Sunday, February 5, 2012

Vinyl Record News & Music Notes

very interesting and well writen article about the sounds of music:

Music lovers pursue return to high fidelity

Today's listeners of MP3s and Internet radio are missing many of the nuances of original recordings. But some music lovers are determined to bring them back.

Written by Anita Wadhwani / The Tennessean

Recording engineer Pat McMakin approaches his work with an almost obsessive pursuit of the perfect sound.

Even a millimeter misdirection of a microphone or a minor adjustment in bass can mean the difference between a good recording and an inferior one to his ears.

By the time a recording makes its way to fans via iTunes or over Internet radio, it possesses a fraction of the total sound information captured in the studio — as little as 3 percent of the original, live sound waves. Even CD formats are stripped of up to 90 percent of the live recording to fit onto a 4¾-inch disc.

Often gone are the last lingering notes of a bass guitar, the echo of a drumbeat, the very high and very low notes.

But now, in Nashville, a handful of Music Row businesses are beginning to invest in new products and technologies to increase the fidelity of music at every stage of the recording and listening process, from new in-studio recording technologies to new music formats to home stereo equipment.

Whether consumers who have grown accustomed to listening to tunes over $10 ear buds will be willing to pay for better sounds, however, remains a big question mark.

“I already invest a lot in my music, in my laptop and my iPhone and my Wi-Fi at home,” said Corey First, 28, a marketing assistant from Franklin. “I don’t have the bucks to spend more. I have no complaints about my music.”

Still, the steep drop in sound quality as digital music has taken hold remains a source of aggravation for artists and music professionals — and audiophiles among consumers — who argue that music is losing many of the subtle qualities that gave it emotion, spaciousness and depth in order to make songs Internet ready.

“The irony is that we’ve been making better- and better-sounding records in the studio, but the technology has been dumbing them down for years,” said McMakin, director of operations at Ocean Way Studios on Music Row.

Read the rest at


Lethal Saint Announces 7" Vinyl Release

Cyprus metallers vets Lethal Saint have released an update about a new 7" vinyl release:

"The great news has finally arrived!

"Lethal saint has joined forces with 'Emanesmetal Records' (France), to release the first mind-blowing 7’ inch vinyl record in collaboration with 'Dying Victim’s Productions' (Germany) and 'Under Siege Records' (France)! This release will be composed of two songs already present in the 'Saint Strikes Back' single’s tracklist.

"We’re proud to announce the release of the first Lethal Saint 7’ inch vinyl record on the 2nd of March 2012 at the UP THE HAMMER’S FESTIVAL in Athens!"


16 Reveals Album Cover Art

Los Angeles, California-based sludge rockers 16 have revealed the cover art for their new album called 'Deep Cuts From Dark Clouds,' which is due on April 24th. The artwork was created by Orion Landau. The album was recorded with the band's friend and longtime engineer Jeff Forrest at Double Time Studios in San Diego and then mastered by Pig Destroyer's Scott Hull at Visceral Sound Studios.

Pre-order packages are available directly through Relapse Records.


Thelonious Monk with John Coltrane (1957) – Jazzland/Fantasy
Thelonious Monk – Something Blue (1971) – Black Lion/Pure Pleasure

Two great Monk sessions on vinyl.

Published on January 19, 2012

Thelonious Monk with John Coltrane (1957) – Jazzland /Fantasy OJC-039 *****:

Thelonious Monk – Something Blue (1971) – Black Lion /Pure Pleasure Records BLPP30119 *****:

The older session of this pair should not be confused with the Coltrane and Monk at Carnegie Hall album which was issued not long ago. It’s a studio session with better sonics than the Carnegie Hall, and although nearly all jazz albums before 1958 were mono, you’ll hear stereo on both “Off Minor” on Side A and “Epistrophy,” the second track on the B side. With headphone listening, that’s a dead giveaway. These are two of the three tracks on the album listed as “alternate masters” and two of them turn out to be early stereo. [This reissue should really be labeled "stereo/mono" but the practice now seems to be to have no identification of either on any of these earlier jazz reissues since many of them are just mono and some collectors may not want to pay a premium price for a mono reissue. Our Amazon link is for the 2003 Fantasy SACD reissue—probably very similar to this vinyl reissue—since Amazon doesn't carry the vinyl version...Ed.]

