December 29, 2012

Playlist 12-29-12

Me & Sam 2012-12-28

* Monteverdi: Marian Vesper 1610 (Concentus Musicus Wien/Harnoncourt) (Telefunken 2LP)
* J.S. Bach: Mass in B Minor (Collegium Vocale Gent/Herreweghe) (Harmonia Mundi 2CD)
* J.S. Bach: Motets (Collegium Vocale Gent/Herreweghe) (PHI CD)
* J.S. Bach: Catatas (Collegium Vocale Gent/Herreweghe): Brussells, BE 11-03-08 (FM 2CDR)
* J.S. Bach: Brandenburg Concertos (Leonhardt, et al.) (Seon/ABC 2LP)
* Andrew Hill: Change (Blue Note CD)
* Andrew Hill: Grass Roots (Blue Note CD)
* Muhal Richard Abrams: Spihumonesty (Black Saint CD)
* Muhal Richard Abrams: Mama And Daddy (Black Saint CD)
* Muhal Richard Abrams: Blues Forever (Black Saint CD)
* Ingrid Laubrock Anti-House: Strong Place (Intakt CD)
* Kip Hanrahan: SOB’s, New York, NY 2-27-85 (AUD CDR)
* D’Angelo: Voodoo (Virgin CD)
* Frank Ocean: Channel Orange (Island/Def Jam CD)
* John Fahey: Dance Of Death and Other Plantation Favorites (Takoma/4MWB LP)
* John Fahey: The Great San Bernardino Birthday Party and Other Excursions (Takoma/4MWB LP)
* John Fahey: The Transfiguration of Blind Joe Death (Takoma/4MWB LP)
* John Fahey: Days Have Gone By (Takoma/4MWB LP)
* John Fahey: The New Possibility (Takoma LP)
* The Beatles: Magical Mystery Tour (2009 stereo) (Apple/EMI CD)†
* The Beatles: Past Masters Volume 2 (2009 stereo) (Apple/EMI CD)†
* The Beatles: “Christmas Time (Is Here Again)” (take 1, complete) (fan/boot CDR)
* The Beatles: From Then To You (The Beatles Christmas Record) (fan/boot CDR)
* Bob Dylan: Tempest (Columbia 2LP/CD)
* Bob Dylan: Christmas In The Heart (Columbia CD)
* Bob Dylan’s Theme Time Radio Hour No.34: Christmas & New Year’s (DAB 2CDR)
* Grateful Dead: Winterland Arena, San Francisco, CA 3-19-77 (selections) (SBD 3CDR)
* Grateful Dead: Capital Center, Landover, MD 3-16-90 (GDP/Rhino 3HDCD)
* Grateful Dead: Civic Center, Hartford, CT 3-19-90 (GDP/Rhino 3HDCD)
* Grateful Dead: Copps Coliseum, Hamilton, Ontario 3-22-90 (GDP/Rhino 3HDCD)
* Love: Forever Changes (Elektra/Rhino LP)
* The Moody Blues: Days Of Future Past (Deram/Friday Music LP)
* Chicago: V (Columbia LP)
* Chicago: VI (Columbia LP)
* Chicago: VII (Columbia 2LP)
* King Crimson: Larks’ Tongues In Aspic (Inner Knot CD/DVD)
* Soft Machine: Triple Echo (Harvest EMI 3LP)
* Soft Machine: Universiteit Twente, Enschede, Netherlands 1-10-75 (AUD 2CDR)
* Kevin Ayers: Joy Of A Toy (EMI/4MWB LP)
* Caravan: In the Land Of Grey And Pink (Deram/EMI 2CD/DVD)
* Hatfield and The North: Hatfield and The North (Virgin LP)
* Jethro Tull: Thick As A Brick (Chrysalis/EMI CD/DVD)
* Emerson Lake & Palmer: Emerson Lake & Palmer (Razor & Tie 2CD/DVD)
* Emerson Lake & Palmer: Tarkus (Razor & Tie 2CD/DVD)
* Camel: Rain Dances (Decca/EMI CD)†/‡
* Camel: A Live Record (Decca/EMI 2CD)
* Cocteau Twins: Victorialand (4AD CD)
* My Bloody Valentine: Loveless (d.2) (Sony 2CD)
* Guided By Voices: The Bears For Lunch (GBV, Inc. CD)
* Porcupine Tree: In Absentia (Lava/Atlantic CD)
* Opeth: Heritage (Roadrunner CD/DVD)†/‡
* Grails: Deep Politics (Temporary Residence CD)
* Alabama Shakes: Boys & Girls (ATO LP+7”)



It certainly has been a fabulous holiday season here at chez NuVoid—just look at that playlist (and my Photostream)! To cap it all off, I once again had the pleasure of Sam Byrd’s company, who was in town visiting family. We had a great time yesterday hanging out, drinking beer, eating pizza and listening to records. Of course, we exchanged Christmas gifts of music: he kindly gave me the 4Men With Beards vinyl reissue of Kevin Ayers’s classic Joy of a Toy—a quintessential document of the “Canturbury Sound” (and featuring Robert Wyatt on drums, one of Sam’s big heroes) while I continued to foist my Opeth obsession on him with the Damnation, Ghost Reveries, Watershed sequence of CDs. What can I say? Opeth rules!

More interestingly, we recorded over an hour of music in my home studio: a couple of ruminative piano/drums duets and a 38-minute, prog-infused freak-out. Sadly, my antiquated recording gear is somewhat crippled and obsolete and I’m not exactly sure what I’m going to do with these tracks (which actually sound pretty good). Anyway, it was a lot of fun, as always. I feel so lucky to get to see Sam—twice in one year! Although progress has inevitably slowed over the holidays, our forthcoming CD, to be titled, Indeterminate, will be going to press sometime in the next month or so. I’ll keep you posted as things progress. 2013 is going to be a very big year, with more musicking with Sam to come!

