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AN INTRODUCTION TO

The f�rst ever collect�on br�ng�ng together the work of Syd Barrett from both h�s solo career and P�nk Floyd� 18 d�g�tally remastered tracks and 2010 rem�xes� Features Arnold Layne� See Em�ly Play� B�ke� Dark Globe� Dom�noes� Baby Lemonade� G�golo Aunt and �ncludes bonus download of unreleased track Rhamadan Execut�ve Producer Dav�d G�lmour

Released on October 26 2

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www�sydbarrett�com


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“THE RETURN OF THE THIN WHITE DUKE”

DAVID BOWIE’S HUGELY INFLUENTIAL 1976 ALBUM, ‘STATION TO STATION’, IS WORKED INTO THE ULTIMATE FAN EXPERIENCE

INCLUDES: STATION TO STATION ON CD AND 180G AUDIOPHILE VINYL / PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED 1976 CONCERT FROM NASSAU COLISEUM NY ON CD AND 180G AUDIOPHILE VINYL / 1985 RCA CD MASTER / SINGLES CD E.P. / NEW HARRY MASLIN DTS 96/24 AND DOLBY DIGITAL 5.1 SURROUND SOUND & STEREO MIXES / REPLICA BACKSTAGE PASS / REPLICA BIOGRAPHY INDIVIDUALLY NUMBERED REPLICA TICKET / REPLICA BAND LINE-UP / 3 PRESS PHOTOS REPLICA FAN CLUB FOLDER / REPLICA FAN CLUB MEMBERSHIP CARD / REPLICA FAN CLUB CERTIFICATE / 2 COLLECTOR’S CARDS / 2 A4-SIZE PHOTO PRINTS / 2 BADGES / POSTER

ALSO AVAILABLE 3CD SPECIAL EDITION

AVAILABLE FROM

SEPTEMBER 28TH !4

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/green_mind

Endless Sustain(ability) Custom guitar-makers are trying to lessen the instrument’s impact by Jess Harvell

H

ere’s a simple equation that non-musi-

cians probably never think about: Good guitars are made from good wood. Seems pretty obvious, right? Solid body guitars are made from virgin (a.k.a. non-recycled) wood, specifically “tonewoods” like the rare alder, which is what gives them their unique acoustical properties and also their resilience. You don’t usually think of them as a “sustainable product,” but a truly well-made guitar will last a long, long time. Cheap guitars are made from cheap materials, and that’s why they warp, crack and generally have a short shelf life. But whether well-made or cheap, mass-produced or hand crafted, manufacturing guitars eats up a lot of wood, and large guitar plants can resemble lumber mills, with all the waste that implies. Surprisingly, a lot of guitar companies—and guitarists— don’t really see this as a problem, even considering the unchecked spread of deforestation around the 6

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world. Major guitar manufacturers can use up acres and acres of trees, often bought on the cheap in countries with lax environmental laws, just to make a year’s worth of axes. Because while kids might not be buying as many records as they used to, they’re still buying a lot of guitars. “Over the last 20 years, the major guitar manufacturers have really only been concerned with the dollar, rather than the resources they’re using to build these guitars,” says guitar-maker Steve Casper. “Not to mention the fact that their $300 guitars are junk. So not only are they destroying all of these resources, they’re putting out an inferior product.” In recent years, though, a handful of custom guitar manufacturers have been working to lessen the industry‘s environmental impact and conserve those endangered tonewoods prized by instrument-makers (or luthiers). Through his company, Casper Guitar Technologies (casper-gt.com), Casper has developed a philosophy he calls “zero-impact guitars.” Thanks to his efforts, both as a businessman and an advocate, he’s been dubbed the “green guitar guru,” educating musicians on sustainable alternatives they might not read about in Guitar World. All of Casper’s guitars are built to certain eco-friendly standards. “In my shop, I have solar-powered lighting, I use solar power to charge all of my handoperated equipment,” he says. “Unfortunately at this point, and I’m still working on it, there’s still some electricity used in the manufacturing process, the final sanding and the initial cutting of the bodies.” He also uses environmentallysafe finishes, disposes of any toxic material through a waste disposal firm and recycles any scrap wood by donating it to local playgrounds, parks and nurseries. photos by josh ritchie


Most importantly, he’s working with the Rainforest Alliance and the Forest Stewardship Council; Casper uses FSC-approved SmartWood—lumber that’s recognized as being grown and harvested in an environmentally low-impact way—and recycled materials to create the “Eco-Axe,” probably the most sustainable guitar around. Casper’s commitment stems from two complimentary impulses. One is to build the best guitar possible, the same drive that animates most custom guitar shops. The other is a life long interest in sustainability. Growing up in the ’60s and ’70s, he says, he got to see the birth of the modern green movement firsthand. “I haven’t really been an activist,” he laughs. “But I’ve been active.” But he began his career as a luthier in 1986 as just another musician looking to upgrade his instrument. “I was playing in a band, a little local band, a garage band, and I was in the market for a new guitar,” he says. “So I’d go to a couple boutique shops, and I discovered that all of the factory guitars were just kind of… that. They were ‘factory guitars.’ I wanted something nicer, a little bit more unique. But it was cost prohibitive, too: $5,000 for some custom-made guitar and I knew there was only about $700 worth of material in it. I just felt that they were charging a lot for a name, and I believed I could something just as good, if not better. And I think I’ve done that.” In 2007, Casper launched CGT in earnest, wanting to offer an explicit alternative to the guitar big boys. “A lot of it is the waste, and it’s the mill mentality,” he says when asked about the defects in the industry’s approach. “They just bring in a lot of materials, truck loads of wood. They’re going into a village in Africa and buying all of their ebony and their

rosewood for a fistful of beans. They’re taking advantage of people, and they’re basically pillaging, in my opinion.” Steve Casper creates custom The problem, he says, is not that guitarists don’t want an guitars from eco-friendly instrument. It’s that they rarely know the ophis low-impact home studio tion is even available. So Casper’s time is devoted as much in Leisure City, to getting the word out as it is to building guitars. “I do little Florida. talks, I do shows, I go to concerts, I send my guitars out to high schools and community events relating to recycling or sustainability,” he says. “And on Earth Day, I do a guitar giveaway with a company here in Miami. A lot of educating, and a little bit of branding along with that, obviously.” Branding is crucial, and not just from a business standpoint. Casper says the best way to sell guitarists on the idea is to talk up the value of a hand crafted guitar; the fact that these instruments are also sustainable just becomes a nice bonus. “Obviously the quality is paramount,” he says. “The eco-friendly side is just how I do business.” And while it’s impossible for musicians to avoid eating up resources entirely, Casper argues that greening the industry has to be an ongoing process. “The electric guitar, you’re never going to get away from the fact that you need to power it somehow,” he says. “So will you be zero impact? Well, no. Zero impact is more of a goal. I would love to operate my company off-grid—totally [run] off of solar power, everything hand-rubbed finishes, everything FSC lumber.” The big guitar companies are unlikely to go off-grid any time soon, but with more guitarists and small-scale —steve casper manufacturers moving toward sustainability, Casper remains guardedly hopeful about the industry’s future. “What [the larger companies] have done is come out with one ‘eco-friendly’ model,” he says. “And that’s great, I love to see that. I’d like to see more. But will they go all the way? I really don’t know. To be honest, I’m not sure if there’s that much of a market for it at the moment. I’m spending a lot of my time trying to educate, trying to get the word out that there are other options. You don’t have to buy it from me; just ask your manufacturer about these things if you are truly concerned. And I think there are people who are concerned. The music industry tends to be on the leading edge of these kinds of issues, so I think it’s only a matter of time before [sustainability] reaches the larger manufacturers. I do think it will catch up.”

Obviously the quality is paramount. The eco-friendly side is just how I do business.”

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! S I H T R E V O DISCew Albums You Need… Four N

BLACK VEIL BRIDES WE STITCH THESE WOUNDS

LA’s up-and-coming dark rock sensation, Black Veil Brides, unleashes their debut album ‘We Stitch These Wounds’ on Standby Records. Riding the success of their rst single/video “Knives and Pens”, and a brief headlining tour, the band promptly headed into the studio with their manager-turned-producer, Blasko, to begin recording ‘We Stitch These Wounds’, before hitting the road again as part of the Royal Family Tour, alongside From First to Last, Eyes Set to Kill, and Conde. With a thriving and dedicated following of fans (The Bridesmaids), and a highly trafcked MySpace prole (averaging over 10,000 plays a day, peaking in the 9th spot on MySpace’s Top Music Charts in the ‘Metal’ category), Black Veil Brides stand out as LA’s lone breath of fresh air.” Available Now!

BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION

Black Country Communion is a devastating head-on collision between American and British Rock inuences- a true super group that delivers a titanic rock experience greater than the sum of it’s supremely talented parts. The seed for Black Country Communion was planted when legendary front man and bass guitarist Glen Hughes (Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Trapeze) and master blues-rock guitarist Joe Bonamassa combined forces on stage in Los Angeles in November 2009 for an explosive performance at Guitar Centre’s “King of The Blues” event. The brainchild of producer Kevin Shirley (Black Crowes, Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin), the band added to it’s rock lineage with powerhouse drummer Jason Bonham (Led Zeppelin, Foreigner) and keyboardist Derek Sherinian (Dream Theatre, Alice Cooper, Billy Idol) For Fans of: Slash, Heaven and Hell, Black Sabbath,Led Zeppelin, Wolfmother, Dream Theater completists, Deep Purple, Chickenfoot, Buckcherry, Black Label Society, classic Blues Rock. Available Now!

PETE YORN

With 10 years and 5 studio albums under his belt, Pete Yorn is a stalwart in the singer/songwriter world. Now Pete Yorn presents his 6th studio and self-titled album, produced by Frank Black of The Pixies. The album is an 11-song collection comprised of raw tracks, a plain black cover and Yorn’s most introspective work to date. The album explores relationships, ambivalence and our natural fear of the future and unknown. Includes the rst single “Precious Stone”, which SPIN calls “a back-to-basics pop rock track with enough gritty electric guitars, hummable melodies, and lovelorn lyrics to make Wallowers-era Jakob Dylan blush….Catchy!” Available Now.

FAR EAST MOVEMENT FREE WIRED

The Far*East Movement (also known as FM), hailing from the clubs and streets of Los Angeles, are one of the freshest crews representing the next generation of artists and “y music.” Finding their inspiration from the diverse city blocks and night club scene of Southern California, FM has built a strong internet fan base and a new lifestyle brand for the next generation of youth around the world. “The Far East Movement is the name for our music, lifestyle, and our party. For the diverse music fan that hits up 3 clubs in 1 night, tuned to the racing scene and fashion, and back on the computer religiously checking blogs and sites for anything related to that.”- FM. Led by the the rst single “Like A G6” Far East Movement Debut Album “Free Wired” is available October 12th.

ROCKIN' CANADA SINCE 1977 8

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/music One of the many highlights of the first volume in the bootleg series (Rare & Unreleased 1961–1991) was the playful, political satire “Talkin’ John Birch Paranoid Blues” recorded live at Carnegie Hall on October 26, 1963. The song was notable for the touchy subject matter, spotlighting the absurdity of the fear mongering, anti-communist John Birch Society. Dylan was scheduled to perform it on the Ed Sullivan Show on May 12, 1963 but at the last minute a network exec deemed the content too controversial and requested a different, safer song. Dylan walked. Then Columbia Records, fearing a McCarthy-esque backlash (or worse), removed it from the soon to be released Freewheelin’ album. The raw Witmark demo contains the original lyrics that were removed by the time of the Carnegie Hall show, notably comparing John Birch Society members to Hitler supporters. (The still-unreleased take from the Freewheelin’ album includes Unearthing Bob Dylan’s early genius on The Witmark Demos: these lyrics as well.) One of the real gems on Vol. 9 is the 1962-1964 (The Bootleg Series Vol. 9) / by Robert Lawson fantastic gospel-folk track “Whatcha n the early 60’s, alongside recording his own albums, Bob Dylan Gonna Do” which pre-dates “Serve was hustling his songs for others to record (and have considerably Somebody” by 15 years. Here, Bob abandons his rustic old man voice to more commercial success with). These publishing demos he created testify like a fire and brimstone biblewere recorded in an office at M. Witmark & Sons Inc. who would thumping preacher shouting to the then shop them around for other artists to cover. Dylan himself also heavens: “Oh Lord, oh Lord! What shall you do?” Why this terrific track has rerecorded some of this material for his own albums. never appeared on an official release With the release of The Witmark Demos: 1962is anybody’s guess. Then again, the song “John Brown” found here didn’t surface 1964 (The Bootleg Series Vol. 9), the original raw on an actual, official album until 1995’s MTV Unplugged. Among the other numerous songs making their debut on an official Dylan release takes are at last officially available to the general public. Dylanologists have much to study here: alterare “Bound To Lose, Bound To Win,” “Guess I’m Doing Fine” and the excellent nate versions of well-known songs, as well as relative “All Over You.” obscurities and previously unknown tracks which The song “Keep It With Mine,” featuring a wonderful piano/harmonica interconsiderably add to what we have of the master’s play, previously appeared only as an outtake on the 1985 boxed set Biograph. The early output. publishing demo version has no harmonica. Instead the focus is on Bob’s voice and Case in point: “Boots Of Spanish Leather” here has piano playing. “The Times They Are a-Changin,” “Mama You Been On My Mind” a deep sense of dread in every line, every word more and “Tomorrow Is A Long Time” are all performed here in mournful than the widely-known version found on remarkable, piano-only versions. 1964’s The Times They Are a-Changin’. Where the The official bootleg series so far comprises 9 volumes (15 established take ends with a heartbreaking bitter fidiscs!) that have further expanded our knowledge of Dylan’s genius. With full eras still left to explore (the 1974 reunion nale, on the publishing demo, Dylan sings the entire tour with The Band, the ‘79-‘80 “Born Again” period, the onsong with a resigned weariness as if the protagonist already knows his fate has been decided. The perforgoing never-ending tour), it seems like we’ve just scratched The Witmark mance gives an extra layer to the story that the rethe surface of truly understanding what a phenomenal artist Demos: 1962-1964 (The Bootleg Series leased take (as great as it is) misses. And remember, he really is. Vol. 9) arrives Who would have thought that the best is actually better he was still in his early 20s when writing material October 19 from Columbia. as mature as this. than we ever knew?

Back Tracks

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/music

Garden Party “The 12-year break is over and school is back in

session. Knights of the Soundtable ride again!” And just like that, Soundgarden was back. Chris Cornell’s twitter post from New Years Day 2010 bears its first fruit, following three live shows, with the release of Telephantasm, a satisfyingly comprehensive Soundgarden retrospective. Fans can pick from three versions of Telephantasm. There’s the basic single disc edition with the 12 biggest cuts, one of which is “Black Rain,” a Badmotorfinger-era track, never before released. The double-disc edition has an additional 12 tracks (5 of which are previously unreleased) and also includes Soundgarden’s firstever DVD. How is it that such a visually-riveting band has not previously released a collection of vids? The DVD features 20 videos, 13 of which have never been released. It’s Soundgarden heaven. For serious audiophiles, there is a deluxe 3-LP Vinyl Edition and, for monster Soundgarden fans, an individually-numbered Super Deluxe Collector’s Edition. The Super Deluxe Collector’s Edition will be available for a limited time with its two CDs, the limited edition DVD, three heavy vinyl discs, a collectible poster, lithos and a bunch of extras. In an unprecedented marketing move, Telephantasm will also be released bundled with Activision’s new videogame Guitar Hero®: Warriors of Rock. “The fact that this seminal band chose Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock as the way to reintroduce themselves speaks volumes about Guitar Hero‘s ability to deliver music, in an exciting, interactive way, to millions of music fans and gamers, said David Haddad, Chief Operating Officer, Guitar Hero.  Cornell’s kids play Guitar Hero. As a “rock-guitar Dad,” he’s philosophical. “Can, for instance, my kids playing Guitar Hero actually be an investment in being able to play an instrument later? We don’t know if there’s any clinical studies that have proved that yet. So, let me know if you find out,” he laughs. 14

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Soundgarden is bringing back the heavy / by Andrea Trace

Cornell is also philosophical on his about-face vis-à-vis the Soundgarden reunion. “We were able to have a career as Soundgarden and make records all the way up to the last one that I feel were totally vital and totally creative and daring records and I think the last record was the best one. Then we just kind of put it away unscathed, you know, and untainted. “I can’t imagine what would be a good enough reason to take that back out and start tampering with it,” Cornell has said. “The only reason would be for the fans, but I feel like that’s a kind of a double-edged sword in a way.” It looks as though the reunion doesn’t boast a “reason” as such. A get-together by Soundgarden guitarist Kim Thayil, drummer Matt Cameron and bassist Ben Shepherd during Tom Morello’s stop in Seattle in March of 2009 was followed by Cornell joining Cameron and Pearl Jam onstage in October and, seemingly as a logical consequence, a Soundgarden reunion became a reality. Soundgarden-mania kicked off earlier this year when the band played a small hometown show in April at Seattle’s Showbox, under the moniker Nude Dragons (an anagram for Soundgarden). Thirteen years away from the stage had not dulled the razor edge of the band. The 90-minute set roared through radio hits and deep cuts and featured all the menace, melody and dark virtuosity the band has always been known for. All the elements were there: Thayil’s aggressive riffs, Shepherd’s low-slung, predatory bass, Cameron’s thunderingly complex drumming and Cornell’s powerful wail. By all accounts their headlining Lollapalooza set in August of this year was also a resounding success. Again pulling out deep catalogue surprises along with the hits, Cornell was in better voice than ever, thanking the fans for their enthusiastic reception and calling the hiatus a little break. But for the most part, he kept the banter to a minimum. The music alone provided maximum entertainment value. Historically, Soundgarden was a part of the music that “replaced the commercial norm, was [about] aggressive attitude, clearly guitar-based, clearly organic” as Cornell phrases it. Perennially associated with Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains and the Seattle scene of the 20th century’s final decade, Soundgarden were darker, heavier: almost metal. What could be more natural, more organic than a reunion in the somewhat forbidding climate of 2010? Heavy music Telephantasm is is back on the menu and Soundgarden fills the bill. available now.


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/music

The Collectors Clinic burrow deeper into their strange pack-rat world on Bubblegum by Michaelangelo Matos

C

linic is a band that operates on

a series of conflicting impulses. The foursome’s music is often tense and sharp, but they make fabulous stoner records. They mine the past liberally, assiduously, nearly exclusively—you won’t hear dubstep or chillwave on a Clinic record—but despite this, they sound of the moment, always. Their new album, Bubblegum, confirms it: Clinic is the rare band that has slipped past anachronism and tapped into the eternally cool.

