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All posts for the month December, 2012

Top 10 Albums I Missed in 2012

  1. fun.Some Nights
  2. The Mars VoltaNoctourunique
  3. Jack WhiteBlunderbluss
  4. Brendon BensonWhat Kind of World
  5. Circa SurviveViolent Waves
  6. Mumford & SonsBabel
  7. John MayerBorn and Raised
  8. Maroon 5Overexposed
  9. The KillersBattle Born
  10. No DoubtPush and Shove

Top 10 Movies I Missed in 2012

  1. The Hunger Games
  2. Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
  3. The Dictator
  4. The Campaign
  5. Project X
  6. Cloud Atlas
  7. Seven Psychopaths
  8. Men In Black III
  9. The Master
  10. (The last 20 minutes of) The Avengers

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By Rick Polo (Editor-in-Chief)

Since opening in 1975, Cedar’s Lounge (located at 23   N. Hazel St. in downtown Youngstown) has maintained the reputation as the city’s premiere music venue. For the last three decades, the venue has served as a Mecca for the local arts, giving home to all of the area’s brightest stars, and even snatching up a few up-and-coming touring acts along the way, including a little band from the U.K. that goes by Radiohead.

The venue is also known just as well for its eclectic vibe and welcoming atmosphere.

“The people that work there and the clientele always made a girl feel safe and welcome and not like they have to worry about being followed to their car,” said long-time Cedar’s regular Mandy Codespote. “You could have a drink and enjoy music without any problems.”

Sadly, in early December 2012, it was announced by the building’s owner that Cedar’s would be forced from its location.

This immediately sent shockwaves through the community. Many of the venue’s regulars, as well as those who indulge and participate in the local art and music scene, felt as though the rug had been pulled out from underneath their feet.

“It’s like our CBGB’s is closing down,” said Angelo Scordo, who has played the venue dozens of times with several local acts. “It sucks. I’ve seen and played a lot of shows there over the years and seen a lot of bands for the first time there. I sure as hell don’t think it’s going to help downtown.”

Scordo also said that their live sound was one of a kind.

“It was nice to have a place to play that held a crowd who respected the music and a professional sound system with people who actually gave a crap about what they’re doing to properly represent the bands,” said Scordo.

The building’s owners want to renovate the space, which is a historical downtown building. They eventually want to turn it into a wine bar and restaurant, with offices and apartments occupying the floors above. The owners, who as of press time declined to comment, have previously stated that Cedar’s does not fit into that plan, and that is why they will be leaving.

“I’m incredibly disappointed with the new owner’s so-called vision,” said Codespote. “I think they could have built upon what Cedar’s is and what they have to offer. I think it would have kept the regulars and brought in new customers too. I understand that this is a business and they want to make money, that’s the point. But if they would’ve just opened their eyes and saw the loyal following they have and noticed what it’s like in there weekend after weekend, regardless of what style of live music is playing, they will realize what they have in the palm of their hand. You don’t get this anywhere else in Youngstown.”

The community has relied on Cedar’s for decades as a centre for artistic and cultural diversity. It is embraced and celebrated through the various non-musical events the venue hosts.

“They also have the Trash and Treasure Sale, art shows and movie nights,” added Codespote. “It’s not just the music, there’s a variety of events. It’s a place for like-minded people to strike up conversation and there’s no other place like it in the area.”

However, the fate of Cedar’s has not yet been sealed. The venue’s owners and operators have said that they have definite plans to try and find a new location for the venue. As of press time, any possible location prospects have not been announced.

But the search has begun.

With a community of die-hard supporters, along with a few generations with fond memories that they’re not yet ready to let go of, few believe that the fate Cedar’s has been sealed. Time will only tell, but until then, an entire community is rallying behind it’s beloved downtown staple.

“I’m a life-long supporter and will follow them wherever they go,” said Codespote.

By Rick Polo (Editor-in-Chief)

Unknown

Artist: The Offspring

Album: Days Go By

Release Date: 6/26/12

Rating: 4.5/5

It’s been four years since The Offspring have dropped an album, and over a decade since one of this magnitude. Days Go By, the ninth studio album by the veteran punk rockers, was released this past summer to both critical and fan approval, with the help of lead singles “California Cruisin’ (Bumpin’ in My Trunk)” and title-track “Days Go By,” the band have returned to the top with their most concise album since 2000’s Conspiracy of One.

The album comes four years after their last effort, 2008’s Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace,the over-the-top rock opera undoubtedly influenced by the success of Green Day’s American Idiot. Although the album was also a critical and commercial success, many die-hard fans of the band felt it was slightly bloated, either due to the popular influence of the time or because of their new choice of producer, Bob Rock (Metallica, Motley Crue). Days Go By, also produced by Rock, contains all of the unique so-un-punk-that-it’s-punk quarks that The Offspring have made a career of, yet the uniquely strong and deep song-writing that they’re equally known for.