December 25, 2012

December 22, 2012

Playlist Week of 12-22-12

Ingrid Laubrock Anti-House - Strong Place
* Mozart: Violin Sonatas 1781 (Manze/Egarr) (Harmonia Mundi CD)
* Mozart: 3 Violin Concertos (English Concert/Manze) (Harmonia Mundi SACD)
* Sun Ra: WKCR Studios 7-08-77 (FM CDR)
* Don Pullen: Evidence Of Things Unseen (Black Saint CD)
* Don Pullen Quintet: The Sixth Sense (Black Saint CD)
* Bill Dixon Orchestra: Intents And Purposes (RCA-Victor/International Phonograph CD)
* Ingrid Laubrock Anti-House: Anti-House (Intakt CD)
* Ingrid Laubrock Anti-House: Strong Place (Intakt CD)
* Bill Laswell: Invisible Design (Tzadik CD)
* Deltron 3030: Deltron 3030 (75 Ark CD)†
* Frank Ocean: Nostalgia Ultra (Frank Ocean MP3)†/‡
* Frank Ocean: Channel Orange (Island/Def Jam CD)(†)
* Elvis Presley: If Every Day Was Like Christmas (RCA-Victor CD)
* John Fahey: Blind Joe Death (Takoma/4MWB LP)
* John Fahey: Death Chants, Breakdowns and Military Waltzes (Takoma/4MWB LP)
* Grateful Dead: Dick’s Picks Vol.7 (London, September 1974) (selections) (GDP 3CD)
* Neil Young: Archives Vol.1 (selections) (Reprise 10BD)
* The Velvet Underground: Scepter Studios Sessions 4-25-66 (Polydor/Universal LP)
* The Velvet Underground & Nico: The Velvet Underground & Nico (mono) (Verve/Sundazed LP)
* The Velvet Underground: White Light, White Heat (mono) (Verve/Sundazed LP)
* The Velvet Underground: The Velvet Underground (mono) (Verve/Sundazed LP)
* The Velvet Underground: 1969 (Verve/Sundazed LP)
* Nico: Chelsea Girl (mono) (Verve/Sundazed LP)
* Deep Purple: Machine Head (Warner Bros./Rhino LP)
* King Crimson: Larks’ Tongues In Aspic (40th Anniversary Edition) (Inner Knot CD/DVD)
* Van Der Graaf Generator: The Least We Can Do Is Wave To Each Other (Virgin/4MWB LP)
* Van Der Graaf Generator: H To He Who Am The Only One (Virgin/4MWB LP)
* Television: Marquee Moon (Elektra/Rhino LP)
* R.E.M.: Life’s Rich Pageant (I.R.S./Mobile Fidelity LP)
* R.E.M.: Document (I.R.S./Mobile Fidelity LP)
* U2: Achtung Baby (Deluxe Edition) (Island/Universal 2CD)†/‡
* Porcupine Tree: Stars Die: The Delerium Years 1991-1997 (KScope 2CD)†
* Opeth: Blackwater Park (Music For Nations/Sony CD+DVD)†
* Opeth: Deliverance (Music For Nations/KOCH CD)†
* Opeth: Damnation (Music For Nations/KOCH CD)†
* Anathema: Weather Systems (The End CD)†
* Baroness: Yellow & Green (Relapse 2LP)
* Lambchop: Damaged (Merge CD)
* Lambchop: OH(ohio) (Merge CD)†
* Lambchop: Mr. M (Merge CD)(†)
* Jack White: Blunderbuss (Third Man LP)
* Deerhoof: Breakup Song (Polyvinyl CD)



Although the new Ingrid Laubrock Anti-House CD, Strong Place, is not officially available from Intakt until later next month, you can get it right now by ordering directly from Ingrid It is, of course, just mind-blowingly great. Laubrock is a force to be reckoned with—not only is she an inventive and expressive saxophonist but she continues to develop as a composer of challenging yet movingly beautiful chamber music.

Anti-House is a killer band, featuring her husband, Tom Rainey, on drums; Mary Halvorson on guitar; John Hebert on bass; and Kris Davis on piano. Strong Place is a very different record from the eponymous CD with Davis taking on a much more prominent role. Laubrock accommodates her with eight longish compositions of varying moods and densities, also quite different than what came before, more nuanced and sophisticated. I have only had a chance to listen to it a couple of times since it arrived last week; it will take many more to unlock its mysteries.

While you’re checking out her website, you should also pick up the new Paradoxical Frog CD, Union, which features Laubrock and Davis with drummer Tyshawn Sorey. Good stuff! Your money goes directly to the artist and she’ll personally mail the CDs to you. How cool is that? Very cool.

December 16, 2012

Sun Ra Sunday

Sun Ra - Eternal Myth Revealed

Hello, again. You probably think I had completely given up on Sun Ra Sunday, having not posted anything since the end of July. Around that time I ordered The Eternal Myth Revealed, the mammoth 14-disc box set on Transparency which collects most (if not all) of Sun Ra’s earliest recordings, including some speculative tracks that may or may not have some connection to Sun Ra. I figured I’d need to have it should I ever circle back around and cover the period leading up to the Choreographer’s Workshop recordings, where I (accidentally) began Sun Ra Sunday in earnest back in 2008.

I have not listened to one note (or word) of this box set—in fact, I haven’t listened to any Sun Ra since my last post. This situation cannot is intolerable! So much great music awaits—not just the contents on this box but going forward where we left off: more solo piano sets, the legendary Horo LPs and the complete Media Dream and Disco 3000 concerts recently resurrected by Art Yard. My intention remains to examine Sun Ra’s recordings up through 1980 and Sunrise In Different Dimensions, which seems like a good cut-off point. After that, I plan to start over from the beginning, starting with the material found on The Eternal Myth Revealed. One day, I hope to publish this chronological overview of Sun Ra’s recordings as a monograph—ha!

2013 promises to be a big year—but even if I can get back to a weekly posting schedule, it will take a long time to complete this project. Stay tuned!

December 15, 2012

Playlist Week of 12-15-12

Frank Ocean - channel ORANGE

* J.S. Bach: Goldberg Variations (Hewitt) Royal Festival Hall, London 4-29-09 (FM CDR)
* Veracini: Sonatas (Holloway/Mortensen/ter Linden) (ECM CD)
* Satie: Oeuvres de Piano (Ciccollini) (d.1-2) (EMI 5CD)
* Andrew Hill: Andrew!!! (Blue Note CD)
* Andrew Hill: Pax (Blue Note CD)
* Andrew Hill: Compulsion!!!!! (Blue Note CD)
* Paradoxical Frog (Kris Davis/Ingrid Laubrock/Tyshawn Sorey): Union (Clean Feed CD)
* Ingrid Laubrock Anti-House: Strong Place (Intakt CD)
* P.M. Dawn: Of The Heart, Of The Soul, And Of The Cross…(Gee Street/Island CD)
* DJ Shadow: Midnight In A Perfect World (MoWax CDEP)
* DJ Shadow: Stem (MoWax CDEP)
* Frank Ocean: Nostalgia Ultra (Frank Ocean MP3)†
* Frank Ocean: Channel Orange (Island Def Jam CD)(†/)
* Grateful Dead: Winterland May 30, 1971 (GDP/Rhino 2LP)
* Neil Young & Crazy Horse: Psychedelic Pill (Reprise BD)
* The Band: Stage Fright (Capitol/Mobile Fidelity LP)
* Camel: Breathless (Dream/EMI CD)†
* Thurston Moore: Demolished Thoughts (Matador CD)†
* Yo La Tengo: Painful (Matador CD)
* Spiritualized: Sweet Heart, Sweet Light (Fat Possum CD)
* Beck: Sea Change (Geffen/Mobile Fidelity CD)†
* Porcupine Tree: In Absentia (Lava/Atlantic CD)†
* Porcupine Tree: Deadwing (Lava/Atlantic CD)†
* Porcupine Tree: Fear Of A Blank Planet (Atlantic CD)†
* Porcupine Tree: Nil Recurring (KScope CDEP)†
* Porcupine Tree: The Incident (Roadrunner CD/CDEP)
* Opeth:  Heritage (Roadrunner CD/DVD)†
* Storm Corrosion: Storm Corrosion (Roadrunner BD)
* Lambchop: OH (ohio) (Merge CD)
* Lambchop: Mr. M (Merge CD/2LP)
* Lambchop/Hands Off Cuba: CoLAB (Merge CDEP)
* Hands Off Cuba: Hands Off Cuba (Hands Off Cuba CDEP)
* Jack White: Blunderbuss (Third Man LP)
* Alabama Shakes: Boys & Girls (Rough Trade/ATO LP+7”)
* Wild Nothing: Nocturne (Captured Tracks CD)(†/)



