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A Very Sex Pistols Halloween

Jerry McCulley
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11.02.2007

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The Sex Pistols continued their latest unlikely renaissance with a Halloween appearance on CBS’ Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, ostensibly to promote the 30th anniversary reissue of Never Mind the Bollocks and an even more improbable development, namely the re-recorded versions of “Anarchy in the UK” and “Pretty Vacant” that are featured on Activision’s Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock. Ferguson reportedly lobbied hard to have the band, whom he was a rabid fan of in his Scottish youth, appear on the show.
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Memphis Rockers Ingram Hill on Touring the Gibson Plant, Touring the Country (Free MP3 Download!)

Sean McDevitt
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11.02.2007

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“Don’t you know that it gets cold in California,” Ingram Hill vocalist Justin Moore sings on the title track of the band’s new album, the aptly titled Cold in California. “Well I guess I miss my home in Tennessee.” These lyrics aren’t filler. The guys in Ingram Hill did miss their Memphis stomping grounds while recording their first album for Hollywood Records. And as things turned out, the experience of making a full-fledged album on the record company’s dime for the first time wasn’t the only revelation—contrary to the band’s pre-trip perceptions, California isn’t exactly a paradise that’s always warm and sunny. Once the sun goes down, it actually gets downright chilly out there.
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The Dropkick Murphys' Marc Orrell on Lucky Breaks and One Tough Epiphone (Free MP3 Download!)

Jonah Bayer
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11.01.2007

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If you don’t think you’ve ever heard the Dropkick Murphys’ music, think again. “When people ask me what I do, I say ‘I’m in a band called the Dropkick Murphys’—and if they still haven’t heard of us, I say we had that song in The Departed and they instantly know what I’m talking about,” explains the band’s guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Marc Orrell. “That movie helped us become a household name—and I think it also helped our album [The Meanest of Times] debut in the Billboard Top 20, which was unreal.” That star-making song, “I’m Shipping Up To Boston,” features lyrics from legendary protest singer Woody Guthrie and was originally included on the Dropkick Murphys’ 2005 album The Warrior’s Code and passed on to the film’s director Martin Scorsese by the Band’s Robbie Robertson. “Amazingly, I guess Robbie is a fan of ours and knew Martin from The Last Waltz; he heard he was doing a film about Boston, so he passed our song along because it has a really Irish feel,” Orrell explains. “We were in Europe and we saw the trailer on our computer and we were like, ‘Oh my God, it’s even the trailer—this is going to be huge!’”
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A Track-By-Track Guide to Neil Young's Chrome Dreams II

Aidin Vaziri
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11.01.2007

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How odd is Neil Young’s latest album? Well, for one, it’s supposed to be a sequel to 1977’s Chrome Dreams, a phantom album that never came out but that introduced future classics such as “Pocahontas” and “Like a Hurricane.” Recorded at an off-the-cuff Northern California session last summer, the follow-up doesn’t quite offer anything of that caliber but does stitch together a couple of old and new songs and finds the iconic 61-year-old singer-songwriter-guitarist putting all of his many musical personalities on display at once. Joining Young are pedal steel guitarist Ben Keith, bassist Rick Rosas, and Crazy Horse drummer Ralph Molina.
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Gibson Player Profile: Duane Denison of U.S.S.A. (Free MP3 Download!)

Nicole Keiper
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11.01.2007

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Much of what’s earned Duane Denison his reverence as a rock guitar player is his breadth—he has a remarkable ability to spool out hazy atmospheres, and with the Jesus Lizard, Tomahawk, or his current band, U.S.S.A., he’s shown an equally inspired hand with taut, propulsive, BFG-dealt aggression. That poise hasn’t made Denison a target for the paparazzi, so much, but it has established him as one of the more influential players to crop up from the ’90s’ independent rock landscape. “I’ve always made a living from playing music, but at the same time I feel like I’m not tied to a specific image or a specific zone or sound,” Denison said before setting off for U.S.S.A.’s current tour, in support of their debut LP The Spoils. “Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t think I am—I think I’m just kind of this guy who keeps showing up.”
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Gibson Custom's New ES-339 and the Classic CS-336: Subtle, Yet Distinct, Differences Make Them Two of Gibson’s Most Unique Guitars

