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December 2006

Event Reviews

Bon Savants

Chris Catania takes in a triple bill of bubbling-under indie talent, headlined by the flamboyant pop of Bon Savants, and leaves the Chicago venue mightily impressed.

Bouncing Souls

The Social, in Orlando, has been frequently offering two-night residencies to bands that can easily sell out the small venue. Booking the bill with big talent and odd packaging, these shows are usually a hot ticket and always memorable. For a holiday treat in December, Bouncing Souls were the band in big letters with hefty support from The Street Dogs, Whole Wheat Bread and World/Inferno Friendship Society. Jen Cray was there for the mayhem on night #2.

Cursive

On the first real cold night of our Florida winter, Cursive came to town with Jeremy Enigk, and The Cops. Jen Cray found the weather to be more enjoyable than some of the music.

Death Cab For Cutie

Appropriately booked at a college campus, Seattle's shoegazers Death Cab For Cutie rolled into Orlando for a crowded show at the UCF Arena. Jen Cray found their inimate sounds rather impersonal inside the too big space.

Hot Chip

The whirlwind electro-pop of Hot Chip, complete with giant glasses and walls of keyboards, makes a convert of our very own Chris Catania. The opening bands weren't half bad either.

Joan Jett

Even this far into her career Joan Jett is all about the music. Why else would she bring two show-stealing bands- Eagles of Death Metal and Riverboat Gamblers- on tour with her? Jen Cray falls into the celebratory atmosphere of one perfect lineup of rock n' roll.

Mute Math

There's a good reason why Mute Math played two consecutive nights during Orlando's Anti-Pop Festival, at The Social... Because, as Jen Cray soon found out, they are one of the greatest live bands touring the club circuit these days.

No Snow Show

The annual O-Rock 105.9 No Snow Show had AFI in top billing with heavy support by Taking Back Sunday, Angels & Airwaves, Buckcherry, Sugarcult, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus and Kill Hannah. Reporting deep inside the very unwinter weather was Jen Cray.

Patrice Pike

Chris Catania takes in a Chicago concert by Patrice Pike, contestant on the recent "Rock Star Supernova" show, and he ends up seeing a serious performer, and not a one-trick pony, whose career may have been harmed, rather than helped, by reality television exposure.

Silverstein

The Never Shave Again Tour may have had Silverstein with top billing, but as Brittany Sturges found out, it was Aiden who stole the show.

Sparta

When At The Drive In split up, half of the band went on to critical success in The Mars Volta. The other half quietly slipped into a band just as worthy of praise, Sparta. Jen Cray stepped in to pay the band some respect.

The Hold Steady

The Hold Steady are in part known for the copious amounts of alcohol they consume onstage during every performance. How much alcohol can they actually get through in an hour and change? Jen Cray was at their Orlando gig to find out.

Features

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like....

At this special time of year, let's not forget the REAL reason for the season... fabulously gaudy displays of Xmas lights! Heather Lorusso sure didn't - and even in faraway Tokyo she found enough clever uses of wattage to soften the most humbuggy of hearts. You won't find these in your neighbor's yard.

James Brown Is Dead

James Brown passed away on Christmas Day. Or did he? James Mann ponders the Godfather of Soul.

Interviews

Dennis Dunaway

Dennis Dunaway was the bassist, songwriter and more in one of the greatest bands of the '70s, the Alice Cooper Group. He talks with Matt Parish about those heady years, Frank Zappa and life after the Billion Dollar Babies.

Jarret Keene

Brittany Sturges talks with Las Vegas writer Jarret Keene about his new book, The Killers: Destiny Is Calling Me and his history with the band.

Mute Math

Mute Math are, without a doubt, one of the most talented live bands you will ever see. Heavy hitting drummer Darren King spoke with Jen Cray after the band's pair of awe inspiring dates during Orlando's Anti-Pop Festival.

Riverboat Gamblers

During their short tour opening for the legendary Joan Jett, Texas' most valuable export-Riverboat Gamblers- invited Jen Cray up to their dressing room for an informal chat before their set.