Clinic’s reference points are detailed and precise. The results, even when lovely or dreamy (which is often), tend to be stark, evoking very specific moods. Their albums are sprinkled with fast punk numbers that sound like they’ve been arranged for vintage spaghetti western soundtracks. They play slow and moody with melodica that sounds like it washed ashore from an Augustus Pablo shipwreck. Stately ’60s-style production touches give the whole sound a very English cast. There are no background vocals. Onstage, they perform wearing doctors’ scrubs and surgical masks, with singer Ade Blackburn’s open at the mouth, which can make him look a bit like Boris Karloff’s Mummy. From the beginning—the EP the band released in 1997 featuring “IPC Subeditors Dictate Our Youth”—Clinic stood out from their mealier British indie peers. Led by Blackburn’s mewl, the band was so brittle they threatened to snap. “IPC,” poking at the publisher of U.K. music weeklies NME and Melody Maker, opened with the Ronnettes’ “Be My 16

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Baby” drumbeat and pulled it away almost immediately, establishing the band’s unwillingness to play supplicant to its audience. “On previous albums, it deliberately switched from, say, a ballad to a punk song, and just kept switching throughout the album through different styles,” Blackburn says on the phone from his Liverpool home. That switch-it-up model was cemented on Clinic’s 2000 debut, Internal Wrangler. Adjust to its mood swings, though, and the album becomes one of the decade’s most sheerly playable. In 2002, Walking With Thee refined the band’s formula. Then came 2004’s Winchester Cathedral—slower, spacier, more English folk-y—which gave the band its first bad notices. “We never really played many of those songs live,” Blackburn says of the album now. “I think it’s kind of dense; there are a lot of different instruments on it. After that, we probably simplified it and went back to something harderedged with Visitations [2006]. [But] the folk stuff on Winchester Cathedral could have been on Bubblegum.” Bubblegum is Clinic’s sixth album, not counting a pair of singles compilations. It’s also a conscious step away from those stylistic mood swings and into something rounder and more whole. The change is audible right at the top: “I’m Aware” isn’t going to push Sarah McLachlan off the Adult-Alternative stations anytime soon, but it’s got full harmonies and a lovely acoustic guitar line that might sway some Clinic newcomers. “We set out to do [that] this time,” says Blackburn. “It brought more of a laidback feel to it. Maybe it’s something you could listen to late at night. By the same token, I’d really like to do an album where it’s a whole punk album. You know,


I’ve always liked having at least one or two things on an album totally outside of having a sung vocal or having a verse-chorus kind of structure... I like those kinds of surreal juxtapositions.”

—Ade Blackburn really breakneck, one really fast song after another. I think it would be good to do that, rather than just more of a patchwork thing, which we deliberately did on older albums.” it. I like those kinds of surreal juxtapositions.” The The band brought in producer John Congleton to help referee the sessions words, he says, came from the sound effects album because, as Blackburn told one interviewer, the band was “trying to not be typi- the band had taken the bells from. cally Clinic.” What does Blackburn think is “typically Clinic”? Clinic’s studio-rat tendencies don’t end with sam“I’d say that when we started off, a massive thing for us was using reverb on pling. Blackburn has long collected used, cheap keythe guitars and on the vocals,” he says. “So everything sounded quite cavernous, boards from garage sales and the like. The philosoquite distant. That’s still a sound that I really love, but maybe it restricts you phy behind this scavenging seems logical enough: to slightly. I think some of the songs on the new record sound closer; some of the keep the music fresh, keep the instruments fresh. vocals sound more over-your-shoulder. I think that allows you to get a different In fact, it made me think of Sonic Youth, who have sound, rather than that cavernous ’60s sound.” always used new guitars, all tuned differently, to One area the band has been exploring more in recent years is, of all things, generate new ideas. recitations. One of the standouts on Bubblegum is the two-minute “Radiostory,” “Another well-known view on that is that if you an erotically tinged mini-play read aloud by a sonorous Blackburn over tinny use the same instrument in the same tuning each organ and perky bass, like a radio soap-opera intro. (Think of it as a time, your hands and your approach to it truncated version of the Velvet Underground’s “The Gift,” off White all tends to stray to what you’ve done in the Light/White Heat.) It follows on from “Coda,” which finished 2008’s past,” Blackburn says. “I think if you’ve got Do It! with a hypnotic flourish: high-lonesome melodica, church something new, whether it’s detuned or an organ stabs, stinging guitar, slo-mo church bells, and Blackburn apinstrument you can’t play technically well, parently reading from a brochure about the Bristol Charter. then you’re more likely to do something “I’ve always liked having at least one or two things on an album which is quite simple, like you’re going totally outside of having a sung vocal or having a verse-chorus kind back to being how a kid would approach of structure,” he says. “I think ‘Coda’ was my favorite song on Do It! playing an instrument. That to me is the Bubblegum pops It just completely throws [the album] up in the air. It just kind of best thing, when something’s got an amaon October 5 gives it an extra dimension and freedom to have the recitation on teur feel to it.” from Domino. needle

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/music

The Confessional Professional Under the razzle-dazzle, Ne-Yo is as personal (and universal) as they come / by Michaelangelo Matos

B

y nature, the terms “singer-songwriter” and “Vegas-bred entertainer” should be like

oil and water. The former denotes a post-Dylan sensitive folk base, a commitment to personal expression and casualness. The latter is rooted in the suit-wearing stuff that rock ‘n’ roll allegedly supplanted in the ’50s, but which continues to command loyalty from fans—not least, performers hoping to break into Vegas themselves.

That Ne-Yo is both singer-songwriter and VeSmartly, with the new Libra Scale, Ne-Yo makes a slight but discernible left gas-bred entertainer—literally (he grew up there) turn from Gentleman’s pop classicism (thumping near-disco like “Nobody,” and figuratively (he wears suits and fedoras and the folky “So You Can Cry”) into funkier terrain. “Amazing You” glides by on worships Sinatra)—makes him something of an liquid-rubber synth-bass and features some distinctly jazzy vocal phrasing, a oddball. That he’s also one of R&B’s biggest stars very Stevie Wonder combination. “Champagne Life” has Ne-Yo going into the helps bridge the gap. R&B songwriting still holds upper reaches of his falsetto over a bounding beat that has touches of Africa in onto Tin Pan Alley tradition; it aims for the uni- it. “Beautiful Monster” is one of those Euro-rave/R&B hybrids so popular right versal. Ne-Yo’s gift is that he makes those universal now; its agreeable hook helps smooth the trance synths. sentiments come across as part of a personal viBut what puts Ne-Yo up a notch is his work as a writer—always eager, somesion, one that’s (here we go again) also steeped in times clunky, slyer than he has to be, observationally acute, perennially winning. Vegas showbiz. You have to be damn charming to get away with something like In My Own One hallmark of the Vegas ethos is consistency: Words’ “When You’re Mad.” (That’s when “You’re so cute.”) Part of the reason he You get up and give it your all every time. Ne-Yo gets away with this kind of earnestness is that he clearly likes—likes—women. takes this to heart. A number of demo recordings He sings about being a horndog a lot, and doesn’t just admit his culpability, from the sessions that yielded 2008’s Year of the but revels in it. He lays on a heavy I’m-bringing-gentlemanliness-back shtick, Gentleman have leaked online, and many are exbut good manners are timeless. And especially on Gentleman he clearly thinks cellent. A younger artist might have even about, and thinks clearly about, relationships. included them on the album itself. But There’s a song on Gentleman called “Mad.” It’s tonally the opposite Gentleman soars, as did 2006’s classicof “When You’re Mad,” but as with that song it’s direct, specific, clear. soul In My Own Words and 2007’s friskier Here, Ne-Yo and his woman have been fighting, neither of them can Because of You, in large part because it’s so sleep and neither of them can stand to dredge the whole thing up again immaculately constructed and paced. In just to get it over with. But they have to, because they need to clear the the teeth of playlist culture, Ne-Yo banked air. That’s what lovers do. And that’s what great singer-songwriters on people wanting to hear a complete will always write and sing about, just like Vegas crooners, and just Libra Scale work. That’s rare in any genre these days, like soul men. arrives October and so is the fact that he delivers. 19 from Def Jam. 18

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photo by Sacha Waldman


UPROARFESTIVAL COMING TO TOWN

GET FAMILIAR WITH THE BRAND NEW MUSIC OF THE FESTIVAL BANDS

New releases on sale now! TOUR DATES: Sept 1 Charlotte, NC Sept 3 Birmingham, AL Sept 4 Atlanta, GA

Stone sour Avenged Sevenfold

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Sept 5 Tampa, FL Sept 8 Tulsa, OK Sept 10 Dallas, TX Sept 11 Corpus Christi, TX Sept 12 Houston, TX Sept 14 Denver, CO Sept 15 Salt Lake City, UT Sept 17 Irvine, CA Sept 18 San Diego, CA

Hail the Viallain Halestorm

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Airbourne No Guts No Glory

Disturbed Asylum

Oct 3 Fargo, ND Oct 4 Madison, WI needle

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/music / the_playlist

the_playlist

Ambient

A

The sometimes not-so-soothing sound of ambient / by Jess Harvell

t its simplest, as defined by Brian Eno, the man who named it,

ambient is just minimalist background music to be played at low volume, so that it might do little but tint the, well, ambient noise of a room. Very quickly this came to mean pretty background music: a few tinkly notes on a piano, a wash of pastel strings, softly played woodwinds. As ambient took off in the late ’70s and early ’80s, it started to become indistinguishable from its near neighbors, new age and the snooziest smooth jazz. While there’s non-ironic pleasure to be had in some of this stuff—no, really—it can also get pretty treacly real quick. But as the ’80s crashed into the ’90s, artists began to explore ambient’s darker, more disquieting corners. Similarly minimal in construction, eschewing riffs and beats and melodies in favor of synthesizer buzz and amp drones and weird scraping sounds and non-musical noises, it was less easy-listening than music designed to leave the listener unnerved. It grew out of many genres, like industrial and the grimmer strains of modern classical, and it took on many names, like the baldly titled “dark ambient” and the more evocative “isolationism,” coined by multi-genre brutalist Kevin Martin, which captures the “trapped in an empty city after midnight” feeling of the stuff very well indeed. Once it got 20

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a name, or a couple names, artists from a bizarrely wide range of scenes—hardcore improvisation, post-rock, goth, rave, noise—found themselves united by a simple goal: to make the spookiest damn background music ever. Of course, dark ambient isn’t quite background music. For one thing, it’s hard to guess who could chill out to this music, just let it happily float past them. Even though it can sometimes border on the inaudible or completely static, dark ambient’s stated goal of exploring eerie textures and disconcerting effects means it’s impossible not to notice it, unless you’re a character in a horror flick. Dark ambient isn’t for everyone, or at least it isn’t for those who like to avoid music that plays/preys on humanity’s less-thansunny emotions. It’s about the beauty of bleakness—no wonder it’s been adopted by the no-smiles-allowed world of black metal—and if you want to dip into the dark (but strangely mellow) side, here are six entry points.


The Roots

Brian Eno, Ambient 4: On Land / EG (2004)

Nurse With Wound, Soliloquy for Lilith / United Jnana (1998) On Land is the record where the genre’s maestro moved away from the zombie keyboard melodies of Music for Airports—a sly commentary the kind of drippy background music you don’t hear much anymore, since airports all play Train and Lady Gaga—and into the wild places that haunted him as a schoolboy and a grown-up maverick. Attempting to recreate the atmosphere of the English countryside where he once frolicked—if “frolicked” is the right word to use when discussing Brian Eno at any

THE CLASSICS

Lull, Cold Summer / Sentrax (1995)

across two hours. Isolationism is dark ambient music at its grimmest and most torpor-inducing, but from chilly shoegaze to reggae bass, it’s hard not to be wowed by the variety of ways these acts achieve the same mood. Mick Harris will always be best known as the second drummer for Napalm Death; his legitimately scary mix of speed and savagery helped to cement the sound of grindcore, which is about as far from ambient as it’s possible to get.

But Harris’ musical trajectory in the ’90s was a full-stop rejection of the sound that made him infamous. Lull’s Cold Summer is not just beat-free; it hardly moves at all. These long, long drones are so unchanging they almost feel unmusical. Listening to Cold Summer is like being stuck in a drafty, leaky house with nothing to do but listen to the wind blow through the window screens. It is just about perfect when you’re in a so-blue-it’s-goneblack mood.

Aphex Twin, Selected Ambient Works II / Warp (1994) Only Richard D. James, who managed to score chart hits while making some of the world’s most non-commercial music, all thanks to his uniquely creepy-funny charisma and leering demonnerd image, could sell one of the ’90s darkest ambient records to a whole bunch of people. The first Selected Ambient Works was downright charming—techno with all the joy and sparkle James could muster. Buying Selected

THE FUTURE

record collector, English folk hero. But in keeping with his aesthetic of perversity, his best record is his least cacophonous. Stretching across three CDs, 1998’s Soliloquy for Lilith could almost be described as soothing if not for the discordant howl of feedback around its edges. Doing little more than manipulating effects pedals one night, Stapleton created a sound as vast as a stormy ocean, endless undulating waves of soft noise that might suddenly turn violent, but somehow never do.

Various Artists, Isolationism / Virgin (1994) Compiled by Kevin Martin, the two-disc Isolationism tried to codify a new genre in the weirdest way: by including artists that couldn’t be more different from one another. Old-school and very serious U.K. post-jazz trio A.M.M. scraped and squeaked alongside young post-rock trio Disco Inferno, whose biggest influences were My Bloody Valentine and Public Enemy producers the Bomb Squad. But what an awesomely oppressive vibe Martin manages to maintain

THE CROSSOVER

age—On Land is like the soundtrack to avant-garde version of a Brothers Grimm tale, one where the children don’t always escape the witches. All of the gorgeous texture Eno later brought to bands like U2 and Coldplay starts here, minus the daft and melodramatic songs. Consummate outsider Steven Stapleton of Nurse With Wound has worn many hats in his career: first generation industrialist, the inventor of cut-and-paste tape-collage rock, noise sadist, advocate for kitschy exotica, world-famous

Ambient Works II at the time was like blindly wandering into one of the Aphex Twin’s calmer nightmares. The melodies were gone. The cutesy samples from Willy Wonka were gone. And yet for all of its clammy textures, like wandering down a dark tunnel without even a beat to guide you, there was also a beguiling stillness to SAW II. James is a sensualist at heart, and here he made a dark ambient record even

a pop fan might throw on before they went to sleep. It helped that he stuck two of his most unabashedly gorgeous compositions up front; tracks one and three on disc one are miniatures so packed with emotional oomph that you’ll be amazed something so slight can take your breath away. But once he’s hooked you, you’re in trouble. It’s a long, lightless way down to the bottom of disc two.

Xasthur, Subliminal Genocide / Hydra Head (2006) There’s a title you won’t see on a new age sampler any time soon. Primitive black metal has always kinda sorta resembled ambient music. It’s usually so crappily recorded and wreathed in feedback that it hits you all at once, a wall of squall, a black mass of bad vibes.

But Xasthur has always incorporated actual swathes of dark ambient into his albums. Unlike other black metal bands whose cod-classical keyboard interludes sound like a 12-year-old playing one-finger Wagner, the interludes and breakdowns on Subliminal Genocide

actually sound like they were snipped from Isolationism and dropped into a new corpse painted context. Dark ambient’s adoption by the bulletbelt crowd is one of the more interesting ways in which it’s mutated in the 21st century, as if no genre is safe from the virus.

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Power-Melody-Metal-Pop On Songs for Singles, Torche go in eight different directions at once

“W

/

by Nick Green

e end up getting compared a lot to bands like Baroness and Kylesa, although I don’t think we sound like any of those bands,” says Torche drummer Rick Smith, distancing himself from his peers in the world of underground metal. And he’s right—Torche really don’t sound like any of the bands they’ve toured with, whether that’s Coheed and Cambria or the Sword or High on Fire. Smith and his bandmates are all extremely well-versed in metal—guitarist Steve Brooks previously fronted well-regarded Florida sludge act Floor, while Smith and bassist Jonathan Nuñez moonlight in the intense grindcore act Sh*tstorm—but Torche are unquestionably a pop-rock act. “Torche is heavy enough that people who like that kind of music could conceivably draw some parallels and get into what we’re doing,” Smith says. Their debut album, 2005’s Torche, was more indebted to metal, but 2008’s intensely melodic Meanderthal brought the band to a new audience of indie fans. “We’re at kind of a weird juncture with Torche. Meanderthal was a breakthrough in the underground, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say that we’re in any sort of mainstream market at all. We’re floating between worlds.” The continued embrace of the underground, plus a steady increase of attention from the mainstream media, means that, at least for now, Torche are free to set their own pace, writing and recording their weird little heavy pop songs, inspired by Eddie Van Halen, Kevin Shields or whoever else catches the band’s fancy. Torche mainman Steve Brooks is on record as a fan of Guided by Voices, specifically the band’s short, sharp song structures and Robert Pollard’s keen ear for melody. If you didn’t know that the GBV-esque, stylehopping format of the band’s new EP Songs for Singles was purely coincidental, you might assume that the eight songs were simply part of Torche’s ongoing mission to bend and refract traditional verse-chorusverse structures through the unique lens of stoner rock and extreme metal. 22

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“With both EPs [2007’s In Return and the new Songs for Singles], there’s the same story: We were trying to write full-lengths, but it didn’t all come together the way we intended,” Smith says. “We don’t plan things very strategically. A lot of bands will work on executing a master plan: Write a record, go to the studio, get the artwork together, set a release date. Unfortunately, we don’t work like that. We get together and write songs by jamming—one of us will come in with an idea and we all work together to develop it. There are no rules when it comes to the way we put our stuff together. It’s very loose and free. Unfortunately, it’s not always so efficient.” According to Smith, the final track listing on Songs for Singles represents a compromise the band arrived at with their la-

Torche is heavy enough that people who like that kind of music could conceivably draw some parallels and get into what we’re doing.” —Rick Smith

bel, Hydra Head. After touring in support of 2008’s Meanderthal for almost two years, Torche returned to the studio with the intention of delivering a full-length follow-up. But then time, expense and (more importantly) the detail-obsessed approach of Smith’s bandmates, guitarist Steve Brooks and bassist Jonathan Nuñez, all conspired to make finishing a full complement of songs impossible. Songs for Singles represents the eight strongest songs the trio put together. It’s an EP by default, and very much in the spirit of the way Smith describes the band’s songwriting process, it’s kind of weird and random. The beauty of Torche’s music—especially with the jukebox format the band has adopted on Songs for Singles—is that it encourages you to approach it with open ears and draw your own associations. But with a little nudging, guitarist Brooks provided a handy song-by-song guide to what Torche were listening to as they put Songs for Singles together (see sidebar on pg. 34), a list that suggests just how wide-ranging the band’s taste can be. “Well, that’s part of the joke with the title: Songs for Singles sounds like a collection of diverse songs that probably wouldn’t be on the same release together,” Smith laughs. “At a certain point, Hydra Head was wondering how long it would take us to finish this and how long we


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/music could actually spend massaging these songs into shape. Everyone was getting really picky and antsy in the studio, too— it’s frustrating to spend that much time on something that never ended up being finished. At the same time, Songs for Singles now has the same format as our In Return EP, right down to the number of songs and running time. And I actually think it flows together reasonably well. It didn’t come out how we intended it, but it’s nonetheless a happy accident.” Things are about to get very busy again for Torche; Smith estimates that at the peak of a touring cycle, he spends about 150 days a year out on the road with the band. But at the time of our interview, he is standing in the middle of a cow pasture in Woodstock, MD on an off-day from touring with Sh*tstorm. Somehow he’s found his way into a staring match with an angry bull. “Give me a minute, OK?” he says at one point. “I’m a little distracted.” Between commitments to Torche, Sh*tstorm, the Post-Teens (a ’77-style punk rock band from Gainesville that Smith just joined) and Nuclear II (an onagain/off-again solo project), Smith keeps his dance card extremely full. He’s also the proprietor of a cassette-only label, R.C.P. Tapes that he basically runs out of his bedroom. (Though Hydra Head has started to help out by fulfilling orders while he’s out on tour.) Smith discloses that he’s basi-

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Influence Mining cally funneling all of his spare income into R.C.P., and some people might have a hard time figuring out why. Seriously, who buys cassettes in 2010? “I know it’s kind of a dead format, but it’s also an inexpensive way to consume music,” he explains. “I still listen to tapes, and I know other people that do, too. For a lot of people, there’s a certain nostalgia that goes hand-in-hand with cassettes. It’s the format that we grew up with. I also like that I can put out a cassette-only release with minimal overhead. It doesn’t break the bank to put out a tape. There’s some interest from collectors, obviously. And I get a lot of orders from people that are staunch analog-only types—they will only listen to vinyl or cassettes to keep it oldschool. I don’t have any good arguments for this as a business model, but if you can sell 200 copies of a cassette in this day and age, something’s working out.” With limited runs of 50 to 300 copies— depending on the level of interest and wishes of the bands—Smith describes R.C.P. Tapes as a break-even business. Well-known acts, like black metal group WOLD and U.K. sludge act Moss, tend to move more units, helping to fund releases by virtual unknowns (power electronics group Sewer Goddess and Smith’s brother’s band Rauh). “It’s a fun hobby,” Smith notes. “At this point, I just put out whatever I want.” Still, there is a high-

