About the Editor

I received a message a few days ago from a new Renaissance fan asking to know a little bit more about the review and myself (this was before the Aim and first reviews were published) and offering advice. After our conversation, I’ve decided to let you all know a little bit more about myself, because you’re probably thinking, “Who is this guy and why should we care what he has to say?” or, “Does he even know anything about music or writing? Probably not, so I don’t really have any interest in this anymore.”

I can’t stress to you enough how much I loathe talking about myself; I always feel like I’m bragging or acting deluded or ignorant.

So there you go, that’s all you need to know.

……………………………..

Okay, honestly, I’m going to tell you.

I’ll start with the music, because that’s what we’re all here for. Now, I don’t have any pictures of myself on the blog, (that would be kind of weird, I think) but if I did, you might recognize me as the frontman/primary vocalist/rhythm guitarist/mandolin player/synth player of the indie rock band Yesterday Vs. Tomorrow. Since this blog is not about my band and I’m not here for self-promotion, I’ll sort of leave off there and let you check out our latest album, “Aurora Borealis,” for yourself. I tell you this to say that I, like a lot of you, am in the trenches right now, trying to carve out a piece of this city with my/our name on it, and I get it. I’m not just some 40 year old eating cheetos and listening to Creed’s Greatest Hits at my desk on top of a stack of old video games writing about a bunch of people I’ve never seen before and don’t really care too much for. Chances are we’ve actually met before.

As for the music I listen to, I’m really all over the place (and I don’t mean that in the same way that people who listen to Taylor Swift AND Katy Perry mean it). Indie rock/Alternative is my home, but I’m not afraid to praise a Rap album or dabble in the corporate world of popular music at times. Anyway, I guess a way to make this description a bit easier, I’ll give you my thoughts on last year’s best albums and what I believe are the 10 best and most important albums of the last 50 years or so.

2013 (no particular order)
The National’s “Trouble Will Find Me”
Vampire Weekend’s “Modern Vampires of the City”
Kanye West’s “Yeezus”
Arcade Fire’s “Reflektor”
The Flaming Lips’ “The Terror”

All Time (in mostly-particular order)
1.Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
2. OK Computer
3. Revolver
4. Nevermind
5. The Velvet Underground & Nico
6. Mellon Collie and The Infinite Sadness
7. Kid A
8. Slanted and Enchanted
9. Selected Ambient Works 85-92
10. Run DMC (eponymous)
11. In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
12. Yankee Hotel Foxtrot

Now, you don’t need to agree with me; that’s not the point here. The point is that whether or not you like these albums, they shaped much of what artists are creating today (obviously you could go back to cavemen hitting rocks together, but we’re talking about modern music here). And really, the only reason I gave you those lists was to sort of give you a background of where I’ll be coming from with a lot of these posts and to point out that these artists are all vastly different from one another. As an aside, I condone arguing here, because it means people are communicating. If you don’t think my review of a band is accurate and openly comment your disagreement, that’s GREAT, because it means that people are having conversations and forming opinions and ideals.

After sounding like the syllabus from a generic 100 level college course, I’ll move on to my history with writing and close this out.

This part’s a bit anticlimactic, but before I’m a musician, I’m an academic at heart. I’m studying at Daemen College to become a PA, (the medical field is a sort of  far from music, I’ll admit) but in some of my introductory courses over the last three years, I’ve discovered a bit of a gift for writing. I’ve coached 100-300 level composition courses and got mostly all A’s in them myself and have had a love for words and the way they work together since high school. Please don’t forget that the only reason I’m telling you any of this is to demonstrate a little bit of credibility, that’s all.

Wow, that was difficult. But I hope it helps. If you don’t really care, even better. Thanks Katie.
-JJK

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