* Marais: Pieces de Viole des Cinq Livres (Savall, et al.) (d.1) (Alia Vox 4SACD)
* J.S. Bach: Violin Sonatas (Manze/Egarr/ter Linden) (Harmonia Mundi 2CD)†
* Orchestre de Chambre Lausanne (Goebel): Salle Métropole, Lausanne 5-10-10 (FM 2CDR)
* Strauss: Also Sprach Zarathustra/Ein Heidenleben (Chicago Symphony/Reiner) (RCA-Victor SACD)
* Lang: The Little Match Girl Passion (Theatre of Voices/Hillier) (Harmonia Mundi SACD)
* Paul Desmond: Desmond Blue: Paul Desmond With Strings (RCA-Victor/Classic LP)
* Milt Jackson & John Coltrane: Bags & Trane (Atlantic/Rhino LP)
* John Coltrane: Olé (Atlantic/Rhino LP)
* John Coltrane: Coltrane Plays The Blues (Atlantic/Rhino LP)
* John Coltrane: Coltrane’s Sound (Atlantic/Rhino LP)
* John Coltrane & Don Cherry: The Avant Garde (Atlantic/Rhino LP)
* John Coltrane: The Coltrane Legacy (Atlantic/Rhino LP)
* John Coltrane: Alternate Takes (Atlantic/Rhino LP)
* John Coltrane: Outtakes (Atlantic/Rhino 2LP)
* Miles Davis/Bill Laswell: Panthalassa: The Music of Miles Davis 1969-1974 (Columbia CD)
* Sun Ra: Smiling Dog Saloon, Cleveland, OH 1-30-75 (FM CDR)
* Sun Ra: The “New” Five Spot, New York, NY 6-11-75 (AUD CDR)
* Sun Ra: The Singles (d.2) (Saturn/Evidence 2CD)
* Anthony Braxton & Gerry Hemingway: Old Dogs (2007) (d.1-3) (Mode/Avant 4CD)
* The Thirteenth Assembly: (un)sentimental (Important CD)
* Praxis: Transmutation Live (Douglas CD)†
* Praxis: Warszawa (Innerhythmic CD)†
* Jimi Hendrix: Winterland (Experience Hendrix/Sony 4CD)
* Jimi Hendrix: Hendrix In The West (Experience Hendrix/Sony CD)
* Grateful Dead: Music Hall, Cleveland, OH 11-20-78 (second set) (SBD/AUD matrix CDR)
* Grateful Dead: Cal Expo, Sacramento, CA 6-10-84 (d.1) (SBD 2CDR)
* Grateful Dead: Crimson, White & Indigo: Philadelphia July 7, 1989 (GD/Rhino DVD)
* Grateful Dead: Formerly The Warlocks: Hampton 10-89 (d.4-5) (GD/Rhino 6CD)†
* Jerry Garcia Band: Live At Shoreline 9/1/90 (JG/Rhino DVD)
* Paul McCartney & Wings: Wingspan: Hits & History (d.1) (Capitol 2CD)†/‡
* Yes: Tales From Topographic Oceans (Atlantic/Rhino 2CD)†
* Yes: Relayer (Atlantic/Rhino CD)†
* Yes: Going For The One (Atlantic/Rhino CD)†
* Yes: Tormato (Atlantic/Rhino CD)†
* Big Star: Keep An Eye On The Sky (d.1-2) (Ardent/Rhino 4CD)†/‡
* Radiohead: The King Of Limbs (XL/TBD CD)†
I did not intend to buy a new TV today. We turned off the television years ago and it was the best thing we ever did, improving our lives immeasurably. No more commercials! No more inane infotainment! That is not to say we do not watch things sometimes: movies, DVDs, stream old sitcoms on Netflix. And I'm sure we're missing some quality entertainment but we usually watch about twenty-minutes after dinner and go to bed. TV is just not a big priority for us. So, why did I buy a new, 46” flat-panel television?
Well, I have this long-term goal to upgrade my stereo system and, logistically, the old (I mean sixteen-year old!) 19” Sony Triniton had to go first. While having a tiny screen, it has an enormous footprint—and, to be honest, squinting across the room had become tiresome for my old eyes, even for only twenty minutes. Even so, the "big-screen TV" has been the symbol of bourgeois excess for us ever since the '80s and we have stubbornly resisted its allure. Yet by now, flat-panel televisions are downright affordable—and they can be easily mounted onto the wall, thereby making room for a new audio system. It was going to happen sooner or later.
So I headed out to Hi-Fi Buys in Nashville, just to look around and price stuff out. I'd previously chatted with a nice salesman, “T.J.”, about my long-term plans and he was there to help me out again today. Hi-Fi Buys has some really high-end stuff: McIntosh, B&W, Mark Levinson, Wilson-Benesch as well as more moderately priced gear and while T.J. was eager to make a sale, he was friendly and low-key—and willing to offer me a great deal on a new television. I looked some downright cheap LCD televisions, but could immediately tell the difference between those and their more expensive LED brethren, which were notably brighter, sharper, crisper, with less motion blur. T.J. offered me a bargain price on a Sony Bravia KDL46HX729—the only question was: would it fit in my little Honda Civic? Amazingly enough it would. Sold!
I brought it home and set to work dismantling the old set-up. It took a while to get it back together in a configuration that would support the new TV. At only thirty-nine pounds, it was easy to mount on the stand and plug it all in and, right out of the box, it worked great! I love it when that happens! I popped in a Grateful Dead DVD (Crimson, White & Indigo: Philadelphia July 7 1989) and was immediately entranced! I’ve barely scratched the surface of what the new television is capable of and I’m sure some minor tweaks here and there will further improve the picture quality but, right at this moment, I’m totally happy with my purchase.
Next is new furniture (which is on-order)—then a new amp and speakers (and, eventually, new front-end components, including a new turntable). I’m still not sure which way I’m going to go with this stuff—there are a lot of opinions out there. But, like I said, this is a long-term project and I’m just glad to have made the first steps towards my ultimate goal. As you know, listening to music is extremely important to me and I spend as much time as I can in front of my stereo; I want the best I can reasonably afford so I can enjoy it for the rest of my life. I’ll keep you posted regarding my progress. Until then, I'm gonna groove on some more DVDs!