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Release Date: September 29, 2009
Genre: Rock
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Discover New Music

  • The Last 5 Years (2002 Off-Broadway Cast)

    • 10 out of 10
    • Jason Robert Brown
    • The soundtrack to this moving off-broadway musical is heart moving. The lyrics follow a couple in a relationship for five years, one point of view going forward in time, and the other tracing time fr
  • De Nova

    • 10 out of 10
    • The Redwalls
    • Wow! Perhaps my 5-star rating is simply because the Redwalls are not only new and fresh (none of them older than 22!), or perhaps its because -- despite their ages -- they are able to totally capture
  • Live at the Magic Bag, Ferndale, MI

    • 6 out of 10
    • Supersuckers
    • Man, there's nothing like good, old fashioned, rock and roll... add a bit of industry resentment to that with a double-shot of cynicism, and you get one of the best "new" rock bands going. This album
  • Guero

    • 10 out of 10
    • Beck
    • Beck is the modern master of the groove, and Guero is merely the latest example of this. From the opening power chords of "E-Pro," to the Pac-Man cuteness of "Girl," to the dirge-like lullab

  • 8:30

    • 10 out of 10
    • Weather Report
    • This is Weather Reports quintessential line-up captured live. Jaco Pastorious and Peter Erskine join Wayne Shorter and, of course, Joe Zawinul to create this masterpiece.

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DeGrassi: Series 1-5 Recap

September 29th marks the launch of Degrassi’s sixth season, and I -- for one -- could not be happier. Sure, I’m a 30 year-old homeowner who hasn’t seen the inside of a high school since 1993 -- that’s beside the point. Just because I no longer require the use of Oxy Clear doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy the show’s subtle nuances. It’s nice to be transported back in time to reminisce every once in a while, isn’t it?

Okay, you got me -- I watch it so I can gleefully celebrate having survived my adolescence while cackling maniacally as the characters stumble through the pitfalls of junior and senior high.

Really, though -- I’m a sucker for a well-written show that’s smart enough to roll adult issues in with its teen angst. How many of you continued to watch 90210 long after you were out of high school for the same reason? Exactly. Which is why I’ll be recapping the show over the next season, giving loving attention to my favorite characters (Paige, Emma) and delighting in verbally torturing the ones I like least (Craig, that would be your distinctive category until you stop cheating on all your girlfriends). That said, let’s brush up on what happened last season so we can all be ready for this season’s drama:

Manny: Oh Manny... despite all the red flags in the world, you still manage to make the worst decisions for yourself. First it’s tempting to get a boob job without your parent’s knowledge -- like, duh -- of course someone is going to call them for confirmation! -- which led to your insistence on being an actress, which got you kicked out of the house. Now you live with Emma, and though you have an agent thanks to your role in Kevin Smith’s movie (how’s that for stunt casting?), you insist in going back to Craig yet again when he realizes Ashley isn’t coming back to him. Here’s hoping your decision-making process is a little more solid in season six. Actually, scratch that -- mess up more, it makes life more interesting.

Peter: Winning the prize for junior pornographer, Peter really didn’t do much of consequence after his scene stealing turn as the cameraman to Manny’s drunken flashing episode -- footage of which was e-mailed to the whole school, resulting in his detention. After wooing Emma, he didn’t really serve much more purpose during season five with the exception of redeeming himself when it came to...

Emma:...little miss activist’s eating disorder! When her mom (Spike) and teacher’s (Snake/Mr. Simpson) marriage splits up because Mr. Simpson gets busted making out with Ms. Hatzilakos (what kind of name is that?! Only in Canada... and see what I mean by adult issues?), Emma decides the best way to deal with it is to starve herself. Awesome! Peter and Manny actually band together to bring her out of it... that is, after Emma finally admits to dating Peter, which she swore she wouldn’t do after he videotaped Manny’s topless escapade. Oops.

Spinner: In season four he turned momentarily satanic, playing a part in the shooting that left Jimmy paralyzed, so it only makes sense that he’d jump to the other side of the coin and become born again once he was allowed back into school. He lobbied for -- and finally won -- Jimmy’s acceptance of his continued existence, broke free of Jay’s badass ways, and fell for religious hottie Darcy, to whom he pledged his purity. Until a moment of weakness led him into Paige’s bed and Darcy found out from reading his text messages. Double oops.