Gabriel J. Hernandez
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10.31.2007

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On the surface, there’s an obvious visual resemblance between the classic Gibson Custom CS-336 and the new ES-339. But while both provide the ideal fusion of solidbody and hollowbody features, that’s where most of the similarities end. Over 100 years ago, Orville Gibson had a vision to create a guitar with unmatched resonance and an earthy, woody tone. He sought to achieve this by carving the entire body from a single block of mahogany. In fact, it was one of his original goals for making the ultimate guitar, and the CS-336 from Gibson Custom is the fulfillment of that vision. The new ES-339, also from Gibson Custom, achieves virtually the same mid-range chunky, superior tone as the CS-336, but does so with the perfect union of a laminated maple top, maple centerblock, and spruce contour bracing. This distinct combination makes it a slightly lighter guitar than the CS-336, but allows it to produce a somewhat brighter, fatter, cutting growl.
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Player Profile: The Appearance (Free MP3 Download!)

Russell Hall
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10.31.2007

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BAND: The Appearance HOMETOWN: Orange County, California PLAYERS: Alan Oakes (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Chad Kulengosky (lead guitar, backing vocals), Jason Nelson (bass), Justin McCarthy (drums) WHAT TO BUY: The band’s debut album, Lost In Aurora (Adrenaline Music Group), sports a driving, hard rock sound tempered by pop-based melodies and the occasional arena-worthy ballad. Walls of guitars and stinging riffs abound. Oakes’ vocals combine a serrated, metal edge with boyish yearning. “As far as our general sound goes, there are pop influences, punk influences, and good old solid rock influences,” says Oakes. “It’s a mix. I hear lots of different things there.”
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The Resurrection of the Jesus and Mary Chain

Aidin Vaziri
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10.30.2007

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“I would never consider myself to be a guitar player,” Jim Reid says. “I still don’t know the names of the chords after all these years.” That statement pretty much sums up the fundamental appeal of the Jesus and Mary Chain, the band he formed with his brother William Reid in the early '80s, an era when rock music was ruled by men in eyeliner and billowy pirate shirts specializing in empty, artificial synthesizer pop. The leather clad Scottish rockers stripped everything back to basics, delivering two-minute anthems simmering with feedback, angst, and exhilarating pop melodies.
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Gibson: The True Sound of Punk

Ari Surdoval
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10.30.2007

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Ever since the raw, ragged sound of punk snarled out of the working-class basements and garages of the world—and for all intents and purposes, we could go all the way back to Elvis and Scotty Moore, or Link Wray and “Rumble,” or the none-hit wonders of the Nuggets era or the Stooges and MC5 in late-60s Detroit—Gibsons have defined the thick, buzz saw howl of punk guitar. Gibsons are truly able to deliver the throaty, growling ferocity of punk. Other guitars can render the music tinny and thinner than a skinny tie—more New Wave than “New Rose” for you kids playing at home. Dipping into our voluminous and cluttered editorial vaults, here are a few punk classics—story-wise, that is—from Gibson. Not only do we build the guitars that built punk, we’ve made sure to give credit where credit is due along the way.
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Gibson Recommends Gliss (Free MP3 Download!)

Russell Hall
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10.30.2007

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To download a free MP3 of Gliss’ “Kissing the Boulevard,” click here. BAND: Gliss HOMETOWN: Los Angeles, California PLAYERS: Martin Klingman (vocals, guitar), David Reiss (bass, guitar), Victoria Cecilia (drums, vocals) WHAT TO BUY: The band’s debut album, Love The Virgins, boasts a thrashy garage-rock sound with shades of Krautrock and the darker side of glam. Discerning ears will detect hints of the Stooges, Bauhaus, and the original Alice Cooper Group—had the latter removed the cartoon-like component from its ominous vibe. Gliss says it “makes ‘doing bad’ sound good enough not to dissuade anyone from hedonism.”
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