The Ultimate Music Guide – Yes

Yes is a progressive rock band that I return to often as their music echoes as poetry in the Music Of Our Heart. I obtained this issue of The Ultimate Music Guide Yes via the Uncut North America Digital Magazine Music Store. I couldn’t find it in my local magazine rack at Barnes & Noble.  Isn’t that what my iPad Pro and the Web is designed to accomplish 😉

Barnes & Noble Vinyl Initiative

While shopping yesterday in the Barnes & Noble store in Westport, Connecticut, I noticed their associated marketing effort with the vinyl LP resurgence. This is a return volley to Amazon’s Vinyl Store.

The Barnes & Noble entertainment department featured a wall of vinyl along with a centerpiece display. This produces a dramatic effect versus the slapped together vinyl island I typically see in the middle of the Milford, CT store.

I also learned (posthumously) that Barnes & Noble held Vinyl Day twice in 2015. Once on July 25th and again on November 21st, the week before Record Store Day.


Definitive Album Reviews by Uncut Magazine
Especially published a free sample issue for Barnes & Noble customers on Vinyl Day, Uncut Magazine (my favorite music magazine) presented a list of Definitive Album Reviews of amazing musical content ranging from bestselling favorites like the Beatles to exciting new releases from New Order.

The issue features an exclusive interview with Sir Paul McCartney that you are going to want to read.

Uncut Magazine’s Definitive Album Reviews is a must-read for great vinyl gifting ideas. You might find extra issues still on display in your local Barnes & Noble as I did yesterday 🙂


Shop Barnes & Noble and for vinyl, turntables, and more at

I look forward to learning more about Barnes & Noble Vinyl Day(s) 2016.


Ultimate Music Guide – Elvis Costello

I have acquired a decent collection of Uncut Magazine‘s Ultimate Music Guides. Uncut Magazine has published 23 special issues to date, I have six of their special issues (25%).

Uncut Magazine publishes a strong specialty publication because they offer an in-depth review of every album in the artist’s discography. Each album review provides TrackMarks in an insert which delineates track sequence, 1-5 star ratings, label, production information, personnel, chart position etc. It is in the lower corner of a typical two page album spread.

They also take the painstaking effort to publish live album, compilation, UK singles and rarities information. As an avid music collector I learn much more about the artist’s recorded output via the music guides. It is helpful when I want to listen to the artist’s catalogue on Spotify or my collection. I have many more facts and details to enhance the deeper interest my music historian self demands.

The latest Elvis Costello Ultimate Music Guide is informative and assuring. Elvis Costello(EC) is the #2 music artist in my collection after Santana (I own every commercial recording in the Santana catalogue…). I own 24 of EC’s recordings. I stopped purchasing his music in 2004 (Il Signo). I want to resume my EC collection beginning with The River In Paradise with Allen Toussaint right up to today (primarily the last five commercial albums). I can’t put my finger why I “cut-out” on EC’s music 10 years back. I may have reached maximum exposure but I have no real “root-cause” for why that sentiment built up inside me about his songs and acerbic wit.

The EC Ultimate Users Guide helps to rekindle my interest in his musical creativity and prolific songwriting.

I best get busy savoring the pages of this guide and pulling out all those CDs to play in the Honda ;). I’ll be writing more about Elvis Costello’s past 10 years in later music posts. Once I’ve listened intently first of course.

Before I forget to ask, What is Your Favorite Elvis Costello song? Mine is “All This Useless Beauty”.

Feel free to leave a comment about what your favorite Elvis Costello recording is below.

The Pink Floyd Album For The 21st Century

I can always count on Uncut Magazine to deliver the definitive progressive rock cover story. Yesterday, Pink Floyd announced to the world that they will be releasing their 15th studio recording, The Endless River, on November 10th, 2014.

Uncut Magazine followed suit today by making available the digital magazine edition of the November 2014 issue for my iPad. I’m Lovin It!

2014, My Year for Digital Content

The number one reason I wanted an Apple iPad Air was for the ability to read my favorite music magazine, Uncut on the day of publication.

I am excited to report that I have achieved that New Years resolution starting with the Uncut Magazine February 2014 issue. Today, January 3rd, 2014 is the electronic publication date for the magazine. I am happily paging through my downloaded edition as I write this blog post. The digital magazine cost me $3.99. It only took a few seconds of transfer time via my Ethernet cable network/802.11ac wireless router for it to appear in the Apple Newsstand shelf.

