Stephen Mejias

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Stephen Mejias Posted: Apr 07, 2011 0 comments
Kristen is hot. I mean, seriously: smoking, sizzling, flame-broiling, momma-said-knock-you-out, one-hundred-and-fifty-five-degrees-in-the-shade, incomprehensibly, unavoidably, uncomfortably hot. Yow! But, excuse me, that’s not what I meant to write about.

Let me start again.

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Stephen Mejias Posted: Apr 04, 2011 2 comments
You might remember the American Express Plum Card advertisement that featured hi-fi and vinyl retailer Music Direct. The ad, which ran on mainstream television for several months, did a good job of introducing hi-fi and vinyl to a wider audience.

The new ad puts greater emphasis on Jim Davis’s passion for music, vinyl, gear, and sound, and describes the growth of his company, Music Direct. Notice that the pretty Wharfedale Diamond 10.1 loudspeakers, reviewed by me in our April issue and by Bob Reina in a future issue, are given good airtime.

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Stephen Mejias Posted: Apr 01, 2011 0 comments
This one goes out to a very special lady. You know who you are.

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Stephen Mejias Posted: Mar 30, 2011 3 comments
The April 2011 issue of Stereophile is now on newsstands. I’m especially excited about this one. In fact, I kinda wish I could create an enormous high-resolution, illuminated reproduction of the cover and drape it over one entire side of the Empire State Building. That’s how much I love this issue. Yesterday afternoon, I walked over to 4 Times Square and handed a copy of our April issue to my dear friend, Jaime, the photo editor for a very popular woman’s magazine. She was equally impressed.

You see those warm, happy colors and those delicious, little loudspeakers on the cover of our April issue? Those things make girls happy. And when girls are happy, dudes, the world is a better place.

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Stephen Mejias Posted: Mar 29, 2011 5 comments
I resisted at first, but Cold Cave's Love Comes Close became one of my very favorite records of 2009. The album also led me to one of New York City's darkest, spookiest, and most welcoming record shops, Hospital Productions, a fantastic source of underground noise, industrial, and experimental work on CD, LP, and, good-god-almighty, cassette.

Cold Cave's new album, Cherish the Light Years will be available in similarly fine record shops on April 5th, but Matador Records has provided a free stream, so you can listen now.

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Stephen Mejias Posted: Mar 25, 2011 7 comments
What the world needs now:

“Super Duper Rescue Heads,” from Deerhoof’s latest album, Deerhoof vs. Evil, available now from Polyvinyl.

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Stephen Mejias Posted: Mar 25, 2011 9 comments
Yes!

I’ve been waiting for this, and now, as if the rock gods had heard my profane prayers, it’s here: The new album from Fucked Up, David Comes to Life, will be released on June 7th. On June 7th, immediately after work, you’ll find me at Other Music, buying the crap out of this album.

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Stephen Mejias Posted: Mar 24, 2011 0 comments
Last night, Yo La Tengo performed at Maxwell’s in Hoboken, New Jersey. All proceeds from ticket and merchandise sales went directly to Peace Winds Japan. In addition, the band matched all merch sales, except for that money spent on their friend Amy’s delicious cookies, joked lead guitarist Ira Kaplan. “We’re not crazy.”
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Stephen Mejias Posted: Mar 23, 2011 4 comments
Forum member, “tmsorosk,” asks: “Do audiophiles like music?”

It seems a strange question with an obvious answer until you stop and think about it. So many conversations between audiophiles focus on gear and sound, but leave music—that thing which should fuel our passion—lost in the jet-black background.

Ever notice when you and your audiophile buddies get together the conversation is usually 90% equipment and sound, and 10% music? We have been building, tuning, and voicing these systems for decades. Shouldn't the talk be more about music now?

Do you agree? Disagree? Why? Share your thoughts in the forum.

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Stephen Mejias Posted: Mar 23, 2011 1 comments
While I was still basking in the warm, colorful glow of my Polyvinyl package, I received a copy of The Book of Audacity, written by Carla Schroeder and published by No Starch Press. This 359-page guide promises to help “build that home recording studio that you’ve been talking about for years.”
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Stephen Mejias Posted: Mar 23, 2011 3 comments
Just moments after receiving my press badge for High End 2011, I received my copy of Vivian Girls’ new album, Share the Joy. Because I’m a big fan of Vivian Girls, I had pre-ordered this album upon Polyvinyl’s announcement of its imminent release. I typically stay away from pre-orders—too many times I’ve pre-ordered an album that, for one unknown reason or another, never gets released—but Polyvinyl makes the process easy, painless, and inescapably enticing by providing an immediate download of your order.
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Stephen Mejias Posted: Mar 23, 2011 5 comments
This morning I received my press badge for High End 2011. The show takes place at the M.O.C. Events Center (Lilienthalallee 40) in Munich, Germany; it opens on Thursday, May 19 and closes on Sunday, May 22.