Anyway, two of the tracks here are a quartet with Coltrane and Monk, two are a septet with Coleman Hawkins, Gigi Gryce and Ray Copeland added (plus Art Blakey on drums replacing Shadow Wilson), and “Functional” – the final track on Side B – is just Monk’s solo piano. Coltrane was already experimenting with his more avant material such as “sheets of sound,” but he sounds also heavily influenced by the quirky and original Monk sound. The liner note-writer quotes Steve Lacy as saying you’re got to get the fragrance of Monk’s poetry, and observes that Coltrane is doing some deep breathing. The two septet tracks are a bit of a surprise; they reminded me of the Monk for big band sessions with Hall Overton. Don’t think I’d heard Monk’s solo piece “Functional” before. It really points up the way he could stick in supposed wrong notes but make them sound perfectly right by what he plays around them.

Something in Blue is an all-stereo session originally recorded in London and beautifully re-mastered by Ray Staff at Air Mastering there. It’s a trio session thruout, with Al McKibbon on doublebass and Art Blakey again the drummer. Monk had been less active around this time, having lost his cabaret license and also had been ill. George Wein booked him for a world tour with “Giants of Jazz,” and this recording was made while he was on that tour. This was his first trio recording in 15 years and the first one with his old drummer Art Blakey in since the 1957 session.

All eight tracks are Monk originals except for Gershwin’s “Nice Work If You Can Get It” (in whose coda Monk throws in a quick reference to his own “I Mean You” and chuckles a little at the very end). “Criss Cross” has an amazing craggy Monk tune which had not been recorded again by him since its original 1951 version (on which McKibbon was the same bassist). “Evidence” is based on the melody of “Just You, Just Me” – in fact Monk bases most of his solo choruses on the “Just You” part. The title tune is a slow one, with double-time triplets and single notes as well as some boogie woogie bass here and there. We also get “Nutty” again as the closer.

There is never any surface noise on the Pure Pleasure vinyls, and on headphones one hears manifold little details in the trio that might escape one both with speakers and CDs, such as Monk’s chuckle.

Monk/Coltrane = Ruby, My Dear; Trinkle, Tinkle; Off Minor; Nutty, Epistrophy; Functional (solo)
Something in Blue = Blue Sphere; Hackensack; Nice Work If You Can Get It; Criss Cross; Something in Blue; Evidence; Jackie-ing; Nutty

—John Henry

Special thanks to John at  for the exclusive rights to reprint this material.

AUDIOPHILE AUDITION focuses on recordings of interest to audiophiles and collectors, with an accent on surround sound for music, and on all hi-res disc formats. Over 100 SACD, DVD Video/Audio and standard CD reviews are published during each month, and our archives go back to January 2001.


for those with those phone thingees and such, you may be interested in something like this:

New George Harrison Guitar Collection App Coming February 23rd

BANDWDTH Publishing, in conjunction with the George Harrison Estate, announces the release of a special iPad app celebrating the guitarist and his historical guitar collection. The Guitar Collection: George Harrison iPad app will be released through iTunes on February 23, two days before Harrison’s birthdate.

The app brings George Harrison’s private guitar collection to life through photographs, detailed descriptions, audio, and video footage. For the first time, with the help of unique 360° imaging by photographer Steven Sebring, fans can see the scratches, dings, and worn threads on the guitars as if they were themselves holding the instruments.

Fans will be able to examine Harrison’s private guitar collection, through personal audio recordings from Harrison himself as he introduces many of the guitars and plays sections of songs.

The history of each guitar is laid out in great detail; including the origin of the guitar, when and how it became part of Harrison’s collection, modifications he made to it and why each was so important in creating his distinctive sound. Songs from his catalogue are organized by the guitars used on each track, which allows the user to appreciate the personalities of each instrument.

