There was a time when I used to like rap. And hip-hop. I liked the attitude, the ever so often NSFW lyrics, the inherent anger and sometimes – not always, though – the wit and self-deprecation. Of course, the bass-lines and the scratching added to the experience. And I liked rappers’ willingness to collaborate with other rappers and feature them as guests on their recordings. It was like a whole different community, replete with intense, often violent, rivalry but also with a curious kind of camaraderie. Read more

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 4.8 out of 5)
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It is not easy to get into an album by Deerhunter. The Atlanta (Georgia, US) based quartet has been variously described as being purveyors of experimental rock or of post-punk or even noise rock. I prefer what Deerhunter’s frontman Bradford Cox calls their music – ambient punk. Cox is six-foot-four and very thin and has what is known as Marfan’s Syndrome, a genetic disorder of the connective tissue (and which I read somewhere that Joey Ramone also had). The disorder can make limbs and fingers very long and thin. That gives Cox a unique stage presence that is made all the more weird when he wears sun-dresses or vintage gowns and has fake blood on his face. Add his quirky vocals and things can get weirder during Deerhunter’s rather intense live gigs. Read more

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (6 votes, average: 4.67 out of 5)
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On December 22, it will be eight years since Joe Strummer suddenly died when he was just 50. Most of us know Strummer as the lead singer (and rhythm guitarist) of one of Britain’s best known early punk bands, The Clash. Although The Clash were a short-lived act – disbanding in less than 10 years – and witnessing many internal quarrels and line-up changes, they were a cult band whose rebelliousness and political lyrics had a long-lasting influence on legions of musicians on the so-called alternative rock scene. Read more

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