The proposed merger of AOL and media conglomerate Time Warner made it through the Federal Trade Commission this past week, but the fat lady can't squeak a peep before the blessing of their union is granted by the Federal Communications Commission.

As misnomers go, Wicked Liz & The Bellyswirls is a doozy.
First of all, there’s very little wicked about the vocal work of Wicked Liz, who goes by Liz Townsend when not on stage. She can growl in a most unmenacing way, but her voice generally runs from pop sweet to hearty.

In the "For Those About to Kraut-Rock" department: The Crippled Dick Hot Wax Records label has just released Popshopping, an intriguing compilation of original German advertising jingles from the 1960s and 1970s.

The second album from Shane Johnson’s Blue Train, Big Legged Women, starts off with a song that exists primarily as a framework for hot-licks blues. The words and vocals serve primarily as a break from the fiery work of the guitarist who lends his name to the band.

Holiday high jinks! Animal instincts! Christmas camaraderie and much egg-noggery! Take musical arms my friends, and toss those lame superstar Christmas albums to the dustbin! Come with me, and let's dip into Santa's sack a little early this year and get the party started right! I've always thought Christmas was a lot like Elvis, all about love and all about showbiz.

Anton Dvorák and Bedrich Smetana are Czechoslovakia’s most famous composers. Full of folk tendencies and a love of their homeland, they expressed the tapestry of bohemian life in their music. While Smetana helped develop Czech nationalism, Dvorák made it popular.

All this scratchin' is making me itch! I swear turntablist extraordinaire Mr. Dibbs must be an octopus, with multiple arms flying, dropping needles, cuing beats, and wagging platters like a mad audio scientist. Sure, he's been awarded top-10 DJ status from Spin, Trace, and Thrasher magazines, but it's the sheer creativity of the layers be builds up, drops out, and smashes together that's amazing: fuzzy psychedelica over jazz, Led Zeppelin into Lenny Kravitz, ragamuffin pimp-strolling beats, and snippets of spoken-word children's records.

Reggae Cowboys have all the trappings of a novelty act: Canadians in cowboy hats doing the reggae thing in songs about the Wild Wild West. It sounds a bit like Dread Zeppelin crossed with the Village People, if a little more original.

B.B. King proved that while he might be older, he’s also better.
The legendary “King of the Blues” played to a packed house at the Adler Theatre on Monday night as part of his 75th birthday tour, and the crowd was appreciative to have him.

Over the years, certain record labels have captured an iconic image, often unknowingly preserving transcendental moments in time as they document cultural movements on their shiny black albums and CDs. Imprints like The Beatles' boutique Apple label, Greg Ginn's proto-Punk SST in its glory years, Bethlehem and Blue Note's aural and graphic explorations in jazz, Def Jam's beatbox hip-hop gentry, SubPop's grunge chronicles, and Ralph Records' bizarre run of performance art Nu-Wave have all left their impression in modern pop-rock history - rare instances of commerce germinating new sounds and directions in thought, speeding wildly through those hip enough to be there when serendipity strikes the bell.

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