; "Paranormal Cops:The Complete Season One"; "Rio Breaks": and "Rock Prophecies."

Album Reviews Minimize
Four records into it and American Hi-Fi are still living blissfully in the '90s. It makes sense, given that frontman Stacy Jones played drums for Letters to Cleo and Veruca Salt, two successful '90s alt rock bands.
With The Suburbs, Arcade Fire has reclaimed the ground and then some that they lost with their second release, Neon Bible.
Man alive, The Clutter Family is one funny ass band. Talented? Yes. Engaging? Of course. Topical? Somewhat. But, at the end of the day, funny as all get out.
What started out as two friends jamming together at New College of Florida has turned into a full-time punk rock band called the Dollyrots.
The scope and breath of ambition on Elsinore's Yes Yes Yes is truly inspired. Here is a band that worked prodigiously and long on their record and that time spent manifest itself with a album of thoughtfulness, real depth and beauty.
On their sophomore effort Stampede, Hellyeah demonstrate that their whole is greater than the sum of their parts – those parts being the elements of their band member pasts – Pantera, Mudvayne, Damageplan and Nothingface.
Impending Doom has steadily progressed and gotten better sounding with each record they’ve streeted thus far, from 2007’s Nailed. Dead. Risen. to 2009’s Serpent Servant. The band has yet to drop a clunker. And you’ll have to wait another album cycle for that to happen, as There Will Be Violence surely doesn’t classify as that aforementioned clunker.
The boys from NYC have done it again. Plush, dramatic, dark, haunting, heavy, desperate, engaging … you get the picture.
To say Jack Irons is an accomplished dummer would be putting it mildly. The former Red Hot Chili Peppers, Eleven and Pearl Jam drummer, not to mention a highly sought after sessions player, is embarking on the solo path once again with the curiously titled No Heads Are Better Than One.
With Phoenix, Just Surrender blatantly displays the ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ methodology. The band keeps the same tried and true formula although this time around they do take the time to tighten up the screws.
About the biggest musical name to ever come out of Rock Island, IL, was Prince’s guitar player Jesse Johnson, that is until now. Eclectic singer/songwriter Lissie (no last name needed) is a rising music star amongst the indie ranks.
Dina Maccabee is a classical viola major, but her music is far from being classical. She is quirky, sometimes a daydreamer, and elegant all in one.
Mice Parade, in its over 10-year existence, has taken many different forms.
Can I start off this review by sounding like every other music critic when mentioning Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band? Yeah? You don’t care? Perfect. Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band, (that’s a mouthful) has a 15-year-old drummer. That is pretty damn cool.
Thanks to a pretty smart marriage of cavernous reverberations and contemporary progression on their latest, Meridional, Norma Jean doesn’t lose a step from their 2008 release, The Anti-Mother.
Listening to Many Colored Kite, Mark Olson’s second solo effort, chances are you’ll be disappointed if you were expecting a major departure from the alt-rock friendly folk sound he helped pioneer with the influential '90s band The Jayhawks.
It is just a little unfair that almost 25 years into their career the reunited Posies come out with their best record ever.
For those who may not know, Terrible Things is Fred Mascherino’s (Taking Back Sunday) newest project that includes the likes of Andy Jackson (Hot Rod Circuit) and Josh Eppard (Coheed and Cambria) in its ranks.
Overall, Stranger is a record that sounds pretty rushed. Even though it has been well over two years since we had last had new music from Valient Thorr. Stranger is more of the same that Valient Thorr has done in the past – balls to the wall, straight ahead punk-infused rock music with no frills.
Without being a composer, it is hard to grasp what all must have gone in to Cathedral City, the debut album from the all-female chamber rock group Victoire.
Brooklyn indie rockers The Waylons sound pleasant enough, with vocals reminiscent of Paul Westerberg and a backing band that sounds a bit like a cleaner version of the late '80s, early '90s shoegaze bands.
The story goes that the band members of Wolf Parade met outside a pavilion at the Vancouver World’s Fair Expo 86.

Book Reviews Minimize
This is a fascinating account of an indie label made good. Jac Holzman founded Elektra Records with a buddy in 1950 on a total investment of $600. It was originally established as a small folk label with no aspirations to be anything more.
Samuel Steward crammed more living into his 84 years, than most, juggling a handful of careers, often keeping each job a secret from his colleagues, meanwhile helping pioneer everything from tattooing to gay pornography.
Author Sid Griffin is a Bob Dylan freak of the highest order. The founding member and guitarist for The Long Ryders has penned his second book on ole Bobby the Hobo (after “Million Dollar Bash: Bob Dylan, The Band And The Basement Tapes” Jawbone Press, 2007).

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