All entries by this author

It’s Too Late to Stop Now: The Quest for Better Sound

Feb 21st, 2017 | By

I got bitten by a few bugs early in my adulthood. One of them was a passion for great sound at home. I would have likely led a normal life, satisfied with my Lafayette speakers and receiver and Garrard record player, but for the fact that a block away from my undergrad college was the
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Agnes Obel and Jenny Hval Will Give You the Chills

Jan 17th, 2017 | By

As winter grips the Northern Hemisphere, it would probably be most comforting to grab a nice glass of red wine and relax to music that brings the heat from the southern regions. But instead, I’ve been leaning into the cold by re-listening to two of my favorite albums of 2016. Interestingly, like two of my
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Of Blackstars, Black Holes and Lucky Men (and Women)

Jan 10th, 2017 | By

A year on, and the news of David Bowie’s death still feels painfully fresh. That loss started 2016 just a few days after his release of Blackstar and his 69th birthday. Sadly, the year just continued to take away one musical legend after another, winding down with the death of George Michael on Christmas Day. As a result, many music lovers began the year with Blackstar but ended with black holes in their hearts, mourning the loss of so many who had provided the soundtracks to our lives.

My, What a Big Brain You Have!

Dec 2nd, 2016 | By
Photo of neon brain by dierk schaefer. Used under Creative Commons license.

For as long as I can remember, music has moved me. Whether it was thrilling to The Sound of Music on the huge Cinerama screen, listening to The Tijuana Brass on my parents’ console, spinning my first singles on my own record player — from the earliest years of my life, I just felt the music.

Most people I know, including the contributors and readers of this site, also have that inherent connection. In fact, it seems just unimaginable that anyone would not be moved by music. And yet just as some people don’t care for chocolate (what?!?), apparently for some people music doesn’t connect. And now we know why.

Let’s Stay Physical: The Case for CDs and LPs

Nov 1st, 2016 | By

I recently spent several months packing up most of my house for a move that fell through at the last minute. I’ve had more enjoyable experiences in my life. Back when I used to move much more frequently — during the college years and shortly thereafter — I followed a simple rule of packing. The
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Best Record in the World?

Sep 28th, 2016 | By

You may think that your music library is complete, but there’s one record that you surely don’t have. The good news is that you can soon get a copy.

That record is NASA’s Golden Record, which has gone farther than any other release in history. As Wired notes, “The iconic record, which NASA developed to represent humankind to alien civilizations, was printed onto gold-plated copper and launched into space aboard Voyager 1 back in 1977. Today, it’s nearly 13 billion miles away from Earth.”

Somewhere (Now and Again) in Summertime

Sep 13th, 2016 | By

To be alive is to know something about ebbs and flows. Sometimes everything feels stale and blocked, and the challenges come one after the other. But then a switch flips and doors open, and the challenges give way to opportunities. Half a lifetime ago, I heard the switch flip. Early in my career as a
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The Tables Are Turning Again

Sep 7th, 2016 | By
Photo by Will Folsom from Flickr Creative Commons.

As summer slowly shifts to fall in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s time to settle in with music new and old as we shift to a more mellow time of year. We hope you’ll stop by — or better yet subscribe and/or follow us on Twitter and Facebook as we start our “new season.” And if
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(Not) Giving Us What We (Don’t) Want

Sep 7th, 2016 | By

I will always remember the day in the late 1980s when I walked into my local record shop to pick up a new release. I easily located it on CD, but the LP — my preferred format — was nowhere to be found. I found a clerk and asked him if I had somehow missed it,
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Melanie De Biasio Sees the Light in Blackened Cities

Jun 6th, 2016 | By

I often laugh when I rip a new CD to my music server and see what genre the recording gets assigned to. A death metal album is Pop? A choral album is Male Vocal? There are more than 100 different genres across my collection, but to be honest I pay no attention to them beyond the
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