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Matt on Music: 5 best opening and 5 best closing tracks of 2012

(12/12/12 11:06pm)

The opening track on an album is intended to get the listener’s attention, and to make them want to listen more. The closing track should insure they finish satisfied, although, as many albums this year showed, artists often cop out when it comes to delivering the finale. Satisfying opening and closing tracks never seem to be celebrated enough, so here are the best of 2012.


Matt on Music: 5 favorite album covers

(12/14/12 10:03pm)

I appreciate album covers in an artistic manner, almost as much as the plastic inside of them. From the minimalism of “Beatles for Sale” to the complexity of Talking Heads’ “More Songs About Buildings and Food,” album covers give every album its own identity before you even put it on. This year has brought many good album covers. Here are my five favorites.




Matt on Music: Dropkick Murphys' "Signed and Sealed in Blood"

(01/13/13 9:10pm)

The first and most memorable hook on the new Dropkick Murphys album, “Signed and Sealed in Blood,” goes, “The boys are back, and they’re looking for trouble.” That says it all, really. The album’s only hook that you might be able to remember when the music’s shut off is a cliché line that may or may not be ripping off Thin Lizzy.



Rap doesn’t fit with MLK’s ideals

(01/20/13 10:38pm)

What are the implications of the materialistic lyrics found in today’s hottest hip-hop hits? Eastern Michigan University student Ivory Harris Jr., one of the minds behind “Knowledge, Power, Respect: Hip-Hop Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow,” was eager to find out. After conducting a study in November 2011, Harris discovered that 48 out of 50 songs on the Billboard hip-hop and rhythm and blues charts glorified alcohol or substance abuse, crime and violence and other negative themes.




Matt on Music: Wussy's 'Bernice Huff and son, Bill sings Popular Favorites'

(01/23/13 11:39pm)

I make no secret about Wussy being my favorite band, possibly of all time and definitely right now. Every new release increases my admiration of them, even if it’s something as simple as an acoustic re-recording of their first album or a cover of Dusty Springfield’s “Breakfast in Bed.” They’re just fantastic, and have an almost inhuman ability to make magic happen during every performance.








Matt on Music: Yo La Tengo at Michigan Theater review

(02/10/13 11:25pm)

For their current tour, Yo La Tengo is splitting shows into two parts. The first part is mainly acoustic, and the second is electric. Knowing this, I was pleased when they opened their show at the Michigan Theater on Feb. 8 with an acoustic version of “Ohm,” the opening track from their new album “Fade.” I was even more pleased when they played the song again for their electric set.


Echo staff express favorites in love songs

(02/13/13 10:47pm)

Through the ages, many artists expressed their love for their respective hunnies through song. Being one of those universal feelings and all that, love songs are something most people can relate to, so understandably, there is a metric crapton of them swimming about out there. Music writer Carmen Bojanowski, music critic Matt Rice (of Matt on Music) and life editor/resident music major Jess Salisbury weighed in on their personal favorites.



Matt on Music: Christopher Owens’ solo debut “Lysandre”

(02/17/13 11:31pm)

If you were to look at a list of my favorite instruments, you would see a lot of diversity. Saxophone and steel drum are my top two, and also high up on the list are the bass guitar, combo organ, violin and ukulele. What you won’t see on my list, however, is the flute. On Christopher Owens’ solo debut, “Lysandre,” the first sound heard is that of a flute. And I have never heard the instrument sound as horrendous as it does, opening this record.