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Frank Ocean, Channel Orange, 2012

by J Frazzetta August 17th, 2012| Album Review, Music Opinions
A few weeks ago Frank Ocean made waves by declaring his first true love was a man; mere days after that one of the best R&B albums I’ve listened to in a long time dropped to the masses.  Ocean built up his reputation working with Watch the Throne, John Legend, Brandy and the rap collective Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All whose content doesn’t bode well with folks in the gay community or most human rights groups.  Yet on his second album Ocean bursts out with smooth jams that will make you turn the lights down, break out some candles and
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Three for the Money

by J Frazzetta August 15th, 2012| Album Review, Music Opinions
There has been a backlog on my desk, Avid Reader, and, as I’ve attended a few concerts this summer, I haven’t had time to review as many albums as I should have.  No matter, today we’re taking a look at three albums that have been staring at me for some time, and I want to tell you about them.  Ready or not here we go.

Beach HouseBloom – there are times I will walk through a box store and notice CD’s on sale, and if I’ve read about them, I might be apt to pick them up.  For
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All That Junk

by J Frazzetta August 13th, 2012| Artist Review, Featured Artist, Music Opinions
Before his time with Miles Davis, it is chronicled that John Coltrane dabbled with heroin in the 40's.  He didn’t become a full-fledged addict until the 50’s -- when he worked for Miles and, around the middle part of the decade, appeared as a session man for many other artists and also started to strike out on his own.  Although the usage of a drug like heroin is debilitating on many levels there are some that will argue, myself included, that the years he was using were some of the most fertile times of his career.  Let me clarify
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Gentlemen of the Road

by J Frazzetta August 7th, 2012| Concert Review, Music Opinions
Portland, Maine is a wonderful city and this was an excellent occasion to be out on the town.  A friend of mine had an extra ticket for the first of four stops Mumford & Sons were making on their Gentlemen of the Road tour this summer.

The festival started at noon with music starting at 2 pm.  We didn’t get there until the middle of the afternoon but there was plenty to see and hear.  The set up was great as the Eastern Promenade was covered with people, 15,000 or so, and had two adjoining stages to alternate for
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Riding That Trane

by J Frazzetta August 6th, 2012| Artist Review, Featured Artist, Music Opinions
Up until Monday and Tuesday May 22-23, 2000 my music life consisted of a few simple ingredients: guitars, drums and vocals.  It had to be loud, it had to be fast and it had to make me want to bang my head.  So how did jazz make it into my lexicon?  Like so many high schools across the country, my high school often had a spring variety show where folks could audition and perform a song, a bit or some kind of talent on stage for two nights.  This particular year a friend of mine was hosting and other
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On The Side

by J Frazzetta August 3rd, 2012| Artist Review, Featured Artist, Music Opinions
Everyone has to start somewhere, Avid Reader, and learn a few things.  Born September 23, 1926 in Hamlet, North Carolina, John Coltrane would record some of his earliest work in the 40’s while serving in the Navy.  He had been playing alto saxophone for some time and switched over to tenor while playing with Eddie Vinson, and it was in June 1945, after seeing Charlie "Bird" Parker play a show that he transformed his focus and sound.  The later part of the decade, Trane and Bird would play shows together.  Trane pulled much from Bird, but it was his
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The Offspring, Hampton Beach, 7/25/12

by J Frazzetta July 30th, 2012| Concert Review, Music Opinions
Almost a month ago I was at Hampton for a show and could have fallen asleep standing up.  Last Wednesday, Avid Reader, the tables had turned and I didn’t have time to think of sleep.  Dancing that fine line between hardcore punk and metal; The Offspring were one of those bands that drew in a diverse crowd of listeners.  They weren’t too heavy and just fast enough to bring in metal kids and punk kids -- plus their songs were so catchy it was hard not to like them.  At this show you could see the various groups
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Forgive Up the Past

by J Frazzetta July 24th, 2012| Album Review, Artist Review, Featured Artist, Music Opinions
When we last left off, the Pumpkins were doing their farewell tour in 2000.  After this we see the band break up, start up several different projects and collaborations before trying to reform in 2007 for another album.  Corgan and Chamberlain would be the original members heard on Zeitgeist, the album that put a dagger in the heart of the old Smashing Pumpkins.  Then in 2009, Chamberlain left the band to be replaced by a new drummer to match all the other new members that Corgan pulled together.  At this point the idea of the Pumpkins for me were
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The Walkmen, Heaven, 2012

by J Frazzetta July 23rd, 2012| Album Review, Music Opinions
Back in my days of college radio at the early part of the 2000s, there was a group making a buzz throughout the independent and college scene.  I was oblivious to a lot of things in those days, Avid Reader, and looking back I wish I paid more attention because I missed a lot of great music.  No matter, I’m trying to make up for lost time, and a while back when the latest album by The Walkmen was released I decided to see what the fuss was about.

Right up front: this album could be a missing link from
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Sharon Van Etten, Tramp, 2012

by J Frazzetta July 20th, 2012| Album Review, Music Opinions
Back in the late winter I was reading an album writeup in a magazine that caught my eye.  It claimed that "Sharon Van Etten’s latest album Tramp [was] the female counterpart to Beck’s 2002 Sea Change".  As you know, Avid Reader, that was all that had to be said for me to seek this album out and give it a spin.  A little back history: Beck’s album was created in reaction to breaking up with his girlfriend of nine years and committing those feelings to tape.  It is a tough yet rewarding listen as his voice rises and falls
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Get There Faster

by J Frazzetta July 9th, 2012| Album Review, Featured Artist, Music Opinions
Before the infamous Butch Vig-produced album that would change the face of music was unleashed in the fall of 1991, another Vig project was making some racket out of Chicago earlier that summer, with a sound much different than the punk-oriented material the year 1991 was known for producing.  The idea to have Billy Corgan and Vig work together on an album was a perfect combination, as both of them enjoy huge production, pay meticulous attention to detail and wanted to push their boundaries as far as possible.  For my first installation on the Smashing Pumpkins I’m going
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The Killer In Me

by J Frazzetta July 3rd, 2012| Artist Review, Featured Artist, Music Opinions
Someday, Avid Reader, I need to tell you the story of the "mix tape that changed my world forever", or you can buy me a pint someplace while I regale you with the story.  Anyway, on side two of this Alt-Rock mix tape from fall 1996 there were two hidden tracks my friend put on there after a few minutes of silence.  Every other song on the tape was labeled with the exception of these two; this drove me nuts because I loved those songs.  My friend was tight lipped until he told me they were Smashing Pumpkins songs. 
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