From the Editors

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.

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.”

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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Summer Time, and the Writing Is Slowing

Jul 6th, 2016 | By

July and August being traditionally outdoors and busy times of the year where most of our staffers live, we are anticipating our publication being a bit less predictable until the cooler weather returns. Do check back from time to time, though, as we have some good stuff coming in, just at a slower rate than usual.
Enjoy your summer (or winter for those on the opposite side of the Equator).

“HD” Vinyl: Happy Days or Horribly Digital?

Apr 4th, 2016 | By

In this era when digital devices seem to be obsolete almost as soon as they hit the sales floor, it’s always inspiring to think about the one old-school technology that won’t seem to die: the LP. Just two months shy of its 68th birthday, the LP is a true outlier when it comes to audio and video technology. In fact, there’s little difference between how LPs are made today vs. how the first one was made all those decades back. That has caused some practical problems, as record plants have scrambled to keep their mostly ancient record presses keep up with the ever-growing demand for vinyl. That might be changing, however.

One Year On: Help Us Move Forward

Mar 14th, 2016 | By

SitDownListenUp started publication a little over one year ago. The earliest concept was as an outlet for me to post my random thoughts about the music I happened to be listening to. But then excitement over the project grew, and we attracted a great bunch of writers and editors.

As often happens, that initial enthusiasm has died down, largely because writing anything worth reading is hard work. Our contributors have tended to be busy people who don’t have many free hours in the week, so these days while our content is regular, it is also much lighter. And that’s where you come in.

I Read the News Today: Farewell to George Martin

Mar 9th, 2016 | By
The Beatles, photo courtesy Graham C99 via Createi

He’s being remembered as the Fifth Beatle, and many would argue that is only fair. George Martin, who died March 8 at age 90, was as responsible as any of the Fab Four for making the music that would change the pop and rock world.

Not only did Martin sign The Beatles to their first recording contract, but he guided them through their recording sessions that grew lengthier and more involved as the group evolved from writing simple pop songs to the elaborate productions that distinguished their later career.

A Roundabout Way to Fund an LP? Rick Wakeman Says Yes

Feb 22nd, 2016 | By

The Internet has been at least as much of a blessing as a scourge for musicians. Every illegal download is probably balanced out by a new fan who would not have happened across a band were it not for Facebook, Soundcloud or one of the myriad other online outposts.

Perhaps there has been no more successful use of the Internet than to match fans with musicians to help them release a new recording. Kickstarter claims to have attracted more than a million backers for musical projects, ranging from albums to reissues, from one-off DIY shows to enormous opera performances. And it is

Hanging On to What We Can’t

Feb 9th, 2016 | By

A few days before the official release of David Bowie’s final album, Blackstar, I had the chance to preview it. Like its predecessor, The Next Day, it struck me as interesting but not essential. That was not atypical for me; an avid fan of Bowie in the early days, I mostly lost interest in his output after Let’s Dance in the mid-1980s.

But when Bowie died just days after the album’s official release, I took another — more focused — listen,