What I really love is that I am snowbound here today with Winter Storm Hercules.

I didn’t have to get dressed, drive on the snowy streets or spend the gas to not find the new magazine.

The problem I previously encountered with Uncut Magazine were several. The delay lag between England and the magazine reaching the Barnes & Noble’s USA retail newsstand was significant. I typically had to wait anywhere from four to six weeks (or more) for the hard copy magazine. The delivery schedule was unpredictable with the print publication so there were times I went to Barnes & Noble and came back “empty-handed”.

The next issue was price. Uncut Magazine is an import publication so the newsstand price translated to $9.99 (versus $3.99 for digital) Granted you get a music CD each month with the hard copy edition but at least now I don’t have to “unglue” it from the cover 😉  I gave thought to ordering the digital magazine through Barnes & Noble online but they charge $5.99 an issue and force you to use the nook iPad application. (I am testing the applicability of iPad Reader Apps such as the nook, Readmill, amazon Kindle, Adobe Reader and Zinio for a future blog post…)

As a music enthusiast I depend upon Uncut Magazine as a resource for music information. Trust me Uncut Magazine delivers effectively with well written, researched, and coordinated articles. Today’s digital content medium ushers me into the year of digital content I have looked forward to embracing. I am an advocate of digital publishing and giving serious thought to redesigning how I will publish in 2014 and beyond.

Neil Young: The Ultimate Music Guide & Live At The Cellar Door

Uncut Magazine has proven a reliable source for Neil Young information. The publisher delivers a focused publication, The Ultimate Music Guide dedicated to a single artist or group. The publication proves invaluable by provisioning a comprehensive reference.

The Uncut Magazine, Neil Young: The Ultimate Music Guide is due to be released at the end of this week. It will take extra time to reach American magazine stands. John Mulvey writes about the challenges a prolific Neil Young poses when attempting to put together a comprehensive music guide about his artistic contributions.

Neil Young’s issuance of the Archives Performance Series release, “Volume 02.5: Live At The Cellar Door” created a challenge to tying off the Neil Young: The Ultimate Music Guide. Suffice it to say that is where John Mulvey’s Uncut Blog, “Wild Mercury Sound” allows the flexibility of real time updates about Neil Young’s projects beyond the guide.

“Live At The Cellar Door” highlights six of the 13 tracks as solo piano pieces: “After The Gold Rush”, “Expecting To Fly”, “Birds”, “See The Sky About To Rain”, “Cinnamon Girl” and “Flying On The Ground Is Wrong”.


I agree strongly with John Mulvey that Neil Young will devote a prominent amount of set time to solo piano performances at the Carnegie Hall concerts in January. When we saw Neil Young in Bridgeport last year he played piano on a couple of numbers. It was compelling to witness and hear his music live that way.

I mean don’t get me wrong he rocked with Crazy Horse but I was moved by his solo piano songs. In the music of our heart I was urging him to play more songs on piano that evening.

John Mulvey and team I am enthusiastic for the Neil Young: The Ultimate Music Guide. Kudos in advance!

Five 2013 Blogging Projects

I love the time I get to spend between Christmas and New Year reflecting upon and renewing commitments to an ongoing pursuit of the arts. Its treasured down time from a perpetual teaching schedule that runs day and night, all year round.  I try to spend the time productively, teaching myself new software, preparing for certification exams, etc. I also spend time listening to music that escaped my grasp during the year, reading through my significant music magazine and book pile, visiting Barnes & Noble to stay vibrant and aware.

As a result I have accumulated some meaty writing topics for the coming year. They represent more substantive research into genres/artists I want to explore more in-depth, hopefully across multiple blog posts. This is my revised approach to professional blogging in 2013, which I hope my readers will like and seek to learn along with me (or teach me something new they know in these areas).

The five 2013 art blogging projects are:

  • Smashing Pumpkins, Billy Corgan – I just heard Billy Corgan‘s interview with Howard Stern on Sirius XM. Oceania is a recording I did not do justice to in 2012. I have discovered more about the Smashing Pumpkin/Corgan direction as well as the various side projects by past/current members. The Teargarden by Kaleidyscope initiative interests me greatly. Time to do some justice about the art of Smashing Pumpkins in the music of our heart.