The Oaks

The Oaks are more than a band, they're a humanitarian effort. Of the two founding members, one spent two years in Afghanistan helping refugees, while the other has a master's in philosophy & environmental ethics. Jen Cray spoke with both Ryan Costello and Matt Antolick.

Music Reviews

Music A

The Adored

A New Language (V2/Artemis). Review by Jen Cray.

AFI

Decemberunderground (Interscope). Review by Jen Cray.

Ashton Allen

Dewdrops (Livewire). Review by Aaron Shaul.

American Watercolor Movement

It Takes Fifteen to Tango in My Book, What Book Do You Read?. Review by Carl F Gauze.

Music B

Susana Baca

Travesias (V2). Review by Carl F Gauze.

Banner Pilot

Pass the Poison (Aresenic). Review by Carl F Gauze.

The Besties

Singer (Skipping Stones). Review by Aaron Shaul.

Bluepoint

Thanks For Not Asking. Review by Carl F Gauze.

Music C

Rachael Cantu

Run All Night (Q Division). Review by Aaron Shaul.

The Charade

The Best is Yet to Come (Skipping Stones). Review by Aaron Shaul.

Josie Cotton

Movie Disaster Music (Scruffy). Review by Carl F Gauze.

The Crimson Jazz Trio

King Crimson Songbook Volume One (Voice Print). Review by Carl F Gauze.

Music D

Kimya Dawson

Remember That I Love You (K). Review by Matthew Moyer.

Deadstar Assembly

Unsaved (Pure). Review by Carl F Gauze.

Dennis Dunaway Project

Bones From The Yard. Review by Matt Parish.

Dirty Novels

Stealing Kisses. Review by Carl F Gauze.

The Disco Biscuits

The Wind At Four To Fly (Diamond Riggs). Review by Carl F Gauze.

Paul Duncan

Be Careful What You Call Home (Home Tapes). Review by Aaron Shaul.

Music F

Fenix Down

Protected. Review by Kyrby Raine.

The Funhouse Comp Thing

(My Fat Ass). Review by Carl F Gauze.

Music G

The Glaciers

The Moonlight Never Misses an Appointment (Eskimo Kiss). Review by Carl F Gauze.

The Glass Family

Sleep Inside This Wheel (I Eat). Review by Aaron Shaul.

Music H

John Lee Hooker, Jr.

Cold As Ice (Telarc). Review by Carl F Gauze.

Sten Hostfalt

29 Pieces for the Microtonal Guitar (g-wOw). Review by Carl F Gauze.

Susan House

Gifts of the Season (Sisu Heart). Review by Kyrby Raine.

Music I

Ima Robot

Monument to the Masses (Virgin). Review by Jen Cray.

Music J

Joy Electric

The Ministry of Archers (Tooth & Nail). Review by Aaron Shaul.

Junkie XL

Today (Ultra). Review by Ben Varkentine.

Music K

Jess Klein

Strawberry Lover (Ryko). Review by Aaron Shaul.

The Kooks

Inside In/Inside Out (Astralwerks/EMI). Review by Ben Varkentine.

Music L

Let's Get Out of This Terrible Sandwich Shop

Let's Get Out of This Terrible Sandwich Shop. Review by Tim Wardyn.

Logan Square

Pessimism & Satire (Fearless). Review by Addam Donnelly.

Music M

The Michael Harris Band

Open Letter (Dai Box). Review by Kyrby Raine.

Scott Miller and The Commonwealth

Citation (Sugar Hill). Review by Sean Slone.

music M

Mobius Band

City Vs Country (Ghostly International). Review by Aaron Shaul.

Music N

Nazi Dogs

Chase the Man (TKO). Review by Scott Adams.

Music O

The Oaks

Our Fathers & the Things They Left Behind (Rising Oak). Review by Jen Cray.

Music P

Parenthetical Girls

Safe As Houses (Slender Means Society). Review by Carl F Gauze.

Peaches

Impeach My Bush (XL). Review by Jen Cray.

Portugal. The Man.

Waiter: You Vultures! (Fearless). Review by Addam Donnelly.

Proudflesh

Proudflesh (Wired Gnome). Review by Scott Adams.