Torche guitarist Steve Brooks’ song-by-song guide to “bands that were inspirational during the recording of Songs for Singles” 1. “U.F.O.” Lightning Bolt 2. “Lay Low” Floor, Harvey Milk 3. “Hideaway” Van Halen 4. “Arrowhead” Jane’s Addiction 5. “Shine on My Old Ways” The Who 6. “Cast Into Unknown” The Wipers 7. “Face the Wall” Catherine Wheel, My Bloody Valentine 8. “Out Again” Neu!

degree of cross-pollination between all of Smith’s projects: R.C.P. Tapes has put out cassette versions of all of his musical projects to date, and the experience of putting artwork together for the cassette release of Torche’s Meanderthal Demos recently came in handy when working on the mockup for the artwork for Songs for Singles. “Yeah, that was my original concept and Hydra Head did the handwriting in-house,” he explains, describing the EP’s relatively naked, text-only design. “I was actually going to school for graphic design before I started playing with Torche, but I dropped out when we started touring heavily. I’ve always been active with the design, but I kind of like the idea of other people doing art for Torche, just to keep things fresh and interesting. I love the art that John Dyer Baizley did for us [on In Return], but I wouldn’t be into it if we used him or [Hydra Head owner/designer] Aaron Turner for every release. I like that we go for something different every time. It’s more fun that way. At this point, Torche doesn’t have a specific sound from release to release—so why should we handcuff ourselves with a cerSongs for Singles is tain type of imagery available now or aesthetic?” from Hydrahead. photos by Jason Arthurs


hot metal mix Terror

James LaBrie

Ion Dissonance

Keepers Of The Faith

Static Impulse

Cursed

In This Moment

ABIGAIL WILLIAMS

A Star-Crossed Wasteland

IN THE ABSENCE OF LIGHT

ACCEPT BLOOD OF THE NATIONS

DEATH ANGEL

ENSLAVED

RELENTLESS RETRIBUTION

AXIOMA ETHICA ODINI

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Words and Guitar Marnie Stern is rewriting the rules of pop one riff at a time / by Maura Johnston

“I

am the world’s worst tourist,” Marnie Stern confesses

during an afternoon chat. She’s surrounded by baseball fans, at a dive near her apartment on New York’s Upper East Side, and she’s talking about a recent trip to China, where she played a pair of shows last spring. “I much prefer things in my mind than an actual place. We drove two-and-a-half hours outside of Beijing to go see the Great Wall and we got there and [bass player Matt Flegel] was like ‘Alright, get out of the car.’ And I was like, ‘Have a nice time!’” She did enjoy the culinary options in China: “They, like, brought a turtle out alive, and then brought it back 15 minutes later dead, in a soup, and it was turtle soup.” But it’s not surprising that Stern, whose third album Marnie Stern (Kill Rock Stars) is out this month, prefers the things that happen in her own head, even when she’s presented with the majestic Great Wall. Her lightning-fast style is frequently cited by those observers still stunned that a lady can stand alongside the pantheon of guitar heroes. But Stern’s songs also brim with an ebullience that’s frequently lacking from somber, correct indie darlings. Her head seems like a pretty fun place to live. It’s evident after just five minutes in her presence that the energy Stern brings to her music is an essential part of her self. She has an infectious laugh and a slew of one-liners at the ready; she can settle into a conversation with a reporter like she’s known her inquisitor for years. But the joy in her music is also derived from the feeling an artist gets after reaching a long-timecoming breakthrough. Her albums are full of these moments of discovery; they’re the often-accidental end product of her lengthy, perfection-obsessed creative process. Stern wouldn’t find much satisfaction in simply repeating her past suc26

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cesses. As the old cliché goes, half the fun is getting there—especially when the eventual destination is somewhere completely unexpected. “What’s funny is then you have [a song] finished and you’re like, Whoa!” she says. “And then you remember what you did, so for the next song you try to go back, almost with a formula, and redo it. And it doesn’t work because you’re already starting at the top instead of digging through.” So there’s a constant sense of surprise and wonderment at what might come next in Stern’s music, but she notes that this excitement isn’t merely the musical equivalent of shouting “eureka!” “Also, it’s desperation,” she says. “Joy, desperation, all emotions... There’s a fine line between everything. And I feel like my personal life really always feels so difficult and hard, and I go through so many disappointments and sh*tty things that


happen. And I’m constantly struggling in the music to fight it, and rise above and win, basically.” Subtle Distinctions

Fighting to rise above is nothing new for Stern. She played the part of a boxer training for a big match, Rocky-style, complete with raw-egg breakfasts and museum-step runs, in the video for her whirling track “Ruler,” which appeared on her 2008 fulllength This Is It and I Am It and You Are It and So Is That and He Is It and She Is It and It Is It and That Is That. But while recording this third album, Stern was fighting internal battles as well. “For this record, I kind of was at a place where I felt like I didn’t have the energy in me to fight and be positive, and I kind of let the sadness come in,” she says. “And [the sadness is] much more in there than in any of the other [albums]. In the end, you photo by david torch

can still feel that I’m fighting, but there’s a different sort of feeling going on overall in some of the songs. More like, fuuuuuuuuuck! And that’s good, too, because your friends get sick of you bitching about your problems and stuff, so [recording is] a good way to just be like fuuuuuck! for 20 hours a day. Sometimes, actually into the microphone, I am like, ‘Angst, angst, angst, angst.’ Like Alanis Morissette.” Thankfully, there isn’t a lexically incorrect examination of the word “irony” on Marnie Stern, although there is a vulnerability that shines through more brightly than it has on Stern’s two previous albums. The musicianship that made people take notice of those records still pours from both Stern and Hella skinsman Zach Hill, a longtime collaborator. But the frenzy is dialed back, allowing snatches of lyrics—“It’s not enough / I’m not enough” (on “Transparency Is the New Mystery”)—to now come to the surface. “[A sense of ] space is the most important thing,” Stern says of her new songs. “It’s been a big thing for me, and for Zach, too.” She laughs: “Both of us, we’re always joking I was going to name the record More Is More because, sh*t, we are not subtle people.” Stern’s creative process is full of ripping songs up and starting again. Well, not needle

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exactly ripping, since her deletion process is made even easier by the digital technology she uses to record her demos, but she’s constantly recording. When she arrives at the bar, she notes that she’d spent much of the previous night working. “Every day I sit down and I’m like, That’s bad,” she says. “And I just wipe the whole [demo] out. The Pro Tools [digital studio software] stuff—I’m still really bad at it. You know, people who haven’t been trained in music say, ‘I don’t want to take lessons; I’m afraid it’ll f**k up my thing.’ I don’t know if it’s a cop-out or not.” Stern may claim to be unskilled in the studio, but her fleet-fingered guitar playing garnered a lot of attention when her first album, In Advance of the Broken Arm, was released in 2007. She says she simply sent a demo tape to Olympia’s Kill Rock Stars; the label remains her home to this day. Jittery and confident, Broken Arm established Stern as someone who could turn heavy metal theatrics like pentatonic scales and Eddie Van Halen fingertapping into bright bursts of post-punk energy. The album’s ethos—and Stern’s overall attitude toward

I’m just trying to be as creative as I possibly can. And I would like if people looked at that before they focused on something that ultimately takes away, or puts a film over just actually listening to the stuff.” —Marnie Stern

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her art—can probably be summed up by the song title “Every Single Line Means Something.” Another track from Arm, “Absorb Those Numbers,” was mashed up with Lil Mama’s ode to cosmetics “Lip Gloss” by the genre-straddling DJ team the Hood Internet. Stern’s guitar-shredding combines with the brusque handclaps conjured up by Lil Mama’s production team, and the result sounds like a gymnasium full of people going wild over the latest offerings from L’Oréal and MAC. The playful speed metal style is still there on Marnie Stern, as are the often-bewildering drum fills provided by Hill. The album opens with “For Ash,” which doesn’t begin so much as announce itself by jabbing the listener in the ear repeatedly with synchronized bass drum smashes and guitar shards. But the harsh opening gives way to a fuller palette, one that recalls shoegaze and new wave and even bedroom indie at various points. The frenetic riffing and time-bending rhythms now share space with soaring melodies and even a few quiet moments. “I just tried to let go of trying to prove that I could play well, and was just letting pretty chords be pretty chords,” Stern says. “I focused so much on trying to sing better and differently—with melody, as opposed to the chanting thing.” The last three songs in particular show how Stern has grown as a songwriter and vocalist. On her first two records, the vocals were often presented as singsong chants delivered by dozens of multi-tracked Marnies, but on Marnie Stern her voice blooms into lovely melodies, simultaneously revealing more confidence and greater vulnerability. On “Building a Body,” Stern affects a Siouxsie Sioux growl before sliding into a chorus that grooves like a new wave floor-filler. “Her Confidence” alternates between hip-shaking swagger and guitar breakdowns that sound like collapsing buildings. The song’s theme inadvertently recalls Scritti Politti’s “Confidence,” even though its six-string freakouts are nearly the inverse of Green Gartside’s lighter-than-air soul lament. The album closes with the contemplative “The Things You Notice,” which hangs on a loping bass line that could have easily fit into any UK indie love song released in the mid-’80s. Stern’s guitar mastery is evident on each of the 10 tracks on Marnie Stern, but the way that her musicianship is pressed into the service of the songs is even more striking. The integration of high skill and high fun is effortless, and you can almost hear her creating a new language of stylized pop, one that’s miles away from the leaden, proggy music that so many self-styled “prodigies” create. “I just wish that I could feel the real people coming through in [their] music, and lately I don’t,” she says. “And sometimes some people are such good musicians that they don’t need to come through. Like Television, for example. Great band—[but] it’s


not really that personal. It’s just interesting. And even in a weird way, Bowie, too. “I guess I like the two things: Either it’s really technical and interesting musically where I haven’t heard something like that, or it’s real honest and telling me something about the real person.” The trick that Marnie Stern has accomplished, however, is that it’s achieved both those things. Even the songs that recall the chaos of the old records, like the yelp-studded “Gimme,” have a singular personality coursing through them. “For guitar stuff, I just look for the person’s personality coming out in their style and the way they flower their song with the parts, just like any other instrument,” she says. “Just like Zach with drums. It’s so cool when someone’s so good and you’re like, whoa! I can’t help it. I think it’s crazy when someone”—here she mimics a bit of guitar pyrotechnics—“and I’m like, holy cow! But generally it’s just, you know, if they can use it in a way that’s unfamiliar. It doesn’t have to do with being a woman or a man; it has nothing to do with that.” Individuals in Rock

Ah, yes. The gender thing. The song on Marnie Stern that will probably be seized on by many pundits in search of a hook is called “Female Guitar Players Are the New Black.” The title was inspired by a comment someone left on Stern’s MySpace page. (“I thought it was hysterical, so I used it.”) It seems to both anticipate the press she’s going to get for this album and acknowledge the way her music has been viewed through particular lenses in the past. Stern is disarmingly forthright when talking about the Women in Rock Paradox, which trips up so many musicians and writers and listeners, even in this supposedly enlightened age. “You know, there are the dipsh*ts out there who don’t understand my music, and do think it’s like Eddie Van Halen, and are like, ‘Take off your shirt!’ That sh*t’s funny!” But there are frustrating elements as well, especially as a woman with such technical mastery of her instrument, something that’s unfairly chalked up as a “male” trait in a subculture that’s dominated by people who happen to share that particular chromosome status. “I’m just trying to be as creative as I possibly can,” Stern says. “And I would like if people looked at that before they focused on something that ultimately takes away, or puts a film over just actually listening to the stuff. “It puts a lot of pressure on me because I don’t think that I’m a great guitar player,” she says of the persistent focus on the match-up between her gender and her instrument of choice. “Instead of making me want to add guitars to the songs, it makes me want to… not. Because the Dirty Projectors guy is a great guitar player, but you don’t talk about that band [in terms of ] the guitar.” photos by david torch

The fetishization of Stern’s musicianship is especially frustrating when it overshadows the discussion of her music, which is more than able to stand on its own merits. Talking about her guitar prowess and her songwriting shouldn’t be an either/ or deal, because it’s the way that she integrates the two that makes her music so compelling. That said, she doesn’t mind if other young women follow in her shredding wake. “If it inspires girls, then yay! Of course there’s a cool thing about the guitar, and maybe there was a part of me that when I picked up that was like, ‘Yeah, I’m gonna play the guitar. Yeah, that’s cool.’ But I never even thought of the boundary of man/ woman. I genuinely never even thought about it. Maybe a piece of me thought it was cute or something, that I had some big guitar and I was little, but still… No, I always think of people as the person, as the individual.” And as an individual, Stern continues to push herself, which means more all-night songwriting sessions until the moment when she’s satisfied with where the journey has taken her. “I really never feel like I’ve done anything that’s a really good song-song, like when you listen to a David Bowie song, a Television song, and you’re like, Holy sh*t, that’s the real deal,” she says, perhaps too modestly. “Like, I never ever get to a place where I feel like I’m the real deal. And that’s the whole thing—I just keep going back [to try]. Freakin’ Bruce Springsteen wrote ‘Thunder Road’ when he was 25 years old! I mean, Jesus Louises! “I guess it’s that human thing where you die unless you have a goal. You die unless you have something to constantly be reaching for—or else what’s Marnie Stern hits stores the point?” October 5 from Kill Rock Stars.

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Up, Up and Away

TV on the Radio’s Dave Sitek invites a bunch of friends on a Balloon ride / by Sarah Kitteringham

S

elf-deprecating and playful, Dave Sitek call this his “solo project.” ¶ “I am not the kind

does not play the pompous indie star. When Cowbell is connected to his home in California on the eve of Maximum Balloon’s self-titled debut, he starts off by joking about his seeming fixation with inflatable rubber toys. Oh, and how you shouldn’t 32

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of person who can throw down with an acoustic guitar and sing some country hit that makes everyone want to drive trucks across the country, so to me it was a group effort,” he says, then giggles. “I don’t really need a solo record in my life, you know? I could instead make a barbecue record.”


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he 38-year-old has long been renowned for on the disc, especially Malone’s “Shake Down,” a his role as multi-instrumentalist, songwriter screechy and unpleasant slow jam. It’s one jarring and producer in hybrid-rock quintet TV on the note on an otherwise solid collection, a misstep that Radio, along with his outside production work perhaps stems from the album’s playful, off-the-cuff for artists as disparate as Celebration and Scarlett sessions. Johansson. So anticipation for Maximum Balloon “Most of the time it would work out that I was was obviously high. Nonetheless, Sitek teased the making dinner and someone would come over,” internet for months, and when fans were finally Sitek says. “We would listen to the track, and we exposed to one of Maximum Balloon’s songs, it was would decide to do it, and we would make a pie while used to soundtrack a striptease by British model they [recorded]. [You] Daisy Lowe. (It was Lowe’s idea, not Sitek’s.) just jump in where you That’s the kind of cheek listeners can expect from think you’re doing serMaximum Balloon, and while it may not be a “solo vice to the song, and project,” Sitek still took the helm. Friends and colthat involves a lot of leagues were then roped in to help flesh things out. people. From the singEach song features a different vocalist, including Daers and my engineers, vid Byrne, Karen O, rapper Aku from soul-rockers everyone put their thing Dragons of Zynth and vocalist Yukimi Nagano from in there.” electronica act Little Dragon. (On CD, the songs alSitek’s own “thing” ternate from male to female vocalists.) Instrumencould be defined talists Todd Simon, Stuart Bogie, Nate Morton and through his trademark Ikey Owens contribute trumpet, keyboard, drums, messy production. French horn, flugel horn and guitars. He wants to leave the The result is a joyous jumble of styles united by stamp of real life, in all club beats, and awash in the rich fuzz well-known to its untidiness, on any—Dave Sitek TV on the Radio fans, as if Sitek’s fingerprints were thing he records. “There stamped in the feedback. Everything about Maxi- is a little bit of fuzz in mum Balloon is defiantly grandiose. The songs will my life,” he says. “If the music is to be an accurate never be performed live, which allowed Sitek and reflection of what I am and what I am doing, I think Co. to say “let’s just do service to the song and let it that would be the case, you know? There is always a go.” Freed from the need to recreate their arrangepart of me that wants to mess things up a little bit, ments on stage, they could add as many flourishes as keep things dirty.” they desired: the jaunty keyboards and muted guiMaximum Balloon does seem of a piece with Sitar of sexy opener “Groove Me”; the blipping beats tek’s previous output, so Cowbell had to ask: What did lacing with the vibrant synthesizer on “If You Rehe do on this record that he’s never tried before? turn”; the incredibly groovy “Tiger,” with a rhythm “Oh, Lord. I am not sure. Next question!” Sitek somewhere between dirge and bounce, a trumpet keeps on giggling, and then finally continues. “I winding its way through. don’t really know. I never sang ‘meow, meow, meow, As for the singers, Sitek says he “went with the meow, meow’ before on a track. That’d be a first.” ones I’d worked with and really liked. David Byrne He is referring to the album’s first single “Tiger,” was the only one I hadn’t worked with yet, but he is whose video features Sitek and Aku awash in red such a huge influence on me.” The Byrne collabo- balloons, as a festive Chinese paper dragon leaps ration best evokes the childlike fun of the out at panicked passerby. Traditionally, a Maximum Balloon moniker, as funk guiChinese dragon is said to have the claws tars trade off with crisp bursts of horn. It of a tiger, so at least it somewhat fits the feels as if it was written specifically for a song’s ambiguous title. But what is with Talking Heads alum. “I work with a lot of all the balloons? really talented people,” Sitek says. “I am “It may be leading up to my giant party super, super lucky that way.” rental empire,” Sitek quips. “But yeah, it Maximum Balloon’s roster also inwas just fun, the idea of making somecludes his TV on the Radio bandmates Maximum thing, letting it go and it floats off into is Tunde Adebimpe and Kyp Malone. They Balloon space. I thought [the album] was the available now contribute, strangely, the weakest songs from Interscope. upped version of that.”

I am not the kind of person who can throw down with an acoustic guitar and sing some country hit that makes everyone want to drive trucks across the country, so to me it was a group effort.”

