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Friday, Feb 27, 2015
The classic Wisconsin rock outfit BoDeans will release their 12th studio outing, I Can't Stop, this April. Now you can stream the pounding rocker "Slave".

With over 30 years of experience and 11 studio LPs under their belts, the BoDeans don’t have much to do as far as establishing credibility goes. The Waukesha, Wisconsin rock group has built a strong reputation for their rugged work ethic and their love of American roots rock. Both of those things hold true for their soon-to-be-released 12th album, I Can’t Stop, which reaffirms the group’s commitment to the craft—the title is no exaggeration.


Below you can stream the album cut “Slave”, a driving rocker driven by a primal, pounding pulse.


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Friday, Feb 27, 2015
Surf rock meets jazz meets bizarro black and white in the latest music video by the Athens, Georgia experimental outfit Kenosha Kid.

The kind of music that the Athens, Georgia instrumental outfit Kenosha Kid purveys in is one of those things that is nearly impossible to describe with clarity that nonetheless makes sense by the time it’s all said and done. One spin of any of their knotty, mind-bending jams and it becomes clear that the group, headed up by guitarist Dan Nettles, has a very different conception of song structure than most musicians. Where others would think not to put certain ideas together, Kenosha Kid runs wild with the eclectic. Such is the case for the oddball “Zombie Party”, a track taken from the band’s forthcoming LP Inside Voices. A delirious hodgepodge of jazz, surf rock, and ‘60s pop, the tune’s perplexing composition is matched only by is music video, which… well, it’s best to let Nettles himself explain what’s going on here.


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Friday, Feb 27, 2015
Audiences hungry for the reunited Sleater-Kinney will be thrilled. The band are as explosive as ever.

I first saw Sleater-Kinney open for all-male band Pearl Jam back in 2003. Their rock was raucous, rough and impressive. I was fortunate enough to see them twice more before they disbanded in 2005. It’s hard to believe, but in the decade since then, there wasn’t any act who filled the hole left by Corin Tucker, Carrie Brownstein and Janet Weiss. So, at the end of 2014, it was very exciting to hear that the original line-up were returning with a new album No Cities to Love and a tour to support it. Fortunately, they don’t sound like they were gone at all.


As the New York Times said,


“The new songs are as gnarled and brazen as the rest of Sleater-Kinney’s catalog. They also reflect how 10 years have passed between Sleater-Kinney albums, as lyrics take on current economic insecurities (“Bury Our Friends” declares, “We live on dread in our own gilded age”) and ponder the band’s own future. “No one here is taking notice/No outline will ever hold us,” the band vows in “A New Wave.” During Sleater-Kinney’s absence, Ms. Brownstein found a new audience as a writer and star in the comedy series “Portlandia,” but Sleater-Kinney doesn’t play for laughs.”



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Friday, Feb 27, 2015
Following their sharp VA album in 2014, the Last Bison are releasing an EP of tracks culled from that time in the studio.

Last fall, PopMatters premiered the music video “Bad Country” by the Virginia folk group the Last Bison. That song, a fine, sing-alongable number, is one of the key components of the convivial atmosphere that fills VA, the group’s most recent LP. PopMatters writer John Bergstrom asked in his review of the Last Bison’s Inheritance record, “The Virginia septet are legitimate players in the folk revival, so why aren’t they blanketing your radio like Mumford & Sons and the Lumineers?” The world has yet to give a sensible answer. The band’s music not only gives those mega-groups a run for their money; in many cases, particularly with Mumford & Sons, they actually one-up them.


As it turns out, the music of VA isn’t over just yet. These Virginians have now readied a followup EP, Dorado, taken from the writing and recording sessions from the last album.


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Friday, Feb 27, 2015
Something I learned today: Black and white is always grey. And this week's Counterbalance takes a look at a 1984 turning point in punk. Turn on the news for the 219th most acclaimed album of all time.

Klinger: In 1984 I was this close. I had discovered R.E.M. and Elvis Costello, and I was aware enough to know that there was a whole world out there beyond my heartland classic rock. Theoretically, with one quick turn to the left, I could have immersed myself in this whole underground scene, typified in my mind by albums like the Replacements’ Let It Be and the album I’ve chosen for this week’s Counterbalance, Hüsker Dü s double-LP conceptual magnum opus Zen Arcade. That’s not without regret.


I can only imagine how differently I might have turned out if I had spent more time cracking the code of Zen Arcade instead of trying to figure out the Who’s Quadrophenia. There’s certainly enough going on with this album to have kept my adolescent brain occupied, and I’m pretty sure that if this had been the expression of my teen angst I might have gone into my adulthood with a much different outlook. As it stands, I’m left to ponder this massive monolith of an album from a decidedly more analytical point of view. There’s of course so much to take in, and much of it is buried under that low-fi wall of noise. Lyrics are buried, guitars are muddled, and yet the whole thing still feels to me like a portal into some place that I very much want to be. Is this making sense, Mendelsohn?


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