When I interviewed Mary Halvorson a couple of weeks ago, I asked her what she liked to listen to that might surprise people. After hemming and hawing a bit, she revealed she had just gotten the Frank Ocean CD, Channel Orange, which she found “really interesting.”

Intrigued, I decided to pick it up at my weekly jaunt to Grimey’s. I don’t really keep up with hip-hop—not because I don’t like it, but because it’s just not on my radar most of the time. As it turns out, Frank Ocean (nee Christopher Francis Breaux) is the real deal, an R&B songwriting prodigy who cut his teeth ghostwriting hits for the likes of Beyonce and Justin Bieber. His home and studio was destroyed in Hurricane Katrina, so he relocated to Los Angeles and eventually affiliated with the loose conglomeration, Odd Future (OFWGKTA). Ocean later gained attention as a solo artist in 2011 with a mixtape, Nostalgia Ultra, which contains the salacious single “Novacane” and the controversial “American Wedding,” an audacious reworking of the Eagles' “Hotel California,” which has, not surprisingly, drawn a cease-a-desist letter from the infamously litigious rock stars. Nostalgia Ultra will likely never be officially released but an MP3 is available at Frank Ocean's website.

Channel Orange, however is something else altogether, something totally fresh and original. Slyly avant-garde and experimental in its construction, it is nevertheless hook-filled pop music that demands repeated listens. Moreover, Ocean has an extremely versatile and expressive voice, at times sounding like classic soul singers Marvin Gaye or Stevie Wonder—but with a sexy falsetto like Prince with a similar taste for the kinky and explicit. The beats are thoroughly high-tech and up-to-date but what wins me over are the relentlessly gorgeous melodies—even when he’s speak/rapping, there is a mellifluous lilt to his voice goes right to the heart. When the subject matter gets uncomfortable, as on “Super Rich Kids,” “Crack Rock” and the epic, multifaceted “Pyramids,” you’ll find yourself singing along despite your misgivings. The lushly orchestrated music is mostly down-tempo and romantic, with jazzy flourishes amidst the digital samples and ultra-trippy production, the perfect setting for Ocean’s taut, morally ambiguous narratives. This is a record that’s made for headphones, richly cinematic and thoroughly mind-blowing.

Turns out I’m late to the party regarding Channel Orange, seeing as it has topped every critic’s poll for best albums of 2012. Well, it’s clearly well-deserved. Thanks for the tip, Mary! I probably would have remained oblivious. Guess I need to listen to more hip-hop and R&B in 2013—if there's anything else out there as good as this, I want to hear it.


The interview should appear over at SpectrumCulture any time now. I’ll keep you posted.

December 14, 2012

William Basinski @ Spectrum Culture

My review of the mammoth reissue of William Basinski's The Disintegration Loops is up over at Spectrum Culture. Sometimes art is not about liking it.

December 8, 2012

Playlist Week of 12-08-12

Kitchen Statue

* William Basinski: The Disintegration Loops (selections) (Temporary Residence MP3)†
* Andrew Hill: Pont of Departure (Blue Note CD)
* David S. Ware: Onecept (AUM Fidelity CD)
* Joe Morris/William Parker/Gerald Cleaver: Altitudes (AUM Fidelity CD)
* Myra Melford Be Bread: The Image Of Your Body (CryptoGramophone CD)
* Mary Halvorson Trio: Jazzstudio, Nuernberg, Germany 9-26-12 (FM FLAC)
* Grateful Dead: Greek Theatre, Berkeley, CA 9-12-81 (selections) (AUD 3CDR)
* Love: Forever Changes (Elektra/Rhino LP)
* Jeff Beck: There And Back (Epic/Friday Music LP)
* Sade: Diamond Life (Epic/Audio Fidelity LP)
* Yo La Tengo: Autumn Sweater (Matador CDEP)
* Yo La Tengo: The Sounds Of The Sounds Of Science (Egon CD)
* Deerhoof: Deerhoof vs. Evil (Polyvinyl CD)
* Deerhoof: Breakup Song (Polyvinyl CD)
* Porcupine Tree: Octane Twisted (KScope 2CD)
* Opeth: Blackwater Park (Music For Nations/Sony CD/DVD)†
* Opeth: Deliverance (Music For Nations/KOCH CD)†
* Opeth: Damnation (Music For Nations/KOCH CD)†
* Opeth: Jazz Club Nefertiti, Gothenburg, Sweden 12-02-12 (AUD FLAC)
* Opeth: Jazz Club Nefertiti, Gothenburg, Sweden 12-03-12 (AUD FLAC)
* Anathema: A Natural Disaster (Music For Nations/Sony CD)†/‡
* Alcest: Écailles de Lune (Prophecy CD)†/‡
* Alcest: Les Voyages de l’Âme (Prophecy CD)†/‡
* Pelican: The Fire In Our Throats Will Beckon The Fall (Hydra Head CD)†
* Pelican: City Of Echoes (Hydra Head CD)†
* Pelican: March Into The Sea (Hydra Head EP)
* Pelican: What We All Come To Need (Southern Lord CD)†
* Pelican: Ataraxia/Taraxis (Southern Lord EP)



Please be patient with me, dear readers. I’ve been busy! But there are lots of exciting things to come as we get into the holidays—and 2013 will be a very interesting year, I promise!


P.S. I still love Opeth.

December 7, 2012

Laurie Spiegel @ Spectrum Culture

My review of the new expanded reissue of Laurie Spiegel's, The Expanding Universe, is up over at Spectrum Culture. This is a revised version of the original review, which was posted on November 27. Thank you, Ms. Spiegel, for reading my review and responding with some clarifications.