The video section of the app contains footage of Ben Harper, Josh Homme, Mike Campbell, and Dhani Harrison each playing and showcasing the guitars and exploring their feel and tone. In addition, Conan O’Brien and Dhani discuss what make these guitars so exceptional. Also in this section, guitar great Gary Moore shares his views on what made George Harrison such a distinctive and influential guitar player.

The app will sell for $9.99 at the Apple App Store.


and in music history for february 5th:

Alex Harvey Band
Born on this day in 1935, Alex Harvey, vocals, guitar, with the Sensational Alex Harvey Band. Harvey died on February 4th 1982.

In 1955, New York radio station WNEW announces the results of its annual music popularity poll. The winners are Perry Como, Patti Page, The Crew-Cuts and Ray Anthony.

In 1957, two years after his "Rock Around The Clock" had exploded on the music scene and at a time when his popularity had waned in the U.S., Bill Haley arrived in Southampton aboard the oceanliner Queen Elizabeth for his first British tour. When Haley and his band reached London's Waterloo Station later that day, an estimated 5,000 fans were at the train station to greet the group in a raucous display that the press dubbed "the Second Battle of Waterloo." He was the first major American rock 'n' roll artist to tour the UK. According to Paul McCartney, "The first time I really ever felt a tingle up my spine was when I saw Bill Haley and the Comets on the telly. Then I went to see them live. The ticket was 24 shillings, and I was the only one of my mates who could go as no one else had been able to save up that amount. But I was single-minded about it....I knew there was something going on here."

In 1958, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) formed a New York chapter. NARAS is better known as the Grammy Awards organization.

In 1962, Ringo Starr appeared live with The Beatles for the first time when he filled in for an ailing Pete Best. They played two shows that day, a lunchtime date at the Cavern Club and an evening show at the Kingsway Club in Southport.

In 1965, Martha & The Vandellas released the single "Nowhere To Run."

In 1966, Petula Clark had the number one record in America with "My Love". It made #4 in the UK.

Also in 1966, an instrumental called "No Matter What Shape" by The T-Bones reaches the US Top Ten after being featured in Alka-Seltzer commercials. The group contained Dan Hamilton, Joe Frank Carollo and Tom Reynolds, who would go on have a number four hit in 1971 called "Don't Pull Your Love" as Hamilton, Joe Frank and Reynolds.

In 1967, the British tabloid News of the World published an article called "Pop Stars and Drugs – Facts that Will Shock You," claiming that most UK rock stars were LSD users. The Rolling Stones' Mick Jagger filed a defamation lawsuit against the newspaper after reading in the article that he was alleged to be hooked on Benzedrine and hashish. The reporter had overheard the Stones' Brian Jones admitting to this and mistook him for Jagger. Keith Richards' drug bust five days later was thought to have been a result of the feud that had erupted between the band and the tabloid.

Also in 1967, the Beatles filmed part of the promo clip for 'Penny Lane' around the Royal Theatre, Stratford, London and walking up and down Angel Lane.

In 1971, Black Sabbath started recording what would be their third album, 'Master Of Reality' at Island Studios in London, England. Released in July of this year, it is sometimes noted as the first stoner rock album. Guitarist Tony Iommi, decided to downtune his guitar down three semi-tones, Geezer Butler also downtuned his bass guitar to match Iommi. The result was a noticeably 'darker' sound that almost two decades later would prove hugely influential on at least three of the biggest grunge acts, namely Smashing Pumpkins, Soundgarden, and Nirvana.

In 1972, Paul Simon releases his first new song without Art Garfunkel, "Mother and Child Reunion", which will peak at number four in the US. Simon got the idea for the song's title from a chicken-and-egg dish called Mother and Child Reunion that he saw on a Chinese restaurant's menu.

CVR Blog 45rpm Singles Spotlight:

Also in 1972, Neil Young's "Heart Of Gold" was released. The record will prove to be his only US number one solo hit.

