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June 22, 2005

13 going on Good Company.

Sleater-Kinney's back. "Sounds carry longer on The Woods, from its warped and extended guitar solos to a scraggly, weighty bottom-end crafted by famed alt-rock producer Dave Fridmann." And look, their first single (and one of the album's strongest moments) is "Entertain," the very song that made Carrie Brownstein all vengeful against the crowd two years ago at Majestic.

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The Offspring's greatest hits is like an abstract of all the dorm rooms you were in between 1989 and 2003, or oil change places during the same timeframe. Just add grease: "Apparently the Offspring could keep 'em separated no longer....collecting every one of [their] modern rock warhorses into one place." However, as brash and empty as their music has always been, Greatest Hits does suggest that the Offspring either predicted or perpetuated pop culture's slide into cortex-twisting reality obsession with late-90s tracks like "Pretty Fly [For a White Guy]" and "Why Don't You Get a Job?" In that sense, the set's like a cultural ethnology. (In that sense ONLY. In every other sense it's music to buy bad shake from Jim Anchower to.)

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It looked like Tim Armstrong and Travis Barker had pulled the plug on Transplants, especially after the beat-up faces-and-late-night-sleaze gem "Diamonds and Guns" was sold to Fructis shampoo. But Transplants are back with a new album and a headlining slot at Warped Tour, so how's that for validity? Haunted Cities is more of the same, right down to the "____ and ____" single. "Gangsters and Thugs" is as oddly effective as the debut with its turntables and hedonism, organ drop-ins, and skittering percussion racket...[Cities is] all so blatantly postmodern. But the whole package ends up having this strangely alluring glimmer. It's like discovering California Babylon after being lost in suburbia."

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Deming wrote about Larua Cantrell's Humming by the Flowered Vine. But it's one of my favorite albums of 2005 so far, along with Superwolf, Shakira's Fijación Oral, Vol. 1, the Burn the Priest reissue, Ana Da Silva's Lighthouse, and Mahjongg's Raydoncong 2005, also in the running for year's best album title.

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JTL

Posted by Johnny Loftus at June 22, 2005 2:50 PM