Jimmy: Life’s not so hard for wheelchair-bound Jimmy. He figured out his heart wasn’t into sports anymore, and started pursuing art. He split with Hazel and chased after Ellie for a moment, then made Spinner’s day by accepting his apology. Sound boring? Maybe, but the guy had enough drama in his life after season four. Give him a break. He did do a bit of "oh poor me"-ing, but can you blame the guy? His life was nearly cut short by a cranky, socially-retarded gunman.

Alex: Best known for her biting sarcasm and gloom-and-doom look on life, season five gave us a deeper glimpse into Alex’s life, which included a mother who was more of a pal than a mom, and the boyfriend who smacked her around. Is it any wonder why Alex looks at life through such rosy glasses? At least her acid tongue keeps things interesting, especially when said tongue went in...

Paige: Yep! The homecoming queen took a Sapphic turn after Mr. O -- the former student teacher -- dumped her over dinner with a joint in a baggie. Of course, Paige and Alex smoked up before attending the school’s big post secondary day, wherein all the colleges and universities solicited new students -- you can bet Paige made a big impression right around the time the munchies hit. But back to the HLA. Paige and Alex rocked it out for a little while until both of them self destructed in their own ways. Paige bonked Spinner, Alex realized she really did enjoy the company of women better, and Paige graduated with flying colors. That’s how you round out a school year.

Hazel: I’m sorry, but Hazel doesn’t really do anything for me. Aside from getting bitchy over Alex’s presence with her best friend, she was essentially wallpaper. Can we give her something to do?

Ellie: She sort of bonded with Craig as they both went through therapy -- she for cutting, he for bipolar disorder -- but thankfully Ellie was saved from a potential relationship thanks to Manny’s resurgence in Craig’s destructive path. What’s in store for our former Goth chick remains to be seen...

Ashley: Probably the wisest decision maker of the bunch -- for last season, anyway -- Ash didn’t make an appearance until the last episode when she "returned from London" (translation: finished shooting a movie or whatever), giving us hope for a reunion with Jimmy.

Jay: Jay no longer has a school career, which gives him the opportunity to pursue what he does best -- being a destructive slacker. And that’s about all you need to know about him. Hopefully there’ll be more to him this season.

J.T.: If there’s anyone’s storyline that surprised me, it had to have been J.T.’s. Who knew Joey Jeramiah Jr. would deviate so far from his innocence when the show first started? He gets Liberty pregnant, then deals drugs to try and support them? Way to drop your balls, J.T!

Liberty: Speaking of, the future Prime Minister of Canada gave birth to her baby and put it up for adoption, and accepted the fact that she doesn’t have to be perfect and can’t do it all. Which is impressive in and of itself -- I still haven’t figured that out, and I’ve got some years on her.

Toby: Toby’s sole purpose last season seemed to be the voice of reason, kind of like how there’s always one normal person on The Real World to balance out the crazies. Maybe he’ll have a nervous breakdown this season from absorbing everyone else’s BS.

Marco: Ever the perfectionist, Marco graduates with flying colors, comes out to his dad and dumps his sort of boyfriend, Tim, for his first love, Dylan. Time will tell if they can last...let’s not forget Dylan cheated on him, despite how remorseful he was.

Craig: He may have gotten over Ashley -- read: jumped back to Manny again because she was available -- and dealt with his bipolar disorder, but Craig is still a slave to rock n’ roll, which is why he left for half the season to go "record in Vancouver." He returned home just in time to bid adieu to the graduating class, nodding hello to Ash and Ellie with his arm firmly planted around Manny. Do you smell a love triangle garnished with a cat fight?

Make sure to tune in September 29th for the big season premiere -- Shawn’s back in town?! -- and check back shortly thereafter for the recap!

Vern Seward is a writer who currently lives in Orlando, FL. He’s been a Mac fan since Atari Computers folded, but has worked with computers of nearly every type for 20 years.

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