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Issue 54 Cover - April, 2011 - Innocent Words
 
Interviews & Features Minimize
Just days before Minutemen and fIREHOSE founder Mike Watt and his new band load up that van yet again to bring the new album, song for song, to audiences across the country, he spoke about the new record, Hyphenated-Man.
Kent, Ohio’s Annabel have only been at it as a band for three years, but they have been taking full advantage of their brief time together. In the time the band has churned out an EP, a full-length and the recently released 7-inch Here We Are Now.
For any band, losing its rhythm section would be a tough break. But losing its rhythm section twice would be time to think about calling it quits. Not for Civet, apparently.
Hause would be forgiven for wanting to try something a bit different.And his new solo record, Resolutions, is certainly a departure in style with its stripped down to acoustic guitars, for the most part, and owing more to folk and even hints of classic Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings country than to his bread and butter of punk rock.
Reaganomics did more than just prop up the rich, crush the working-class labor unions and lead to the closing of mental health facilities across the country (helping the homeless population explode in growth nearly overnight), it also serves as a kickass name for the Chicago-based pop punk band comprised of the former members of Ryan’s Hope.
“I love power pop! However, labeling Three Hour Tour as purely power pop is sometimes a little inaccurate, and makes me feel a bit straight jacketed,” Darren Cooper proclaimed as we hashed out what it is that makes his band so good.

Once More With Feeling Minimize
Despite the amazing back story on this band, if you put this album on without prior knowledge of the group, you are transported back to a time when music was simpler … back to a time when melody and power struggled in some sort of dysfunctional relationship.
Billy Joel’s Live at Shea Stadium, in new DVD and CD formats, gives viewers an opportunity to celebrate what’s enduring about America: baseball, rock ‘n’ roll, history’s legacies, and, in the spirit of survival, taking shit from no one.
Anyone familiar with the band in any of their incarnations expects a heavy guitar presence, and yet, Islands has a noticeable absence of such.
The 40th Anniversary version of Poseidon is an adventure. The album has never sounded better – lush.
For fans of Simon and Garfunkel, the duo’s landmark album Bridge Over Troubled Water is as classic and comfortable as a favorite sweatshirt or baseball cap, serving as a relic of the late '60s and early '70s, but never growing out of style.

Movie and DVD Reviews Minimize
Yes, the concept sounds pretty boring, but it nearly impossible to turn off.
Give Ana Popavic a ton of credit for playing hardball in what many consider a man’s game, namely the world of electric guitar. She has been touring hard for over 10 years making a name for herself on the blues scene and with guitar enthusiasts worldwide. Filmed in 2009 on the Blind For Love tour, “An Evening At Trasimeno Lake” is another benchmark on her remarkable career.
"Jeff Beck: Rock ‘N’ Roll Party Honoring Les Paul" made it to DVD after first airing on PBS. The show was filmed at the Iridium Jazz Club in New York City where Les Paul played weekly for nearly his entire life. Beck lined up an all-star cast of guest muscians tp play the song of Les Paul along with other early rock ‘n’ roll classic.

Table of Contents

Issue 54/April 2011
Features: Mike Watt, Annabel, Civet, Reaganomics and Three Hour Tour
Album Reviews:
Apex Manor, Black Cherry Crush, Johnny Burke, Stacy Clark, Cobra Skulls, Cut Copy, Disappears, Dum Dum Girls, East River Pipe, End of America, Epigene, Esben and the Witch, Josh Freese, Ghost Heart, Mike Gibbons, Idle Hands, The Low Anthem, James Vincent McMorrow, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, Finlay Morton, Only Thieves, Overcome, Roommate, Run Forever, Eddie Spaghetti, Telekinesis, Tennis, Three Hour Tour, Matt Wertz and Wye Oak
Book Reviews: The Big Payback and The Intimates.
DVD Reviews: Jeff Beck: Rock 'n' Roll Party Honoring Les Paul and Ana Popovic: Night at Trasimeno Lake

Rereleases: Death, Billy Joel, King Crimson and Simon and Garfunkel.

