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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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Saturday, 01 March 2008 |  Written by K L Poore  | 
Black Mountain - In the Future (Special Edition) I remember one day in the ninth grade as if it were yesterday. In typical fashion I was sitting at my desk bored out of my skull and scribbling profundities to myself, when our science teacher strolled in and slammed his massive teacher’s guide down to the floor. “We’re gonna watch a movie,” he told us, “and you better pay attention.” He then put on one of the greatest films I’ve ever had the pleasure to watch, LSD: Trip or Trap? It’s a lively romp through an acid soaked world filled with dire warnings, hot dogs with troll faces, and very uncool haircuts. My life was changed forever. Now, all these hot dogs with faces later, I’ve been presented with Black Mountain’s In the Future, a CD filled with music that’s supposed to make me long for those days of “Set ...
Editor's rating: 
Saturday, 01 March 2008 |  Written by Matt Fink  | 
Beck - Odelay (Deluxe Edition) Of all the no-trick ponies and gimmick acts, no artist ever seemed more destined for one-hit wonder status than Beck. Though he had been kicking around the indie rock and anti-folk scenes for a half decade before 1994’s “Loser” became his entry into the pop culture lexicon, even an optimist wouldn’t have expected the shaggy kid with the clumsy rapping and generation X angst to amount to much more than a footnote for the grunge era. To be fair, there were those at the time who recognized Mellow Gold – the hastily assembled album that was rushed to capitalize on the unexpected success of “Loser” – as the ingenious mixing pot of creaky folk music and noise-damaged hip-hop that it was. But despite his innovative streak, Beck was just so strange – so obsessed with bugs and food and death ...
Editor's rating: 
Friday, 01 February 2008 |  Written by Matt Fink  | 
Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings - 100 Days, 100 Nights As much as I love the traditional forms of country, blues and bluegrass, even I have to admit that all three are moribund franchises at this point. Sure, you still have folks like Dwight Yoakam, Del McCoury and Buddy Guy who are more or less holding up the conventions of their respective traditions, but they are increasingly being relegated to novelty status, artists who preside over lonely musical estates like curators of immaculately preserved but rarely visited museums. But of all the traditional forms, it’s possible that soul music has held up the best, with first generation artists such as Solomon Burke, Aretha Franklin, and Etta James still performing a variant (albeit often more polished) of the deeply spiritual sounds that originally came roaring out of Southern churches as a secular answer to the fervor of gospel music. But even ...
Editor's rating: 
Friday, 01 February 2008 |  Written by Matt Fink  | 
Lupe Fiasco - The Cool Though it goes against the received wisdom that great works of art are only the product of years of developing skill, learning theory and experiencing life, a quick look at the history of pop music will show that some of the form’s definitive moments have come from artists only a few years removed from high school. From Bob Dylan writing “Blowin’ in the Wind” as a scruffy 21-year-old (a task so audacious that a 1963 Newsweek article falsely reported that Dylan had stolen the song from another songwriter) to Brian Wilson writing and arranging the Beach Boys landmark Pet Sounds at the age of 23 to Michael Jackson issuing Thriller at the age of 20, the pioneering works in the pop music idiom have often come from kids, not those who have spent their lives perfecting the craft of songwriting. ...
Editor's rating: 
Friday, 01 February 2008 |  Written by K L Poore  | 
Jesca Hoop - Kismet Quirk strangeness! That’s Jesca Hoop’s Kismet CD in a neat package. My physicist friend and the James Joyce society may giggle at what is, in effect, a triple pun, but my reason for tossing it out to you is so you’ll feel exactly the way I did when I listened to Kismet for the first time. Mystified, elated, dumbfounded, angry, and some other word I can’t think of right now. I really believe you should rush out and get a copy of Kismet as soon as possible, throw it onto your listening device of choice and take its fast-moving Wonderland journey from “Summertime” through “Love and Love Again.” Why? When was the last time you felt mystified, elated, dumbfounded, angry, and that other word I can’t think of, because of a CD? Exactly. Upon repeated listens I was forced to ask myself where ...
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