The 1812 Overture by Tchaikovsky


If you are like me, this Fourth of July holiday will involve family cookouts in the backyard and outdoor concerts with fireworks. A frequent musical piece played during these patriotic concerts is Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture. If you are fortunate, the orchestral piece will include a choir singing, live church bells chiming and cannon fire booming in a grand finale. When the fireworks are choreographed to coincide with the crescendos, it’s just magical.

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more explosive than fireworks


During the 1980s, streaking across the musical horizons ripped open by punk rock, there was an underground surge of sounds influenced by the sixties. Long-dormant genres of psychedelic, folk and jangle once again filled the air and had new life breathed into them. In some places, like Los Angeles with its Paisley Underground, well-defined scenes sprang up. Most everywhere else, however, these retro-inspired bands operated in relative isolation. And lurking in the shadows and alleyways of it all was a creature much more subversive and wild than the rest, a new strain of garage rock. Boston had the Lyres, Portland had the Miracle Workers, Pittsburgh had the Cynics … and all of these bands shared a common ethos. Worshipping at the altars of the early Kinks, the Sonics, the Standells, “Louie, Louie,” so-easy-anyone-could-do-it simplicity and screaming volume, these bands were sixties-sounding, but reborn with a punk heart. Three chords, fuzz guitars, Farfisa organs, plenty of snarl and a penchant for mixing long-lost nuggets from the golden age of garage with attitude-laced originals were the order of the day. Coming in at the tail end of this movement was one of Norfolk’s own, the M-80’s. Continue reading “more explosive than fireworks”