Call for Music Writers... Rock, Indie, Urban, Electronic, Americana, Metal, World and More

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Thursday, Sep 19, 2013
Music is first and foremost a very real and easily identifiable source of extreme pleasure. It’s also a vehicle, something I use to help me get around in life.

Question: What’s it all about?
Answer: I don’t know.
But I do know a few things.
I know some of the things that make me tick.

While my weapons of choice remain pen and paper, I would still say that music has always been the central element of my existence. Or the elemental center. Writing is a compulsion, a hobby, a skill, a craft, an obsession, a mystery, and at times a burden. Music simply is. For just about anyone, all you need is an ear (or two); then it can work its magic. But, as many people come to realize, if you approach it with your mind and your heart, it’s capable of making you aware of other worlds, it can help you achieve the satisfaction material possessions are intended to inspire, it will help you feel the feelings drugs are designed to approximate. Et cetera.

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Monday, Aug 19, 2013
With the announcement of Juana Molina’s upcoming album, Wed 21, an unexplainable excitement grew inside of me.

If you are from Argentina, then you must have heard at least once from Juana Molina, especially if you’re also called Juana, like me. I remember that every time a friend’s mother saw me, she used to tell me: “Here comes Juana and her sisters!” Only two years ago I found out that she wasn’t referring to my real sisters, but to Juana Molina’s old TV show, Juana y sus hermanas.

I still can’t remember when or why I was once interested to listen to her music, but I know that my admiration towards her has only increased since then and that, no matter how cliché this phrase is, her music speaks to me like no other. Although many artists use looping, her songs are different for depending on it while still being able to sound organic. Her electro-folk is both serene and eccentric, while her voice can be soft but also hypnotizing in order to fuse with the rest of the instruments (which are all recorded by herself in her house) and become another one.

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Thursday, Jul 18, 2013
How a rock opera from the '70s transformed what should have been another calm, neglectful Sunday in my life.

It was early June 2013 when I found myself in London by complete chance, on a long weekend with nothing but time. Waking up to a lazy Sunday after a heavy Saturday (those pub crawls will get to you after the fourth or fifth shot), I figured I should try and see a show at the West End since I had never done it. I had heard good things about Jersey Boys, so I went to Leicester Square around 9 AM. The bookie had just opened the shop and didn’t look very happy to see me.

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Tuesday, Jun 4, 2013
The sumo wrestler suits are still awesome.

In late April 2013, I sat in the Sonoran Desert, listening, for the first time in years, to Alice in Chains’ “Nutshell”. The occasion for this event was a cousin’s First Holy Communion. Her family lives just outside of Phoenix, Arizona, and though their neighborhood is willfully suburban—massive sports complexes don’t naturally exist in the desert—the Sonoran’s vast, charred landscape is never entirely masked by strip mall sprawl. Indeed, from the relative comfort of my cousin’s back patio, it seemed that any of the hundreds of miles that stretch outward from there to the Pescott National Forest (and well beyond) could have served as the setting for the cover photo of Alice in Chains’ Dirt.

On that late April evening, I found myself listening to AIC for the most banal of reasons: my uncle had set his satellite radio to the Lithium channel. As a teenager, I was a fan of Alice in Chains, perhaps more so than of any of the other grunge bands of the early-1990s. To date, I have probably heard “Nutshell” hundreds of times. Still, on that oppressively hot night, I found the song more moving than I ever had in the past. There was something eerily appropriate about Layne Staley, a victim of a fatal drug addiction, crooning, “I’d feel better dead” on the eve of a sacramental celebration. Catholicism, if nothing else, promises the ecstasy of an afterlife, a life that begins when the eternal soul is resurrected from the imperfect, ever-decaying body. In a way, Staley’s sentiment is entirely Catholic, which is a thought that I honest-to-God never imagined I’d think.

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Thursday, May 9, 2013
“The Weather” is the dreamy and evocative final track on Built to Spill's 2001 release Ancient Melodies of the Future, and it's a song that's certainly no "dud".

In an otherwise lively, judicious, and conversant article that ranked Built to Spill’s albums from worst to best, Stereogum critic Chris DeVille took a departure from sound judgment with this puzzling perspective: he referred to “The Weather” as a “dud”. At the risk of being dramatic, let me state that prior to this I’d never heard or read anyone venture a slighting word about “The Weather”. I may have stood quiet had tamer language been used, but “dud” represents a bridge too far.

For those unaware, “The Weather” is the dreamy and evocative final track on Ancient Melodies of the Future, the Idahoan indie-rock act’s 2001 full-length. As a whole, the album doesn’t amount to much more than solid and enjoyable—especially coming on the heels of heady, near-flawless heavyweights like Perfect from Now On and Keep It Like a Secret—but it does boast some stand-out moments, including “Strange”, “You Are”, and – yes – “The Weather”.

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