  • I was leaving through the current newsstand issue of Uncut Magazine last week at Barnes & Noble when I discovered a review of Joni Mitchell‘s box set, Studio Albums 1968-1979. The box set is a UK import via Rhino that is presently stocked out on Amazon. Once I can get my order fulfilled and I have given these 10 CDs a thorough listening I will write a blog series about that experience.

Studio Albums 1968 - 1979

  • I was browsing the music book section when I discovered the On The Road: The Official Movie Companion trade paperback. This stirred my sentiment about The Beats. I realized very quickly I had not really delved effectively into the writings of Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs, and Allen GinsbergPatti Smith has galvanized the poetic pentameter in the music of our heart for this halcyon period of art. I resolve to see the movie On The Road in New York City  before the wider theater release. I also make a commitment to read more of Kerouac, Ginsberg and Burroughs books (and of course Patti Smith’s poetry books until her new book(s) come out!). I also plan to get some of the books by the “authoritative” researchers/biographers of The Beat, most notably Ann Charters. I must follow through on this as my core initiative for the arts in 2013. The movie has become the impetus for renewing my kinship with The Beats.

On the Road: The Official Movie Companion

  • I picked up another of The Ultimate Music Guide’s from the publishers of Uncut Magazine. This one is about The Kinks. The 146 page special collector’s edition covers each album in the Kinks discography, the solo albums from Ray and Dave Davies, rarities and singles. It is just the compendium I had looked for about The Kinks. I plan to summarize this satisfying publication in a later blog post article.

Uncut presents The Kinks: The Ultimate Music Guide

  • I am continually impressed by the quality and substance of the British magazine publications. I need to get that iPad 4 with Retina so I can electronically subscribe to Uncut and NME. The magazine I’ve had in my hands twice now at Barnes & Noble is the The Story of Joy Division and New Order. I readily admit I don’t know enough about this band. Realizing I should correct that problem makes this my fifth blogging project for 2013.

NME - Joy Division - Collectors Magazine

The Byrds

Uncut Magazine, Take 186, November 2012

This month’s issue has a centerpiece story about The Byrds and their 1968 recording The Notorious Byrd Brothers. We learn how  the original group transformed, well actually imploded during the recording sessions at the end of 1967. It begins with Roger McGuinn and Chris Hillman firing David Crosby at his home (October 1967). Michael Clarke (drummer) and Gene Clark (singer-songwriter) leaving during mid-recording.


The Notorious Byrd Brothers ended the period of psychedelic experimentation and pushed The Byrds to develop the ground breaking country-rock album Sweetheart of the Rodeo. Gram Parsons joins The Byrds and the next phase  of their evolution takes flight.


Uncut Magazine – World Exclusive Neil Young The 2012 Interview

The music magazine that continues to impress me the most with their compelling, well articulated music articles is Uncut Magazine from the UK. Last month they featured an exclusive with Patti Smith that I enjoyed tremendously.

Uncut - July 2012

The present stateside magazine is the Take 183/August 2012 issue. The cover features the prolific Neil Young who at 67 years of age is rocking like a hurricane these days. Uncut features a 15 page article/interview that is aptly billed as a world exclusive.

Uncut - August 2012

The magazine also features informative articles that you can really sink your teeth into about the MC5, The Dirty Projectors and Peter Tosh.

Keep it going Uncut Magazine!

Led Zeppelin

There have been just a hand full of artists these past forty years that once I  heard them I was forever affected by their power and order of magnitude.

Led Zeppelin was the first English rock band, even more than Cream, to galvanize my interest in rock music, first as a blues rock band, then as progenitors of heavy metal. The first and second Led Zeppelin albums provided the strongest one-two punch I’ve ever heard from evolving rock musicians. There was no sophomore jinx with Led Zeppelin II, which shot to Number 1 on the album charts in 1969.



I was clued into Led Zeppelin early in the fall of 1968. I hung out with several music fanatics in high school. One of these guys had relatives in England who informed us of the sensation Led Zeppelin was causing with their initial British tour. By the time Led Zeppelin’s initial album, Led Zeppelin was released in January, 1969 we readied ourselves for the assault on our senses. We were quite unprepared for the onslaught Led Zep would have on us. They took America, particularly FM radio airplay and rock venues across the US by storm.

If you are passionate about Led Zeppelin I urge you to seek out Uncut Magazine‘s The Ultimate Music Guide, Led Zeppelin. It is a well curated collection of articles, insights about Led Zeppelin, their recordings, the band members and the rock and roll saga we love to hear told.

%d bloggers like this: