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Issue 53 Cover - March, 2011 - Innocent Words
 
Interviews & Features Minimize
Brown made a list of all the musicians he admired and would like to record with someday. So he packed up his van with the essentials, including music gear and cheap recording equipment, and drove to all 50 states to record a song with someone.
The Cowboy Junkies are no stranger to Chesnutt and his music. After hearing his West of Rome release, the band packed up and went to Athens to release their phenomenal 1996 album Lay It Down. The Canandians went on to tour with Chesnutt several times after that. The Cowboy Junkies and Chesnutt planned on working on a project together, so it is only fitting that they breathe new life into his music with the release of Demons.
Unlike the current crop of iTunes single-obsessed bands, The Church, one of Australia’s greatest musical exports, has always concentrated on churning out entire albums of solid music. From 80’s classics like Starfish up to their critically-adored 2009 effort Untitled #23, The Church have always sacrificed flash and fads for strong songwriting.
It’s hard to get noticed when you’re just another punk band in L.A. But beating out hundreds of other bands across the country as part of the annual Ernie Ball Battle of the Bands is obviously a very nice start.
Champaign mayoral candidate Don Gerard is a rarity among members of my generation. He’s actually embraced maturity, seemingly sidestepped the midlife crisis, established himself in the community that he loves, and now has set his sights on becoming mayor of this Illinois city.
Thanks to label problems and a revolving cast of band mates over the past few years, California pop rock band Hellogoodbye had a rough time following up their 2006 debut full length Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs! (Drive-Thru Records). The band have just finished Would It Kill You, put out on their own Wasted Summer Records, and are now ready to share it with the world with plans to tour for most of 2011.
The Buffalo-based band Lemuria's smart, indie-leaning rock and strong pop sensibilities aren't automatically associated with Bridge 9 Records, the home to a slew of influential hardcore bands from Agnostic Front to Sick of It All… until now.
Montreal-based punks The Sainte Catherines are known for many things, including outspoken political views, driving guitars, gruff vocals and deadpan humor. Keep that last point in mind as you read through this brief Q&A with the band’s front man Hugo Mudie.

Once More With Feeling Minimize
It's a musical treasure chest of Johnny Cash material that will appeal to fans new and old discovering the greatness that is Cash.
The legacy of Sam Cooke lives on beautifully in this classic collection of songs which will never grow old.
In her 20s during these recordings, Franklin’s voice sounds so fresh and filled with emotion.
Despite a fickle record-buying public and remarkably tone deaf radio programmers, these first two albums remain alternative country classics almost two decades later.
For nearly two years, Faith had a single on the Billboard charts. You couldn’t turn on a TV or a radio or flip through a magazine without hearing her seeing the scruffy face and coiffed hair of George Michael.

Movie and DVD Reviews Minimize
The show creators and writers have set the bar pretty damn high for the first three years of the polygamous love story, that it was bound to let some down at some point.
Who would have pegged a reality series about tough-as-nails fishermen from the Northwest to be the one show to produce the most emotional, touchingly honest drama of the season?

Book Reviews Minimize
The larger contradiction revealed in “A Heavy Metal Memoir” though is Mustaine’s admission that he is now a Born Again Christian.
Ryan’s impressive talent is showcased with the turning of each page.
The thing is, with “Life,” it grabs you from the start and engages you until you wrap up on page 547. That’s no small feat.

Table of Contents

Issue 53/ March 2011
Features: Mike Brown, The Church, Cowboy Junkies, The Darlings, Don Gerard, HelloGoodbye, Lemuria, The Sainte Catherines, 
Album Reviews: Greg Allman, Kasey Anderson
, Anika, Lucy Billings, Andrew Bird, Birds of Avalon, British Sea Power, Broken Records, The Davenports, Dntel, Eastern Conference Champion, Fergus and Geronimo, Floating Option, Gospel Claws, Guitaro, Impossible Hair, Susan James, Lunatic Soul, Martyrs, Matterhorn, Old Light, Animal Prufrock, Quiet Life, Smith Westerns, Tumbledown, Wooden Wand, Yancy and Your Memorial.
Book Reviews: Keith Richards, Dave Mustaine and Jay Ryan. 
DVD Reviews: Big Love: The Complete Fourth Season and The Deadliest Catch: Season Six.