December 2, 2012

Mary Halvorson @ OSU

Mary Halvorson 2012-12-01a

We just got back from Columbus, Ohio, where we saw the Mary Halvorson Quintet last night at the Wexner Center for the Arts at Ohio State University. Not only that, I got to interview Mary before the show for an upcoming article on Spectrum Culture. She was very, very cool - in fact, we chatted for over an hour! The concert was, of course, amazing. More about all this later...

December 1, 2012

Playlist Week of 12-01-12

Street Sign 2012-12-01

* Handel: 12 Solo Sonatas, Op.1 (Academy of Ancient Music/Egarr) (Harmonia Mundi 2CD)
* Debussy: Orchestral Music (New Philharmonia/Cleveland/Boulez) (d.2) (Sony Classical 2CD)
* Andrew Hill: Black Fire (Blue Note CD)
* Andrew Hill: Smokestack (Blue Note CD)
* Andrew Hill: Judgment! (Blue Note CD)
* Steely Dan: Gaucho (MCA DVD-A)
* Big Star: Keep An Eye On The Sky (d.2) (Ardent/Rhino 4CD)
* Animal Collective: Centipede Hz (Domino 2LP/DVD/FLAC)
* Neurosis: Honor Found In Decay (Neurot MP3)†
* King Crimson: Islands (DGM/Inner Knot CD/DVD)
* Mary Halvorson Quintet: Bending Bridges (Firehouse 12 CD)
* Mary Halvorson & Jessica Pavone: Departure Of Reason (Thirsty Ear CD)
* Weasel Walter/Mary Halvorson/Peter Evans: Electric Fruit (Thirsty Ear CD)
* Weasel Walter/Mary Halvorson/Peter Evans: Mechanical Malfunction (Thirsty Ear CD)
* MAP (Mary Halvorson/Tatsua Nakatani/Clayton Thomas): Six Improvisations (H&H CD)
* MAP (Mary Halvorson/Tatsua Nakatani/Reuben Radding): Fever Dream (Taiga 2LP)
* Tomas Fujiwara & The Hook Up: The Air Is Different (482 Music CD)
* Tom Rainey Trio: Camino Cielo Echo (Intakt CD)
* Opeth: Still Life (Peaceville CD/DVD)
* Opeth: Blackwater Park (Music For Nations/Sony CD/DVD)†
* Opeth: Deliverance (Music For Nations/KOCH CD)†
* Opeth: Damnation (Music For Nations/KOCH CD)†
* Anathema: We’re Here Because We’re Here (KScope CD)†
* Anathema: Weather Systems (The End CD)†
* Katatonia: Last Fair Deal Gone Down (Peaceville CD/CDEP)†
* Katatonia: Viva Emptiness (Peaceville CD)
* Katatonia: Great Cold Distance (Peaceville CD)†
* Katatonia: Night Is The New Day (Peaceville CD)†
* Agalloch: The Mantle (The End CD)†
* Agalloch: The Grey EP (Agalloch/Bandcamp FLAC>CDR)†
* Agalloch: The White EP (Agalloch/Bandcamp FLAC>CDR)†
* Agalloch: Ashes Against The Grain (The End CD)†
* Agalloch: Marrow Of The Spirit (Profound Lore CD)
* Love: Forever Changes (Elektra/Rhino LP+7”)



Somewhere there.

November 24, 2012

Playlist Week of 11-24-12

Led Zeppelin - Celebration Day
* J.S. Bach: Cello Suites (ter Linden) (Brilliant Classics 2CD)           
* Laurie Spiegel: The Expanding Universe (Unseen Worlds MP3)†
* William Barsinski: The Disintegration Loops (selections) (Temporary Residence MP3)†
* Anthony Braxton 12+1tet: Venezia 10-13-12 (FM FLAC)
* Don Pullen: Healing Force (Black Saint CD)
* Don Pullen/Chico Freeman/Fred Hopkins/Bobby Battle: Warriors (Black Saint CD)
* Don Pullen/Don Moye: Milano Strut (Black Saint CD)
* Don Pullen/Joseph Jarman/Don Moye: The Magic Triangle (Black Saint CD)
* Pat Metheny Group: We Live Here (Geffen CD)
* Pat Metheny Group: Imaginary Day (Geffen DVD-A)
* Material: The Third Power (Island CD)
* Material: Hallucination Engine (Axiom/Island CD)
* Grateful Dead: Stanley Theatre, Pittsburgh, PA 11-30-79 (selections) (SBD 3CDR)
* Grateful Dead: Stanley Theatre, Pittsburgh, PA 12-01-79 (selections) (SBD 3CDR)
* Grateful Dead: Boston Garden, Boston, MA 10-01-94 (selections) (SBD 3CDR)
* Jerry Garcia & David Grisman: Shady Grove (Acoustic Disc HDCD)
* Neil Young & Crazy Horse: Psychedelic Pill (Reprise 2HDCD/BD)
* Led Zeppelin: Celebration Day (Swan Song/Atlantic 2CD/BD/DVD)
* Camel: Camel (MCA/Universal CD)
* Camel: Mirage (Decca/EMI CD)†/‡
* Camel: (Music Inspired By) The Snow Goose (Decca/EMI CD)†
* Camel: Moonmadness (Decca/EMI CD)†
* Camel: Rain Dances (Decca/EMI CD)
* Camel: A Live Record (Decca/EMI 2CD)
* Guided By Voices: The Bears For Lunch (GBV, Inc. CD/LP)
* Guided By Voices: “White Flag” (side B) (GBV, Inc. 7”EP)
* Guided By Voices: “Everywhere Is Miles From Everywhere” (side B) (GBV, Inc. 7”)
* Guided By Voices: “Hangover Child” (side B) (GBV, Inc. 7”)
* Jim O’Rourke: Eureka (Drag City LP)
* Tortoise: It’s All Around You (Thrill Jockey CD)
* Tortoise: Beacons of Ancestorship (Thrill Jockey CD)
* Neurosis: Honor Found In Decay (Epitaph MP3)†
* Opeth: Ghost Reveries (Roadrunner HDCD)†
* Opeth: Watershed (Roadrunner CD)†
* Opeth: Heritage (Roadrunner CD/DVD)†
* Storm Corrosion: Storm Corrosion (Roadrunner CD/BD)
* Anathema: A Natural Disaster (Music For Nations/Sony CD)
* Anathema: We’re Here Because We’re Here (KScope CD/DVD)
* Alcest: Écailles de Lune (Prophecy Productions CD)†/‡
* Alcest: Les Voyages de l’Âme (Prophecy Productions CD)†/‡
* Mastodon: Crack The Skye (Reprise DVD)
* Baroness: Yellow & Green (Relapse 2LP)
* Grails: Take Refuge In Clean Living (Important CD)
* Grails: Burning Off Impurities (Temporary Residence 2LP)
* Grails: Doomsdayer’s Holiday (Temporary Residence CD)
* Grails: Deep Politics (Temporary Residence 2LP)
* Astra: The Weirding (Metal Blade CD)
* Astra: The Black Chord (Metal Blade CD)



Well, this turned out better than anyone could have hoped.