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Four years after the untimely demise of Sleater-Kinney, Corin Tucker steps out on her own

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story by Jeanne Fury / photos by hayley young

he’s the not-so-desperate housewife: Corin Tucker,

Can’t Keep Me Away

one-third of Sleater-Kinney, one of the most revered rock bands of the last 25 years. When S-K went on hiatus back in 2006, the singer-guitarist retreated from public view, focusing on her family. She also got a part-time job as a web developer. Not quite as stimulating as taking the stage in front of thousands of swooning fans night after sweltering night, but raising children has proven to be its own kind of adventure. ¶ And yet, five years later, the stifled artist in Tucker started to get antsy. After all, this was the woman who triumphantly cried, “Words and guitar, I got it!” so forcefully that it made her voice quiver. Stick her in a minivan for too long and she was bound to crash. Mother’s little helper came in the form of the Corin Tucker Band and a solo album, 1,000 Years. ¶ “When [S-K] went on hiatus, I stopped playing music entirely,” Tucker says. “I really devoted myself to having another child, which was an all-encompassing thing. I was on bed-rest, and I didn’t do anything for a couple of years. After not having picked up a guitar for a really long time, feeling that loss of creative outlet, you know… All those things that went with Sleater-Kinney were really good. Trying to find my way back to writing songs and playing music has been a journey on its own.” Distance, measured by both time and geographical constraints, is a continuing theme on 1,000 Years. But in most instances—the title track, “Half a World Away,” “It’s Always Summer”—the space apart refers to a temporary separation, more annoying than a full-fledged divorce. Tucker writes about returning to her old musical life, and also alludes to the frustration of staying at home while her husband, filmmaker Lance Bangs, is off on a job. In both instances, the longing in her voice says a reunion will eventually happen, but the waiting is agonizing. To help close the gap, Tucker had to sit tight and do her time (i.e. be a mom), and when the moment

was right, put one foot in front of the other and start on her own path (i.e. write a solo album). “I think there’s a theme of isolation when you settle down and you’re raising your family,” she laughs. “I’m really at home, like, all the time! I miss leaving the house! And I miss traveling, but that’s kind of the deal when you’re raising little kids. I’m holding down the fort, providing that stability for them. That yearning for connection is something that is a part of this record. That’s a part of what I’ve achieved with this musical project.” On the title track, she gently sings, “My own family didn’t know me anymore / Who is that zombie wearin’ mama’s clothes?” to a clomping beat and steady growl of a riff. The song’s breakthrough moment—the emotional “aha!”—couldn’t be more obvious given Tucker’s desire to reconnect with music without giving up her family: “With each song, I get closer / With each note, I return.” Except when Tucker discloses the song’s true origins, the listener is thrown for a loop. needle

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“That song was written for Twilight,” she says. Yes, Twilight, as in the vampire movie starring Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson. Other moms had recommended the series of books by Stephenie Meyer; Tucker was already a huge fan of the genre, especially Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles series. “I picked up Twilight thinking, ‘Meh, we’ll see.’ I have high standards. And I loved it!” she says. “I thought it was highly entertaining and definitely reflected Jane Austen’s writing in terms of those tense, adolescent emotions, and all from the perspective of this young female heroine who’s going through a lot and exploring her own desire. I just really connected with it. I loved the first movie. I thought it was really funny and a really good take on the whole teenage aspect of it.” When her record label, Kill Rock Stars, wanted to pitch songs for the movie’s soundtrack, Tucker was all for it. (The tracks didn’t make the Twilight cut, but they found a home on 1,000 Years.) “The original line was, ‘My own father doesn’t recognize me anymore. Who’s that zombie who’s wearing my daughter’s clothes?’ I just turned that line around to sort of touch on more for me—the return of this artistic outlet that was missing and gone from my life. And it is true that you give up part of yourself when you become a parent. That’s part of the deal and it’s difficult. It’s difficult for men and women, but especially if you’re the main caregiver for your kids, you will miss your old life,” she laughs.

A riot of their own

Tucker came from a world where music was, without question, the center of the universe. Flashback to Olympia, WA in the early ’90s when Tucker was attending Evergreen State College, ground zero of the riot grrrl scene. Feminism-fueled punk bands were furiously carving a place for themselves on 36

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the walls of the rock ‘n’ roll boys club. Music is how Tucker originally connected to herself and to the world. Her first band, Heavens to Betsy, was beloved by the riot grrrl masses, but when Tucker met singer-guitarist Carrie Brownstein and the two formed Sleater-Kinney in 1994, no one could have predicted the mainstream success that lay ahead. Almost from the get-go, S-K were a different breed. Though Tucker and Brownstein came out of a movement run by noisy, mouthy, intellectual bands that emphasized revolutionary messages over instrumental proficiency, S-K took their chops seriously, and their commitment made S-K’s second album Call the Doctor stand out among the muddled clutter of mid-’90s alterna-rock. Tucker and Brownstein’s cranky, dueling guitars and vocals positively bristled; when these frontwomen howled “I wanna be your Joey Ramone” they were not being cute. They were here to work their asses off and become the punk band of the new millennium. When drummer Janet Weiss joined the fold permanently on 1997’s exceptionally praised Dig Me Out, any doubt that Call the Doctor was a one-time flash of inspiration was wiped clean. This trio had the skills to sustain the thrills. Over the next 12 years, critics showered them with attention—Time called them the best band in America; the Village Voice called them the best rock band in the world—and their fan base grew with the each album, taking them far beyond their indie/punk roots. But on June 27, 2006, with little warning, Tucker, Brownstein and Weiss announced they were parting ways. Hearts were crushed in disbelief. “In general, I’m surprised when people tell me how much [Sleater-Kinney] means to them,” Tucker says of the band’s fans. “I guess it’s hard to have that perspective. For us, we were working really hard to kind of make it our career. For us, the kind of cultural-power aspect… It’s a little bit surprising when people are just so passionate about it. It’s wonderful, but I think we all feel the same way. It was something we put everything we had into it and loved it and we all feel the appreciation.”

The Big Picture

Though Tucker may not understand the fandom that S-K inspired across the globe, she absolutely gets the impact of music on people’s lives. It’s a vital part of her identity. On 1,000 Years’ first single, “Doubt,” she sings, “Break up with the boogie / Break up with the beat / But I just can’t forget what it means to me / I tried / I tried, but I couldn’t leave.” Listening, I inferred “the boogie” to be Brownstein and “the beat” to be Weiss. Tucker keeps silent when I suggest this, but she pipes up when asked what it is she’s returning to with the Corin Tucker Band. “That feeling of getting back to playing music again and how much I enjoy that, that’s something I’m doing for myself,” she says. “That really is a feeling of a rebirth of something that I really love. It’s a special gift to be able to do that in your life.” Joined by producer, arranger and multi-instrumentalist Seth Lorinczi, per-


I miss traveling, but that’s kind of the deal when you’re raising little kids. I’m holding down the fort, providing that stability for them. That yearning for connection is something that is a part of this record.”

—corin tucker

cussionist Sara Lund and vocalist Julianna Bright, the Tucker who emerges on 1,000 Years is one whoexudes authority. The music is a mix of loud, raw guitar rock and melancholy string arrangements, with Tucker’s signature vocals—strident, urgent cries tempered with moments of clarity—guiding each song. The songs are not as alarming as those she’s best known for. S-K were always so intense that at times it sounded like the trio was going to ride right off the rails. Now Tucker is able to see a bigger picture, exercise more control over her music. Maybe it’s because she’s used to being a mom, with eyes in the back of her head, making sure everyone falls in line. Or maybe it’s because Tucker is a grown-up. But there’s a sense that everything on the album is following her lead. “I guess there’s a negative association with being a grown-up and having grown-up responsibilities. But there’s a lot of reward in being more mature, more thoughtful, more aware of your own strengths and weaknesses,” she says. “I found that really true with making this solo project. It was so deliberate; it was very thought-out and planned-out. There wasn’t any impulsiveness to it [compared to] other musical stuff I did when I was younger, and I really enjoyed that aspect of it. Issues that we had, we were able to really work on them. We really planned things out. We had a really nice routine.” That meant band practice at 10 a.m. at Lorinczi’s home studio while both his and Tucker’s toddlers were at preschool—a far cry from Tucker’s raucous salad days. “It’s a really different thing,” she says. “It’s not like the whole idea of ‘this band will be your life,’ like when you’re young and you put everything into it and you’re willing to do whatever it takes, be on tour all the time. It’s just not that set-up for me. It’s a different opportunity that I’m really enjoying.” The consideration that Tucker was able to give each track was something that only life experience could have afforded her: “Returning to music and viewing it as a craft and to really look at it as a work of art that you come back to and that you tinker with until you get it to sound exactly the way you want it,

that’s a satisfying aspect of doing something when you’re a bit older.” In the album’s press release, Tucker is referred to as a “Riot Woman” as opposed to a Riot Grrrl, which causes her to laugh out loud. “I can’t go around calling myself a ‘girl,’” she says. “But I’m still a feminist and I still believe in working toward equality and a lot of the same things that I always believed in. But you know, you approach things differently when you’re older, I think. Again, with a kind of thoughtfulness with the planning on things. For SleaterKinney, we thought about being taken seriously when we presented ourselves. That was always part of that band, just presenting yourself as a musical project that’s serious.” Naturally, a serious band doesn’t just record albums; it also tours. Tucker and crew are preparing for a quick run of the coasts this fall. And her pint-sized posse will be in tow. “My daughter’s coming, and on the West Coast, we will have three toddlers,” she laughs. “It’ll be a three-ring circus. It’ll have its own challenges, but it’s an adventure.”

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Still Living in Hicksville Nearly 17 years after his death, comedian Bill Hicks is as relevant as ever—maybe even more so / by J. Bennett

“A

rt is the lie that tells the truth.” This

quote, frequently attributed to Pablo Picasso, is one that comedian Bill Hicks may have taken umbrage with—if only because Hicks’ art was anything but a lie. In comedy clubs across the US and UK, he would editorialize on everything from pornography and abortion to his own drug-induced hallucinations. Before launching into a bit about masturbation in the wake of Pee-wee Herman’s 1991 arrest for indecent exposure in a porno theater, Hicks said, “I’m gonna tell you 38

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something right now that I hope does not tread on any deeply-held belief you hold dear. I hope it doesn’t, but I have to say it. Because it’s true.” As documented in an amateur video shot at an Austin comedy club in November 1991, a clip that appears on one of the two DVDs included in the new four-disc Ryko set Bill Hicks: The Essential Collection, the comedian ruffles then his hair and leans into a classic Hicks-ism: “Men have been jacking off since the dawn of time… My recommendation to you as a culture would be to get over that.” photo by graham haber


Get over it. That was Hicks’ prescription for all the petty nonsense and uptightness that accompanies modern life. He was pretty much an expert on those subjects, after all. Like many a comedian before him, Hicks had to deal with a lot of petty nonsense and uptightness from a lot of folks who just couldn’t get over it. Born in Georgia and raised Southern Baptist in Houston, TX, he came to national prominence during the age of political correctness, that fervent and fervently misguided ’90s phenomenon that hovers ominously over the tenets of free speech to this day. But Hicks had a perfectly reasonable answer for those offended by something he said: “Life is offensive.” Unsurprisingly, this riposte did nothing to ease the chain-smoking comedian’s struggles with censorship. Though he appeared on Late Night With David Letterman nearly a dozen times between 1984 and 1993, his first performance was altered before broadcast and his last went completely unaired— at Letterman’s behest—until 15 years after Hicks’ death. Hicks succumbed to pancreatic cancer at the ripe old age of 32, just a few months after taping his final Late Night performance. In January of 2009, Letterman brought Hicks’ mother on the show, apologized and broadcast the full routine. Compiled from various bits Hicks had used in the past—all of them appear in audio and/or video forms in The Essential Collection—one can see how Letterman’s delicate commercial sensibilities may have balked at some of the material. Hicks talks about his new (fictional) TV show, Let’s Hunt and Kill Billy Ray Cyrus, in which he envisions executing “that jarhead no-talent cracker idiot” alongside the likes of Michael Bolton and Mark Wahlberg, then popularly known as pseudo-rapper Marky Mark. In the same routine, Hicks professes disgust at a homosexually-themed children’s book called Daddy’s New Roommate, calling it “evil and grotesque.” But it’s not like Hicks was anti-gay. He felt his audience should “love everybody equally or shut the f**k up.” And his feelings on gays in the military were thus: “I think anyone dumb enough to sign up for the military should be allowed to. End of story.” In the end, no fool could escape Hicks’ wrath. To him, talk-radio mouth-breather and noted homophobe Rush Limbaugh was a “scat muncher” who enjoyed golden showers from Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. As for the entertainment world, anyone who sold out was persona non grata. Well, almost anyone. “You do a commercial, you’re off the artistic roll call forever,” Hicks said. “And that goes for everyone except Willie Nelson.” Along the way, Hicks inspired many. His topical influence is palpable in David Cross’ political spiels and Patton Oswalt’s food rants. His nihilistic tone seeped into the work of comic book writer Garth Ennis, especially Ennis’ classic Preacher series, in

which Hicks briefly appears in cartoon silhouette. Arena rock outfit Tool paid homage to him on their 1996 album AEnima, which included samples of and references to the comedian’s stand-up routine alongside an illustration of Hicks labeled “Another Dead Hero.” He even opened for the band at Lollapalooza in 1993, where he famously asked the audience to help him look for a missing contact lens. Hicks inspired his own comedic contemporaries as well, including Denis Leary, whom many have accused of stealing Hicks’ material. In April of 1993, less than three months after the release of Leary’s No Cure for Cancer album, Hicks told Austin Comedy News, “I’ve got a scoop for you. I stole [Leary’s] act. I camouflaged it with punchlines, and to really throw people off, I did it before he did.” All controversies aside, part of Hicks’ appeal was the humanity that lurked beneath his misanthropic veneer. He’d do bits that were casually misogynistic, but he’d also riff about how women didn’t want to talk to him. “My dream girl?” he asked one audience rhetorically. “The one who calls me.” When Hicks said things like that, you’d get the sense that he wasn’t actually joking. Instead, it was what fellow comedian and current US Senator Al Franken refers to as “kidding on the square”: You say something in jest, but you’re not really kidding. In fact, Hicks’ entire act could be perceived this way—so much so that “act” is a grossly inappropriate word to describe what he did. A razor-sharp satirist, he peeled back society’s proverbial (delusional, money-grubbing) onion and showed us the mushy, apathetic core. Not that we did anything about it. Listening to Hicks today shows us how little we’ve progressed as a society in the last two decades. Since his passing in 1994, we’ve had another war in Iraq (ongoing, apparently), another Bush in the White House and discovered a glut of certified pedophiles in the Catholic priesthood—the kind Hicks only “joked” about. We’re still arguing over abortion, gays in the military and gun control, all of which were among Hicks’ favorite topics. We’re still saddled with Rush Limbaugh, and while Billy Ray Cyrus is no longer a viable cultural entity, we’ve got his daughter Miley to contend with. Even Jay Leno is sucking just as hard as he did back in the early ’90s when Hicks dismissed the host of The Tonight Show as a “whore for Doritos.” All up and down the line, it’s the same conversation. Only it’s way less funny this time around.

Bill Hicks: The Essential Collection is available now from Rykodisc.

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Living Dead in a Dead-End Town

Make-Out With Violence brings together zombies, suburban sprawl and micro-budget indie romance / by Sean L. Maloney

C

hristopher Doyle—one half of the Deagol Brothers, the directorial team

behind the enigmatic new indie film Make-Out With Violence—is sitting in a basement pool hall in Nashville discussing the strange journey of his debut film, available on DVD and Blu-ray this month. Shot and edited over the course of five-plus years in Doyle’s hometown of Hendersonville, TN—a Nashville exurb that was at one time the home of both Johnny Cash and Roy Orbison—Make-Out With Violence is amongst the first wave to come out of the Music City’s burgeoning micro-budget film scene. “Are you familiar with mumblecore movies?” Doyle asks, referring to the recent spate of supercheap indie dramas. “That was kinda the big thing for the last couple of years, and going to film festivals, we weren’t that familiar with the, I guess, hip indie directors of the present. And having met them—they’re all really cool people that just, you know, make movies, which is cool—we became really aware of the fact that we would hang out with them, and they were really influenced by John Cassavetes, and we just wanted to talk about Empire Strikes Back. And then having watched Make-Out

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With Violence in the context of all these other [festival] movies—I guess we’re an indie movie like them, but it’s definitely apparent that we like Ridley Scott movies more than, say, Joe Swanberg’s movies.” Like their Nashvile peers—who exist apart from the coastal cinematic mainstream, both literally and figuratively; think Harmony Korine’s inexplicable Trash Humpers—the Deagol Brothers stand far outside what we’ve come to expect from the lowkey drama of indie films. Make-Out With Violence is a morbid fairy tale, a visually arresting story of twin brothers, Patrick (Eric Lehning) and Carol (Cody DeVos), clinging to the last moments of childhood while caring for their friend Wendy (Shellie Marie Shartzer). A friend who happens to be dead. Well, undead. But Make-Out With Violence is also the furthest thing from the kind of zombie stories you’re familiar with. Those expecting a blood-soaked splatterfest, or any of the worn-out George Romero tropes that have defined the undead in the modern movie era, are in for disappointment. Despite its name, and its undead characters, this sleepy and creepy coming-of-age story makes no concessions to the boobs-and-blood tactics of the genre’s low-budget brethren. Instead, it plumbs a more abject horror: looming adulthood. Rather than indulging the market’s call for torture-porn, the Deagols explore the gut-wrenching horrors of love—first love, unrequited love, awkward and gangly teenage love—the pain of adolescent emotions


and the fear losing your innocence. If John Hughes had ever tackled Edgar Allan Poe head-on, it might have resulted in a wistful, eerie piece of magic realism not dissimilar from Make-Out. “We had a lot of heart-to-hearts about the unrequited love,” Doyle says of the film’s origins, before launching into a lament over the kind of sprawl that’s claimed many suburbs, a key aspect of the film’s nostalgic appeal, even for those who grew up outside of Tennessee. “Hendersonville, as we knew it as kids, is not really the same as it is now. I guess it was changing as people got out of high school... it’s built up, it’s kinda disconnected, parts of the town are totally dying and just going away. There’s this new shopping center that everyone goes to, but it doesn’t connect to any other part of the town… This one, giant, megatown shopping experience. There was a lot of talking about the way Hendersonville used to be. We talked about growing up in a place that was a lot more rural. One of the biggest problems we had in making the movie was finding places that looked like the Hendersonville we remembered.” Adding to the vibe of the Brothers’ unique and ’80s-indebted alternate-universe suburb is the 60song original indie rock score composed by co-star Jordan Lehning and performed by the Non-Commissioned Officers, also available on double-vinyl this month. Lehning creates an otherworldly new wave soundscape for Make-Out, flush with vintage drum machines, jangly guitars and ethereal synth

I guess we’re an indie movie like them, but it’s definitely apparent that we like Ridley Scott movies more than, say, Joe Swanberg’s movies.”

washes. Catchy but muted, songs like “Love Will Conquer All” and “Frozen Tongue” inhabit a place, an imaginary place, where Devo, New Order and Peter Gabriel shared the same airwaves, evoking an era that’s easily identifiable, but hard to pin down to one sound. Like adolescence itself, the score veers between manic and melodramatic, ultimately keeping the film —Christopher Doyle from wallowing too deep in its own lovelorn misery. And as Make-Out With Violence reaches a wider audience beyond its somnambulant suburb of origin—traversing the nation’s film festivals and enjoying a week-long engagement in Brooklyn—the outside world is forced to come to grips with a startlingly original film. Critics seem torn—straight down the middle, love it or hate it—about this bizarre story of life and death, innocence and perversity. And they Make Out with all want to know: If this zombie movie isn’t about Violence will zombies, what the hell is it about? be released October 26 from “It’s all about us being really misty-eyed, and it’s Factory 25. all about unrequited love, the unrequited love for the Hendersonville that once was, the Hendersonville where Johnny Cash still lives.”