Rereleases: Johnny Cash, Sam Cooke, Aretha Franklin, The Jayhawks and George Michael.

Album Reviews Minimize
Low Country Blues is the magical result of the collaboration between the Midnight Rider and T Bone Burnett,the man currently with the Midas touch for roots music production.
This crunchy record grabs your attention with its straight up rock ‘n’ roll vibe and story-in-song lyrics, not just the rockers but the soulful ballads as well including,
Anika’s background is not in music, but in political journalism. Not many femmes fatale can claim that.
The majority of her songs feel immature for someone her age.
The nine-track instrumental effort is pretty much what you have come to expect from the talented multi-instrumentalist, though a bit more upbeat than Noble Beast.
The name of this group implies beautiful creatures of flight in the misty world of magic, steeped in legend and tradition. The sound of the group, however, could not be more different.
Fans of British Sea Power’s critically acclaimed sound will be pleased with their newest effort, which stays true to their roots, while still maintaining a freshness that makes this album feel new and progressive as opposed to same old same old.
Using such instruments as the cello, accordion, and violin, the seven-piece band creates a sound that is often cinematic, and always intriguing.
It’s a sweet, catchy, yet substantial album of modern indie pop that encourages you to do what few other artist’s work of its ilk encourage you to do - listen again and discover what you missed the first time.
One half of the wildly successful one-album The Postal Service, After Parties is nothing remotely similar to anything from their release Give Up.
The acoustic approach of Eastern Conference Champions’ Akustics works well with the band's composed indie rock nucleus.
It’s okay to explore different styles and influences on one album, but Fergus and Geronimo take Unlearn to the extreme.
I’ve been seduced by Floating Action and this bromance has never felt so good.
Despite their southwest roots, it’s apparent that the band’s heart and soul lies somewhere in Appalachia.
Walls of guitar and hushed vocals are all Guitaro needs to pull off a memorable track or two.
Impossible Hair's songs are short, hooky and a little odd.
James has left behind the dreamy singer-songwriter sound that got her noticed fourteen years ago and is now pursuing a country-folk sound on her new release Highways, Ghosts, Hearts & Home.
With a sane freshness, the album actually awakens the listener, building a calming peace misted in a unique serenity.
Instead of sounding like a bunch of songs recorded in dribs and drabs whenever the band had some change in their collective pockets, the CD release is more indicative of a coherent work. What you end up with are 13 tracks of pure Midwestern power pop; catchy hook-laden choruses and all.
A five-song, 30-minute opus on a “bleak and scientifically plausible series of events that rinse life from the Earth.”
While some of the complex song structures, rhythmic instrumentation, and poetic lyrics could get out of control in less skilled hands, North Atlantic Oscillation keep the atmospheric sounds at their command, making this album surprisingly pleasant.
Comfortably familiar, while remaining oddly original.
Every track has a frank honesty reflecting the whole range of the human experience.
At the heart of the band are two brothers from the East Coast who grew up being force fed The Boss by their father. They'd be better off describing their first full-length album in terms of the apparent influence Dylan, The Band, Creedance Clearwater Revival AND Wilco.
With melodic psychedelic pop, the 10-song Dye It Blonde is slickly produced with big sweeping waves of sound and soaring backing vocals.
Mix Smash Mouth with some Johnny Cash, a dash of Merle Haggard and a slight rock edge and you’ve got Empty Bottle.
Although the album has an overall slow, shuffling feel, it’s far from boring.
On one hand, Harbor has influences of such emo gods as Braid and American Football. On the other hand, it has underlying sounds of Further Seems Forever and Dashboard Confessional.
Oklahoma’s D.S. Yancey, while not the worst offender, is just one of many trying desperately to jump onto the acoustic-punk bandwagon as it rolls faster downhill.
The heavier side of Atonement very much outweighs its melodic side, but there are a number of tracks that offer some nice symmetry.

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