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The Strokes, Comedown Machine, 2013

by J Frazzetta April 3rd, 2015| Album Review
cmDespite the sound coming from this album the year is still 2013, not 1986.  When we last met up with The Strokes their album Angles seemed to pull heavy from 80’s styling and this new one is the companion piece.  I like it more than I thought I would.  One thing is for certain: if you are still waiting for a Is This It part two, it will never happen.  There are a few moments here where the band feels like they are reaching back to their early years, but a decade on and several side projects later
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Davenport Cabinet — Our Machine

by Jason Lightner April 1st, 2015| Album Review
omI'm not quite sure what I expected going into listening to Our Machine by Davenport Cabinet. As a guy who holds Coheed and Cambria in very high regard, I was extremely interested in hearing what guitarist Travis Stever's solo project had to offer. Sadly, I came away from the album underwhelmed. It was like watching McKayla Maroney sail through the air in stunning fashion, only to botch the landing all over again.

Our Machine is the fourth album released by Travis Stever as part of his side project. Released January 15, 2013, Our Machine is a 16 track
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The Beatles — The U.S. Albums

by Jason Lightner February 4th, 2015| Album Review
busaFifty years after Beatlemania stormed the United States, with the The Beatles' first American tour and the release of their first U.S. album, Meet the Beatles!, Capitol Records has released a box set entitled simply The U.S. Albums. This box set encompasses 13 unique albums released by Capitol Records, all remastered and available in both mono and stereo recordings, except for The Beatles' Story and Hey Jude, which are only available in stereo. Depending on your affinity for these U.K. superstars, and your view of their history both within the United States and within the
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Illmatic

by J Frazzetta February 3rd, 2015| Album Review
illWith the lack of new releases this month, I’ve been reading some of the music books on my shelf and decided I’d tell you about them to help pass the time.  When a book makes me go to a record store and start buying music so I can get a better idea of the subject matter, then you know it must be a good read, Avid Reader, and I won’t lead you astray.   When it comes to the world of rap/hip-hop I’m a novice and it is my own fault.  For a long time I grew up with the
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Mike Schiavo — Collide

by Jason Lightner February 1st, 2015| Album Review
collideOut of central New Jersey comes a new indie pop songwriter named Mike Schiavo. This speckled, 19-year-old, Irish kid who's known to fans by his former stage name, Spots the Ginga, has just completed recording and putting the finishing touches on his new single, "Collide," a pseudo-electro-pop anthem featuring pounding electronic drums and one surprisingly great voice.

For those unfamiliar with Mike Schiavo, I'd suggest checking out his Facebook page (linked above), and maybe even this YouTube teaser, dated January 1, wherein Schiavo promised new music for later this year (spoiler: "Collide" is the first of
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Taught You Well

by J Frazzetta January 12th, 2015| Featured Artist
fantasy album2008 became 2009, and everyone knows what happened to Kanye at the VMA’s, so we can gloss over that.  To escape the heat, he took time away from music to pursue other ventures, but landed in Hawaii for several months to work on his fifth album, the epic My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy which was released in November 2010.  It was a righteous comeback, and West poured plenty of himself into that album while bringing along a huge cast of guests.  His follow-up in 2013, the dark and skimpy Yeezus, would prove to be just as compelling, but for
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A Chill Sets In

by J Frazzetta January 11th, 2015| Featured Artist
808 hbBy 2008, if you heard the phrase Auto-Tune, there was a good chance the album you were listening to was pretty terrible.  Auto-Tune is a bit of corrective software that allows subpar vocalists to hit certain notes while trying to sound human; trying is the key word.  What happens when Kanye West decides to incorporate Auto-Tune and the use of an 808 drum machine for his fourth album, 808s & Heartbreak?  Let’s find out.

You have to keep in mind, Avid Reader that up until this point West had three well received albums and was destined to just keep
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Punk Goes 90s Vol. 2

by Jason Lightner May 8th, 2014| Album Review
pg90sI've been a fan of good covers for as long as I can remember. Purist though I may be, there's nothing quite like hearing someone put their own spin on a song, and actually nailing it. This is one of the reasons the Punk Goes... series has always appealed to me. Never mind the fact that these are really supposed to be pop albums for teens and those who don't actually understand what "punk" is, and before you get all pop punk on me, let me stop you right there. Pop punk is tired, overdone, and needs to
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Manchester Orchestra, Cope, 2014

by J Frazzetta May 2nd, 2014| Album Review
DSCF6676Back in the fall of 2007, I happened to see Kings of Leon in Boston and had a great time.  That same night there were two bands opening up for them: a group making some noise in the world ,and one that was still unknown but working their way up the ranks.  Black Rebel Motorcycle Club bored me to tears as the second act of the evening; their droning guitars and super fuzzed out vocals were not doing it for me that night. However, a little group called Manchester Orchestra opened up the evening by playing some nonintrusive melodic
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Chevelle — La Gárgola

by Jason Lightner April 30th, 2014| Album Review
dean of chevelle pdChicago, Illinois-based rock outfit Chevelle is on their seventh studio album in the group's 15-year run with the release of La Gárgola, which translates from Spanish as "The Gargoyle." The ten-track album demonstrates Chevelle's continued willingness to think outside the box, and enforces their constant evolution as the group avoids the usual trap of complacency — a downfall of many bands who have been on the job so long.

The album opener, "Ouija Board," begins with ambient noise and zips right into Pete Loeffler's signature vocals overtop heavy guitar riffs and pounding drums. The standard Chevelle sound continues with "An
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Michael Jackson’s Xscape

by Ronald A. Rowe April 23rd, 2014| Music Opinions
XscapeIt has been five years since the death of pop music legend Michael Jackson.  To mark the anniversary, Sony Music Entertainment and Epic Records will release Jackson’s second posthumous album in May.  Sony is going to unusual lengths to keep the details of the album a secret prior to its official release.  We do know the album will be entitled Xscape and will consist of eight previously-unreleased songs.

The world got a sneak peek at one of the tracks when "Slave to the Rhythm" was used as a bit of cross-promotion in a commercial for one of Sony’s products, the
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Cloud Nothings, Here and Nowhere Else, 2014

by J Frazzetta April 18th, 2014| Album Review
DSCF6671Dylan Baldi is stuck in the 80’s, and not the one with bad hair, tight pants, and that terrible snare drum sound.  Come on, Avid Reader, you know me better than that, right?  Good, for the last few days I’ve been listening to this album, and all I can think about is Dinosaur Jr., Husker Du or mid-90's Sebadoh.  Baldi and company have managed to update that 80’s hardcore sound into the modern era, all the while keeping the angst, intense rhythms, and fuzzed out guitars intact.  At just eight tracks roughing out to be a little over 30 minutes, this
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