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Everybody Scream The inimitable Pee-wee’s Playhouse gets an appropriately bonkers box set / by Sean L. Maloney

T

oday’s secret word is awesome. Now, you all remember what to do

off the air in the first place. Granted, masturbating in an adult movie theater seems a lot less sleazy in 2010, considering that a) adult movie theaters are all but extinct, and b) it’s become de rigueur to release a porn film in order to help a celebrity’s career. For a good decade, though, it looked like Reubens was blacklisted, robbed of the reruns and admiration that he so rightly deserved. Well, blacklisted except for his appearance in ’90s cult-classic Buffy the Vampire Slayer, of course. And then of course there was his performance as drug-running hairdresser Derek Foreal in Ted Demme’s cult-of-cocaine classic Blow. And we shouldn’t forget his turn as flatulent force-to-be-reckoned-with the Spleen in superhero-spoof Mystery Men. Or his cameo on Reno 911. Or the spate of voiceover work, from The Nightmare Before Christmas to Doctor Doolittle and beyond, that probably includes something sitting on you shelf right now. And then there’s the new Life During Wartime, by the master of the painfully awkward, Todd Solondz. So really, even though Reubens retreated from the spotlight, he’s never stopped bringing his unique talents to the screen. Which, if you think about it, is pretty awesome! (Ahhhhhh!) Not that any of Reubens’ chicanery, or his acting work, really has much to do with Pee-wee’s Playhouse. There’s never a moment on the show where reality intrudes on the sanctity (and lunacy!) of the characters in Puppetland. Sure, there’s the occasional ’50s instructional film or classic cartoon, interspersed between sketches featuring Chairry the talking chair or a visit from Pterri the pterodactyl. But those kitschy old clips are about as close as you’ll come to an interaction with the big weird real world outside while at the Playhouse. Reubens created his own universe, and that’s why, almost a generation later, Peewee’s Playhouse is still awesome! Ahhhhhh! (Heh.)

when anyone says the secret word, right? If you’re familiar with 1980s television, odds are that you know you’re supposed to scream real loud. Few but the most cloistered of children got through the ’80s without getting sucked into the bizarre alternate universe of Pee-wee’s Playhouse during its 45-episode run from 1986 to 1990. Anarchic and idyllic, Pee-wee’s Playhouse, with its ’50s-inspired aesthetic and man-child star, managed a rare feat: A children’s show that was also a cross-generational hit. Seriously, in 1987 this author’s stepdad was so into the Playhouse that he dressed up as Pee-wee for Halloween. It was awesome. (That’s the part where you’re supposed to go Ahhhhhh! at the top of your lungs. Try it; it’s really fun. No, really.) And after 20 years, the Playhouse is still awesome. (Ahhhhhh! Now you’re getting it.) The things that made it fun and exciting for a seven-year-old to turn the dial on a Saturday morning—the absurdist humor; the out-there art direction; the off-the-wall characters like Larry Fishburne’s jheri-curled Cowboy Curtis or Floorey the talking floor; the insane quantity of bad puns—are exactly the same things that make it refreshing and re-watchable when you’re a thirtysomething plowing through a stack of DVDs from this new box set. You might pretend that other ’80s kid shows are still cool, in some ironic or nostalgia-driven sort of way, but how many episodes of Galaxy High School can you really watch in a row? Maybe it’s just a testament to this author’s arrested pre-adolescence, but when Jambi the Genie (a day-glo floating head in a magical box, for those unaware) says his magical incantation “Meka leka hi meka hiney ho,” it’s never not funny. Also, it’s never not awesome. (Ahhhhhh! You’re onto something now.) The true testament to the Pee-Wee’s staying power of Pee-wee and Playhouse: Complete his alter-ego/creator Paul Reu- The Collection will bens is not their ability to en- be available tertain, but their ability to over- October 19 from Image come the scandal that took them Entertainment. 42

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the stuttering artificial intelligence Max Headroom. (The last words Carter saw before crashing were “Max Headroom” on the gate of a car-park.) The show’s obviously British pacing, visual feel and dark satirical vibe were mashed-up with a largely American cast, and the effect was brilliantly disorienting. There were aged English punks driving around, pirate television stations, corporations that dominated the political discourse and “body banks” where you could buy spare organs. This was the world of Blade Runner without the gorgeous lighting. This was William Gibson’s Neuromacer without the Raymond Chandler-esque noir-descriptions, but you fully expected Gibson’s cybernetic Max Headroom reenters the 21st assassin Molly Millions to be around the corner. century data stream / by Joe Gross Edison—running around with a camera linked to his producer/”controller” Theora Jones (the gorgeous o ’90s babies know Max Headroom? Has his half-life as a cultural Amanda Pays) and her boss meme extended into the cross-platform hyperreality of a post-9/11 Murray (Jeffery Tambor!)— the 2010 world of world, a place where a sardonic A.I. might be at home, popping up prefigured one-person D.I.Y. reporting via on our iPhones as we text and invading the code of LOLcatz videos? Twitter and cell phone videoOr is he trapped in ’80s-land forever, a half-computer/half-human cameras. He fights for the little guy against corporate creeps head locked in the hell of his rotating, striped background? of various stripes, including, This welcome DVD collection of all 14 original speaking of ’80s throwbacks, the late Charles Rocket as recurring villain/media Max Headroom episodes answers the question player Ned Grossberg. (It’s hard to tell what’s more annoying, the character’s nicely: Given that the ’80s just refuse to die, Max Jewish name of the idea of Rocket playing a member of the tribe.) can totally exist in both past and present. There are a ton of extras on this set, including in-depth documentaries on Perhaps perfectly, Max started life as a marketthe show’s British roots and American execution. There’s a solid roundtable ing gimmick, a supposedly computer-generated with the cast (not including Frewer, sadly), and informative docs on the show’s head (played by American actor Matt Frewer, as look and tech. CGI technology just wasn’t there yet) that hosted But the question lingers: Is the show an anachronism? Yeah, as much as videos in the UK and sold Coke here. In retro- Leave It to Beaver or Cheers or The X-Files. But the show’s strangeness is also spect, the decision to make a TV show about Max its strongest asset, pointing out what’s come to pass here in “the future” and isn’t that much different from building a program what hasn’t. We live in a world as media-soaked, if not more so, as Max’s. But around those horrible Geico cavemen. But for the it’s all far more banal than Max could have imagined. half-dozen of us who were actually paying attention It’s also less financially stable. Edison’s biggest worry is being killed by his in the magic year of 1987, ABC’s Max Headroom hit bosses—the only thing keeping him alive is his ratings. As cynical as the show with the force of a console jockey jacking into the was, Max Headroom was still devoted to the idea that even the most sheep-like matrix. Here was the cyberpunk future we were de- population can be affected by the truth and those who doggedly ferret it out—not vouring in novels and stories from William Gibson to mention the idea that seeking the truth would remain profitable. How would and Bruce Sterling, except it was Edison do in a world of free bloggers, citizen journalists and skeletal news orgabeing beamed into our homes nizations, a world when reporters are sacked the same year they win Pulitzers? from (as Max’s creators put it) Would Edison and Max turn into Wikileaks or would they become publicists? Of 20 minutes into the future. course, and this is a key point of this visionary show, the trick is to be both. The plot: It’s a savage media landscape in an ugly dystopianif-not-quite-post-apocalyptic world, and Edison Carter (Frewer) is an investigative reporter for Network 23. In the middle of uncovering a gnarly story about Max Headroom: his bosses, Carter is in a mo- The Complete torcycle accident (engineered Series is now on by said bosses) that nearly kills available DVD from Shout! him. Network 23 tech genius Factory. Bryce Lynch (Chris Young, in a creepier-than-it-first-seemed Doogie Howser-type role) was in the middle of mapping Carter’s brain to a computer when Carter went down, resulting in

Viral Video

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Miserabilists and the People Who Love Them

Two documentaries look at the way cult appreciation can shape music

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obody is ever going to confuse the music of Morrissey with

the music of Mayhem. The keening melodramas penned by the former Smiths frontman are simply many worlds away from the emotionally and psychologically intense metal crafted by the Norwegian outfit. Two new fascinating documentaries reveal certain unexpected similarities, though. Kerri Koch’s Passions Just Like Mine looks at Morrissey’s hardcore fan base among Los Angeles Latinos, while Aaron Aites and Audrey Ewell’s Until the Light Takes Us tries to chart the ’90s rise of Norwegian black metal. In both instances, the cult surrounding the music is a complex onion of misunderstandings wrapped around assumptions wrapped around inaccurate perceptions.

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/ by Bret McCabe

Koch’s Passions is the more accomplished of the documentaries, if only because it tackles such unique subject matter. The Philadelphia-based filmmaker is the guerrilla documentarian behind the 2005 riot grrrl doc Don’t Need You, and Passions reflects a similar grassroots spirit. Shot on


digital video, it’s one of those rare labors of love that’s intimate without being cloying, D.I.Y. without being amateurish, and it moves with a sense of genuine purpose. It’s also a rather disarming portrait of genuine fandom. Part of the movie’s subtle shock is not that young Latinos are fans of Morrissey and the Smiths; it’s that this relationship may be completely understandable. Passions opens with some relatively simple observations: Morrissey now lives in Los Angeles, an area with large population of people from Latin America, or of Latin American descent, and as it turns out, hundreds of them are Morrissey fans, in that overwhelmed-byemotions sort of manner. Passions checks in with Latinos both young and in their 30s and 40s, Latinos who play in Morrissey cover bands (such as Sweet and Tender Hooligans) and young people who have made the trip to Manchester, England, to visit places named in Smiths/Morrissey songs and captured on album cover art. One thoughtful young woman points out that she feels like she can relate to Moz because he was born to Irish Catholic immigrants in the United Kingdom, and he sings about feelings familiar to Mexican-American Catholics born to immigrants in the United States. The movie also subtly flirts with the elephant in the room. In an interview, one young man tells of how he got Morrissey to grant him an interview when the singer was leaving an L.A. radio station. The young man Passions Just had to ask his boss for Like Mine will be released the morning off, and beOctober 5 from cause he didn’t have any Urban Cowgirl Productions. paper with him, Morris-

sey inked his name (in marker) on the young man’s shoulder—which the young man immediately had tattooed into his skin. It’s just one of many, more traditional tattoos the young man boasts, the sort of dazzling and tough Until the Light designs seen on urban Takes Us will be available young Latino men. October 19 from Of course, conven- Factory 25. tional Latino masculinity isn’t particularly open to the sort of fey, emotional vulnerability found in Morrissey songs, and if Passions has a specific fault, it’s that it only superficially addresses why Latino men might be so smitten with the artist—which is frustrating only because the film momentarily suggests one reason. The tribute act Sweet and Tender Hooligans created a Spanish version of Morrissey’s “Lost” (“Perdido”), and when performed in the movie, the song sounds as august as a romantic mariachi number, an art form where it is safe for Latino men to talk about and express feelings. Masculinity is also the unsaid subtext of Until the Light Takes Us. The definitive document about black metal’s early 1990s activity remains Michael Moynihan and Didrik Soderlind’s contentious 1998 tellall book Lords of Chaos: The Bloody Rise of the Satanic Metal Underground. In many ways, Light feels more than a decade late to the party. It retells the now tabloid plot points of black metal history, including how an Oslo record store became the ostensible hub for the atmospheric density and philosophical weight Norwegian musicians would inject into metal in the early 1990s, typified by bands such as Burzum, Darkthrone, Immortal, Mayhem and Satyricon.

In period photographs, the members of these bands look just like any other group of skinny young boys trying to become men, but these musicians pushed their musical intensity into their lives. From 1991 to ’96, Norway’s black metallers were consistently involved in violent acts, from the suicide of Mayhem vocalist Per Yngve Ohlin (a photo of the aftermath ended up on the cover of a Mayhem album), some 50 church burnings around Norway and the murder of Mayhem guitarist Oystein Aarseth by Burzum’s Varg Vikernes. Light primarily tells this story through the lives and memories of Darkthrone’s Gylve Nagell, a soft-spoken and introspective man, and Vikernes, who was still imprisoned when the documentary was filmed. (He was released in 2009.) And that distance between the young men the two once were, and the adults they are now, is what gives the movie its poignant patina. Nagell comes across withdrawn in the documentary, and still sees the media coverage of black metal’s more unfortunate moments as overshadowing the music itself. He continues to record in Darkthrone, and he speaks with the guarded honesty of somebody who survived Altamont, but is still trying to decide how that affects his faith in the art. Vikernes is a more complicated subject altogether. Interviewed in prison, directors Aites and Ewell let this articulate and intelligent man speak his mind freely, and he talks about the church arsons and Aarseth’s murder with the same eerie calm as he talks about lost youth and the supposed good of democracy and religion, though capitalism’s materialism and Christianity are what he believes have corrupted the real Norway. There’s something strangely charismatic and unsettling about Vikernes, and he remains a polarizing figure (his politics continue to run ultra-nationalist). What Light doesn’t do, though, is draw any conclusions. How did Nagell emerge from this era a more thoughtful adult, while Vikernes is even more detached and dispassionate? Did it have anything to do with the music? The movie doesn’t dare venture a guess, as if too timid to discover what lies behind that door. needle

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Pretty Great Performances*

Forget the laughs—what makes Fargo great is Frances McDormand’s ability to endure / by Joe Gross

P

retty Great Performances tends to shy away from Oscar winners. Why? Because everyone

knows that a lot of those performances are pretty great. (See also: De Niro in Raging Bull.) And if they’re not pretty great on their face, they’re performances that embody something the Academy supports. Tom Hanks was, you know, just ducky in Philadelphia, but his win also highlighted the AIDS crisis and the job discrimination face by those with HIV.  Or they go to an old pro who’s done a decent job and might have been a game-changer in the past (Jack Nicholson’s win for As Good as It Gets.) Or they’re a lifetime achievement award for someone who’s yet to win an Oscar (Al Pacino for the deeply unfortunate Scent of a Woman or Sean Connery for his perfectly good performance in The Name of the Rose). Or they just suck out loud and everyone who voted is clearly high. (I am also willing to put Pacino’s Scent performance in this category. Jesus.)  So P.G.P. avoids the Oscars. But now and then, we recall a performance that is just so across-the-board excellent that everyone gets it right: the hoi polloi and the elites, the critics and the cultists, the establishment and the Academy. This is a role that ended up at No. 33 on the American Film Institute’s list of the Greatest Screen Heroes and Villains. It is a role that ended up vaguely defining the actress who played it, even though she has a habit of vanishing into her roles like morning dew at 10 a.m. Frances McDormand as Marge Gunderson in Fargo is one of those Oscar winners.

For reasons that pass understanding, reasons that probably say a lot about our country’s inability to feel anything past a giggle or an erection, a lot of people think Fargo is a comedy. (These people include the folks who hand out the Golden Globes.) This might have something to do with the accents or the sheer number of nasal “Oh, yah”s that are uttered, or the vaguely funny poster with the quilting. And it is amusing, in parts .(“The little guy was kinda funnylookin’.” “Can you be any more specific?” “I couldn’t really say. He wasn’t circumcised.” “Was he funny-lookin’ apart from that?”) But I’m not sure I would want anyone babysitting my kid who thinks of Fargo as an out-and-out black comedy. Perhaps this misreading stems from the fact that we have trouble rectifying horror and compassion. For more than anything else,

* Directors often get all the credit when it comes to great films, and great TV shows are often

seen as ensemble pieces. But what about the actors who help elevate a flick to classic status, or the unsung stars who take a show to the next level? Each month, Pretty Great Performances looks at the actors who rescued a project from failure or added that extra layer of awesomeness.

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But with Marge, we see basic compassion, which is harder to play than it looks, and everyday bravery, which is near impossible to do without looking showy or cheap. She is the saltof-the-earthMidwesterner at their salt-ofthe-earthiest.

McDormand as Marge Gunderson is compassionate. We first see her in bed with her husband, cozy and warm, an oasis of blankets in a harsh landscape. Until now, we have seen the frozen face of the Midwest, dead white and soulless, full of desperate men like Jerry Lundegaard (William H. Macy) or his cruel father-in-law Wade (Harve Presnell), the jabbering Carl Showalter (Steve Buscemi) and the terrifying Gaear Grimsrud (Peter Stormare), two demons cut loose from Hell. But with Marge, we see basic compassion, which is harder to play than it looks, and everyday bravery, which is near impossible to do without looking showy or cheap. She is the salt-of-the-earth-Midwesterner at their salt-of-the-earthiest. Marge is married to Norm, a wildlife painter, the kind of guy who lets her sleep in when she’s called out to investigate a dead body. She’s pregnant, but troops along like the cop she is. Marge is the smartest person on her police force by a country mile, the proverbial sharper-than-she-seems detective, but McDormand never lets Marge condescend to her surroundings.  She drives Marge home in three key scenes, only one of which is about the crime. The first is with Mike Yanagita (Steve Park), an old friend from high

school who wants to have a drink. Marge agrees, more out of being polite than anything else, and finds out the hard way that Mike is a mess. He hits on her and fails. (Marge, polite but firm: “No, why not sit over there? I prefer that.”) Then we find out Yamagita’s wife is dead and, he blubbers that, “You were such a super lady.” He starts to cry. “I shouldn’t have done this. I shouldn’t have done this. I shouldn’t… I thought we’d have a really terrific time. And then... I’ve been so lonely.” Marge drops her voice to whispers: “It’s OK, Mike.” Again, polite but firm. Pure earth-salt. The second scene comes near the end of the film, when she all but bounds out of her car to confront the bad guys. She is slow-moving. She is very obviously extremely pregnant. These are violent men. And she goes after them anyway, and it never comes off as reckless. Later, she tries talking to the murderous Grimsrud: “And I guess that was your accomplice in the wood chipper. And those three people in Brainerd. And for what? For a little bit of money. There’s more to life than a little money, you know. Don’t you know that? And here y’are.” She is incredulous yet not naïve, almost disappointed in this soulless beast. It’s still freezing out, yet, as Marge puts it, in the midst of all this carnage, “it’s a beautiful day.” Nearly everything you need to know about her is captured by McDormand in that one monologue. The last key scene is the movie’s final moment. In bed again, Marge and Norm talk about his mallard painting being used for a three-cent stamp. He is disappointed; she is not: “Whenever they raise the postage, people need the little stamps… It’s terrific. I’m so proud of you, Norm.” Then, “Heck, Norm, you know, we’re doin’ pretty good.”  Marge has seen humanity at it’s very worst, yet McDormand delivers the idea, without a shred of irony or compromise, that Marge still believes it is possible to be doin’ pretty Fargo is available now on good. If every Oscar-winning performance was this great, DVD and Blu-Ray well, betting on them would be a lot easier. from MGM. needle

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Cold Comfort

A riveting young actress makes Winter’s Bone the year’s most heartwrenching thriller / by Bret McCabe

A

pair of breakout performances anchors Winter’s Bone, a hauntingly effec-

tive crime story set in the rural, working-class Ozark woods of Missouri. One comes from the young lead actress, 20-year-old Jennifer Lawrence, who inhabits the put-upon Ree Dolly with an unforgettable balance of hardscrabble determination and naiveté. The other is the impeccable direction of Debra Granik, who, in only her second feature, adapts Daniel Woodrell’s source novel with consummate subtlety and a refreshing trust in her cast to mine this tale’s primal instincts. Awful, harrowing events transpire in Winter’s Bone, but Granik and co-writer Anne Rosellini don’t resort to cheap shocks or abrupt tonal shifts for artificial tension. Instead, Granik patiently spins this story’s lethal noose of a predicament around Ree’s neck until the young woman is forced to fend for herself against the people she learns to fear the most: her family. And 17-year-old Ree learns that lesson in the hardest way possible. She’s the primary caregiver and provider to her 12-year-old brother, six-year-old sister and heavily medicated and mentally absent mother. Dad Jessup is never around because he’s up to his neck in the family meth trade; either he’s out cooking it up in some remote house or he’s in lock-up. Thing is, Jessup puts up the house and family land as bond collateral for his most recent arrest. Then he goes missing, and if he doesn’t appear in court, Ree and her family are going to be kicked out of their extremely modest home and into the cruel, unforgiving winter. From the moment the sheriff (Garrett 48

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Dillahunt) comes by the house to inform Ree of this situation, she knows enough about her father’s business and his associates to imagine what’s happened to him. But knowing and proving are two entirely different things, meaning she has to follow the family chain of command—from her uncle Teardrop (John Hawkes, positively frightening as a meth-clan worker who has used way too much of his own product) to the family kingpin Blond Milton (William White), who doesn’t have to intimidate because his wife Merab (Dale Dickey) is more than capable of physical confrontation—to ask two simple questions: What happened to Jessup? And how can Ree save her home? Lawrence imbues Ree with a steadfast fight that becomes downright heartbreaking: Lawrence looks young enough to be a teenager, but her eyes convey the weariness of being thrust into adulthood too early. Women are supposed to know their place in this family, but absent a father or a husband, Ree has to shoulder the burden of defending her family alone. Meaning

Winter’s Bone is available on DVD and Blu-ray October 26 from Lionsgate.

she’s the one who gets unambiguously told what happens to people who go poking their nose around where they shouldn’t. (They get fed to the hogs). Meaning she’s the one who takes the beating when she doesn’t take the hint the first time. Meaning she’s the one who gets taken out to a remote lake at night with a bag over her head and a chainsaw. Keeping everything even-keeled, though, is Granik’s pitch-perfect confidence. As in Woodrell’s novel, Granik’s Winter’s Bone never condescends to the people of the Ozarks or resorts to easy clichés about working-class rural life. Sure, collarless dogs and old cars dot the landscape, and Ree teaches her younger siblings how to hunt and skin squirrels, but these details add depth and clarity to their lives and to Ree’s struggle. She knows what she’s up against, in society and inside her family, but in these everyday moments Granik allows Lawrence to organically dramatize why a teenage girl could find the heroic resolve to fight for the only life she knows.


