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Friday, Jun 27, 2014
I can feel this week's album's energy from two planets away. I got my drink, I got my music, I will share it, but today I'm yelling. Yelling about a 2012 hip-hop breakthrough and the subject of this week's Counterbalance, that is.

Mendelsohn: We’ve covered a lot of ground in the last couple of years. But we have yet to talk about an album like Kendrick Lamar’s 2012 release Good Kid M.A.A.D. City. This album was ranked number two for the year, behind Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange, and currently sits at number 397 on the Great List (which seems unfairly low, but what do I know?). There is a cinematic quality to this record, one that exceeds even the best concept albums that rock ‘n’ roll had to offer — namely the Who’s Tommy and Pink Floyd’s The Wall. Those two albums seem almost silly in nature compared to the stark realities and self-awareness of Lamar’s vision. The incredible storytelling and unmatched lyricism has left me at a loss for words, Klinger. Where do you begin with an album as deeply layered as Good Kid M.A.A.D. City?  Hip-hop albums have been few and far between on the Great List, and while I enjoy hip-hop and am happy to see it slowly working toward its rightful position next to rock ‘n’roll on the List, I can’t help but feel completely overwhelmed by the breadth of material on this record.


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Thursday, Jun 26, 2014
For the first time since 1998, Australia's most recognizable music festival will not be on the schedule. In what appears to be an ever-expanding live music calendar, competition for headliners, audiences, and cash is only becoming fiercer and fiercer.

How unforunate it is that right as one storied music festival gets underway that another finds itself abruptly closing up shop. Just as England’s Glastonbury festival is busy attracting huge crowds to its part of the globe for a bill topped by Metallica, Arcade Fire, and Kasabian, way down under the people in charge of Australia’s Big Day Out have announced that they are canceling the event for next year.


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Wednesday, Jun 25, 2014
We've selected the top ten covers Tori Amos should consider performing on the US Leg of her Unrepentant Geraldines tour.

There are few musicians who possess the kind of flexibility and dexterity to change their setlists from night to night as much as Tori Amos does. Amos’ 2014 Unrepentant Geraldines tour is reviving an extremely clever gimmick she first debuted in 2005 during her Original Sinsuality tour: “The Lizard Lounge”. This cheeky moniker references Amos’ time spent playing covers requested in bars, often for tips, in Washington DC and Los Angeles before she broke through to a mainstream audience, great acclaim and much success for playing her own original music.


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Tuesday, Jun 24, 2014
The rock icon gives the public its first listen of his new "trance meets Zep" album.

Yesterday saw the premiere of “Rainbow”, the first offering from Robert Plant‘s new album lullaby and… The Ceaseless Roar, due out this September on Nonesuch. First debuted on NPR, it’s now also available on the singer’s YouTube page, and as a digital freebie with preorders of the LP. Backed by an hefty roster of musicians in the guise of the Sensational Space Shifters, Plant has stated to the press that the new album’s sound can be summed up handily as “trance meets Zep”. Such a description certainly applies to “Rainbow”, where a sparse and vaguely exotic drum pattern serves as the bedrock for wispy, droning textures redolent of the gentler side of mid-period Led Zeppelin.


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Monday, Jun 23, 2014
They cornered the genre known as "party-pop", dressed in '60s thrift store kitsch, and poured jokes and humor into all their lyrics. Oh, and their debut album is actually one of the greatest rock albums ever made. No, really.

There are a lot of iconic B-52’s one-liners. Most of them are funny. Some of them are downright surreal. Yet virtually all of them leave you feeling like you’re going down to where the love honey grows, and picking just one to sum up the entire aesthetic of these fearless Athens, Georgia New Wavers is actually harder than you’d think. Do you pick a zinger from “Love Shack”? The bizarre “Song for a Future Generation”? The wonderful guitar strut of “Private Idaho”?


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