We Are Living in the Golden Age of Band T-Shirts

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Before social media, band shirts used to be a way to easily identify other members of your tribe. People wore their love on their sleeves, quite literally. There were T-shirt ordering magazines (remember Rockabilia?), but for the most part you had to go to the show's merch table. A shirt didn't just mean that you liked the band, it meant that you showed up for the band. Band T-shirts have gotten so much more interesting in recent years and there have been trends I can totally get behind.

See also: The Top 20 New York Hardcore and Metal Albums of All Time

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It's Your Last Chance to See Bitch Magnet, They Promise

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Even in this era of Every Band That Ever Existed Must And Will Reunite, the return of Bitch Magnet is surprising, a bit shocking, really -- as if a Mars space probe long given up for lost somehow found its way back to Earth.

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- Q&A: Chunklet's Henry Owings On The Indie Cred Test, Not Being A Hipster, and Paying Tribute To Jerry Fuchs

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The Chrome Cranks: Stinking Up the LES Again

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Keith Marlowe
THE CHROME CRANKS!

By Brad Cohan

Present day LES is a bottomless pit of bombed bridge 'n' tunnel scenester wannabees, ex-Upper East side yuppie scum jogging past the John Varvatos store where punk was birthed at CBGB and trust fund frat kids living off their rich-assed parent's dime, drunkenly soiling the newly sprouted luxury condo-lined streets. But remnants of the once-vibrant, crusty downtown music scene of the late 1980's and 90's glory years are seemingly back on the upswing.



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Lamin Fofana's African-Inspired Techno Is Dutty!

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Lamin Fofana

Dutty Artz, the independent record label based in NYC, certainly knows a thing or two about nurturing talent from a grass roots level up. Ever since Matt Shadetek and DJ Rupture started it up in 2008, the label has released left-field grime, house and techno to bass music lovers across the globe. Already a respected name within the industry, Dutty Artz's latest signing is about to give them some extra kudos. A protégé of DJ Rupture, Sierra Leone-born Lamin Fofana is producer and DJ whose African-inspired techno is already adding another edge to ever-growing "EDM" scene. From the age of 15, he began programming rhythms and designing sounds using cracked software, something which has helped mould his sound into what it is today.

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Bucks Burnett's Very Cool Eight Track Museum Opens This Weekend

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Bucks & Zappa

Tiny Tim's 1996 album Girl concludes with "Fourteen," a song that declares, "I'm just an ordinary man." The author of "Fourteen," though, is anything but average. A lifelong resident of Dallas, Texas, James "Bucks" Burnett has written ad copy for Warner Bros., worked as a butler for Small Faces bassist Ronnie Lane, archived for Talking Heads couple Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth and managed and produced for Tiny. His most unconventional achievement, however, is opening the world's first eight-track museum, a charming slice of weirdness that descended on Dallas's Deep Ellum neighborhood in late 2010.

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- Eight Tracks To Snag From The Just-Relaunched Epitonic.com

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Iggy Pop Taught Mike Watt How To Be A Better Bassist

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By Katherine Turman

Mike Watt is a jack of all trades, and master of most. Since founding hardcore punk legends Minutemen in 1980 and contributing the phrase "We Jam Econo" to the cultural lexicon, the bassist and "spieler" has added much to America's left-of-center musical landscape. From the two-bass band dos to late 80s-early 90s alt-rock heroes fIREHOSE to solo albums featuring the likes of Eddie Vedder, Adam Horovitz, Dave Grohl and Thurston Moore, Watt is seemingly never without a new-fangled idea and the guts, talent and cool friends to wondrously implement it.

See Also:
- Q&A: Mike Watt
- Another Mike Watt Q&A


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Menomena Get Dark On Moms

Categories: Featured

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Moms may very well be Menomena's darkest, most emotionally devastating album yet--an arresting song cycle about familial bonds that touches on mothers long since passed away, absentee fathers, dysfunctional kinship, and the way one's family ties weigh on every other relationship that comes along in life.

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- Menomena avoid inter-band violence via bitchin' improvised technology

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Scott and Charlene's Wedding: Jangle Pop with a Middle Finger Fully Extended

Categories: Featured

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On the surface, it seemed Craig Dermody's life wasn't going all that bad in his home of Melbourne, Australia. He was playing around town in the psychedelically damaged rock unit Spider Vomit as well as in his wonderfully brainless Punk band, Divorced.

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The Life And Times Of Res

Categories: Featured

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Res had it pretty good, for a while.

A little more than a decade ago, when the music industry was still flush with cash and power, the Philadelphia-born singer-songwriter (whose given name is Shareese Ballard; her stage name is pronounced "Reese") had a sweet deal with MCA Records. She had a crash pad on a Los Angeles beach that was paid for by the label, which was jetting her around the globe to open for Mary J. Blige and hooking her up with some of the hottest producers in the land.

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Jens Lekman Carries His Broken Heart Gracefully

Categories: Featured

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Reached by phone backstage at Lincoln Hall in Chicago, in the draggy hours between soundcheck and show time, Jens Lekman is all apologies.

"I'm sorry it took so long," the 31-year-old Swede says of his new full-length album, I Know What Love Isn't, which arrived last month almost five years to the day since his previous LP, Night Falls Over Kortedala. "For some things, you have to go in a circle for a while to get there."

After a grueling year-long world tour behind Kortedala, Lekman decided to live life rather than just write songs about it or perform it, moving to the U.S., then Melbourne--where he DJ'ed and worked odd jobs--and finally back to Sweden again after visa issues sent him packing from Australia. Along the way he endured a brief bout with swine flu and a more lasting ailment--an acutely broken heart. For a long time he fought the impulse to make "yet another breakup album," he laughs. "Of course, it all just led me back to that in the end."

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- Live: Of Montreal And Jens Lekman Bliss Out At McCarren Park
- You May Want to Avoid Jens Lekman for the Next Week or So

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