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Judging a Movie by Its Books essay by

Stan Michna

knowledge-based city, home to the Museum at Alexandria which included renowned schools of poetry, music, philosophy and astronomy (no Muse was bad news) in addition to Hellenistic civilization’s crowning jewel, the great Library of Alexandria, the ancient world’s largest repository of recorded knowledge. In deference to its Hellenistic legacy, the Museum also served as a temple to the Greek gods (where else would the gift of knowledge come from?), an ancillary function that acted as catalyst to the eruption of deadly sectarian mob violence that ultimately consumed the city. If Martin Scorsese had made this movie, he’d have called it Gangs Of Alexandria.

The Argument

The Film

Agora. From the Greek, meaning “place of assembly,” where, during the age of Greek city states important political and military decisions were announced. Soon slid smoothly into a commercial marketplace as well. Business interests have trumped political interests ever since.

The Protagonist

Hypatia of Alexandria (c. 450 – 515 C.E.), real-life brainy and beauteous— according to some accounts—Greek teacher, mathematician, astronomer and philosopher of the Plotinus school of Neoplatonism. (Not to be confused with Chlamydia of Spadina, pagan goddess of Toronto’s club district.)

The Background

The film, set in Alexandria, in the Roman province of Egypt, opens in the crucial year 391 C.E. The remnants of the Eastern and Western Roman Empire were about to be formally reunited—albeit temporarily—under the Christian Emperor Theodosius I, reflecting the surging growth and power of newly-minted Christianity. Alexandria, with its bustling port—its Lighthouse at Pharos remains one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World—was then the Empire’s pre-eminent cosmopolitan city, containing, simultaneously, the largest Greek and Jewish populations of any city in the world. It was also, arguably, the world’s foremost 50

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Agora is not, as its many admirers—it was Spain’s 2009 box-office champ—argue, an epic film about ideas. (Discussing the differences between semi-Arianism, Arianism, Anomeanism and Trinitarianism would be a film about ideas.) Rather, Agora is a precise explication of the cruel irony of history, using religion (not just early Christianity) as its lodestar. The contrasting opening scenes spell it out clearly: Inside the colonnaded Museum, Hypatia (brainy, beauteous Rachel Weisz) calmly and rationally instructing her mixed class of pagan and Christian pupils. Outside, in the agora, a hot-tempered, irrational clash—each side accusing the other of insulting their God or gods—between swarms of Christians and so-called Greek pagans. What do they spell? Trouble with a capital “T” and Foreshadowing with a capital “F.” By the time the inevitable killing stops—Greeks kill Christians, Christians kill Greeks, Jews kill Christians and Christians kill Jews—Christianity has consolidated its grip on Alexandria. Like fundamentalists everywhere, the new Christian regime wants every aspect of life to be subservient to its tenets. To emphasize the point, the newly appointed bishop, Cyril (Sami Samir), orders the Library of Alexandria’s contents—the cumulative knowledge of the world—to be burned. No free thinking is to be allowed. (Guess what happens to Hypatia, the unbowed symbol of free thought.) The modern echoes of the story—fundamentalist Christianity repressing intellectual inquiry—are obvious, but not complete. Director Alejandro Amenabar’s (he won an Oscar for The Sea Inside) outlook is far more expansive. Born to parents who fled Chile after the Pinochet coup, Amenabar grew up in Franco’s fascist Spain, a nation easily as priest-ridden as Joyce’s Ireland. No surprise then to see sequences in Agora (it was shot in Malta, using many of the sets from Gladiator) of roving gangs of Christians wearing the black uniforms (similar to the gorillas in Tim Burton’s Planet Of The Apes) universally identified with fascism. Their middle-eastern faces—the Christians of Alexandria were primarily Egyptian—however, suggest something beyond Christian fundamentalist fascism. Except for the dangling crosses around their necks, they are almost indistinguishable from mobs of Islamic fundamentalists that appear nightly on TV newscasts. Indeed, in 641, the early Christians’ fundamentalist soul brothers, the early fundamentalist Muslims, finished the job and burned the Library of Alexandria to the ground. (Yeah, it is ironic.)

The End

Agora will be released October 19 from Paradox.

For all its dramatic clash-of-civilizations theme, Agora is like poor Hypatia. More people would rather play Halo and save the planet Reach from The Covenant than civilization from the fundamentalist hordes. No points—in life or in video games—are ever awarded for saving books.

Questions or comments? Email stan@sunriserecords.com


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/movies/new_releases OCTOBER 5

(Sic)Nesses 12 Dogs of Christmas 1941 1981 20th Century Fox Studio Classics Set 16: The Alligator People/The Cabinet of Caligari/The Fly/House of the Damned 20th Century Fox Studio Classics Set 17: Fantastic Voyage/The Lost World/The Towering Inferno/ Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea 20th Century Fox Studio Classics Set 18: Battle for the Planet of the Apes/The Day the Earth Stood Still/The Neptune Factor/The Poseidon Adventure 28 Days Later/The Hills Have Eyes 30 Days of Night: Dark Days 8 Mile Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) All Dogs Christmas Carol/ Christmas Carol All I Want for Christmas All in the Family: The Complete Seventh Season All the President’s Men All-Star Comedy Jam: Dallas Ally McBeal: The Complete Fifth Season Ally McBeal: The Complete Fourth Season Ally McBeal: The Complete Third Season America’s Funniest Home Videos: Home for the Holidays Anastasia Apollo 13 Avett Brothers Live Vol. 3 Backwoods/Hard Ride to Hell Backyardigans: Christmas With the Backyardigans Barbie in the Nutcracker Baseball: A Film by Ken Burns Baseball: The Tenth Inning – A Film by Ken Burns & Lynne Novick Battle of Britain Beauty and the Beast Beegie Adair: Winter Romance Bela Lugosi Collection Bellydance Superstars: Tribal Superstars Ben 10: Alien Force Vol. 9 Benny Hill: Complete and Unadulterated – The Complete Collection Megaset Beyond Tomorrow Bill Burr; Let It Go Bishop’s Wife/March of the Wooden Soldiers Black Mountain Madman Blizzard/Prancer Blue Mountain State: Season One Blue Valley Songbird Bomber Bones: The Complete Fifth Season Boris Karloff Collection Born on the Fourth of July: Special Edition Bratz: Pampered Petz Bull Bullitt Cake Boss: Season 2 Camp Rock 2 Celebrity Sweat Vol. 1 Chamber Charlie and Lola Vol. 11: I Really Really Need Actual Ice Skates and Other Stories Charlie and Lola: The Absolutely Completely Complete Season Three Charlie Brown’s Christmas Tales Christmas in Canaan

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Clown at Midnight/Phantom Racer Coraline Cowboy Way Cummings Farm Daredevil/Elektra/Fantastic Four Davey & Goliath Vol. 2 David Phelps: Christmas With David Phelps Day After Tomorrow/I, Robot/The Day the Earth Stood Still Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid Destined to be Ingested Destricted Detention Dexter Jackson: Unbreakable Disney Dogs Doctor Who: Dreamland Dog Day Afternoon Dogfights of WWII Don’t Let Me Drown Don’t Look in the Cellar Dragnet Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story Duran Duran: Live at Hammersmith ‘82 Earth Final Conflict Season 4 Edtv Elf Bowling: The Movie/Christmas Is Here Again Elvis & Anabelle Empires: Megaset ESPN Films 30 for 30: Into the Wind Exorcist: Version You’ve Never Seen Ez Money Fade to Black Fantastic Four/X-Men Farm Faust Feast/Feast II/Feast III Fred: The Movie From Hell/The Good Son Gancho al Corazon Gangs of Baghdad Garfield’s Pet Force Ghost Adventures Gong Global Family: Live in Brazil Gong Tau: An Oriental Black Magic Good, the Bad and the Ugly Great Expectations Great Music Caper Hand in Hand Happening/The Omen/Shutter Hell in Normandy Hide and Seek/The Omen Home of the Brave Human Centipede Humphrey Bogart: The Essential Collection I’ll Be Seeing You Independence Day Jackass Collection Jackie Warner: Xtreme Time Saver Jerry Bruckheimer Collection Jinki: Extend – The Complete Series John Travolta Collection Jolly Holiday Karate Kid (2010) Killing Room Kings of Chrome Vol. 7 Knebworth Fayre 1976 Kurokami: The Animation Part 3 Last Rites of Ransom Pride Legends in Concert: The Gentle Man Legends in Concert: Man in Black Like Father Like Son Lil’ River Rats and the Adventure of the Lost Treasure Linebarrels of Iron: Ova Linebarrels of Iron: Season Two Listen to Your Heart Liza’s at the Palace Lock ‘N Load Lost Kingdoms of Africa Louie Giglio: The Twelve Words of Christmas Mad Max Maltese Falcon Mandie & The Cherokee Treasure Maneater Series: Wyvern/Sand Serpents/Carny Mary Tyler Moore Show: Season 7

Medium: The Sixth Season Mid-August Lunch Midnight Horror Collection Money Worries Monk: The Complete Series Mummy Returns Mutant X Season 2 Mutiny Mystery Men NASA UFO Footage National Lampoon’s European Vacation National Lampoon’s Vacation Nature Untamed: Journey to Shark Eden Navy Seals Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy New Jack City NHL: Stanley Cup 2009-2010 Champions Ni Hao, Kai-Lan: Kai-Lan’s Carnival Nicholas Cage Collection Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) No Limit Kids Noel/Smile Nothing Like the Holidays Oak Ridge Boys: An Inconvenient Christmas Olivia: Merry Christmas, Olivia One Missed Call Trilogy One True Thing PBS Explorer Collection: Exploring Our Roots With Henry Louis Gates Jr. PBS Explorer Collection: Ocean Adventures With Jean-Michel Cousteau Pebble and the Penguin Penguins of Madagascar: I Was a Penguin Zombie Phantom Creeps Pink Panther 2 (2009) Planet of the Apes/Predator/ Predator 2 Planet of the Apes/The X Files Poseidon Adventure: Special Edition Pride and Prejudice (2005) Princess Collection Psycho Pulse 1-3 Triple Feature Queen Radar Men From the Moon Reel Injun Rig Rocky Jones Space Ranger: Crash of Moons Roger Corman’s Cult Classics: The Evil/Twice Dead Roger Corman’s Cult Classics: The Slumber Party Massacre Collection Roman Invasion of Britain Ronin Room 33 Rough Riders Round Up Roy Rogers Collection Rumpole of the Bailey: Complete Rust Samantha Brown’s Passport to Great Weekends Collection 2 Secret of Kells Secret of Nimh/Water Babies Shank Shaquille O’Neal Presents: All-Star Comedy Jam – Live From Dallas Shooting Star(s) SOS Coastguard Splice Spot’s Magical Christmas Stargate Universe: The Complete First Season Story Lady Story of Mothers and Daughers Sunshine/The X-Files: Fight the Future/The X-Files: I Want to Believe

They Call Her… Cleopatrawong/ One Armed Executioner Third Wish This Movie Is Broken Thomas Crown Affair (1999) Three Stooges Collection

Tokio Hotel: Humanoid City Live Tomboys Treasure of the Sierra Madre Troll 2 Troy Donockley and Dave Bainbridge: From Silence ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas UFC: Ultimate Submissions Ugly Americans: Season One Vol. 1 Ultimate Fighting Championship: Ultimate Fighter Season 11 Undertaker Universe Unsolved Suburbia Velvet Revolution Walk the Line Where the Buffalo Roam Woke Up Dead Wow Hits 2011: The Videos Wrong Turn/Joy Ride Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss: The Cat’s Adventures Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss: The Cat’s Musical Tales Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss: There Is Nothing to Fear in Here Wu-Tang Saga X2: X-Men United OCTOBER 12

10,000 Ways to Die: Spaghetti Western Film Collection 12 Biggest Lies 12 Days of Christmas Eve 2010: Supernova 30 Rock: Seasons 1 & 2 Value Pack 5.K.1 Adventures of Robin Hood Collection All of My Friends Are Funeral Singers American West: 12 Documentary Set Angel: Complete Series Angelina Ballerina: The Nutcracker Sweet Arn: The Knight Templar As Good as Dead Astaire and Rogers: 10-Film Collection Baker Bangkok Adrenaline Barbie in A Christmas Carol Birth of Flight: A History of Civil Aviation Black Dolemite: The Best of Rudy Ray Moore Live Blossom Blue Valley Songbird/A Song From the EHart Booky & The Secret Santa Breaking Upwards Bridge Life: Finding Our Way Home Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Chosen Collection Busby Berkeley Collection Canada at War Carnies Celestial Films: Shaw Brothers Triple Threat Celestial Films: Soul of the Sword Christmas Hope Christmas in Boston Christmas Miracle at Sage Creek/ Country Remedy Christmas Snow Circle Coffin Rock Commish: The Complete Series Connie Talbot: Holiday Magic Cornhole: The Movie Crime Boss Collection Criminal Justice 2 Crucible of Terror CSI: Miami: The Eighth Season Cult Horror Collection Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas Daniel & Ana Darjeeling Limited


oct 12 Jonah Hex

Directed by Jimmy Hayward Ah, what could have been: This adaptation of DC Comics’ long-running horror-in-theold-west series was originally slated to be directed by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, responsible for the reprehensible and amazing Crank: High Voltage, an epilepsy-inducing/gameending celebration of action movie cliché. Instead it was helmed by the guy who made the 2008 version of Horton Hears a Who. But compromised though its trashy vision may now be, you do get to watch Josh Brolin grump around shooting people while John Malkovich is stuck on his hammiest setting. (Warner Home Video)

Dark Lurking Dark Moon Thriller Collection David Icke: Beyond the Cutting Edge David Icke: Live at the Oxford Union Debating Society Death Tube Defqon 1 Festival Live 2010 Demeking: The Sea Monster Dexter’s Laboratory: Season One Diego Luna Dinosaur Train: Dinosaurs in the Snow Doghouse Dollhouse Season 2 Don Carlo Dreams and Shadows Epic Disasters Collector’s Set Essential Bugs Bunny Ex$pendable Family Adventure: The Red Fury/ Seven Alone/Against a Crooked Sky Final Days of Planet Earth/ Invasion of the Pod People Fire Creek Fists of Vengeance Flashforward: Season One Part 1 G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero – Countdown for Zartan Garfield Show: Odie Oh! Gates Ghost Adventures Ghost Whisperer: Complete Series Ghost Whisperer: The Final Season Golden Christmas

Great Detectives Anthology: Poirot/Sherlock Holmes/Marple Greatest American Hero: Season 2 Gunsmoke: The Fourth Season Vol. 1 Hangover He-Man and She-Ra: A Christmas Special History of Oklahoma Football, Part 1: Birth of a Champion 1895-1946 Hitler: The Untold Story Holiday Inn Hollywood Horror Collection Home for the Holidays/Some Girls Horror Cinema Vol. 1 Horseland: The Complete Series How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000) How to Train Your Dragon/Legend of the Boneknapper Dragon I Am Comic I Am Love I’ll Come Running In Treatment: Season Two Inside & Black Irish & Sudden Fury Inspector Lewis Series 3 It’s a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie Jaws in Japan JFK: Reckless Youth/The Women of Camelot Johnny Staccato Jonah Hex Judges Kevin Hart: I’m a Grown Little Man Kimjongilia Kings of the Evening Kings of the Road Kung-Fu Master Ladies and Gentlemen, the Rolling Stones Language of the Enemy Lassie Leaves of Grass License to Kill/Acts of Contrition/ Gang in Blue Lightblast Lost Boys: The Thirst Love Actually Maggie’s Passage Magician Mania Manson, My Name Is Evil Marcus Welby, M.D. Season Two Marty Stouffer’s Wild America: Specials 1-6 Marty Stouffer’s Wild America: Specials 7-12 Megapiranha Michael Jackson Triple Feature Michael McDonald: Model Citizen Midnight Horror Collection: Puppet Master Mighty Machines: Machines on the Job Mike McDonald: A Comic Stripped Miranda Lambert: Revolution – Live by Candlelight Munsters’ Scary Little Christmas National Geographic: Wonders of the Universe Native America: Voices From the Land Neil Diamond: Christmas Album Nochebuena Office: Seasons Three & Four Older Than America

Opus and Bill: Wish for Wings That Work

Orfreo Others Outlaw Western Collection Oxford Murders Pain Pandas & Pygmies: True Survivors Paranormal Playback Postcards From Buster: The Complete Series Prancer Returns Psych: The Complete Seasons One and Two Punky Brewster: Turn My World

Around Rare Cult Cinema Renegade: The Complete Series Rise Against: Another Station, Another Mile Rocksteady: The Roots of Reggae Roger Corman Drive-In Collection Sallie House: Gateway to the Paranormal Samurai Vendetta Santa Baby 2 Santa vs. the Snowman Saturday Night Live Presents: A Very Gilly Christmas Sculpture Sengoku Basara: The Complete Series Seven Deadly Sins Shaolin Rescuers Sherman in the Winter Silver Screen Cowboys Collection Smokey and the Bandit: The 7-Movie Outlaw Collection Snowy Days/Frosty Friends Spoken Word Spy Thrillers Stealing Christmas Strikeforce: MMA Sunday Super Gals: The Complete Collection Super Why: ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas and Other Fairytale Adventures Tales From the Crypt: The Complete Seasons 1 & 2 Tales From the Players Manual Vol. 2

Terminal City Ricochet Thomas & Friends: Holiday Express Thomas & Friends: Merry Winter Wish Tokyo Majin Touch Trailer Park Boys: The Complete First Season Trancers Trancers 3: Deth Lives Trancers, Definitive Collection: II Tranquil Moods Tudors: The Final Season Tytania: Collection 2 Ultimate Classic TV Ultimate Timeless TV Collection Ultimate Wild West Collection University of Kentucky: Blue Dawn War Classics: Big Battles of World War II War Classics: Crusade in Pacific v. 2 Warren Miller’s Dynasty Welcome to the NHK White Night White on Rice Widower Wolverine and the X-Men: The Complete Series WWE: Best of the High Fliers Yolanda Adams: What a Wonderful … You Might as Well Live OCTOBER 19

10-20 12 Days of Christmas/Santa Trap 1941-66 Tales From a Golden Age 20th Century With Mike Wallace: Politics and Presidents ‘70s Drive-In Horror: Ruby/Kiss of the Tarantula Aaah! Zombies!! Accidentally on Purpose: DVD Ed. Agora Aliens, UFOs and Mutilations: Are We Next? Amburst America’s Great Train Rides 6-Pack America’s Music Legacy: Country… America’s Music Legacy: Gospel America’s Music Legacy: R & B America’s Music Legacy: Rock ‘N Roll Andrew Hill: Solos – The Jazz Sessions Andy Williams Christmas Album

