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John Sciacca Writes...

Features, Reviews and a Blog by John Sciacca

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Random Thoughts (Blog)

And the beat goes on...

Posted on August 10, 2011 at 5:40 PM Comments comments (2)

Music. Seriously. Music. It is a hugely important, practically constant part of my daily, waking life. Usually from the moment I wake-up – which is almost as quickly followed by a, “Turn that down! That’s too loud for starting off the morning!” from Dana -- to my car ride to work, to some system on all day at work, to my car ride back home, to walking back into the house and being told, “Turn that down! That’s too loud when we’re...

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Does Spotify hit your Spot?

Posted on August 9, 2011 at 6:15 PM Comments comments (9)

I’m going to be totally honest and up front before I even begin here… I have yet to use Spotify’s music service. (Even though I signed myself up and someone else says they sent me an invite. Harumpf!) So, I am going to be throwing out some gripes and comparisons and some, “What the hell’s?!” here against a service that I haven’t actually personally used yet. Which is not normally how I likes to do. So, if I’m off in some ar...

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Drop their name and twist the knife again

Posted on July 10, 2011 at 6:54 PM Comments comments (0)

One of the on-going blowbacks from the unceremonious severing of ties between us and They Who Shall Not Be Named (TWSNBN) was that we now have a showroom full of speakers and electronics still on display for which we are no longer authorized dealers. At current count we have a 7-channel Diamond-series system, a 5.1-channel 700-series system,...

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Music + Movies = Memories

Posted on July 6, 2011 at 9:37 PM Comments comments (13)

Few things in life have the power to trigger memories and instantly transport you to another moment in time like music. A song that is coupled with some event in your life can become so deeply ingrained into the personal, specific you-ness which is YOU, that they will one day likely find a way of extracting the individual musical memory notes from our  DNA to recreate the entire being of WHO we are.

That’s what the best of albu...

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On death and dying

Posted on May 24, 2011 at 1:10 PM Comments comments (0)

A friend of mine was found dead in his bathroom yesterday. His name was Ken Draper. This news was shockingly unexpected and it sucks. I got the news in that most impersonal of 21st Century delivery methods, via voicemail. “Don’t know if you heard, but Ken Draper was found dead this morning.”  I guess it could have been worse; it could have been a text message. Please promise me that you'll never text message someone with news of a death. I hung up and was...

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Music is ugly. Put a mask on it!

Posted on April 14, 2011 at 11:07 PM Comments comments (298)

If you’ve been stealing darkness for all of these years, just closing your eyes and basking and focusing in that cool, refreshing blackness, there’s a new company that wants to put a stop – and a price – to that. First, you’ve been doing it all wrong. Second, you just show me where it says that “darkness” is one of your inalienable rights, and I’ll show you a company that says, “We’re from the Netherlands! We don’...

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The pleasing, dreamy, lotus-eating distortion of vinyl

Posted on March 22, 2011 at 8:09 PM Comments comments (0)

Saturday at CTA was a pretty slow day, making it a perfect magazine catch-up day. I grabbed the first magazine atop the once again growing pile – the March Resi – and it immediately served up a couple of delicious dishes of bloggery inspiration. First was the big, back cover ad of Crestron’s new Sonnex system.

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Jovi to Jobs: iTunes Gives Music a Bad Name!

Posted on March 15, 2011 at 3:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Bon Jovi feels like the music industry has been shot through the heart, and the person to blame is none other than Apple’s supreme-commander-leader-number-one, El Jobso. And while his Steveness probably never on a steel horse he rides – don’t you just picture him floating around in a hoverchair lined with gleaming skulls or maybe cruising around silently in some kind of gloss black Prius with fuel cells powered by 5G technology – that hasn’t soften...

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Top 10 List : Best Albums Edition

Posted on January 21, 2011 at 3:34 PM Comments comments (4)

Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin’s well-known quote – well, well-known to anyone who has ever seen an episode of Iron Chef -- "Show me what you eat and I will tell you who you are" might be true. But I think the more modern version of this is, “Show me what’s on your iPod, and I’ll tell you what you’re like.”


Getting a glimpse into someone’s iTunes library is kind of like...

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Playlist: Recently Added

Posted on December 31, 2010 at 2:27 PM Comments comments (0)

Getting ready to head down to Florida and see my parents for the long weekend; with the month changeover, and the crazy way that we created the alternating month day off schedule long-long ago, I’m scoring both Saturday AND Monday off this weekend.  So prior to Rav-4’ing it up, I decided to add some fresh music to the John Pod for the 6 hour journey.


A while ago, we started doing some business with ...

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FM Radio: What have you done to me?!

Posted on November 23, 2010 at 4:19 PM Comments comments (2)

I’m driving down the road the other day in our work van which means that I’m isolated from my-Pod and forced to listen to the Caravan’s terrestrial FM tuner. Now, in Myrtle Beach this is a special kind of hell reserved for only the lowest forms of weeping and open-sored miscreants.


