Acoustic Sounds
Origin Live Renown

At High End Munich 2024 Origin Live debuts its Renown tonearm, the company's "ultimate expression of the tonearm". According to the press release, "The company has pushed its tonearm design philosophy to the extreme in the tonearm’s noticeably extended, hollowed yoke and bearing assembly, and in the material composition and coatings of the arm tube.""Familiar elements are present, such as the dual pivot bearing, inner/outer pillar VTA... Read More

Comments: 2
Tom Waits - The Black Rider

Even for Tom Waits, The Black Rider is eccentric if not downright weird. He was already making odd records, but at least Bone Machine or Swordfishtrombones have identifiable rhythmic structures and some coherent melodies. Here, you’ve got intentionally grating train whistles and William S. Burroughs guiding you through what sounds like an early 20th century rendering of hell. More than any other Waits album, The Black Rider must be heard as a full record to even make sense; otherwise, it sounds like some raving lunatic is about to attack you.

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Comments: 9
2001 A Space Odyssey

Harry Belock blew a huge wad of cash on Everest Records, trying to "surpass" Capitol Records both in recording technology, and in quality of repertory. But, to quote John Maynard Keynes, the market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent. So, here's a priceless moment in time, forever frozen in amber; or rather, frozen on 35mm magnetic film.

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Comments: 0
Record Store Day 2024 Reviews

While I’ve attended Record Store Day since 2014 (!), this was the first year since 2020 that I actually lined up. The lists in 2021 and 2022 were rather boring, and the main release I wanted last year was so heavily allocated in the US that I would’ve had to camp overnight. And really, are any newly manufactured records worth camping overnight for? I don't think so.Though this year’s UK RSD list is superior to the US list (I secured online and will soon review... Read More

Comments: 7
Joni Mitchell "The Asylum Albums (1978-1980)"

The press release: LOS ANGELES – After The Hissing Of Summer Lawns tour, Joni Mitchell retreated to Neil Young’s beach house to recover. Eager to travel but undecided about a destination, Mitchell was unexpectedly invited on a cross-country road trip with friends. It was one of three road trips she took between 1975 and 1976 and the beginning of a period defined by wanderlust, both in her physical travels and musical exploration. This transformative phase is the focal... Read More

Comments: 3
Linkin Park "Papercuts"

Collaborations by Aerosmith/Run DMC and Anthrax/Public Enemy bridged the gap between rock and rap. By the early 2000s, Linkin Park became the poster boys of the nu-metal movement. The muscle of Chester Bennington’s passionate vocals and Brad Delson’s crunchy guitar riffs juxtaposed Mike Shinoda’s rapping and Joe Hahn’s sampling/scratching, with bassist Dave Farrell and drummer Rob Bourdon gluing it all together. To say this fusion was a mild success is an... Read More

Comments: 1

As part of its 60th anniversary celebration, Nonesuch Records is reissuing several of its albums on vinyl for the first time, among them one of the greatest recordings by the Kronos Quartet, which happens to be marking its 50th year as an ensemble.The album is Black Angels, the label’s 6th Kronos album, released in 1990 and still among the most jarring and important in the entire Nonesuch catalogue and in the Kronos discography.Nonesuch and Kronos made a perfect... Read More

Comments: 9
McDuff, Reuben Wilson, Lonnie Smith

The Blue Note Classic Vinyl series has issued nearly 100 records since its inception in 2020 and put back in print many of the long acknowledged classic Miles, Monk, Rollins, Mobley, Morgan, Shorter, and Hancock LPs from the label’s incredible bop/hard bop catalog. The series has also released a substantial selection of funky jazz/R&B organ records from Blue Note’s late period, which have been ignored by fans of “Blue Note jazz” but revered and considered equally... Read More

Comments: 0

April 27th, 2024

AXPONA 2024 Day 3 Video Coverage almost an hour's worth

By: Michael Fremer

Garrard 301

AXPONA 2024 hosted 10,391 attendees from 42 states and 31 countries at the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel & Convention Center April 12-14, 2024— 14% increase over 2023. It was the best attended AXPONA yet.As with 2023's strong vinyl sales, the doom and gloom crowd was again wrong. This is a vital and growing hobby that has something affordable for every music lover but aside from shopping at a price point, there's so much fun looking at and listening to... Read More

Comments: 8
Taylor Swift - The Tortured Poets Department

Social scientists will likely spend years analyzing Taylor Swift’s retained meteoric success, but the primary cause seems very simple: pure narcissism. Swift’s music is almost entirely about her, from her perspective only; in both her music and her public presence, those around her (lovers, friends, enemies) are secondary to her and how she feels, their proximity or distance meant to prove something favorable about her. In the age of main character syndrome, Swift’s... Read More

Comments: 74

April 24th, 2024

AXPONA Day Two Video Coverage! was a very busy day

By: Michael Fremer

AXPONA 2024 Video Coverage

AXPONA Saturday began for me moderating a reissue panel titled "Second Time Around: The World of Reissuing and Remastering" with a group of the best: Chad Kassem (Analogue Productions), Shane Buettner (Intervention), Abey Fonn (IMPEX) and Julia Miller (Delmark Records). I keyed off of the recent and somewhat controversial Rhino High Fidelity "Marquee Moon" reissue, asking each whether their task was to release a reissue as close as possible to the... Read More

Comments: 16
Kahil El'Zabar

Jazz is to New York as port is to Portugal or coal is to Newcastle, yet there are great musicians who live elsewhere, many of them obscure in the metropole because they live elsewhere, and that’s a shame for us all. Kahil El’Zabar is one of those great musicians, a composer and percussionist who dwells mainly in Chicago, except when he travels through Europe, where he’s better known than he is in New York, even though he and his main band, the Ethnic Heritage... Read More

Comments: 1

Released as a companion to its Live and Let Die reissue, this limited edition, deluxe 2CD set explores every note composed by John Barry for his return to the series, whose sound he created two decades earlier.

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Comments: 2

This is the first of two recent releases from LaLaLand Records exploring lesser-known Bond scores from the 1970s and 1980s. First up, this limited edition, deluxe 2CD release of Live and Let Die (1973), which was the first Bond film not to be scored by John Barry, and the first to star Roger Moore.  While at the time of the film’s release many felt George Martin’s score was a pale shadow of Barry’s template, the passage of time has been kinder to this music, and there’s no doubting the power of Paul McCartney’s iconic theme song.  Time, therefore, to follow LaLaLand Records’ cue and dive deep into the origins of “the Bond sound” and how two of the Beatles team tackled this impossible assignment to reinvent Barry’s stylings for a new era and a new leading man.

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Comments: 0
Andrew Singer passes away

Andrew Singer, New York City audio retailing legend, passed away this past Sunday April 21st at age 73, succumbing to pancreatic cancer after a prolonged battle that for a while he seemed to be winning. Singer was opinionated, gruff, didn't suffer fools and could be very difficult to deal with but beneath all of that he did have the proverbial heart of gold as anyone who dealt with him over time and got to really know him can attest. He also knew the equipment... Read More

Comments: 9

This is another of those very familiar stories. The vinyl bug bit EBI Audio's founder Tariq Shafeeque at an early age. His father was a big collector and you know how that goes. He grew up and became a structural engineer but vinyl continued to be his passion and hobby. Over time it morphed into a business, which is EBI Audio. EBI stands for "Engineering Beyond Imagination".You'll be thrown by your first visit to EBI's website where... Read More

Comments: 6