When Led Zeppelin reunited for a one-off gig at the O2 arena in London on December 10, 2007, it was their first live performance in 19 years—and 27 years since the death of drummer, John Bonham. Some 20 million people entered a lottery for the 18,000 tickets available and, needless to say, expectations were through the roof.

Previous reunions had been disastrous to say the least: of their 1985 Live-Aid performance, Robert Plant called it “an atrocity” and the Atlantic Records 40th Anniversary Concert on May 14, 1988 was “one big disappointment” according to Jimmy Page (“the gig was foul,” added Plant). With the death of Ahmet Etregun in late 2006, the three surviving members of Led Zeppelin decided to reunite once more for a charity concert in his honor. John Bonham’s son, Jason, would fittingly sit in on the drums.

This time, they decided to do it right—they would actually rehearse.

Cell phone footage and audience recordings circulated online almost immediately following the concert and it was clear that the band was on fire as they powered through an astonishing two-plus-hour set. Rumors of an ensuing tour were quickly squelched but a DVD of the O2 gig was promised to be released someday. Now, five years later, the official document of what may be Led Zeppelin’s final performance is finally here—and it is a revelation.

Filmed with no less than 15 cameras (including three Super-8s scattered in the audience) and meticulously recorded to multitrack, Celebration Day is a state-of-the-art concert film befitting this legendary band. It starts off rough and ready – they seem a little nervous as they struggle through “Good Times Bad Times” and a re-worked “Ramble On.”  However, the salacious “Black Dog” finally catches the band firing on all cylinders and the momentum just builds from there. Some songs are played in a lower key to accommodate Plant’s aging voice but he acquits himself quite well, sounding a lot better than some of those old bootlegs, to be sure. Only “Dazed and Confused” and “Stairway to Heaven” fail to scale the heights of their former glory—but it doesn’t really matter; it’s clear the band is having a blast on stage and their joy is infectious. Moreover, the powerful, hypnotic “Kashmir” is utterly riveting and by far the highlight of the set—and possibly the best live version ever, to my ears. Not bad for an oldies act!

By the end of “Whole Lotta Love” and “Rock And Roll,” Led Zeppelin sounds like they’re just getting warmed up, ready to hit the road for another joint. Page, Bonham and John Paul Jones were apparently willing to go on tour when promoters began offering them millions of dollars up front. But it was Plant who nixed the deal—and who could blame him? After all, he has his own career and has no need for the money. In the long run, it is probably the wise decision. The positive energy and mutual goodwill of the O2 appearance could have quickly dissipated during the stresses of a full-blown tour as old enmities reared their heads. Still, I and millions of others would love the opportunity to see Led Zeppelin live—especially if they sounded anything like this! For now, Celebration Day will remain an inspiring postscript to the Led Zeppelin legacy.

Available in multiple formats, the “deluxe” 2CD/Blu-Ray set includes a bonus DVD of a rehearsal at Shepperton Studios on December 6, 2007. While shot from a static, distant perspective and lacking the excitement of an audience, the band actually sounds even better than on the gig itself, totally relaxed and just going for it with everything they've got. After a spell-binding performance of “Since I’ve Been Loving You,” Plant asks into his mic if the rehearsal is being recorded and. after being answered in the affirmative, he says, “Good. I don’t think we’ve played it that well since about 1910.” Indeed. Even if you’re the most casual Zeppelin fan, this is most highly recommended.  

November 23, 2012

November 17, 2012

Playlist Week of 11-17-12

Clyfford Still Museum 2012-11-11d

* J.S. Bach: Cello Suites (ter Linden) (selections) (Brilliant Classics 2CD)
* Bill Evans Trio: The Complete Village Vanguard Sessions 1961  (Riverside 3CD)
* Bobby Hutcherson: Head On (Blue Note CD)
* John Abercrombie: The Third Quartet (ECM CD)†/‡
* John Abercrombie Quartet: Wait Till You See Her (ECM CD)
* Terje Rypdal: Odyssey: In Studio & In Concert (ECM 3CD)
* Mary Halvorson Trio: Dragon’s Head (Firehouse 12 CD)
* Mary Halvorson Quintet: Saturn Sings (Firehouse 12 CD)
* Grateful Dead: World Music Theatre, Tinley Park, IL 7-21-90 (SBD 3CDR)
* Grateful Dead: World Music Theatre, Tinley Park, IL 7-22-90 (selections) (SBD 3CDR)
* Camel: Moonmadness (Decca/EMI CD)
* Camel: Rain Dances (Decca/EMI CD)
* Camel: Breathless (Arista LP)
* Sonic Youth: Smart Bar, Chicago 1985 (Goofin’ CD)
* Bad Brains: Into The Future (Megaforce LP)
* Opeth: Blackwater Park (Music For Nations/Sony CD/DVD)†
* Baroness: Yellow & Green (Relapse 2CD)†(‡)
* Grails: Burning Off Impurities (Temporary Residence 2LP)
* Grails: Deep Politics (Temporary Residence CD/2LP)(†)
* The Black Keys: Brothers (Nonesuch CD)†/‡



Short list this week.

Actually, we were in Colorado visiting Lizzy's family – folks I haven’t seen in many, many years (or in the case of my three-year-old nephew, Tobin, ever). It was so great to (re)connect with these lovely people! Being the art mavens we are, we also insisted on an excursion into downtown Denver to see the “Becoming Van Gogh” exhibit at the Denver Art Museum, which was ridiculously crowded but totally worth it. But what really blew us away was the Clyfford Still Museum next door, which was, not surprisingly, mostly devoid of visitors.

Still is obviously nowhere near as well-known as Willem De Kooning, Jackson Pollack, and Mark Rothko, but he was arguably the progenitor of the entire Abstract Expressionist movement. His low profile was partly self-inflicted since he withdrew from the commercial gallery scene at the height of his fame in the early 1950s in order to make his art in solitude. He left New York City in 1960 for rural Maryland, where he lived until his death in 1980. He rarely sold or exhibited any of his work during this period and seemed destined to become a footnote in the annals of history.

But Still believed in his art and his one-page will contained an audacious bequest: 
I give and bequeath all the remaining works of art executed by me in my collection to an American City that will agree to build or assign and maintain permanent quarters exclusively for these works of art and assure their physical survival with the explicit requirement that none of these works will be sold, given, or exchanged but are to be retained in the place described above exclusively assigned to them in perpetuity for exhibition and study (see Sobel & Anfam, Clyfford Still: The Artist’s Museum, p.17).