Album Reviews Minimize
A mix of fuzz-heavy power pop and acoustic laments, the songs on Drinking bring to mind the youthful abandon of The Replacements and the adult-friendly folk rock of Wilco.
The quintet calls their sound nu-disco with soul and pop interwoven, which is true, but there is so much more going on. Black Cherry Crush also have funk, jazz, blues and rock elements mysteriously sprinkled throughout their songs.
With his first full-length release, Distance and Fortune, this Texas-native delivers a 10-song collection of great American stories, served up on a plate of deep-fried Southern roots rock with flavors that range from the gritty to the sweet.
The majority of the songs on Connect the Dots are infectious piano-driven pop. Clark has a unique voice which hooks the listener and brings one into the songs.
Bringing the War Home, the Fat Wreck Chords debut EP from Cobra Skulls, is a handful of politico-punk fired out of the barrel of a gun that rarely misses.
In a sea of ‘80s-redux bands, Cut Copy does it right and does it well. Presumably while dancing.
Disappears tend to channel dark, hypnotic psychadelia on Guider and make it sound fresh on each individual track.
aised by avid lovers of both The Supremes and The Beach Boys, lead singer Dee Dee Penny, along with the Dum Dum Girls, have created a sound that cleverly evokes both while simultaneously injecting their own individual style into the mix.
Each song on We Live in Rented Rooms is notable for they all have their individual mark. Though the album is mostly gloomy and depressing it is never pretentious.
If Henry David Thoreau was looking for an album to reflect the ideals he believed in, Steep Bay would probably be at the top of his list.
Lying somewhere between opera, musical, and concept album, A Wall Street Odyssey succeeds in the most important aspect of all three. It tells a story. Drawing from Joseph Heller’s “Catch 22,” Epigene tells the story of Yossarian and his journey from college grad with dreams of making it to the top of Wall Street to that very precipice from which he falls to the gutter.
Violet Cries is an album that is almost impossible to describe; a sonic landscape that is constantly shifting. Each song is an atmosphere of a place never before visited
Dare I say that Freese has the honor of having written the “feel-good” album of the year (so far)? Yes, I do.
There is plenty of progressive sound in Ghost Heart’s The Tunnel, enough to spell out the band’s direction and their modus operandi.
Mike Gibbons’ music is like … hmmm … how to describe … ummm … Barenaked Ladies without a laugh or Natalie Merchant without a spark.
On Idle Hands’ EP Life is Beautiful, the Minneapolis band channels their melodic rock into five snappy and quite catchy tracks.
The Low Anthem proves yet again why they’re critical favorites on their latest effort, Smart Flesh.
Originally released in Ireland to critical acclaim and now reaching the United States, Early In The Morning is one of the best-sounding albums heard in quite some time.
Rick Springfield’s punk-ed up version of “I’ve Done Everything For You,” steals the show, effectively reminding us all why we give a shit about Me First and Gimme Gimmes though their over-the-top, prototypical aplomb.
Scotland’s Finlay Morton is definitely a man on a mission. That mission may be either a political activist with a guitar or an aging rocker trying to recapture his youth: which one isn’t quite clear.
A fantastic introduction for those who have never heard the band before.
Overcome has been around the block, and, as is to be expected with bands that go a decade between releases, their latest offering The Great Campaign of Sabotage, shows a considerable amount of rust.
Guilty Rainbow takes both progressive and traditional, molding it into a totally new breed in the electronica kingdom.
The trio devotes just about the entire album to songs of death, betrayal and well… more death.
A twelve-track party album full of beer drinking sing-along songs
If you need an example of something that is easy on the ears and quick to become a indie-rock staple, Telekinesis is there for you. Fitting perfectly into the Merge roster, 12 Desperate Straight Lines is an earnest, reflective rock record that is yes, a straight line.
Fat Possum Records may have just churned out the best summer album for 2011.
It’s rare to find a band that consistently tops itself with each release. It just doesn’t happen. But, I’ll be damned if Darren Cooper hasn’t done it again. Three Hour Tour is Cooper’s baby, a band born out of the need for Cooper to get his songs out of his bedroom and into our stereos.
Wertz seems to have found his niche in the musical world: as background music. 


Wye Oak achieves what few current recording artists seem to aspire to: they’re actually interesting. The Boston duo’s lush, trancelike vibe sticks out like a sore thumb hitchhiking its way out of a sound-alike crowd of dance-rock and surf-pop bands aplenty.

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