Assault Girls Assault of the Sasquatch Bamboo Blade: The Complete Series Barry Manilow: A Christmas Gift of Love BBC Natural History Collection Vol. 2 Featuring Life Benji’s Very Own Christmas Story/ Miracle Dogs Big Country: The Final Fling Bikini Bloodbath Christmas Bionic Woman: Season One Bizarre Foods With Andrew Zimmern Collection 4 Part 1 Black Balloon Bluff Bo Burnham: Words, Words, Words Brad Paisley Christmas Brooks & Dunn: It Won’t Be Christmas Without You Caprica Season 1.0 Carreras/Domingo/Pavaroti: The Three Tenors Christmas Celebration of Music Celine Dion: These Are Special Times Charlie Valentine Cheezy Trailer Extravaganza Box Set

Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things Christmas Hope/Christmas Choir Christmas in Boston/Santa Baby 2 Christmas Lights DVD Class Reunion Massacre Classics Colin Crimson Wing: Mystery of the Flamingos Deadlands 2: Trapped Dear Pyongyang Demon Dew Point Disney Preschool Collection Dolla Morte Eden of the East: The Complete Series Electric Chair Elvis Presley: Elvis Christmas Eureka Season One Final 24: Jim Morrison – Final Hours Final 24: JFK Jr. – Final Hrs Final 24: Tupac – His Final Hours Free to Be You and Me: 36th Anniversary Edition Fruit Fly Full Metal Panic Fumoffu: The Complete Collection G.G. Allin & The Aids Brigade: Live in Boston 1989 Generator Rex VOl. 1 Giallo Going to Kindergarten Green Day: DVD Collector Harry Potter & The Goblet of Fire Harry Potter & The Prisoner of Azkaban Hayate the Combat Butler Part 7 Herman Cohen Classic Horror: Horrors of the Black Museum/The Headless Ghost Holy Rollers Horno How to Train Your Dragon Ice Cream Shop & More Il Divo Christmas Collection Jack Bruce: City of Gold – Live Performance Jesus Guy Joe Bonamassa Live From the Royal Albert Hall John Denver: Rocky Mountain Christmas Johnny Cash: Christmas With Johnny Mathis Gold: A 50th Anniversary Celebration Jonathan Creek: The Specials Jose Feliciano: Feliz Navidad Journey to Promethea Kenny Chesney: All I Want for Christmas Kenny G: Greatest Holiday Classics Killers From Space

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/movies/new_releases

Twilight Twilight Saga: New Moon UFC 117: Silva vs. Sonnen Until the Light Takes Us

Utawarefumono: The Complete Series

Killing Machine Klub Kush 2 Kurau: Phantom Memory – Complete Kylie Minogue: Rare and Unseen Last Warhorse Lemon Drop Kid L Cohen’s Lonesome Heroes Lost Tribe Lost World Luciano Pavarotti: Bravo Pavarotti Luther Vandross: This Is Christmas Madeline’s Christmas & Other Wintery Tales Mariah Carey: Merry Christmas Martina McBride: White Christmas Max & Co. Maze Michael Schenker Group: Live in Tokyo – 30th Anniversary Tour Mind to Kill: Series 2 Mirrors 2 Mobile Suit …: Season 2 Part 3 MONster a Go-Go Motorhead: Attack in Switz. – Live Mr. Chi-Pig My Name Is Jerry Naruto: Shipuden Box Set 4 National Geographic: Inside the State Department Nature: Amazing Places – Africa NBC Western TV Legends Night of the Demons Nightfall/The Devil Bat Oceans Pastor Jones: Complete Season 1 Pee-Wee’s Playhouse: Complete Phil Spector: Christmas Gift for You Phish: Coral Sky Please Give Predators Psycho Legacy Raging Planet Reader’s Digest Great People of the Bible REO Speedwagon: Not So Silent Night Retrievers/Golden Christmas Rick Wakeman: Journey to the Centre of the Earth S Box Scooby-Doo Where Are You Season One Vol. 4 Scooby’s All-Star Laff-a-lym: Vol. 2 Scream Dream Scream Queens Double Feature Serther Sesame Street: C Is for Cookie… Shaun the Sheep Season One Shiver of the Vampires Shoot the Hero Sister Smile Six Wives of Henry Lefay Skeletons Smash His Camera Snoop Dogg, Ja Rule & Jadakiss: Live Box Set Stilelibero Storm Tracker Storm/2010: Supernova Story of Mothers and Daughers String Sun Behind the Clouds: Tibet’s Struggle for Freedom Swamp of the Ravens Taking Care of Terrific Tales From the Darkside: The Complete Series Tales … Darkside: The Final Season Tapout: The Complete Series Tears to Tiara Theater of War TNA Wrestling’s Greatest Moments Tosca Traditional Christmas Tuli Bilbuli 2: Kingdom of Music

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Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl: Live Action Wallander: Faceless Killers/The Man Who Smiles/The Fifth Woman We Live in Public West Side Story What Really Frightens You? Whitney Houston: One Wish – The Holiday Album World War II: Commando Collection WWE Night of Champions 2010 Yes: Yesacoustic OCTOBER 26

Adonis Factor Against the Current Ajanta: The History and the Mystery Albert’s Memorial Altitude Ancient Greece: Gods & Battles Ancient Rome Art of Ballet Australia Aquaria Back to the Future: Complete Trilogy Barbara Bonney/Matthias Goerne: Baroque Christmas Concert From the Cathedral in Freiburg Barney: Learning Pack Bazaar Bizarre Best Government Money Can Buy? Birdy the Mighty: Decode, Part 1 Bisbee Cannibal Club Brain Dead Brian Setzer Orchestra: It’s Gonna Rock… ‘Cause That’s What I Do British Rail Journeys: Northern England – Settle to Carlisle Buddha Wild: Monk in a Hut Café Oakley Canaan: Complete Collection Cannibal Girls Carrier Chaplin at Keystone Chaser Christmas Proposal Chronic Town Clapham Junction Club Divas: 2 Hot 2 Dance Mix Comfort and Joy Continuum Project CSI: NY – The Sixth Season Cursed Dancing Across Borders Dangerous Knowledge Darfur Dark Star Dead Outside Desirable Teacher 2 Dickens of a Christmas Die Vier Im Jeep Dog the Bounty Hunter: The Wild Ride Megaset Down Home Music: A Journey Through the Heartland 1963 Edge: Perspectives on Drug-Free … Elf Essential Evening Primrose Everyone Else Eyes of the Chameleon Female Convict Scorpion: Jailhouse 41

Flick Florilegium Fools Freaknik: The Musical Fullmetal Alchemist: Season 2 Girl Who Played With Fire Goodnight Moon Sign Language Gift Set Grant Morrison: Talking With Gods Growing the Big Ones Harrison Montgomery Have a Laugh 1 Have a Laugh 2 He Who Hits First, Hits Twice

oct 19 Predators

Directed by Nimrod Antal There is no getting around the fact that this movie stars Eric Foreman, and after the lows of the Aliens vs. Predator series, you would be forgiven for abandoning the franchise outright. But this is really just a good, dumb, fun movie about people fighting evil aliens in the jungle. If that sounds a lot like the first Predator, you’re not wrong. Sure, there’s nothing as batshit crazy as P2’s Jamaican voodoo gangs—honestly, you expect a little more from Robert Rodriguez—but hey, Danny Trejo. (20th Century Fox) Higher Ground History Channel Pres: Founding of America Collection: Founding Fathers/Founding Brothers Holiday Switch Home by Christmas Hotel Terminus: The Life and Times of Klaus Barbie House Hush I Was Stalin’s Bodyguard Infidel Invincible Pole Fighter Jonathan Swift and Gulliver’s Travels Joseph Campbell: Mythos 3 Kanokon: The Girl Who Cried Fox Vol. 3: Catch a Vulpine by the Tail King of the Avenue Kisses Lake Placid 3 Last Day of Summer Law & Order: UK – Season One Lee Williams & The Spiritual QCs: The Collection Legends of Penn State Lionel Hampton International Jazz Festival 1997 Living Dead Girl Los Angeles Lakers: 2010 NBA Finals Luxury Liner Lynch Mob Mafu Cage Make Out With Violence Man V. Food Season 2 Maniac Marrying Up Media Malpractice Mentor

M Schenker Group: Rockpalast – Hardrock Legends Vol. 2 Mike Marino: Live From Los Angeles Monmouthshire & Breson Canal Mother’s Courage: Talking Back to Autism Musical Journey: Christmas Musical Tour – Austria Mutants Mystery of the Maya Naruto Uncut Box Set: Seas, 4 Vol. 1 National Geographic: Dawn of the Oceans New Erotic: Art Sex Revolution NFL: Ultimate NFL NHL: The Lighter Side of Hockey Nice Guy Johnny On the Road With Charles Kuralt Set 3 One Piece Season 3: Third Voyage Other Side of Immigration Paniponi Dash: The Complete Series Passenger Side Paths of Glory Picasso & Braque Go to the Movies Plan B Platinum Comedy Series: B Engvall Platinum Comedy Series: Drew Carey Platinum Comedy Series: G Lopez Platinum Comedy Series: J Dunham Platinum Comedy Series: Seinfeld Poldark: Series 2 Portrait of an Artist: Velazquez – The Painter of Painters Positively No Refunds Vol. 2: Cuban Rebel Girls/Untamed Women Pride Fighting Championships: Bushido Vols. 11-13 Princes Psychomania Recipe for a Perfect Christmas Road to Christmas Rule of Three Santa Claus: The Movie Score Search for Sherlock Holmes Searchers 2.0 Sex and the City 2 Sex and the City: Complete Series South of the Border Star Wars: The Clone Wars – The Complete Season Two Stevie Summer and Smoke Super Bowl I-X Surviving the Holidays With Lewis Black Tatsumi Hijikata: Summer Storm Teknolust Thomas & Friends: Best Tales … 4 Decades of the Tonight Show Trade Routes Traspatio Treasures of Britain: Ashmolean and Fitzwilliam Museums Trigun: The Complete Series Tropic of Cancer Tsar’s Bride Twilight Zone: Fan Favorites Twisted Twisted Sister: Live From Wacken UFO: Rockpalast – Hardrock Leg… Vol. 1

UFOs: 1973 – Aliens, Abductions and Extraordinary Sightings Vegas: Based on a True Story Venture Bros.: Season 4 Vol. 1 Vomit Gore Trilogy Wah Do Dem War of the Worlds: Complete Series War of the Worlds: The Final Season Way Home We Are Going to America Who Is Harry Nilsson (And Why Is Everybody Talkin’ About Him)? Wimbledon: The 2010 Finals Winter’s Bone Wonderful World of Kittens WWE: Smackdown – The Best of 2010 WWII Unsung Heroes You Don’t Know Jack


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THE LEGENDARY CONCERT FILM RESTORED AND REMASTERED ON DVD AND BLU-RAY FOR THE FIRST TIME FILMED LIVE IN TEXAS ON THE ROLLING STONES “EXILE ON MAIN STREET” TOUR IN 1972 •

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OCTOBER 5

Night in Vienna Today Grandaddyflow Geeving Evil Generation Allo Darlin’ ATR An Evening of Yes Music Plus David Archuleta The Other Side of Down Julian Arguelles Partita David Arkenstone Visions of Christmas Louis Armstrong Hello, Louis! Fred Astaire Let’s Face the Music At Vance Decade Autopsy The Tomb Within The Avett Brothers Live Vol. 3 B.G. HollyHood Chet Baker She Was Too Good to Me Marty Balin Blue Highway Chris Barber Chris Barber Band Box Han Bennink Nerve Beats Brook Benton It’s Just a Matter of Time Black Ryder Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride Black Uhuru w/ Sly … Chicago 8 Blue Oyster Cult The Music of Blue Oyster Cult Christian Brewer Seesaw Bring Me the Horizon There Is a Hell Believe Me I’ve Seen It Brooklyn Tab. Choir A Brooklyn Tabernacle Christmas Michael Bruce Be My Love: The Michael Bruce Collection Kenny Burrell God Bless the Child Buzzoven Sore Canibus C of Tranquility Cedarmont Kids & … Jingle Ducks Ray Charles Brother Ray’s Blues Chiodos Illuminaudio Circle II Circle Consequence of Power Stanley Clarke Modern Man/I Wanna Play for You Patsy Cline Fingerprints Clinic Bubblegum Ray Conniff Christmas With Conniff Controlled Bleeding Penetration Don Cornell I’m Yours Cra Crowbar The Creepshow They All Fall Down Crimson Glory In Dark Places Crowbar Live + 1 Crowbar Time Heals Nothing Dick Dale Mr. Eliminator Darkness Defenders of Justice Doc Dauer The Body Rocks Miles Davis Milestones Debauchery Kill Maim Burn Der Blutharsch Live in Leiden Der Blutharsch Time Is the Enemy Der Blutharsch When All Else Fails Devil Rides Out The Heart & The Crown Down Diary of a Mad Band Andy Duguid Miracle Moments Geoff Eales Synergy Duane Eddy Twangs the Thang Emergency Gate The Nemesis Construct Faith Evans Something About Faith Finger Eleven Life Turns Electric Eddie Fisher Christmas With Eddie Fisher Fistful of Mercy As I Call You Down Dan Fogelberg The Music of Dan Fogelberg Connie Francis Christmas in My Heart Donavon Frankenreiter Glow The Gay Blades Savages Ghost Machinery Out for Blood Astrud Gilberto The Girl From Ipanema Dana Gillespie Performance G GIltrap & R Wakeman From Brush and Stone Gonjasufi The Caliph’s Tea Party Goodbye Thrill Outrageous 101 Strings 33 Miles 9th Prince Abandon All Ships Alien Vampires Allo Darlin’ Analogue Transit Anderson, Bruford…

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Performance Bloody Vivaldi Digital Beethoven on Cyberspeed Great Kat Guitar Goddess Great Kat Rossini’s Rape Great Kat Wagner’s War Gruntruck Inside Yours/Push Guru of Darkness Mater Meretrix The Gurus Closing Circles Guster Easy Wonderful Merle Haggard The Music of Merle Haggard Bill Haley & … Comets Strictly Instrumental Peter Hammill Incoherence Hammill/Sonix Unsung Frank Harrison First Light Gavin Harrison Circles Fran Healy Wreckorder Chris Higgenbottom One Dave Holland & Pepe … Hands Hot Toddy Late Night Boogie Tom Howard Piano Christmas Freddie Hubbard Red Clay I.C.E. Apocalyptic End in White Nikki Iles Everything I Love Michael Jackson Do You Remember Jaldaboath The Rise of he Heraldic Beasts J Jamison & J Peterik Extra Moments Jars of Clay The Shelter Java & Ned Shepard Privilege Jay Street Tasty Jefferson Airplane The Music of Jefferson Airplane Jack Jezzro Christmas Jazz Antonio Carlos Jobim Stone Flower Alain Johannes Spark George Jones The Music of George Jones Tim Kasher The Game of Monogamy Danny Kaye Five Pennies Phil Keaggy Welcome Inn Toby Keith Bullets in the Gun Kickhunter All In Kidz Bop Kids Kidz Bop Christmas Party Gladys Knight … Pips The Music of Gladys Knight & The Pips Korn The Lowdown Koshir White Girl Diaries Noah Kussack A Momentary Lapse in the Key of W Lafille Tout Attache(e) Mario Lanza Christmas Hymns & Carols Mario Lanza O Sole Mio Tim Lapthorn Natural Language Tim Lapthorn Seventh Sense Hubert Laws Morning Star Legendary Pink Dots Seconds Late for the Brighton Line Tom Lehrer Evening Wasted With Tom Lehrer John Lennon Gimme Some Truth Box John Lennon Imagine John Lennon Milk and Honey John Lennon Plastic Ono Band John Lennon Power to the People CD/ DVD John Lennon Power to the People: The Hits John Lennon Rock ‘N’ Roll John Lennon Signature Box John Lennon Walls and Bridges John Lennon/Yoko Double Fantasy Stripped Down John Lennon/Yoko Sometime in New York City Little Richard The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll Llandudno Town Band Centenary Celebration:L Best Of Mark Lockheart Moving Air Logan The Great Unknown Lords of Falconry Lords of Falconry Lou Et Epres on Verra Mahotella Queens … Jive & Soul: Very Best Of Raul Malo Sinners & Saints Maniac Spider Trash Dumpstermummies Barry Manilow The Music of Barry Manilow Phil Manzanera The Music 1972-2008 Bob Marley Soul Almighty Bruno Mars Doo-Wops & Hooligans Dean Martin All of Me John Mayer Battle Studies (Deluxe Stephane Grappelli Great Kat Great Kat

Owen Pallett Oct 4

A Swedish Love Story Formerly recording as Final Fantasy, Owen Pallett’s music is ornate, orchestral, occasionally a little precious, hovering in a strange and heretofore unexplored space between modern classical, twee indie-pop and prog-style story-songs. It’s also lovely, catchy, richly melodic stuff, which is important when you’re trying to sell high-concept art-rock to indie kids. (Or anyone, really.) This new four-tracker makes a manageable point of entry for the unfamiliar. (Domino)

Expanded Edition) Purity Accuracy (box set) Songs of the Grateful Dead Jahbulon Faith riday the 13th: The Micros Play Monk Middle Class Rut No Name No Color Mitch Miller Christmas Sing a Long Ronnie Milsap The Music of Ronnie Milsap David Minasian Random Acts of Beauty Ministry Every Day Is Halloween: The Anthology Elizabeth Mitchell Sunny Day Guy Mitchell Guy in Love Momus Hypnoprism Thelonious Monk Monk’s Moods Bill Monroe Father of the Blues Mr. Criminal Presents: Hood Affiliated Part 3 Mr. Del Tennman Mystic Roots Band Cali-hi Mystic Roots Band Constant Struggle Willie Nelson Face of a Fighter Liam Noble In the Meantime Liam Noble Romance Among the Fishes Nordhoff & Buono Simple Joys: An Instrumental Christmas Orig. Cast Recording Annie: The Broadway Musical (30th Anniversary) Ozzy Osbourne Scream Emily Osment Fight or Flight Dion Parson & … Dion Parson & The 21st Century Band Jaimee Paul Christmas Time Is Here Pavarotti Christmas Celebration Teddy Pendergrass The Music of Teddy Pendergrass Lee “Scratch” Perry The Mighty Upsetter Houston Person Moment to Moment Peter, Paul & Mary Weave Me the Sunshine David Phelps Christmas With David Phelps Pimp C The Naked Soul of Sweet James Jones Pink Floyd Pink Floyd’s Jukebox Point of Grace Home for the Holidays Andre Previn Like Blue PS I Love You Meet Me at the Muster Station The Puppini Sisters Christmas With the Puppini Sisters The Rat Pack Christmas With the Rat MC5 Jesse McReynolds … Method of Defiance George Michael Microscopic Septet