For almost thirty years, this collection—825 paintings and 1575 works on paper (or an astonishing 94% of the artist’s entire output)—languished in storage while negotiations with various cities and institutions failed to effectuate these simple yet stringent terms. Finally, the city of Denver (through a private foundation) committed to building the museum as part of the city’s expanding arts district. Designed by Brad Cloepfil and Allied Works Architecture, the Clyfford Still Museum broke ground in 2009 and was opened to the public on November 18, 2011.

The building is a state-of-the-art facility and the inaugural exhibit a total revelation. Early works show an innate fluency that only De Kooning could match at that age, but in an already radically American style. And by 1942, Still was making wholly abstract paintings while his contemporaries were still flirting with surrealism. But as he insisted: “The figure stands behind it all.” This may at first seem incongruous, but moving chronologically through the galleries it becomes immediately apparent as his mature work evolves seamlessly from everything that came before. I had seen some of Still’s mature work at MOMA, the Met and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, but his paintings always seemed to me forbiddingly austere compared to the exuberant Pollacks or the sensuous and contemplative Rothkos hanging nearby. I knew he was important, but didn’t really understand why. A visit to the Clyfford Still Museum makes it unmistakably clear. Still once wrote: “They are not paintings in the usual sense; they are life and death merging in a fearful union.” That may sound like modernist hyperbole but, to be sure, confronting an entire museum filled with his art is indeed a wholly unique and terrifically moving experience.

The galleries are beautifully lit with both artificial and cleverly diffused natural light and are perfectly scaled to the oftentimes monumental-sized paintings. Smaller, dimmer galleries contain a number of works on paper and three sculptures, almost none of it ever before seen.  In fact, the collection is so vast it will take thirty or more years to display it all—which means we will enjoy going back again and again.  If you find yourself in Denver, the Clyfford Still Museum is well worth the modest admission fee. You may not have heard of him, but you will come away convinced he was one of the greatest artists of the 20th Century. You can see more of my photographs of the museum and the rest of trip here.


It was also our birthday on the 15th. Yes, my wife and I have the same birthday. Isn't that amazing? Happy birthday to us!


Given all of the above, I only managed a blurb for “List Inconsequential” this week. The topic this time is “Bad Songs on Good Albums.” My choice? “Cans and Brahms” from Yes’s classic Fragile album—gawd, it’s horrible.

November 10, 2012

Playlist Week of 11-10-12

Candy Jar

* Venice Baroque Orchestra (Marcon/Carmignola): Concerto Veneziano (Arkiv Prod. CD)
* Ligeti: String Quartets Nos.1&2, etc. (Hagen/Lasalle Quartets, et al.) (DG CD)
* Anthony Braxton: Creative Music Orchestra (NYC) 2011 (New Braxton House FLAC)
* Myra Melford Quartet: The Stone, New York, NY 7-07-09 (AUD 2CDR)
* Myra Melford’s Happy Whistlings: Firehouse 12, New Haven, CT 4-09-10 (AUD 2CDR)
* MAP (T. Nakatani /M. Halvorson/C. Thomas): Six Improvisations (H&H CD)
* Trevor Dunn’s Trio Convulsant: Hemlock Tavern, San Francisco, CA 10-14-04 (AUD CDR)
* Mary Halvorson Trio & Quintet: Roulette, New York, NY 2-13-09 (AUD CDR)
* Mary Halvorson/Reuben Radding/Nate Wooley: Crackleknob (hatOLOGY CD)
* Mary Halvorson Quintet: Bending Bridges (Firehouse 12 CD)
* Grateful Dead: Dick’s Picks Vol.21: Richmond, VA 11-01-85 (selections) (GDP 3HDCD)
* Jethro Tull: Aqualung (40th Anniversary Edition) (Chrysalis/EMI 2CD)
* Jethro Tull: Thick As A Brick (40th Anniversary Edition) (Chrysalis/EMI CD/DVD)
* Emerson Lake & Palmer: Emerson Lake & Palmer (DVDA) (Cotillion/Razor & Tie 2CD/DVDA)
* Emerson Lake & Palmer: Tarkus (DVDA) (Cotillion/Razor & Tie 2CD/DVDA)
* Elvis Costello & The Attractions: Imperial Bedroom (Columbia/Mobile Fidelity LP)
* Phil Collins: …But Seriously (Atlantic/Audio Fidelity CD)
* Boston Spaceships: Out Of The Universe By Sundown: Greatest Hits (GBV, Inc./Fire LP)
* Steven Wilson: Grace For Drowning (KScope BD)
* Opeth: Lamentations: Live at Shepherd’s Bush Empire 2003 (Music For Nations/KOCH DVD)
* Opeth: Watershed (Roadrunner CD)†
* Blut Aus Nord: 777 – Sect(s) (Debemur Morti CD)†
* Blut Aus Nord: 777 – The Desanctification (Debemur Morti CD)(†)
* Blut Aus Nord: 777 –Cosmosophy (Debemur Morti CD)(†)
* Alcest: Écailles de Lune (Prophecy CD)(†)
* Alcest: Les Voyages de l’Âme (Prophecy CD)†
* Baroness: Yellow & Green (Relapse 2CD)†/‡
* Grails: Deep Politics (Temporary Residence CD)



I like candy.

November 8, 2012

The Pyramids @ Spectrum Culture

My review of The Pyramids: Otherworldly is up at Spectrum Culture. I really wanted to like this...


This week's "List Inconsequential" featured "Good Songs on Bad Albums." My choice? "Brownsville Girl" from Bob Dylan's Knocked Out Loaded.

