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Wednesday, Sep 17, 2014
While she is a national treasure in the U.K., many in the U.S. have heard of Kate Bush but don't know her. In order to introduce someone to the musician, it is better to play them her music than try to describe it. The following 12 songs are meant to capture the spirit of Kate Bush and hopefully convert new fans.

Last month, Kate Bush’s return to the stage at London’s Hammersmith Apollo for the first time in 35 years was a long-awaited event, to put it mildly. Since her first pirouette onto the music scene in 1978 when she was only 19, Bush has astonished and fascinated her listeners. She is an enigma—a Mother Nature-like figure spinning in leotards or dancing in kaftans while singing in a voice that has made her an icon.


Bush not only has a cult-like following of dedicated fans, she is a musician’s musician. Coinciding with her live show, the BBC released a documentary titled Running Up That Hill, which aired late last month. In the film, an impressive list of musicians including David Gilmore, Peter Gabriel, John Lydon, Elton John, Tricky, and Tori Amos sing Bush’s accolades and discuss how she has influenced their music. Even writers chime in: Neil Gaiman calls her voice “absolutely otherworldly“, and author Katherine Angle describes her style aptly when she observes that Bush not only stretches out her voice but also stretches “the pop form“.


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Tuesday, Sep 16, 2014
Last week, Apple answered the question "Why mess with perfection?" by quietly killing off the iPod Classic.

Around 8:30 in the morning, nursing a cup of coffee, I received the following text from a co-worker: “My iPod died.”


Like me, he’s one of those who have 20,000-plus songs loaded on his device. So, my heart couldn’t help but sink a bit when I read his message. I know the hours it takes to put all that material back on the iPod. But until last week, we could at least take comfort in the fact we could always buy a brand new iPod Classic.


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Monday, Sep 15, 2014
The third track on Green Day's 2004 opus blends its social commentary and coming-of-age narrative into a single explosion that's both powerful and profound.

Having properly set up both the social commentary and narrative construct of American Idiot with the disc’s first two pieces (“American Idiot” and “Jesus of Suburbia”), Green Day chose the most logical option for the next track: fuse the two agendas into one wholly kickass amalgam. Indeed, “Holiday” is among the most overtly political songs on the record, which is probably why it was such a big hit back in 2004. Likewise, it followed up on the defiant departure of the album’s protagonist, showcasing the next chapter in his journey. A decade later, “Holiday” is still just as catchy, invigorating, and collectively powerful, igniting a rebellious fire in the soul of everyone who hears it, as well as sparking discussions about its meanings.


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Friday, Sep 12, 2014
In my eyes, indisposed, in disguise as no one knows hides the face of this week's Counterbalance. 281st most acclaimed album of all time, won't you come and wash away the rain?

Mendelsohn: I didn’t even want to talk about this album. I just wanted to make you listen to Soundgarden for a week. Mission accomplished.


Klinger: Well played, sir.


Mendelsohn: But, while were here, and since I imagine you listened to this record at least once, we might as well have a little back-and-forth. Because, honestly, what else are we going to do? In my head, I can already here you grumbling about no nostalgia for the 1990s, no affinity for alternative music, wading through your Gen-X miasma, etc. I almost feel bad for making you listen to Soundgarden’s Superunknown. Almost.


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Wednesday, Sep 10, 2014
A scattering of some of the Interpol tracks you may have missed or skipped over in favor of those oh-so-relevant singles.

When you really think about the group’s music, there’s a lot about Interpol not to like. Be it the consistent post-punk cribbing or the monotonous delivery of its albums, all of which are cut from the same cloth, it’s easy to dismiss its members as hipsters of the highest order. (I have one friend who cringes at the first note that singer Paul Banks utters.) Interpol can be labeled as “the” quintessential New York indie band, the one that exploded on the scene with its debut, Turn on the Bright Lights, in 2002 to immediate acclaim and a built-in audience. But times change and sustainability is not a capital that most “it” bands are able to trade in fruitfully. Despite all of the odds against it, Interpol managed an almost-hat-trick with its first three albums; Turn on the Bright Lights,, Antics, and Our Love to Admire, respectively. The ensemble’s fourth LP, the self-titled Interpol was deemed a mediocre affair, at least critically, that culminated with founding bassist Carlos Dengler leaving the band and casting its immediate future in a wavering light.


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