The song, which features backup vocals of James Taylor and Linda Ronstadt, is one of a series of soft acoustic pieces which were written partly as a result of a back injury. Unable to stand for long periods of time, Young could not play his electric guitar and so returned to his acoustic guitar, which he could play sitting down.

"Heart of Gold" was taped during the initial sessions for Harvest in early 1971 at Quadrafonic Studios in Nashville, Tennessee. Ronstadt and Taylor were in Nashville at the time for an appearance on Johnny Cash's television program, and the album's producer Elliot Mazer arranged for them to sing backup for Young in the studio.

Originally this song was meant to segue with "A Man Needs a Maid", and was therefore played on piano. It was played in this manner during Young's solo shows in 1971, but he abandoned this approach midway through the tour and began to play it on guitar as it is now known. Additionally, one line that was cut when the two songs became separate entities was "Afraid/A man feels afraid." An example of the segued version appears on Young's 2007 release Live at Massey Hall 1971.

Young wrote in the liner notes of his 1977 compilation album Decade: "This song put me in the middle of the road. Traveling there soon became a bore so I headed for the ditch. A rougher ride but I saw more interesting people there." This statement was in response to the mainstream popularity that he gained as a result of the number-one status of "Heart of Gold".

In 1973, Elton John's "Crocodile Rock" becomes his first US number one hit. To date, Sir Elton has had twenty-seven US Top 10 records and has placed a total of fifty-eight songs on the Billboard Top 40

In 1976, 51-year-old Rudy Pompilli, sax player for Bill Haley's Comets, passed away after a long battle with lung cancer, even though he himself was not a smoker. He had been with the band for twenty years and had played on their biggest selling records.

In 1977, an unknown singer named Mary MacGregor had the top tune in the US with "Torn Between Two Lovers", a song that she would later say that she has never liked. Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary co-wrote the song and chose MacGregor to sing it over several other established artists. The song reached #4 in the UK.

In 1983, after cracking the US Top 10 in 1978 with "Hold The Line" (#5) and again in 1982 with "Rosanna" (#2), Toto has their first and only Billboard #1 hit with "Africa". Over the next five years, they would reach the Top 40 five more times.

Also in 1983, Def Leppard's album 'Pyromania', started a 92 week run on the US charts, it never reached No.1 but sold over 6 million copies in the US alone.

In 1993, backed by his former band mate Ron Wood, Rod Stewart records "Have I Told You Lately That I Love You" for MTV's Unplugged series. The resulting single will be certified Gold and reach #5 in the US and #20 in the UK.

In 1998, Tim Kelly (Slaughter) died after a being injured in an auto accident in Arizona at the age of 34.

In 2005, Paul McCartney performed during the half-time show at Superbowl XXXIX (39) in Jacksonville Florida and pocketed a cool $3.3 million for his 12 minute performance. That translates into $278,000 per minute. Sir Paul played in front of an estimated TV audience of one billion and sang the Beatles songs "Drive My Car", "Get Back" and "Hey Jude", plus his Bond theme song "Live and Let Die".

In 2006, the Rolling Stones played three songs during the half-time show of The Super Bowl in Detroit. After the event, the Stones expressed their displeasure over having Mick Jagger's microphone turned down during the song "Start Me Up." The line "you make a dead man come" was cut short and a barnyard reference to "cocks" in the new song "Rough Justice" also disappeared.

In 2008, the Indian guru, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who introduced The Beatles to ancient Hindu meditation methods, died in his sleep at his home in the Netherlands. He was 91.

Born on this day in 1941, Barrett Strong, US songwriter who was the first artist to record a hit for Motown records. Wrote many Motown hits with Norman Whitfield including, 'Money', 'War', 'Ball Of Confusion', and 'Papa Was A Rolling Stone'.

also celebrating birthdays today (among others): Corey Wells -Three Dog Night (1942), Al Kooper - Royal Teens/Blood Sweat & Tears (Kooper played organ on Bob Dylan track "Like A Rolling Stone")(1944), Duff McKagan - Guns N' Roses (1964), Bobby Brown (1969) and Chris Barron - Spin Doctors (1968)