November 3, 2012

Playlist Week of 11-03-12

Monk Hand

* Marais: Suitte d’un Goût Etranger: Pièces de Viole du IV Livre, 1717 (Savall, et al.) (Alia Vox 2SACD)
* Laurie Spiegel: The Expanding Universe (selections) (Unseen Worlds MP3)
* Terje Rypdal – Miroslav Vitous – Jack DeJohnette (ECM LP)
* John Abercrombie: Night (ECM LP)
* DJ Spooky: Optometry (Thirsty Ear CD)
* Bob Dylan: The Naked Empire (selections) (boot CDR)
* Bob Dylan: Knocked Out Loaded (Columbia LP)
* Grateful Dead: Dave’s Picks Vol.4: Williamsburg, VA 9-24-76 (GDP/Rhino 3GDCD)
* Neil Young & Crazy Horse: Psychedelic Pill (Reprise 2HDCD)
* The Band: Rock Of Ages (Capitol/Mobile Fidelity 2LP)
* Joni Mitchell: Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter (Asylum HDCD)
* Yes: The Yes Album (Atlantic/Mobile Fidelity CD)
* Yes: Fragile (Atlantic/Mobile Fidelity CD)
* Mission of Burma: Vs. (Ace of Hearts/Matador LP/EP/DVD)
* Guided By Voices: The Bears For Lunch (GBV, Inc. LP)
* Converge: All We Love We Leave Behind (Epitaph MP3)†
* Neurosis: Honor Found In Decay (Neurot MP3)†
* Porcupine Tree: Stupid Dream (KScope CD/DVD)
* Porcupine Tree: Lightbulb Sun (KScope CD/DVD)
* Porcupine Tree: Recordings (KScope CD)†
* Porcupine Tree: In Absentia (Lava/Atlantic CD)†
* Porcupine Tree: Deadwing (Lava/Atlantic CD)†
* Opeth: Damnation (Music For Nations/KOCH CD)†
* Opeth: Heritage (Roadrunner CD/DVD)†
* Mastodon: Crack The Skye (Reprise CD)†
* Mastodon: The Hunter (Reprise CD)†
* Grails: Burning Off Impurities (Temporary Residence 2LP)
* Grails: Taking Refuge In Clean Living (Important CD)†/‡
* Grails: Doomsdayer’s Holiday (Temporary Residence CD)†
* Grails: Deep Politics (Temporary Residence CD/2LP)
* Blut Aus Nord: 777 – Sect(s) (Debemur Morti CD)
* Blut Aus Nord: 777 – The Desanctification (Debemur Morti CD)
* Blut Aus Nord: 777 –Cosmosophy (Debemur Morti CD)(†)
* Alcest: Les Voyages de l’Âme (Prophecy CD)†
* Broken Bells: Broken Bells (Columbia CD)†/‡
* Pineapple Explode: Pineapple Explode (Pineapple Explode CDR)†
* Pineapple Explode: A Bushel & A Barrel (Pineapple Explode CDR)†




November 2, 2012

Joni Mitchell @ Spectrum Culture

The "Revisit/Rediscover" series of reviews over at Spectrum Culture highlights "past releases that now deserve a second look." My pick? Joni Mitchell's 1976 album, Hejira. I think I could write about a book about this record and this is an 800-word precis.

Converge @ Spectrum Culture

My review of ConvergeAll We Love We Leave Behind is up over at Spectrum Culture. Metalcore for the middle-aged.

October 27, 2012

Playlist Week of 10-27-12

Wadia i171
* Corelli: Violin Sonatas, Op.5 (Manze/Egarr) (Harmonia Mundi 2CD)
* Laurie Spiegel: The Expanding Universe (Unseen Worlds MP3)†
* Thelonious Monk: Monk Alone: The Complete Columbia Solo Studio Recordings (Columbia 2CD)
* Sonny Clark Trio: The 45 Sessions (Blue Note CD)
* Tony Williams: Fear Of Flying (Columbia LP)
* Pharoah Sanders: Karma (Impulse! CD)
* Pharoah Sanders: Jewels of Thought (Impulse! CD)
* The Pyramids: Otherworldly (Disko B CD)
* Pat Metheny Group: Bremen, W. Germany 3-13-78 (pre-FM FLAC)
* David S. Ware Quartet: Cryptology (Homestead CD)
* David S. Ware Quartet: Dao (Homestead CD)
* Weasel Walter/Mary Halvorson/Peter Evans: Mechanical Malfunction (Thirsty Ear CD)
* Rodger Coleman & Sam Byrd: Zeitgeist Gallery, Nashville, TN 9-06-12 (master CDR)
* Grateful Dead: Coliseum, Oakland, CA 10-31-91 (selections) (SBD 3CDR)
* Can: Can (Spoon SACD)
* REM: Life’s Rich Pageant (IRS/Mobile Fidelity LP)
* REM: Document (IRS/Mobile Fidelity LP)
* Mission of Burma: Signals, Calls & Marches (Ace of Hearts/Matador 2EP/DVD)
* Guided By Voices: Class Clown Spots a UFO (GBV, Inc. LP)
* Royal Trux: Twin Infinitives (Drag City 2LP)
* Royal Trux: Hand Of Glory (Drag City LP)
* Neurosis: Honor Found In Decay (Neurot MP3)
* Converge: All We Love We Leave Behind (Epitaph MP3)†
* Sleep: Dopesmoker (Southern Lord 2LP)
* OM: God Is Good (Drag City LP)†
* Grails: Take Refuge In Clean Living (Important CD)
* Grails: Doomsdayer’s Holiday (Temporary Residence CD)(†)
* Grails: Deep Politics (Temporary Residence CD)(†)
* Opeth: Orchid (Candlelight CD)
* Opeth: Morningrise (Candlelight CD)
* Opeth: My Arms, Your Hearse (Candlelight CD)
* Blut Aus Nord: 777 – Sect(s) (Debemur Morti CD)†
* Blut Aus Nord: 777 – The Desanctification (Debemur Morti CD)†(‡)
* Blut Aus Nord: 777 –Cosmosophy (Debemur Morti CD)†(‡)
* Alcest: Les Voyages de l’Âme (Prophecy CD)†
* Yakuza: Of Seismic Consequence (Profound Lore CD)†
* Yakuza: Beyul (Profound Lore CD)†
* Fleet Foxes: Helplessness Blues (Sub Pop 2LP)
* Metz: Metz (Sub Pop MP4)†



I love my iPod Classic 160G: it’s perfect for the car and through decent in-ear monitors (like my Ultimate Ears TripleFi 10s), it sounds pretty darn good. But I’m a physical media guy – a record collector as they used to call us. I like CDs and vinyl and high-resolution formats like SACD, DVD-Audio and Blu-Ray. I like the way they look on the shelf (or piled on the floor). I like the way they feel in my hand. I like the way they smell. Most importantly, I love the way they sound. I never really thought of an iPod as a particularly high-fidelity audio device; I just loaded it up with 320 kbps MP3 files and utilized it as a handy portable music library. It never occurred to me to want to hook it up to the big stereo in the living room – why would I do that when I have all these great-sounding records so close at hand (or at least buried in a pile somewhere)?

Well, ever since I started writing for Spectrum Culture, most of my access to advance albums has been in the form of digital downloads. Occasionally, I get promo CDs but it makes a lot of sense for labels to just pass out zip-filed MP3s to scribblers like me. And that’s fine – except that it means I am tethered to the iPod in order to hear this stuff. Earbuds are convenient when I’m out of the house but I really don’t like the sensation of the music originating from the middle of my head. I much prefer listening to recordings through loudspeakers in my living room. So, what to do? I could burn CDs, but that seems like a waste – especially for lossy MP3s. Alternatively I could load the files onto a flash drive and play them through the USB input on my Oppo BDP-95. This would work OK, but, unfortunately, gapless playback is not possible—very annoying if tracks are supposed to flow together without pause. Finally, I could plug the iPod directly into an analog input on my pre-amp using some sort of cable adapter. But as anyone who has tried this knows: it is a less-than-ideal solution in terms of sound quality since you have to rely on the either the headphone output (with its attendant gain issues) or the cheap digital-to-analog converter (DAC) contained in the 30-pin connector. None of these options were particularly appealing.

