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Holiday Geek Gift Guide 2015: Music
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Holiday Music Gift Guide 2015

The holidays have dawned upon us again and it seems as if the unveiling of them gets sooner and sooner each year. In a world that has seen one of its toughest and tragic years in 2015, the beauty of the holidays is more than a traditional, religious bent, but more about the communion of people and the act of humanity that seems to crawl from the cobwebs only during this time for some people. Regardless of the volume rate, whenever something can collectively bond people together with a sense of energy that runs placid and empathetic, there’s something to be said about the perennial emotion that gets reserved for this time of year. And of course with this year, comes the giving and receiving of gifts and good cheer. And as is my wont for the past few years now, I too have been rather perennial in my choices for key music items to bestow upon good friends and loved ones this time of year. So here’s some picks for this some of this years A-list offerings in music. As usual, this list goes to eleven.

Here’s the Holiday Geek Gift Guide 2015 for Music

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Lou Reed, Seminal Figure in Rock Music, Leader Of Velvet Underground, Dies At 71 [Updated]
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Lou Reed

Lou Reed, the so-called godfather of punk, whose embryonic sounds of that genre and combinations of avant-garde dirty rock and roll helped propel him to become a legendary artist by way of The Velvet Underground and his own solo projects, has died at the age of 71, according to Rolling Stone. The cause of death is unknown at this time, but Reed had undergone a liver transplant back in May [see Update below].

For the Brooklyn-born Reed, it ends a life that was labyrinthine, filled with color and mayhem, sadness, poetry, tender regret, and razor sharp aggression. Reed took early rock and roll and doo wop, and mixed it with the sounds and styles of the mid 1960s, the Andy Warhol New York City which was crystallized by way of illicit drugs, adventurous sexuality and exploring themes, and going to places unknown; not even The Beatles tread to some of the naked, raw narratives that Lou Reed and The Velvet Underground went to in their songwriting.

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Top Vinyl Rock Records Of The ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s
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Vinyl Record Day

August 12th was Vinyl Record Day, marked by the date Edison invented the phonograph in 1877, so it’s become a day to celebrate the old time traditions of sonic yesteryear, and spin your favorite tunes on those old 33 1/3, 45, and 78 sized spherical objects made out of wax called “records.” And I’m here to give you my Top 12 favorite vinyl records of the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, along with a bunch of honorable mentions, but before we get to that, let’s talk a little bit about this thing called “vinyl.”

Up until the mid 1980s, when CDs started to become the musical norm in how one listened to their music proper, records were the norm of the people; not just a communally popular way to hear songs, but it became a giant subculture of the fabric of life, a hobby, a key element in creating parties, in creating gatherings and get-togethers, a source of fun competition in who would have more records than whom and who would have the rare cool records, in essence, vinyl hoarding was a collector’s and layman’s dream for decades upon decades.

With its outer cardboard casings known as “sleeves,” bands and musicians of all musical genres were able to express themselves not only in the music they created, but by the art that was presented on the front and back covers, which spawned an entire new artistic medium in a sense. In a way, every day should still be a Vinyl Record Day in some regard, and as the way music is bought and downloaded these days, in binary coded “bitted and byted” digital forms, not only has the way of the vinyl passed in essence, but also all the visual accoutrements that came with it. It has become a relic of the past like a rotary telephone or a CB radio, a dinosaur’s regime, which ultimately is hence even a more urgent reason to preserve the memory and image of the record alive in the 21st century.

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