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A Trusty Acoustic

by Jason Lightner December 25th, 2012| Music Opinions
man n guitarI'm beginning to think that the single most effective instrument to keep around is a good quality acoustic guitar. These things take a beating and just keep going, if you know what I mean.

I've got this old Yamaha sitting around that I use for learning new songs, and hashing out songs I write. I've had it for about three years and in that time it's been knocked over and trampled by my cat, it's fallen off the wall mount onto my hardwood floor, and has had its fair share of beer and coffee spilt on the neck
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‘Tis the Season

by J Frazzetta December 24th, 2012| Music Opinions
Christmas albumsAside from having a complete disdain for snow, another thing that can turn me into a real Grinch is the abundance of holiday music floating around.  Don’t get me wrong, Avid Reader, when I first hear those familiar holiday tunes I’m happy, but after the third or fourth weekend I start to wish for spring.  The genius that had the idea to market Christmas music for over two months was brilliant and I want to slap him with a stocking full of coal.  Well there is no shortage of holiday tunes flowing through the household and here
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Year End Wrap Up

by J Frazzetta December 19th, 2012| Music Opinions
Here we are, Avid Reader, as 2012 ends and I’m trying to compile my list of favorites to share with you.  I listened to plenty of albums this past year, I still missed a ton, but of the albums I told you about here are my favorites and some shout outs.  All of these would be great as gifts for folks or to add to your own collection.

Frank OceanChannel Orange – this album came out of nowhere and took no prisoners.  If you haven’t picked this up then what are you waiting for already?  Soul music
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A Few Leftover

by J Frazzetta December 10th, 2012| Music Opinions
Looking at the albums left on my desk to review, it would appear that my eyes were bigger than my ears this year and as usual I picked up more albums than I budgeted time for.  No matter, Avid Reader, I’m going to share the last few new ones I have with you here.

Yeasayer, Fragrant World – at first listen this album did not do much for me.  After a few more spins, my opinion hadn’t changed too much so I put it down.  I picked it up again to find that there are a few shining moments in
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What Does “Alternative” Mean Anymore?

by Louise November 16th, 2012| Music Opinions
It seems like the term "alternative" gets thrown around quite a bit nowadays. Some columnists use it as a synonym for "indie," a term that is used quite liberally as a descriptor of an artist who is recognized as having a style that is not particularly mainstream. (What's that you say? I use the term indie? Guilty as charged.) Indie at least has a definition implied from its root, independent, which refers to the fact that the artist operates without major corporate funding or producers. (The definition of indie has also evolved over the years, but that's a whole
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by J Frazzetta November 9th, 2012| Music Opinions
Over the last few months I’ve been pulled deeper and deeper into the worlds of Post-Punk and Post-Rock.  So much so that I have almost forsaken coming back to the surface to listen to anything new unless I have to, in which case I will give a new album some spins and submerge back to the murky depths.  I can already see you making a face, Avid Reader: what is post-punk and post-rock?  Allow me to explain them to the best of my understanding, and I’ll even provide some examples.  A few are tough to find but well worth the searching.

Pick any typical
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Getting Unplugged

by Jason Lightner November 2nd, 2012| Music Opinions
As one whose musical enjoyment typically involves heavily distorted guitar, the gnashing teeth and screams of a tortured vocalist, and lots of crash cymbals, I've always looked to the heavy stuff to give me my jollies. When I kick back, I usually grab my Ibanez electric and plug into my Line 6 amp and crank up the distoriton. Lately, however, I've been turning to my Yamaha acoustic guitar to unwind.

I'm not sure what it is, exactly, that precipitated this sudden change. I suppose it could be old age creeping up on me, or it could be a newfound respect
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Green Day Erupts at iHeartRadio Festival

by Jason Lightner September 26th, 2012| Music Opinions
Two years ago I penned a piece on arguably the most controversial punk rock band amongst people who would call themselves fans of punk music. I'm talking, of course, about Green Day.

I never figured I'd be sitting here, slack-jawed and dumbfounded over the latest news surrounding the group. Just days before the release of their latest album, ¡Uno! (which you should expect a review for next week), the group found themselves playing at the iHeartRadio music festival. The band was reportedly booked to play a 45- minute-long set, involving both new and old material, but when their set was
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Live Trane

by J Frazzetta August 29th, 2012| Artist Review, Featured Artist, Music Opinions
When it comes to jazz or any genre of music, the gems that are the most rewarding are the live recordings and bootlegs.  There are some albums that I know better than the back of my own hand, Avid Reader, so when you listen to a live recording and hear the artist improvise it takes you off guard but makes you appreciate the musicianship.  This is a common trend in jazz, and you can hear it in any live recording if you stack it up against the original LP track.  I don’t have very many live albums that Coltrane
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Metric, Synthetica, 2012

by J Frazzetta August 27th, 2012| Album Review, Music Opinions, New Music
It took me a while to appreciate the nuances of Metric.  Since 2009’s release of Fantasies I heard "Help I’m Alive"and "Gold Guns Girls" everywhere, and at first I hated them, but something changed over time.  As bands like Paramore, Sleigh Bells and Wild Flag began to crop up the last few years my heart softened a bit and I realized that I had pigeonholed Metric.  This wasn’t the right move, and I wish I'd checked them out much sooner, but at least I can scoop up their back catalog for cheap.  To say the least, Avid Reader, they
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Baroness, Yellow & Green, 2012

by J Frazzetta August 22nd, 2012| Album Review, Music Opinions, New Music
From time to time I get email updates from various music sources talking about bands I’ve never heard of and albums to keep an eye out for in the coming weeks.  If a link is available to preview a track or at least gain some knowledge about the group I will follow a lead and see where it takes me; thus bringing me to this week’s review of Baroness.  I will say the name threw me for a minute, Avid Reader, as I was expecting some kind of opera based music --  and then when I realized they were
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Impulsive Legacy

by J Frazzetta August 20th, 2012| Artist Review, Featured Artist, Music Opinions
The final stage in Coltrane’s career starts around 1957 when he suffered a near fatal overdose of heroin.  In the liner notes for the 1964 album A Love Supreme he will claim to have had "a spiritual awakening" upon which he realized there was more to life than smack and that he should get back to the business of making music clean and sober.  Coltrane kicked his habit and moved into a phase that would change the jazz world forever.

During the early 60’s the label - impulse! – had sought out musicians like Coltrane who were expanding and experimenting
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