Music R

The Residents

River of Crime (Cordless). Review by Carl F Gauze.

The Rewinds

The Rewinds (Livewire). Review by David Barker.

The Robocop Kraus

They Think They Are The Robocop Kraus (Epitaph). Review by Aaron Shaul.

music S

Scritti Politti

White Bread Black Beer (Nonesuch/Rough Trade). Review by Ben Varkentine.

Music S

The Shocker

Up Your Ass Tray (Go Kart). Review by Jen Cray.

Sister Hazel

Absolutely (Croakin' Poet). Review by Andrew Ellis.

The Slow Signal Fade

Steady (In Music We Trust). Review by Tim Wardyn.

Music T

Beth Thornley

My Glass Eye (Stiff Hips Music). Review by Carl F Gauze.

Time Again

The Stories Are True (Hellcat). Review by Jen Cray.

music T

Towers of London

Blood Sweat & Towers (TVT). Review by Jen Cray.

Music U

Unsound

Unsound (Epitaph). Review by David Barker.

Music V

Vulgar Pang

The Pleasures of Schizophrenia (Rock Garden). Review by Carl F Gauze.

Print Reviews

Back Issue

The Big Green Issue is out, and from Matthew Moyer's description, if you don't have this you should be a bit verdant with envy for those who do.

Cant You Get Along With Anyone

By the end of this book, James MacLaren is sure of one thing, you must buy it and read it NOW. On the way to that conlusion, however, is a whole minefield of soul searching and human failings. Like the man says, it's complicated.

Despite the System: Orson Welles Versus the Hollywood Studios

At first glance, maybe it seems a little shocking that Clinton Heylin has temporarily abandoned the rock world to write about filmmaker Orson Welles, but after reading this book, Matthew Moyer wonders what took him so bloody long.

INVESTIGATING CSI

Have you ever wondered what it's really like to be a crime scene investigator? Maybe you've wondered what impact a TV show can have on our culture. The essays in Investigating CSI debate these and many more topics. Tune in, but don't forget the duct tape. Bob Pomeroy won't always have that extra roll.

Moon Pie: Biography of an Out-of-This-World Snack

Make me a snack as big as the moon? After reading this new book, Scott Adams knows more about the Moon Pie than any one person has the right to know. Yum yum.

Playing President

Veteran left-wing political journalist Bob Scheer has interviewed every elected U.S. President from Nixon to Clinton, and as his latest book shows, he's done so with fairness and insight. So why hasn't he managed to chat with George W.? Eric J. Iannelli takes a look at Scheer's Playing President.

Rock En Espanol: The Latin Alternative Rock Explosion

Chris Catania, like Rock En Espanol's author, Ernesto Lechner, was slow to warm up to the emerging sounds of the Latin alt-rock movement, but both now agree that the bands profiled in these pages hint strongly at the future of popular music.

Rolling Away: My Agony With Ecstacy

There's not a glowstick or a Dr. Seuss hat to be found for Linda Tate in the pages of this drug addiction memoir. But this is one book that lays it all the bad memories and bad trips on the line without getting too preachy.

Snow Angel: A Novel

Rhona Scoville heartily recommends Michael Graham's wintery police procedural novel as a great way to pass the time during the holiday season. Eggnog and true crime, nothing could be finer.

The ACME Catalog

Whether or not you're trying to dispense with a certain roadrunning thorn in your side, Rob Levy finds much to enjoy in thisvolume. Christmas is just around the corner, after all, and doesn't some special in your life need an Instant Tunnel Painter?

The Jungle

The recent Penguin Classics edition of Upton Sinclair's tale of worker exploitation in the beef industry is both a labor classic and the perfect holiday gift for your slacker cousin, says Carl F Gauze.

Window Seat: The Art of Digital Photography & Creative Thinking

Inspirational text, coffee table photography book or master class in Photoshop? Julieanne Kost gives us all three in her new book. Bob Pomeroy comes along for the ride to see what can be done with a digital camera and a kick-ass computer program.

Screen Reviews

Going Shopping

A struggling thrift shop owner turns to a loan shark after her boyfriend embezzles her money, but reunites with her annoying preteen daughter.