As it turns out, Wadia Digital has pondered this problem and come up with an answer: the 171iTransport. Unlike other iPod docks, the 171i completely bypasses the iPod’s internal DAC to allow direct connection to an external DAC via optical or coaxial outputs. Brilliant! Now I can listen to my iPod in the highest fidelity possible! I’ve had mine for about three months and it sounds fantastic connected to the 24-bit DAC on my McIntosh C50 pre-amplifier—way better than I ever expected! So good, in fact, I’ve started re-converting favorite CDs to Apple Lossless encoding, which sounds noticeably better than 320 kbps MP3 while still compressing the files to save disc space. I’ve even started making “needle drops” of select LPs on my old Harman-Kardon CD recorder and transferring the WAV files losslessly to the iPod; very convenient for casual playback and sounds very good indeed. My only quibble is: I wish the iPod supported the FLAC file format—then I’d really go to town.

A few years ago, I would have never considered purchasing a product like the Wadia 171iTransport. But now that I've had it for a while, I can’t imagine life without it. Even if I wasn't downloading advance copies of new albums in order to write about them, I would still use it—not only for its convenience but for its spectacular sound quality. Who knew an iPod could sound so good?

October 26, 2012

Metz @ Spectrum Culture

My review of Metz's self-titled debut is up over at Spectrum Culture. "Good" punk rock.


Also, the Monthly Mixtape has been posted. My pick? Katatonia's "Dead Letters."

Dusted Interview @ Spectrum Culture

My email interview with Brian Borcherdt of Dusted is up over at Spectrum Culture. This is definitely one of my favorite pop/rock records of the year.

October 20, 2012

Playlist Week of 10-20-12

Reference Masters from Richard Dodd

* Holloway/Mortensen/ter Linden: Garrison Church, Copenhagen 4-08-08 (FM 2CDR)
* J.S. Bach: Musikalisches Opfer, BWV 1079 (Moroney et al.) (Harmonia Mundi CD)
* J.S. Bach: Solo & Double Violin Concertos (AAM/Manze/Podger) (Harmonia Mundi SACD)
* John Cage: Three Constructions (Donald Knaack Percussion Ens./Clayton) (Tomato CD)
* Morton Feldman: Works For Piano 2 (Schleiermacher, et al.) (hat ART CD)
* Jimmy Giuffre 3: 1961 (d.1) (ECM 2CD)
* Muhal Richard Abrams: Vision Towards Essence (Pi CD)
* Myra Melford Be Bread: The Image Of Your Body (Cryptogramophone CD)
* Myra Melford Be Bread: The Whole Tree Gone (Firehouse 12 CD)
* Rodger Coleman & Sam Byrd: Zeitgeist Gallery, Nashville, TN 9-06-12 (CDR)
* Pat Metheny Group: Offramp (ECM LP)
* Grateful Dead: Capital Center, Landover, MD 9-27-81 (SBD 3CDR)
* R.E.M.: Document (IRS/Mobile Fidelity LP)
* ABC: The Lexicon Of Love (Mercury LP)
* ABC: Beauty Stab (Mercury LP)
* Guided By Voices: “White Flag” (GBV, Inc. 7”)
* Guided By Voices: “Everywhere Is Miles From Everywhere” (GBV, Inc. 7”)
* Guided By Voices: “Hangover Child” (GBV, Inc. 7”)
* Circus Devils: Capsized! (Happy Jack Rock Records LP)
* My Bloody Valentine: Loveless (d.2) (Sony 2CD)†
* Wilco: The Whole Love (dBPM 2LP)
* Converge: All We Love We leave Behind (Epitaph MP3)
* Opeth: Blackwater Park (Music For Nations/Sony CD/DVD)†
* Opeth: Deliverance (Music For Nations/KOCH CD)†
* Katatonia: Last Fair Deal Gone Down (Peaceville CD/CDEP)†
* Katatonia: Viva Emptiness (Peaceville CD)†
* Katatonia: The Great Cold Distance (Peaceville CD)†
* Katatonia: Night Is The New Day (Peaceville CD)†
* Katatonia: Dead End Kings (Peaceville CD)†
* Anathema: Weather Systems (The End CD)
* Agalloch: Marrow Of The Spirit (Profound Lore CD)†
* Baroness: First And Second (Relapse LP)
* Baroness: Red Album (Relapse 2-45RPM LP)
* Baroness: Blue Record (Relapse 2-45RPM LP)
* Baroness: Yellow & Green (Relapse 2LP)
* Blut Aus Nord: 777 – Sect(s) (Debemur Morti CD)†(‡)
* Blut Aus Nord: 777 – The Desanctification (Debemur Morti CD)†
* Blut Aus Nord: 777 –Cosmosophy (Debemur Morti CD)†
* Alcest: Les Voyages De L’ame (Prophecy/ProMedia CD) †(‡)
* Yakuza: Of Seismic Consequence (Profound Lore CD)
* Yakuza: Beyul (Profound Lore CD)
* Grails: Deep Politics (Temporary Residence CD)
* Pineapple Explode: Cooke City (Pineapple Explode cassette)
* Pineapple Explode: Pineapple Explode (Pineapple Explode CDR)
* Pineapple Explode: A Bushel & A Barrel (Pineapple Explode CDR)
* Pineapple Explode: Skye’s Christmas Card (World Trade Center CDR)
* Metz: Metz (Sub Pop MP4)



The CD project is coming along:

I just got the reference master back from Richard Dodd and it sounds amazing! You may not recognize his name but Mr. Dodd is a legendary audio engineer, whose work has earned him no less than five Grammy awards and a client list which includes such big names as George Harrison, Tom Petty, Johnny Cash and Wilco among many others. For a prime example of his superlative work, just listen to Petty’s Wildflowers album, one of the best-sounding records ever made (especially on LP). Although not known for working with “jazz” per se (and, frankly, I’m not sure that’s exactly what Sam and I are doing), his mastering of our tracks is superb: vivid, detailed and, most importantly, incredibly dynamic. The music sounds great at “normal” volume levels but if you crank it up, it sounds simply awesome! That is the sign of an excellent mastering job. I am super pleased with the way the CD is turning out—and as you probably know, I’m not easy to please!

Earlier this week, I met with graphic artist, Griffin Norman, who will be designing the packaging for the disc. I know Griffin through lovely Lizzy. He has done a lot of really nice work for the library and has designed numerous album covers over the years—he's a real pro. Griffin was at the performance—and liked it!—so I’m really looking forward to seeing what he comes up with. I have some other business details I need to take care before it can all be finalized and sent off to the pressing plant but I am hoping to have the whole thing done by the holidays. As you can see, I really want to do this right, even if it takes some time. I’ll keep you posted as things progress!


Now, excuse me, but I have to do some writing for this other website. Can you guess from this week's playlist what it might be about?