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A Tribute to Tributes

by Louise January 11th, 2013| Music Opinions
angelHorrific events, such as tragic shootings or calamitous hurricanes, can bring much sadness and despair to the community. However, as unfortunate as the circumstances may be, such events can also bring out the good in people who feel in some way affected. People want to help and are willing to reach out to make a difference in their own way. Naturally, a musician can respond by performing their music as a tribute to those who were affected either directly or indirectly by the event, and that's exactly what happens. In the wake of the Sandy Hook shootings,
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Don’t Just Stand There, MOVE

by J Frazzetta January 9th, 2013| Music Opinions
moshYou might recall, Avid Reader, the last show I went to in 2012 was to see the band Ash at a small club in Boston on the night before Thanksgiving.  The show was plenty of fun but there was one piece I noted about some hipster kid standing in the middle of floor holding two beers and not moving.  Matter of fact, when people got close to him he became upset and yelled to some old guys to leave him alone so he didn’t drop his beer.  I didn’t quite catch all of the response the
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Alternate Formats

by J Frazzetta January 4th, 2013| Music Opinions
alt formatsLooking back over 2012, I spent a lot of money on CD’s, a little on MP3’s, and I also noticed that my interest in vinyl was picking up a bit too.  Not at an alarming rate, but I did find myself walking over to the record bins from time to time to see what was available and was horribly overpriced.  No thanks to "audiophiles" over the last few years, but the cost of buying new records is crazy.  There was a time when records were cheap, dirt cheap, and I didn’t mind picking some up to build
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Child’s Play

by J Frazzetta December 31st, 2012| Music Opinions
childsplayIn a few months my daughter is going to be two years old, I know right, and we’re getting to that point where she can identify songs and likes to steal an iPod to play music.  For the most part she’s heard plenty of tunes by Adele, Weezer, Bruno Mars, Michael Jackson and others that she can sort of dance to, which is fun.  However, I do know that at some point we should consider getting her music that is geared toward her age or can reinforce some kind of positive message.  The question is: how can
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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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