Category Archives: op-ed

Triumph and Tragedy: Our ‘Wings & Strings’ Series Begins

Back in May, Scott Marshall and I were talking about collaborating on some upcoming events, including his Concert for the Kids pediatric cancer benefit in June, as well as his recent First Friday performance. While on the phone, he approached me to have Lehigh Valley Underground be a part of something that, in our region, is the first of its kind.

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The Importance of Good Production

The following is an opinion piece from Ann Thatcher, host of The Balcony Show, Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. ET on WLVU: The Sound of The Underground.

If you are a talented original musician, chances are good that, at some point, you are going to want to record your own song. Given the fact that there are many choices out there when it comes to production – from high-cost producers, to do-it-yourself programs – it may be difficult to decide which way to go when it comes to something so personal.

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#BuildingBetter: The Venue’s Role

In our history, we have had the good fortune of a great number of incredible community partners to help us produce and promote events. These partners include the obvious – SouthSide Arts District and ArtsQuest among them. However, there are unsung heroes that, depending on their level of involvement in community programs like #LVUFirstFriday and SouthSide Arts and Music Festival, can very well make or break the success of a program.

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Here’s to Your Mental Health

Hi everyone. I’m Gerard. Some of you might know me as a friend or relative. Others might know me as a guy who started a local music blog that seems to be doing well these days. Or, I might be a former teammate, some random person from high school or college, or someone you’ve otherwise encountered in your travels once or twice. Some of you reading this might not know me at all. In that case, it’s nice to meet you.

If you know me, you probably know that I’ve always been a person with a lot to say. You can credit it partially to my natural love of expressing words, as a former English major and someone who has always enjoyed writing. It can be credited more recently, though, to the fact that life has taken some rather interesting turns over the past three years.

That is to say, it entirely fell apart between 2015 and 2017.

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The Tuk Ten, Day 7: The Police – Synchronicity (1983)

Sometimes a band can become so commercially successful that their artistic merit vanishes underneath the fame. In the late 1970s and 1980s, the punk rock movement was sweeping across the UK and America in reaction to the psychedelic rock of the 1960s and the yacht rock that dominated radio in the early 1970s. Punk was simple and aggressive, and it didn’t care about airplay, or authority or convention.

The Police were a band that brought together several threads and wove them into radio friendly rock that was simply inescapable from their first album in 1977 onward. The Police were sui generis. There was no other band that sounded like them. From the first few notes or moments of a song, you could easily tell that it was a Police song.

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Moonshine & Honey: A Tribute to Living, Loving, Losing & Learning

The following is a piece by Carlos Barata, guitarist/vocalist for The Hook. The Hook will perform an American Foundation for Suicide Prevention fundraiser alongside Dogwood Last and Terez this Friday, June 1 at Godfrey Daniels as part of the Lehigh Valley Underground First Friday Concert Series.

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The Tuk Ten: Day 5 — Johnny Cash, At Folsom Prison (Live)(1968)

Johnny Cash is rightly credited with being the father of outlaw country music. This is not the country music of today, the one that has been taken over by the Carrie Underwoods and the other improbably telegenic performers that populate and dominate the genre. Cash’s music, and the style he created, was the one of Merle Haggard, Hank Williams and Willie Nelson. Cash exuded the idea that if you weren’t against the system, you were part of the system. 

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The Tuk Ten: Day 3 — District 97, In Vaults (2015)

Some of you reading this may have no idea who District 97 is.  So, for Day Three of The Tuk Ten (rock edition!), let me acquaint you with them. D97 hails from Chicago, Illinois, and have followed an indie rock pathway across the United States and throughout Europe, all on a DIY and crowdfunded model.  This is very much a rock band for modern times. For reasons explained below, In Vaults is definitely in my very own personal Top Ten. 

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