The album takes off with the up-beat punk rocker “The Future is Now,” which sounds similar to Rise Against. As admitted big fans of Rise Against, The Offspring often have a knack for both playing-on and paying homage to acts they admire. Enter the singles, “California Cruisin'” and “Days Go By.” “California Cruisin'” is somewhat of a novelty track, harking back to their massive 1998 hit “Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)” in it’s use of pop music satire, most likely pointing at Katy Perry’s “California Girls.” “Days Go By” is a Foo Fighters-esque sing-along with anthem-like quality.

The best part of Days Go By is that it contains no filler, unlike the two previous albums Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace and 2003’s Splinter. From beginning to end , it’s full of the signature Offspring uniqueness that completely transcends punk rock yet maintains the attitude all throughout.

Tracks like “Hurting as One,” Turning Into You” and “Dividing By Zero” bring on the fast punk, while others like “Days Go By” and “I Want a Secret Family (With You)” offer more pop hooks and sensibility. “O.C. Guns” brings a Spanish reggae vibe, and the closing track, “Slim Pickens Does the Right Thing and Rides the Bomb to Hell,” gives an up-beat-yet-oddly-somber conclusion to the album. A standout track is the re-recording of “Dirty Magic,” a track from their 1992 album Ignition. The re-vision brings new life to a key gem buried deep within their discography.

One of the finest qualities The Offspring have always had to offer is the imaginative and diverse lyrical talent of lead singer and guitarist Dexter Holland. Holland’s lyrics range from the political to the personal, often taking many perspectives. They never cease to be both thought-provoking and emotional. He sings his ass off on Days Go By with heart and prowess, providing the final touches to this incredible musical portrait.

All in all, Days Go By is the best Offspring album in a decade. Although they have been taking four-year breaks between releases, unlike their biannual releases of the 90’s, it points back to their 90’s heyday. The band have never released what you’d call a bad album or have fallen off the map in any way, but this is the album to pick up! Fans new and old won’t be disappointed.

By Jackie Pollo

& in this reign of unobstructed  sovereignty
such storms and rage untamed
will saturate in acceptance
or  smother in wreak hostility.
Our consciences remain unblamed
for sins we  wrought without repentance!

By Jackie Pollo

My aversion rises
Not to only feel the  unreal,
But to terminate disguises,
And to oblivion, reveal
Such  cradled clandestine paradigm
(And bled for shame!)
Ridden from the  swine
For fear of the flame.
Thus, I tell you today,
And a thousand  demises:
Hear me, when I say
My aversion rises!

 

It’s low time we poets restaked a claim

on the nude, scouring like scouts for new

talent on the street, handing out business cards,

promising to make the booties of these beauties

immortal, or at least Poemgirl of the Month.

Why should painters have all the fun?

Sure, a picture’s worth a thousand words,

beauty’s in the eye, not the ear,

of the beholder, yadda, yadda.

But there’s Sistine soot and smoke,

and paint degrades, flakes, and canvas

rots like flesh.

Remember “when in eternal lines to time thou grow’st”?

We already excel at the blazon— brow

of alabaster, lips of cherries, nipples

hard and pink as pencil erasers (!), cheeks

like “roses damask’d red and white,”

breasts like “two young roes

that are twins, which feed among

the lilies” (?!), and that mount of love with the cleft in the blush

of a peach and the fuzz thereof.

Donne poemed the body of his mistress—

“Oh, my America, my Newfoundland,”

but wimped out at the crucial spot:

where “my hand is set,” indeed!

I want, depraved on Parisian Pernod,

to stare for hours at houris,

catch the light just right on silken skin,

write what I know, sure,

but also want to leer, beret cocked,

my gaze straight and steady,

white smock stained with ink,

easel erect and ready.

 

Yes, we no longer have to travel

twenty miles to buy a nail, but please, God, don’t let me end

like this, armpit tufts

in a tank top, shuffling along in flip-flops

through the post-apocalyptic,

mutant Wal-Mart, hag-skinny, or waddling, flesh wobbling,

carts full of fat and sugar.

Scared straight, I buy the bran flakes

instead, fresh fruit, a lean steak

to stave off the probably

inevitable,

like the closing of the steel mills

where they once worked,

two cars and a boat in every yard,

a sky of soot, and lungs

still hacking out.

No, no twenty-mile drive

anymore, just the blue sky

again, an empty yard,

some overgrown mills,

a coffin-nail cough,

and a nail

for every coffin.

 

something urgent
down deep, like those kids
who fall into abandoned wells and
firemen and cops and fat neighbors surge
round to lower ropes and buckets to bring them
up, all muddy and slippery as if they’ve just come
from the birth canal and everybody cheers, and it’s late
at night and all is silent, but you can hear them, all those
cheers as you wash and bathe the newborn, and put her to
bed with that special blanket she’ll wear to a ravel she’ll call
Little End.