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Articles Observations and Musings 

Don’t Look Back: Bob Dylan vs. Donovan

D.A. Pennebaker’s documentary, Don’t Look Back, captures Bob Dylan during his 1965 tour of England. Bringing It All Back Home had peaked at number 1 in the UK. Teenage girls stalk his hotel, fans chase his limousine, and newspapers feed the frenzy with endless Bob Dylan articles. Pop singer Donovan was also enjoying a surge of popularity in 1965. Throughout the film, Dylan is preoccupied with the local press. Seemingly every time he opened the paper, Donovan’s name appeared. Our first hint of jealousy arrives early on. Dylan reads a…

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Album Art Exploration Articles 

Meet Buffalo Springfield

1966 was an exciting year for rock music. New acts like Cream and The Mothers of Invention issued debut albums. The Beatles released Revolver while Bob Dylan unleashed the double-LP, Blonde on Blonde. Into this sea of creativity emerged an unknown band by the name of Buffalo Springfield. Exactly who was this new group that had taken over the airwaves with the hit song, “For What’s It’s Worth?” Curious record buyers needed only to peruse the rear sleeve. A short bio of each musician is printed beneath a group photo. Listeners…

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Articles Top Ten Lists 

Walk on the Wild Side: An Introduction to Lou Reed

Exploring Lou Reed can be a daunting task. It’s a given to start with the Velvet Underground. If you haven’t internalized those albums, STOP reading and immerse yourself in the entire VU discography. Ponder the position of Lou Reed. Ask yourself, how does one follow such a flawless run of rock and roll brilliance? What follows is a simple introduction to Lou Reed’s solo material in ten songs. By no means exhaustive, this list offers a simplified introduction to a complex catalogue. BERLIN Lou Reed’s first solo album largely consisted…

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Album Reviews Articles 

The Ramones – Revisiting Too Tough To Die

The Ramones had gotten too far from their core in the early eighties. Fruitless efforts to win over radio had transformed the boys from Queens into a pop band. It was time to recapture the inspired simplicity of their formative years. Hailed as their comeback record, Too Tough To Die recaptures the excitement of the early days. It was like 1978 all over again. Not only had Tommy reprised his role as producer, The Ramones also had a brand new drummer. Replacing the recently fired Marky, Richie Ramone seemed determined to…

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Articles Top Ten Lists 

Ten Punk Rock Movies

As punk rock surfaced from the underground, representations of the genre crept into popular culture. Movie studios promptly produced cartoonish caricatures of punk rock. Invariably, the best film portrayals of punk are documentaries that take their cameras directly to bands and fans. This list features a mix of punk movies ranging from classic documentaries to the rare mainstream work that accurately mirrored the punk aesthetic. ANOTHER STATE OF MIND In 1982, the Better Youth Organization organized a 6-week tour with Youth Brigade and Social Distortion. Both bands and crew piled…

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Articles Top Ten Lists 

This is Spinal Tap: Greatest Spinal Tap Moments

The “rockumentary,” This Is Spinal Tap, catches the iconic group as they release the Smell the Glove album. With cameras trailing the band at each turn, moments of triumph are captured. Unfortunately so are blunders. Join us, as we revisit the ten greatest Spinal Tap moments. GETTING LOST BACKSTAGE Early in the film we witness the exciting moments before Spinal Tap takes the stage. Chants of “Tap” echo through the arena. Filled with adrenalin, the band begins a triumphant march to their adoring audience…until it all goes hilariously wrong! Arenas…

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Articles Observations and Musings 

Heavy Metal Parking Lot: Judas Priest 1986

Judas Priest released the divisive Turbo in 1986. Despite alienating core fans with synthesizers and pop hooks, Turbo became the band’s highest charting album to date. The subsequent “Fuel For Life” tour was equally successful. Fans turned out in droves to see Priest live. Although Judas Priest filmed the tour for home video, two filmmakers provided documentation of a different sort. Armed with equipment borrowed from a cable access studio, John Heyn and Jeff Krulik interviewed tailgating fans outside the Capital Centre in Largo, Maryland. Aptly titled, Heavy Metal Parking Lot, the…

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Album Art Exploration Articles Observations and Musings 

Iron Maiden: The Legend of the Black Cat

Eddie has been the face of Iron Maiden since day one. From seedy underworlds of urban decay to Egyptian pyramids and hostile ice planets, creator Derek Riggs has famously buried jokes and messages in the landscapes that Eddie called home. One particularly murky legend is that a black cat is hidden in each Iron Maiden album. The black cat legend is rarely discussed. I wondered if the concept was some half-invented figment of my imagination. A Google search yielded no conclusive evidence. If not for fruitless inquires posed by random…

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Album Reviews Articles Top Ten Lists 

Top 10 Thrash EPs

The EP was a popular format for thrash bands signed to cash strapped labels. Typically holding between three to five songs, bands filled these shorter records with a variety of material. Sometimes an EP unveiled new songs. Other times the format doubled as a live album. Cover songs were another popular option. Join us as we explore the glory days of the Thrash EP! SLAYER- HAUNTING THE CHAPEL Clocking in at just over 13 minutes, Haunting the Chapel was the perfect follow-up to Show No Mercy. “Chemical Warfare” and “Captor of…

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Articles Top Ten Lists 

Ten Anthrax Cover Songs

Anthrax just can’t resist recording songs from their favorite artists. As anyone who has seen the band live can attest, a healthy dose of covers also find their way into the set. After all, many of their biggest hits were originally recorded by other acts. What follows are ten memorable examples of Anthrax interpreting classic songs! I’M EIGHTEEN The history of Anthrax cover songs had a contentious start. Fistful of Metal contains a version of the Alice Cooper anthem, “I’m Eighteen.” It also has the distinction of being the ONLY…

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