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Whoa, my photo is in the new Muffs LP! Plus Municipal Waste, The Shrine, Boris, T.S.O.L., White Murder, Susanna Hoffs, Nick Cave, White Dove…

Last week, I went to see an in-store/record-release show by The Muffs at Amoeba. They played most of the great new LP and were as aweseome as ever–combining ultra-catchy girl group melodies with no-holds-barred punk rock attitude and out-of-this-world musicianship. So it was an honor to see one of my pictures printed full-bleed on the insert. Kim and Ronnie had asked me for the file but I wasn’t sure how it would be used or if it wound up on the cutting-room floor. My photography is far from great but the photo looks pretty damn good printed 12″ by 12″ and there is some poetry in the situation. You might recall that Giant Robot mag was spawned in the era...

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Show reviews: Two nights with Boris at The Echoplex; Turbonegro at The El Rey

I was pretty bummed when I found out that both Boris shows at The Echoplex were sold out. Also pissed at myself for not immediately buying tickets. After all, how often does one of my favorite bands make it all the way here from Japan–the group that I actually sold merch for when they toured with our mutual friends Damon & Naomi back in 2008. Then out of the kindness of her heart, the very same Naomi hit up Atsuo from Boris on my behalf and he put me on the guest list. What? And thanks!

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Martin’s Top Ten for 2011

OFF!'s free midnight show at the Echoplex As it was for a lot of you out there, this wasn’t the easiest year for me and my family. Following Giant Robot’s print magazine going on hiatus at the tail end of 2010, I was unemployed with no job leads or responses to my queries for the first six months. Then, after I got an awesome job out of nowhere, the company my wife worked for was purchased by a competitor and shut down. Fortunately, we’ve managed to get by through frugal habits, a rock-solid support system of family and friends, and the PMA. And yes, there have been highlights. Here are ten of them–some of which has been written about in...

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New Boris “New Album” Promises Optimism – Hear It

Boris in J Pop style! I’ve always thought of them as being on the edge of dangerous, from mellow to thick. They were like a modern day Black Sabbath, but this album, New Album is a strange pop hybrid that’s less rock, more J Pop. What happened? Without insulting the trio, the first thing I thought of was Attack Attack, which isn’t good. Yet the album finds some marks here and there and gets shoegaze with “Spoon”. I am hearing anime soundtrack music and undefinable take on contemporary top 40. Click on the link to hear it. (Spin – Boris)

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Boris and Tera Melos at The Casbah

Almost impossibly, Boris has been stretching out its style, cranking out albums nonstop, and playing super rad shows without disappointing its hardcore fans since it was formed in 1996. The Japanese band has mastered its unique takes on doom metal, ambient noise, psychedelic rock, and most recently, pop, while releasing limited-edition albums, splits, and singles that make record collector nerds sweat. Sharks were expected to be jumped when Boris released two albums at once (Heavy Rocks is heavy, Attention Please has J-pop influences) on a big U.S. label earlier this year but guess what? Both LPs ruled, and I couldn’t wait to hear how the pop mutations would sound live.

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