Pack Best of Jim Reeves New York Survivor The Struggle Revolution Renaissance Trinity Jason Robinson The Two Faces of Janus Roy Rogers The King of Cowboys Royal Baths Litanies Kate Rusby Sweet Bells Joe Satriani Black Swana and Wormhole Wizards Savage Presents the Tribal Council Bon Scott Forever Shad TSOL Fred Shafer Resistor Leif Shires Cool Jazz Christmas Nina Simone Nina Simone at Town Hall Frank Sinatra Street of Dreams Skin Chamber Wound/Trial Skyzoo & Illmind Live From the Tape Deck Slash The Document Huey “Piano” Smith Just Clownin’ (More of the Best) Sean Smith Christmas Sons of the Pioneers Cigareet Sons of the Pioneers My Saddle Pals and I Sorrow Hatred and Disgust Soundgarden Telephantasm Soundtrack 5K1 Soundtrack Let Me In Soundtrack Parenthood Soundtrack Sonny With a Chance of Meatballs Soundtrack Tamara Drewe Soundtrack Terminator 2: Judgment Day Soundtrack The Wicker Man Martin Speake My Ideal Martin Speake Secret Jo Stafford Happy Holiday Mary Stallings Dream Marnie Stern Marnie Stern Stimulators Loud Fast Rules Stan Sulzmann The Jigsaw Take 6 Most Wonderful Time Tamaryn The Waves Tercer Cielo Gente Comun John Tesh Grand Piano Christmas John Tesh The Best of Christmas This Day Will Tell Too True to Be Good Touchstone Live in the USA Trademark Da Skydiver Super Villain: Issue #1 Trae Late Night King Transmission Fields Transmission Fields Tricky Mixed Race Robin Trower 20th Century Blues Tu Fawning Hearts on Hold Corin Tucker Band 1,000 Years KT Tunstall Tiger Suit Stanley Turrentine Sugar Two Fires Burning Bright Tracey Ullman Move Over Darling: The Complete Stiff Recordings Unwritten Pages Noah Various Artists 1959: The Year Jazz Changed Various Artists A Country Christmas Various Artists A Season to Remember Various Artists Ace Story Vol. 2 Various Artists Bestuvgrass Various Artists Bluegrass Number One Various Artists Christmas Holiday Party Mix Various Artists Christmas Memories Various Artists Claptongrass Various Artists Country Vol. 2 Various Artists Crazy and Psychotic Various Artists Freestyle’s Best Extended Versions Various Artists Gangtstas and Hustlaz Various Artists Golden Days of Reggae Volume 1 Various Artists Gotta Have Gospel 8 Various Artists Greatest Features Various Artists Happy Christmas Redux Various Artists Hey Beach Girls: Female Surf N Drag 1961 Various Artists Hip-Hop Vol. 2 Various Artists How Many Roads: Black America Sings Bob Dylan Various Artists Kidsgrass

Jim Reeves Ephie Resnick Ephie Resnick

Life as We Know It Message: Soul Funk & Jazzy Grooves From Mainstream Records Various Artists Miami/Southbeach Tunes Vol. 1 Various Artists Ninja Tune XX Box Set Various Artists Ninja Tune XX Volume 1 Various Artists Ninja Tune XX Volume 2 Various Artists Number 1 Street Hits Various Artists Plenty Money Various Artists Rock Vol. 2 Various Artists Roots Music of Rural America Various Artists Roots of Rod Stewart Various Artists Sex, Money & Drugs Various Artists Simon & Grassfunkel Various Artists Stars Come Out for Christmas Various Artists Street Life Various Artists Swagger Check Various Artists This Is Christmas Various Artists WOW Hits 2011 Various Artists Zombie Horror CD Collection Derniere Volonte Immortel Waka Flocka Flame Flockaveli Muddy Waters King of Chicago Blues Welsh Male Voice Choir Christmas Matthew West The Story of Your Life Willard Steel Mill Hank Williams The Hank Williams Story Lori Williams Healing Within Kathleen Willison Close to You Dustin Wong Infinite Love Tony Woods Lowlands Glenn Wool Let Your Hands Go Tom Ze Estudando a Bosse (Nordeste Plaza) John Zorn Ipsissimus Various Artists Various Artists

OCTOBER 12

2010 Cast Album Les Miserables 9th Prince One Man Army Absinthe Rose/ Humanwine Split Trace Adkins Definitive Greatest Hits All That Remains For We Are Many Davon Allman’s … Space Age Blues Amazing Blondel England/Blondel Angra Aqua Antony … Johnsons Swanlights Arson Anthem Insecurity Notoriety Athorn Phobia Angelo Badalamenti Music for Film and TV Badly Drawn Boy It’s What I’m Thinking The Band Perry The Band Perry Barenaked Ladies Barenaked Ladies Are Men Nik Bartsch’s Ronin Llyria Belle and Sebastian Write About Love Belleruche 270 Stories Bellydance Superstar Volume 8 Big Time Rush BTR Black Heart Procession Blood Bunny/Black Rabbit Blue Floyd Live in Pennsylvania Blue Moon Rising Strange New World Bonified Presents Thug City Boss Hogg Outlawz Underground Hoggin 2 Alex Boye My Christmas Wish James Brown The Complete James Brown Christmas Dave Brubeck Time Was Bruford Levin … Blue Nights Brute Force I, Brute Force, Confections of Love Anthony Burger Best Loved Melodies J Butler/J Bynum Gospel Goes Classical Cali Swag District The Kickback California Guitar Trio Andromeda M Campagne & Family The Little Blue Doggy The Canadian Tenors The Perfect Gift Johnny Cash Playlist: The Very Best Gospel of Johnny Cash Celtic Thunder Christmas Circle of Animals Destroy the Light Nels Cline Dirty Baby Cloud Nothings Turning On Coma Excess Crisis Armed to the Teeth/Kick It Out

Doomsday King Present Kno: Death Is Silent Dakrya Crime Scene Dave Dale & Nadaji Mantra Rocks The December People Rattle and Humbug Kevin Devine Make the Clocks Move Die Antwoord $O$ Dimmu Borgir Abrahadabra Donnybrook The Beast Inside Drop the Lime Fabriclive 53 Drudkh Handful of Stars Duran Duran Big Thing Duran Duran Notorious Bob Dylan Playlist: The Very Best of Bob Dylan Edge of Sanity Crimson II Edge of Sanity Nothing But Death Remains Edge of Sanity Purgatory Afterflow Edge of Sanity The Spectral Sorrow Edge of Sanity Unorthodox Edge of Sanity Until Eternity Ends The Empire Shall Fall Awaken EnvyRecitation Evil Survives Powerkiller Evile Infected Nations Far East Movement Free Wired Jim Florentine & Don … Terrorizing Telemarketers 5 The Foreign Exchange Authenticity Michael Formanek The Rub and Spare Change Fracture Simple Chaos Brooke Fraser Flags Fresh & Onlys Play It Strange Friendly Fires Bugged Out! Presents Suck My Deck From the Land of Ice … From the Land of Ice and Snow GLC Love, Life & Loyalty The Glorious Surrender to the Change Peter Gordon Love of Life Orchestra Grave Digger The Clans Will Rise Again The Green Children Encounter Haeresiarchs of Dis Denuntiatus Cinis Hail of Bullets On Divine Winds Halcyon Way Building the Towers Wynonie Harris Rockin’ the Blues Deborah Harry Rockbird/Debravation Hauschka Foreign Landscapes Hawkwind Dawn of Hawkwind Hedley The Show Must Go on Hell Militia Last Station on the Road to Death D Hicks & Hot Licks Crazy for Christmas Hill Country Revue Zebra Rance Holy Sons Survivalist Tales Lena Horne 22 Hits 1936-1946 Ron Hynes Stealing Genius I the Breather Land of the Lost Idlewild Post Electric Blues Julio Iglesias Playlist: The Very Best of Julio Iglesias Indigo Girls Holly Happy Days Intronaut Valley of Smoke The Irish Tenors Home for Christmas Iron Fire Metalmorphosized The Isley Brothers Playlist: The Best of the Isley Brothers Issa Sign of Angels Janis Joplin Playlist: The Very Best of Janis Joplin Kaskade Dance. Love Mat Kearney Playlist: The Very Best of Mat Kearney Kiani Kiani King Crimson In the Wake of Poseidon 40th Anniversary King Crimson Island 40th Anniversary Series Kiske/Somerville Kiske/Somerville Dave Koz Hello Tomorrow J.B. Lenoir The Mojo Les Fleurs de Lys Reflections Less Than Jake TV/EP Ramsey Lewis The Movie Album/Dancing in the Street Lexia Eyes Set to Kill Present Underground Sound Lovers? Dark Light Shelby Lynne Merry Christmas Madball Empire The Crown Cunninlynguists

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/music /new_releases One Step Beyond Playlist: The Very Best of Barry Manilow Manticora Safe Maranatha Singers In the Spirit of Christmas Maranatha Singers Platinum Praise Masters of Reality Pine/Cross Dover Katharine McPhee Christmas Is a Time George Michael Faith (Mini Deluxe Version) Liza Minnelli Cabaret & All That Jazz Cheyenne Marie Mize Before Lately Molly Hatchet Playlist: The Very Best of Molly Hatchet The Moondoggies Tidelands W Morgan & The 78s Whitey Morgan and the 78’s Motionless in White Creatures Maria Muldaur Barnyard Dance: Jug Band Music for Kids Shawn Mullins Light You Up M Marin Murphey Acoustic Christmas Carols: A Cowboy Christmas Mutemath Armistice Live (CD/DVD) Heather Myles Live in London & Texas Negligence Coordinates of Confusion Steven Sharp Nelson Christmas Cello Silje Nes Opticks Newsboys Christmas! A Newsboys Holiday Olivia Newton-John Christmas Collection October Falls A Collapse of Faith Anita O’Day Skylark Daniel O’Donnell O Holy Night Old 97’s The Grand Theatre Volume One The Orb Metallic Spheres (Featuring David Gilmour) Doug Paisley Constant Companion Dolly Parton Playlist: The Very Best of Dolly Parton Pepper Stitches Pigeon John Dragon Slayer Elvis Presley Playlist: The Very Best Gospel of Elvis Putumayo Presents World Christmas Party Quicksilver Messen… Happy Trails Joshua Radin The Rock and the Tide Raunchy A Discord Electric Revelation Never Comes Silence Jimmie Rodgers Train Whistle Blues Linda Ronstadt Linda Ronstadt/Heart Like a Wheel Rosehill White Lines and Stars Darius Rucker Charleston, SC 1966 The Secret Sisters The Secret Sisters Brian Setzer Orch… Christmas Comes Alive Jessica Simpson Playlist: The Very Best of Jessica Simpson Sister Hazel Heartland Highway Sky Larkin Kaleide Mark Slaling Pipe Dreams Bessie Smith Blues Biography Soft Machine Rubber Riff Soundtrack The Tudors Season 4 Soundtrack The Vampire Diaries Spirit Sea Dream Spiritual Beggars Return to Zero Sufjan Stevens The Age of Adz Kelley Stoltz To Dreamers Surreal No. 1 Dame in tha Game Suuns Zeroes QC Symphorce Unrestricted Russ Taff Another Sentimental Christmas C Taylor & C Rodriguez Skylark Tetrafusion Altered State Yann Tiersen Dust Lane Titan Sweet Dreams Martina Topley Bird Some Place Simple Toxxic Toyz Mutation Trademark Da Sky… Super Villain: Issue #2 Trapt No Apologies Unsun Clinic for Dolls Vado Slime Flu Valencia Dancing With a Ghost Various Artists A Farewell to Ireland Various Artists A Very Merry Christmas Madness Barry Manilow

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Big Box of Blues Boss Tuneage Vol. 3 CTI Records: The Cool Revolution Various Artists Dance Mix USA Various Artists Happy Holidays Various Artists Rounder Records Story Various Artists The Cosimo Matassa Story Various Artists The Rough Guide to Bollywood (Second Edition) Various Artists The Rough Guide to Flamenco Dance (Second Edition) Stevie Ray Vaughan Playlist: The Very Best of Stevie Ray Vaughan Suzanne Vega Close-Up Vol. 2, People and Places Voice Male Christmas Live Garrett Wall Band Sky Pointing Muddy Waters They Called Me Muddy Waters/Live at Mr Kelly’s Aaron Watson The Road & The Rodeo Jimmy Webb 10 Easy Pieces Plus 4 Kenny Wheeler w… Windmill Tilter: The Story of Don Quixote Dar Williams Many Great Companions Kathryn Williams Relations Paul Williams Just an Old Fashioned Love Song/Here Comes Inspiration Robbie Williams In & Out of Consciousness Bob Wills & The TX… The King of Western Swing Wilson Phillips Christmas in Harmony Kendl Winter Apple Core Woe Quietly, Undramatically Wolf People Steeple Wreckless Eric Hits Misses Rags & Tatters: Complete Stiff Recordings You, Me & Everyone … Some Things Don’t Wash Out Young Man Boy Yung Redd Eviction Notice 4.0 Zodiac Mindwarp … We Are Volsung Zola Jesus Valusia Various Artists Various Artists Various Artists

OCTOBER 19

20th Century Steel … Warm Heart Cold Steel 808 State Best of 808 State ABK Medicine Bag Afro Cubism Afro Cubism Allstar Weekend Suddenly Yours The Beatles Blue 1967-1970 The Beatles Red 1962-1966 Blue Water White … Blue Water White Death Blurt Cut It! Marc Bolan Twopenny Prince Joe Bonamassa Live From the Royal Albert Hall Bo Burnham Words Words Words The Church Deep in the Shadows The Church Of Skins & Heart The Church The Blurred Crusade Terry Callier Hidden Conversations Roy Clark Last Word in Jesus Is Us Common Tongue Want & Longing Enrico Coniglio Vol. 2: Salicornie Josie Cotton Pussycat Babylon Dag Nasty Dag With Shawn Desertshore Drifting Your Majesty Chris Duarte Group Infinity Energy Bob Dylan The Original Mono Recordings Bob Dylan The Witmark Demos: 19621964 Eskmo Eskmo The Extra Lens Undercard Fops Yeth Yeth Yeth Mike Gordon Moss Zach Hill Face Tat Hope Hope Ima Robot Another Man’s Treasure Jed and Lucia Superhuman Heart Elton John/L Russell The Union Keith Kenniff The Last Survivor Kings of Leon Come Around Sundown Le Concorde House Lungfish Pass and Stow Madness Madness Madness Wonderful D Maxwell & O Spann Conversations in Blue

Weezer oct 19 Hurley

At some point, Rivers Cuomo is going to fess up that Weezer’s been a conceptual art prank for the last five years. At least I hope so, because the only other explanation for the band’s recent output is that he’s seething with contempt for his audience. The rushedto-market Hurley, with its already infamous (and dumb) guy-from-Lost cover, is typical. The lyrics read like they were cut-and-pasted from a 12-yearold’s Twitter feed. The hooks sound like advertising jingles in search of a viral video. And the whole package feels like a cruel dare to the band’s fans: Will you still buy this mass of half-assed, willful ridiculousness? (Epitaph)

Incunabula Mt. Desolation Libra Scale Good Dog Bad Dog Ohio The Darkest Night of the Year Steven Page Page One Carl Palmer Working Live Vol. 3 Luciano Pavarotti Bravo Pavarotti Liz Phair Funstyle The Philistines Jr. If a Band Plays in the Woods…? Phish The White Tape The Pipettes Earth vs. the Pipettes Plain White T’s Wonders of the Young Iggy Pop & J Willi… Kill City (Restored Edition) Radio Citizen Hope and Despair The Sails A Headful of Stars M Schenker Group Live in Tokyo Shadows Fall Madness in Manilla Chad Smith’s Bombast More Meat Soars Soars The Soft Boys A Can of Bees The Soft Boys Underwater Moonlight Sorrows Bad Times Good Times Soundtrack 30 Rock Soundtrack Hannah Montana Forever Jon Spencer Blues Ex… Acme + Xtra Acme Jon Spencer Blues Ex… Orange + Experimental Remixes EP Squarepusher Shobaleader One: d’Demonstrator Rod Stewart Fly Me to the Moon: Great American Songbook Vol. V Sugarland The Incredible Machine System and Station A Series of Screws Teebs Ardour Tammi Terrell Come on and See Me Third Day Move Train Save Me, San Francisco (Deluxe Edition) Tye Tribbett Fresh Various Artists Annual 2011 Video Games Live CD Level 2 The Volebeats The Volebeats Von Pea Pea’s Gotta Have It Ben Weaver Mirepoix & Smoke Yanni Mexicanisimo Method of Defiance Mt. Desolation Ne-Yo Over the Rhine Over the Rhine Over the Rhine


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Roots, Blues & Folk From True North Records

Buy any one of these great True North roots, blues & folk albums at Sunrise Records and receive a FREE ‘Roots Essentials Vol. 1’ Compilation CD!

True North Records, Roots Essentials Vol. 1 This 14 track compilation features some of the best Roots artists on the legendary True North label, including Bruce Cockburn, Martin Sexton, Lynn Miles, Madison Violet, Ashley MacIsaac, The John Henrys, Murray McLauchlan and more.

www.truenorthrecords.com

Fall For Beauty, Lynn Miles Lynn Miles is one of Canada’s most accomplished singer/songwriters headlining folk festivals across North America. She has won a Juno Award for Best Roots & Traditional Album and Canadian Folk Music Awards for Best English Songwriter and Best Contemporary Singer. ‘Fall for Beauty,’ her new album produced by Ian Lefeuvre, is a stunning collection of emotionally charged songs.

Slice O Life - Solo Live, Bruce Cockburn ‘Slice O Life’ is a double CD that showcases Cockburn’s most popular songs and some of his most dazzling guitar work. Produced by longtime associate Colin Linden, the album includes one new song, ‘City is Hungry,’ and features such hits as Cockburn’s controversial ‘If I Had a Rocket Launcher,’ his classic ‘Lovers in a Dangerous Time’ and ‘Wondering Where the Lions Are.’

More Lunch At Allen’s, Lunch at Allen’s

White Linen, The John Henrys

Lunch At Allen’s is a Canadian songwriter supergroup, with the legendary Murray McLauchlan, Ian Thomas (Painted Ladies), Quartette’s Cindy Church, and the much covered Marc Jordan. ‘More Lunch At Allen’s,’ their new album, features some of the members’ most popular hits rearranged for the quartet, and some fantastic new previously unreleased songs. Performing across Canada this fall, the group wrap up their Canadian tour on November 25 at Toronto’s Centre for the Arts.

The John Henrys draw from a potpourri of influences and styles that blend into something that is part alt-country, part Americana, part jam band and part rock n roll. Compared to likes of Neil Young, The Band and Tom Petty, The John Henrys have developed a reputation for tight musicianship, original arrangements and well crafted songwriting. ‘White Linen’ is the band’s third album, and has hit #1 on the earshot Top Roots Albums Chart in Canada.

No Fool For Trying, Madison Violet

I Need A Hat, Downchild

Lisa MacIsaac & Brenley MacEachern aka Madison Violet have taken the world by storm with their latest release ‘No Fool For Trying’ . Lush with harmonies, banjo, fiddle, mandolin and upright bass, the girls’ sound has been called ‘the best in pop bluegrass’ by Mojo Magazine. They are the first Canadian group to win the grand prize of the John Lennon International Songwriting Contest. They have headlined folk festivals across Canada, and won Group of the Year at the 2010 Canadian Folk Awards.

When one thinks of Blues music in Canada, the first band that springs to mind is Downchild. It’s been nearly 40 years since Donnie ‘Mr. Downchild’ Walsh and his since-passed brother, Hock formed the group that would be the inspiration behind the world famous Blues Brothers. Comprising a new batch of Walsh originals – edgier, darker, more caustically humorous than ever before – ‘I Need A Hat’ boasts a cluster of stellar guests including Dan Aykroyd – a long-time friend and admirer of Downchild – on harmonica.

Buy any one of these great True North roots, blues & folk albums at Sunrise Records and receive a free ‘Roots Essentials Vol. 1’ compilation CD- exclusively at Sunrise! Quantities are limited. 62

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John Lennon Power To The People The Hits Out October 5th

Power To The People CD 15 Hit Tracks

Power To The People CD+DVD 15 Hit Tracks 15 Promo Videos Online Access

! www.johnlennon.com 4

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Gimme Some Truth 4xCD 72 Tracks Online Access

Signature Box Set 9xCD 121 Tracks, 13 Previously Unreleased Recordings 5 Non-Album Single Edits 60-Page Book Limited Editon Art Print Online Access

8xAlbum Reissues Digitally Remastered John’s Original Mixes Upgraded Packaging. ‘Double Fantasy - Stripped Down’ 2xCD Containing New Mix + Original Version of the Album


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