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Summer Anthem Power Rankings

In addition to vacations, pools, beaches, and barbecues, summer has given us some great anthems with which to celebrate the season. A truly great summer hit has got to be more than just a catchy pop song. It must have that indefinable ‘X-factor’ that causes it to repeat endlessly in our heads, that urges us to crank up the volume and roll down the windows, and that commands us to drop what we’re doing and s ...

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Who is John Mayer?

Last week, when I saw a promotional photograph for the new John Mayer record “Born and Raised,” I laughed out loud.  It’s not that there is anything particularly funny or embarrassing about this photograph, it’s just that I was really, really confused. The promo was from the music video from his new single, “Shadow Days,” which features Mayer traveling across the western part of the US with shoulder-length ...

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We Are What We Listen To

I recently had an experience that can only be described as surreal, and I’d like to tell you about it. A few weeks ago I was reading Memoirs of My Nervous Illness by Daniel Schreber. He wrote it to prove to the early-20th century German court system that he was sane enough to continue his service as a judge. What ensues is a sort of systematic theology resulting from his time spent pondering in an asylum. S ...

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Open Mic Night

Turn on the radio. Now turn it off. In one hour turn on the turn it off again. Did you hear something familiar? It could very well be you heard the same chord progression, the same beat, the same artist, even the same song. After all, they call it Top 40 for a reason. 40 is not a disputable number, and you’re bound to hear one of those exclusive tracks in the airwaves around you. Let me clarify ...

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My Lyrical Education

12 notes arranged in some amalgamation to transmit beauty, feeling, inspiration. An unspeakable message penned through airwaves. Or perhaps a calling to create or destroy. Music. I’m a musician, and growing up, when I heard a song, my ears would gravitate to what was going on melodically, harmonically, in terms of dynamics. Lyrics were always secondary. Being raised in a musical environment of jazz and clas ...

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In Defense of Sincerity: A Review of “Anarchy, My Dear” by Say Anything

When Say Anything’s new album, Anarchy, My Dear, dropped on March 13th, I went looking for reviews--not really to know what it sounded like, but because I wanted to hear what people were saying about it. I love Say Anything, but I have the distinct impression that most of my friends view my affection for the band with a mixture of suspicion and indulgence, probably the same two emotions most critics betray ...

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© 2012 The Pender Journal

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