2006-11-09

    
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  2006-11-09

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November 09, 2006
  Spun: American HardcorePDF files may take a moment to load

Remember when hardcore was more than artfully tousled black hair and tasteless bandanas? Yes, it's true--there was a time when the aggressive genre catered to an ideology before a fashion statement, before Henry Rollins became a household name and punk rock wasn't featured in regular timeslots on MTV.

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November 09, 2006
  Spun: JoJoPDF files may take a moment to load

Back in 2004, teenage girls and old perverts alike raved as 13-year old Joanna "JoJo" Levesque released her debut album, JoJo. Despite being really, really young, Levesque's voice was skilled beyond her years and her initial effort left critics and fans imagining what she could do when she got old enough. Well, she's older now (almost 16!) and her follow up album, The High Road, is better than could've been expected.

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November 09, 2006
  Film Review: Harsh TimesPDF files may take a moment to load

War is hell.

That seems to be the driving thought behind Harsh Times. This new film from David Ayer (writer of Training Day) shows the sociologicial problems of training soldiers to be nothing more than killing machines. The movie opens with a disorienting night attack with soldiers systematically slaughtering their enemy spliced with cuts of a main character calmly smoking a cigarette surrounded by bodies. This type of disassociated violence continues throughout.

November 09, 2006
  Film Review: BabelPDF files may take a moment to load

Brad Pitt, intimate relationships and a lack of communication. While the list bears similarities to Pitt's marital life, they're also all featured in the early Oscar-contender, Babel. At first, the premise comes across as a replica of last years' Oscar sweeper Crash, but it has enough unique elements to be its own story. Though the depressing end brings about an acute desire to commit suicide, Babel is ultimately successful thanks to a few stellar performances and a lot of well-built tension.

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November 09, 2006
  Spun: The KillersPDF files may take a moment to load

Las Vegas is the home of sin, sex and--wait--Mormons? This is the home of the Killers and the place they have recorded their sophomore album Sam's Town. Lead singer Brandon Flowers brought his group home to Las Vegas to make the greatest American record of all time.

He failed.

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November 09, 2006
  Spun: Jerry Lee LewisPDF files may take a moment to load

Duet albums are generally dodgy affairs, allowing fading performers to enjoy one last chart entry by riding the coattails of their now-more-famous duet partners. Frank Sinatra started the trend and it's continued with uneven releases by artists like Barbara Streisand, Tony Bennett and Ray Charles while adding little to re-workings of past hits.

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November 09, 2006
  Spun: Lamb of GodPDF files may take a moment to load

Despite any implications their name may carry, Lamb of God are not some wussy, hand-clapping gospel group helping lost souls find their way. Lamb of God are one of heavy metal's current powerhouses and are back to bust some skulls on their newest release, Sacrament.

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November 09, 2006
  Spun: k-osPDF files may take a moment to load

After a strong sophomore release, the expectations were huge for k-os' third full-length Atlantis. k-os' second album Joyful Rebellion went platinum in Canada and several of the songs received heavy rotation on top 40 stations and MuchMusic. With Atlantis, k-os successfully shifts gears and branches off musically and lyrically.

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November 09, 2006
  Heading west on the ska trainPDF files may take a moment to load

Ska is far from dead.

Many might remember the ska revival that occurred in the mainstream during the mid-nineties, with bands like the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, No Doubt and Sublime all becoming household names. While such bands, riding on the heels of the so-called ‘third wave’ ska movement, experienced a decline in popularity toward the end of the century, many ska artists have continued to thrive as underground acts on independent labels.

November 09, 2006
  Soulful forces of k-osPDF files may take a moment to load

As much as success is a wonderful thing for any artist, it brings the pressure for further success. No one understands this more than Canadian hip-hopper k-os. k-os' second full-length, 2004's Joyful Rebellion, peaked at number seven on the Billboard Canadian Album charts, received three Junos and the singles "Crabbuckitt" and "B-Boy Stance" got wicked spins on the radio. Following up Rebellion was going to be a task, and so far k-os has been up to it.

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