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ZenWave Cables and SurgeX ZenWave Edition Review
REDGUM BLACK RGi35ENR Integrated Amplifier Review
Linear Tube Audio MicroZOTL 2.0 Headphone Amp & Preamp Review
iFi Micro iUSB 3.0 & Gemini USB Cable Reviews
Marantz M-CR611 Network CD Receiver Review
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Thursday, 01 May 2008 |  Written by Matt Fink  | 
The Raconteurs - Consolers of the Lonely When I chatted with the four members of the Raconteurs two years ago, doing an interview for a cover story I was writing, I was immediately struck by how they seemed to have little to say about the album that was then rumored to be Detroit’s answer to Nirvana’s Nevermind, the moment when Jack White finally turned loose in the studio and proved what he could do with a conventional band. But, knowing that his role as the White Stripes dynamic lead vocalist and guitarist gave him a stature which towered above those of his bandmates, White wasn’t going to say anything that made it seem like every moment of their debut wasn’t worked out and signed off on by each and every person in the band. And, so, he said little beyond stating the obvious; the band of longtime ...
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Thursday, 01 May 2008 |  Written by Matt Fink  | 
Fuck Buttons - Street Horrrsing Though it’s generally true that music has lagged behind the other major forms of art in reaching its most abstract conclusions, the last 30 years of underground noise have gone a long way toward proving John Cage’s dictum that music is whatever we say it is. As a lover of melody and lyric, I was admittedly skeptical about such loose definitions and the sorts of deconstructions they encourage, but after several months of combing through the variants of the modern noise movement, I decided Cage was right. In as much as melody is only a succession of differing notes or pitches, and rhythm is a pattern of repeatable sound events, it becomes arbitrary to argue that music must fall within the narrow strictures of what we find pleasing to our ears. That’s preference, something that varies from culture to culture ...
Thursday, 01 May 2008 |  Written by Charles Andrews  | 
Ya Missed Me - Vol. 1 So much music, so little time. Here in the music section of we try to cover a wide variety of styles. It’s possible we haven’t missed a single genre, even in just the three years I’ve been Music Editor. Personally, I’ve reviewed rock, rap, reggae, Hasidic reggae, country reggae, Celtic reggae, Celtic, classical, blues, bluegrass, jazz, hip hop, Christian pop, Satanic thrash, sacred steel, Japanese steel drum lounge, Vegas lounge, speed metal, country, soul, soul country, Nigerian drum, prog-rock, Cajun, Cambodian ‘60s psychedelic rock – you know, the usual. We’ve gone out of our way to locate and evaluate hi-res recordings, digital downloads, music DVDs and other goodies of particular interest to our readers. But with only 7-10 reviews per issue, there’s a lot of interesting music that never made it to the electronic page. So this “Ya Missed It” review ...
Editor's rating: 
Tuesday, 01 April 2008 |  Written by Matt Fink  | 
Gnarls Barkley - The Odd Couple For as much as they seemed like the typical gimmick band, an act formed by two comically mismatched artists adopting a jokey moniker and wearing stage costumes that parodied iconic film duos, Gnarls Barkley obliterated all stereotypes with their 2006 hit “Crazy.” A truly transcendent pop song cut from dark chord changes and a desperately soaring chorus, it was three minutes of bliss that was hailed by Top 40 pop fans and indie hipsters alike. By the end of the year, the song had proven so powerful that everyone from Nelly Furtado to the Raconteurs to Charlotte Church had covered it, and the band had achieved cult status, with auteur producer Danger Mouse and R&B heavyweight Cee-Lo earning a following that crossed all demographic and genre barriers. But that said, St. Elsewhere, their debut album, was a bit of a ...
Editor's rating: 
Tuesday, 01 April 2008 |  Written by Matt Fink  | 
Xiu Xiu - Women As Lovers Loved by many and maligned by the rest, emo is the only genre classification whose main proponents deny their membership. But tight jeans and long bangs aside, emo really isn’t a form distinctive enough to be criticized at all. The genre’s most glaring excess – an emphasis on cringe-worthy melodrama and emotional overstatement often wrapped in junior high level poetry – is really a criticism that plagues every genre and most mediocre songwriters. What gets lost in the shuffle is that some songwriters – the very good ones – know how to exploit those very same lyrical devices to their favor, using naked vulnerability and blatant hyperbole to shatter moments of tranquility and make clear the depth of an emotion that would otherwise dissolve into the context of the song. Who can forget Bob Dylan singing “you’re an idiot, babe/it’s ...
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