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Skrillex — Recess

by Jason Lightner April 2nd, 2014| Album Review
recessIt's interesting that Recess marks dubstep superstar Skrillex's first full-length studio LP since he began his craft. The 26-year-old producer has been making music for the better part of a decade, with his solo career launching in 2008. He's been the recipient of six Grammy awards, including awards for Best Dance Recording (2012, 2013), Best Dance/Electronica Album (2012, 2013), and Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical (2012, 2013). My fascination with these details stems from the fact that Skrillex was — and remains — a superstar not in spite of, but because of the incredible staying power of his singles and EPs.

Recess
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Elbow, The Take Off and Landing, 2014

by J Frazzetta March 28th, 2014| Album Review
DSCF6656Back in college when I was a radio DJ, almost 10 years ago, I can remember coming across the band Elbow and spinning some of their tunes in the early parts of the 2000’s.  I thought they were pretty good as a new wave of British bands were starting to make it big over here, and when I graduated they fell out of my peripheral vision.  Time moves forward, Avid Reader, and I began to hear that their new album was going to deal with a topic all too familiar with this writer: growing up and confronting middle age. 
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Pharrell Williams, G I R L

by Louise March 19th, 2014| Album Review
pw girlLast week I covered longtime producer and somewhat part-time artist Pharrell Williams. Though the artist has been active in the music industry since 1992, his newest album, G I R L, is only his second studio album as a solo artist. (The first was In My Mind from 2006.) I speculated that this album would find more success than his debut attempt. The sophomore album still needs some more time on the charts to see just how well it fares compared to its predecessor, but things are looking good for Williams. "Happy" has topped the Billboard Top 100 chart for several
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Cheesy Country

by J Frazzetta March 17th, 2014| Featured Artist
DSCF6651You can stare at that album cover all you want, Avid Reader, but we will never know what that cowboy is looking at or if he’ll get his herd back to the farm.  Oh, were you looking at the other cover?  I should have known.  For years I’ve seen the cover for Ween’s classic Chocolate and Cheese at record stores and I thought that the album would be about sex, debauchery and other things your mother told you stay away from; boy was I wrong.  Let’s continue our look at Dean and Gene.

With the small success of Pure Guava
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Babymetal — Self Titled

by Jason Lightner March 14th, 2014| Album Review
bmetalWhat does one get when one combines catchy Japanese pop idol music with the pummeling sounds of death metal? This is the very question Amuse talent agency sought to answer when they created Babymetal. The group was formed in 2011, initially as a subunit of the pop group Sakura Gakuin. Like most Asian pop idol groups, Babymetal consists of a rotating cast of members with three girls being the primary focus. The standing tally of both current and former members includes 17 members, with 12 of the girls remaining as active within in the group.

Babymetal released their
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A Pod of Guava

by J Frazzetta March 10th, 2014| Featured Artist
DSCF6650When you strap your headphones on and listen to an early Ween album you might wonder if you’re in on the joke.  I had mentioned that band started as two 14-year-old kids getting high and recording themselves in a four-track to pass the time.  At some point they added a drum machine for beats, but as their voices stretch to sound high pitched or deep, you have to say to yourself: is there something I’m missing?  Should I be huffing Scotch Guard or something?  I didn’t go that far, Avid Reader, but I did try to think of what
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Beck, Morning Phase, 2014

by J Frazzetta March 7th, 2014| Album Review
Morning PhaseAnticipation is a killer, Avid Reader, and I’ve been waiting for this day for almost six years.  When we last talked about Beck he was living a Go-Go dream produced by Dangermouse churning up some serious 60’s rock nuggets.  Since then he’s recovered from a back injury, produced some stellar albums by Stephen Malkmus, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Thurston Moore, helmed a few cover projects with friends paying tribute to some of his albums, put out a book made of original sheet music, released a series of vinyl only singles and worked on a new album.  Dude has been
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Kudos to You!

by Jason Lightner March 6th, 2014| Album Review
ktuThe Presidents of the United States of America are back after six long years. Their latest album, entitled Kudos to You! brings to fans that signature Presidents sound; carefree, head-bopping rock & roll. Some might consider the kind of rock this tremendous trio puts out to be nonsensical, slapstick, and without worth. To be honest, I thought the same thing — when I was 15 and without a valid opinion. See, I took the opinion of Metallica frontman James Hetfield to heart when he panned the Presidents' song "Peaches" and, for a while, I walked around thinking every
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Holy Esque Releases Single, “Silences”

by Louise February 28th, 2014| Album Review
silencesHoly Esque, a four-piece indie-rock band hailing from Glasgow, has recently released a new single called "Silences." The track, streaming on SoundCloud here, became available for purchase worldwide on February 10th on iTunes. It was recorded in Glasgow’s Gorbals Sound Studios and mixed by producer Jon Schumann.

"Silences" is fun and energetic. It moves along with the help of a scintillating guitar line driven by a fast but steady beat. When I was first listening to "Silences," it reminded me of a certain band, but I couldn't quite put my finger on it. A few more listens through
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Art Decade, S/T, 2014

by J Frazzetta February 26th, 2014| Album Review
art decadeWhen I was a kid I enjoyed reading books to go on little adventures and come back home in time for dinner.  I still love reading books, but I’ve translated that need to move beyond the print and reach for that same escape within albums.  It isn’t easy finding albums that can take you on a journey, and sometimes you need to dig, or someone can point you in the right direction.  Until a few weeks ago I had never heard of the band Art Decade; I imagine you might not have either, Avid Reader, so I’ll tell you
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Mogwai, Rave Tapes, 2014

by J Frazzetta February 21st, 2014| Album Review
DSCF6561You might recall their last album, 2011’s Hardcore Will Never Die but You Will, and this is the latest proper album from those post-rock torchbearers Mogwai.  Over the past few years I’ve grown an affinity for instrumental rock music in the vein of Mogwai, and I was interested to hear their latest album since I'd read they were adding some synthesizers to the mix.  If Hardcore was heavy on the trademark guitar swirl and drone, this album takes a Kid A turn by giving you some swirl, then adding in a touch of synth to keep you guessing, Avid
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Same Trailer Different Park

by Louise February 20th, 2014| Album Review
stdpI'm not a huge fan of country, but I have to admit that I was impressed by country music artist Kacey Musgrave's performance of "Follow Your Arrow" at the 56th Grammy Awards. The 25-year-old singer was highly likeable and funny, all while taking on an important topic. I had never heard of Musgrave before, and was surprised when she took home the award for Best Country Album for her fourth studio album, Same Trailer Different Park. She won over big country names, such as Tim McGraw and Taylor Swift. Maybe the Grammys really aren't just a popularity contest?

"Follow Your
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