I was going to write that I don’t know what to expect, but then I thought about it and I realized that I have some ideas: Long days, hard work, lots of hi-fi, potential communication problems, beautiful people, beautiful music, beautiful beer. And that, actually, sounds a lot like home.

The 2011 High End Show in Munich, Germany, will be the first hi-fi show I’ve attended outside the US, and will mark my first trip to Europe since studying abroad at Wroxton College in Oxfordshire, England, in 1998. While I dread—seriously dread—going to Las Vegas for the annual Consumer Electronics Show, I’m really looking forward to Munich. I’ve never been to Germany.

For more information on High End 2011, visit the website.

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Stephen Mejias Posted: Mar 22, 2011 0 comments
Sunday, March 27, 8pm: Sonic Youth, Yoko Ono, Mike Patton, Sean Lennon, Cibo Matto, Mephista, Marc Ribot, Uri Caine, and Aleph Trio—awesome line-up!—will perform at Miller Theater (2960 Broadway, NYC) in a Japan Benefit Concert.

“The tragedy and devastation is really overwhelming,” says John Zorn, who has organized and will host the evening. “I’ve always felt a strong personal connection to Japan, and I’m just glad to be able to do my part to help. It should be an amazing night.”

Both the performers and the theater are donating their services, ensuring that 100% of proceeds from ticket sales will go to benefit the victims of the earthquake and tsunami that hit near Sendai on March 11. Funds will be donated to the Japan Society’s Earthquake Relief Fund.

Tickets for the show were sold out shortly after they went on sale, but Miller Theater has created a web page with information on ways to support Japan relief and a list of other benefit concerts in New York. Included among those benefit shows:

Friday, April 8, 6:30 & 9:30pm: Thurston Moore, Matthew Shipp, Ikue Mori and John Zorn, Milford Graves, Mark Feldman and Sylvie Courvoisier—awesome line-up!!!—Norah Jones, Buke and Gass, and others will perform at the Abrons Arts Center.
Saturday, April 9: The Japan Society will hold a day-long benefit concert, including gala performances at 1pm and 6pm, with performances by Philip Glass, Lou Reed, Laurie Anderson, and Ryuichi Sakamoto.

More benefit shows will be announced.

Tomorrow, March 23, 8pm: Yo La Tengo will perform at Maxwell’s (1039 Washington Street, Hoboken, NJ). Tickets cost $50, with all proceeds from ticket sales and fees going to Peace Winds Japan. I hope to see you there.

Stephen Mejias Posted: Mar 21, 2011 3 comments
Thinksound ts02 in Black Chocolate finish.

I haven’t had much luck with in-ear headphones.

Kelli’s Etymotic ER-6i earphones ($99) offered a well-balanced sound, with satisfying bass and natural highs, but I found them extremely uncomfortable and I had a difficult time getting them to fit properly in my ear canals. I liked Shure’s SE210 ($149.99) and SE115 ($139.99), but they felt large and heavy in my ears, and friends often balked at their prices. Don’t get me started about the V-MODA Remix Metal in-ears ($99.99); their highs were so pronounced and glaring and bass so completely absent, I wanted to run away from my music—never a good sign. (But I’ll take the blame here: I should’ve known what to expect from an earphone with the word “Metal” in its name. I have since steered clear of models designed to look like bullets, arrows, and jet engines or whose product literature uses the words “crisp,” “sharp,” or “edgy.”)

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Stephen Mejias Posted: Mar 17, 2011 3 comments
It was Monday night and I was flipping through the racks at Other Music, killing time before heading over to Great Jones Café where I’d meet Michael Lavorgna and John DeVore for wings, chili, and beer. I noticed a couple of dudes in loose clothes, slung back and stretched out across the A, B, and C sections of the vinyl racks, as if they owned the place, as if this was their couch. From what I could tell, they were musicians, stopping by the shop to drop off some CDs or LPs. Nearby, another dude was getting into with one of the guys behind the counter:

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