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16 January 2004

Various Artists, Punk Goes Acoustic (Fearless)
The latest installment in California-based Fearless Records' "Punk Goes..." series could be called "Punk Goes Dashboard Confessional". Following on the heels of Punk Goes Metal and Punk Goes Pop, West Coast pop-punk's leading bands have gotten together for Punk Goes Acoustic, a record with nary an amplifier in sight. The result is a collection of 20 songs representing the worst of what "emo" has come to mean by pop-punk bands such as the Ataris, Finch, Piebald, Coalesce and Midtown. What many of these groups fail to recognize is that Dashboard's appeal lay in Chris Carrabba's evocative lyrics as much as his acoustic riffing. When Finch translates its "Letters to You" into the stripped-down format, the chorus of "I want you to know that I miss you, that I miss you so" is glaring in its un-Carrabba-like drabness. Several bands here include drums, seemingly as unaware as Carrabba was on his last two albums that such instrumentation undermines the intimacy the acoustic format can convey. And all that need be said about Taking Back Sunday's contribution is its god-awful title: "Cute Without the E (Cut From the Team)". Yet a few highlights hit upon the emotional honesty that made acoustic pop-punk popular in the first place. For example, under-sexed 17-year-olds everywhere can rejoice in the melodic, angst-ridden catharsis of the Starting Line's "Playing Favorites". If you like the bands listed here and prefer The Places You Have Come to Fear the Most to Swiss Army Romance, you will like this compilation. Meanwhile, the rest of the world will make fun of you. But that's what punk is all about, isn't it?
      — Marc Hogan

.: posted by Editor 11:24 AM


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Johnny Cash
Slaid Cleaves
Elvis Costello & Allen Toussaint
Cut Chemist
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Dinosaur Jr.
Dr. Octagon
Alejandro Escovedo
Fatboy Slim
Four Tet
The Handsome Family
Matthew Herbert
Ise Lyfe
Jefferson Airplane
Lord Jamar
Mission of Burma
Mr. Lif
Mojave 3
Allison Moorer
Paul Oakenfold
Grant-Lee Phillips
The Procussions
Corinne Bailey Rae
Ramblin' Jack Elliott
Julie Roberts
Diana Ross
7L & Esoteric
Alice Smith
Snow Patrol
Sonic Youth
Soul Asylum
Sound Team
Regina Spektor
Sufjan Stevens
Matthew Sweet
Rhonda Vincent
Thom Yorke

Baby Dayliner
The BellRays
Cat Power
The Clientele + Great Lakes
The Coup + T-Kash
Mike Doughty Band
Download Festival 2006
Fiery Furnaces + Man Man
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High Sierra Music Festival
Billy Idol
Bettye Lavette
Love Parade
Nine Inch Nails + Bauhaus
Sonic Youth
Splendour in the Grass 2006
The Streets
Sunset Rubdown

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