Since it seems that every other station is either telling me to store up my canned goods and potted meats and hunker ...

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Great Music AND a Free Trip? Olive it!

Posted on November 3, 2010 at 4:28 PM Comments comments (0)

Remember those crazy deals that you’d hear about back in the Reagan-licious ‘80s where European countries were apparently so starving for the US Green that they would practically PAY you to come over and pick up a car. “Ja! We have terrific car deal! You buy car, we fly you to Deutschland. We put you up in fine-quality hotel in Deutschland. We make sure you have ample portion of sausage servings for dinner UND breakfast! We bring you to factory. You tour factory. You help Ha...

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A Definitive Offer I Couldn't Refuse

Posted on October 15, 2010 at 6:09 PM Comments comments (0)

Sadly, audio has become a product category that is tough to get excited about these days. Don’t get me wrong, I *love* listening to music, and I think many others do as well. But it just seems like people don’t want to hear about any audio trends that don’t involve the letters “i” or “mp.” Sure, I love my iThing. It has replaced Sirius as my in-car listening of choice and doesn’t’ try to bill me $12.95 a month or tell me about “The S...

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Dude! Did Classical music go...Gay?!

Posted on September 20, 2010 at 4:12 PM Comments comments (1)

We’re at the library today, bulking up on materials for our upcoming trip to CEDIA; me on books with things like “rogue military sniper,” “overthrow Black Shadow-ops plot” and “submarine trapped under the arctic” in the descriptions and Dana getting books-on-CD with things like “from the author who brought you ‘Everything your man says is wrong!’ and ‘Puppies, unicorns and rainbows – you DO deserve it all!’” A...

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JAES: I don't care WHAT you say! I say it's BETTER!

Posted on September 7, 2010 at 3:50 PM Comments comments (1)

(I’m warning you all up front; this is going to be a good bit drier and more technical-ey than my typical posts. So, if a normal blog post of mine is like a warm, sweet and gooey Cinnabon covered in icing that hurts your teeth so good, this is going to be like a piece of unleavened bread. With no salt. So get some red wine and brie ready, cause you’ve been warned.)


A former Sound & Vision (back in the good ole ampersand days before the move to the ...

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Michael Franti: How you FEELIN??!

Posted on August 29, 2010 at 8:28 PM Comments comments (2)

Usually when you see a concert, the opening act is just a step above a street performer. And often not even as entertaining as one of those robot-guy street performers that stands completely still until someone gives him some change and then he’ll do some trick accompanied by a bzzzz-whirrrr-click sound. But occasionally, you’ll stumble across an opening act that isn’t chosen by the headliner to be SO bad that they’ll look extra awesome by comparison. Sometimes the hea...

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Making 3D Movies Less Sucky

Posted on July 8, 2010 at 12:36 PM Comments comments (0)

Let’s get it out there: A lot of things about the 3D movie-watching experience just plain suck. Like suck-diddily-uck.


First there is the price premium for the ticket. Then there are the glasses (does anyone else feel like their eyes are going blurry like every 15 minutes? Anyone?!) Then there’s the headache and eye fatigue from two hours of trying to focus and refocus your eyes all over the screen. Then there’s the rush to market with lam...

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Letting it out at the Mayer Show

Posted on July 6, 2010 at 4:35 PM Comments comments (0)

I blogged about seeing John Mayer in concert several months ago. Well, I actually blogged about the feast of carnal delights that followed the Mayer show as a thank you gift for giving Dana’s ticket to a friend at the last minute. (So, I guess you could say that the “free” dinner only ended up costing my around $100...)

If you remember, this show w...

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The never ending sea of meat

Posted on May 15, 2010 at 1:00 PM Comments comments (1)

A few months ago, I purchased tickets to see John Mayer in concert when he came through Charleston. I got some pretty sweet seats using AmEx Platinum Card’s concierge purchasing service, so I was pretty psyched for the show. (Despite any rumors to the contrary, my man-love for John Mayer is entirely natural, completely weird-free, and totally hetero. I just happen to love his brooding, why-did-you-hurt-me-so? music. Also, if I *did* like him-like him, you know that he’d just be a ...

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More Bits. More Resolution. More Music. More Love.

Posted on April 20, 2010 at 4:47 PM Comments comments (2)

While cotton *may* be the fabric of our lives, music is definitely the soundtrack of mine. From the moment I wake up, there is a near steady stream of music filling my day. My first move out of the Tempur Pedic cocoon is towards whatever housewide audio system is currently in residence (Russound’s unique audio-over-powerline Collage at present). I fire it up, select a Rhapsody channel, and enjoy some tunes while I shower and dress for work. It’s the iPod in the car on the way in t...

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