Stephen Mejias

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Stephen Mejias Posted: Apr 11, 2012 1 comments
Courtesy Neneh Cherry and The Thing

People have been understandably curious about The Cherry Thing, the surprising collaboration between Neneh Cherry and free-jazz monster, The Thing, scheduled to be released on June 19 by Smalltown Supersound.

For now, we can hear the band’s version of Suicide’s “Dream Baby Dream.”

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Stephen Mejias Posted: Apr 11, 2012 1 comments
As I’ve mentioned, I enjoy making connections between all kinds of seemingly disparate things and ideas, but I take special interest in finding connections between different musical genres or artists. I obsess over this game, as though finding common ground between Drake and Ryuichi Sakamoto—an easy example, but a valid one—will somehow make me a stronger person, make me more intelligent and attractive, allow me to better understand others, make the world a more beautiful place.

It’s in these connections that stories are made. And I love stories. Caught by the idea that everything happens for a reason, that every event is leading to someplace meaningful and magical, I’m hungry for connections, like a DJ attempting to create the perfect mixtape, one that can represent a sum of life’s experiences, wonderful and mundane.

Seems I’m not alone. (Whew.)

Through Kickstarter, director Trevor Undi and producer Sean Barney hope to fund their Kymera Project, a sort of “visual mixtape,” setting songs to images to tell a story that takes place in New York City.

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Stephen Mejias Posted: Apr 10, 2012 3 comments
On Valot Kaukaa, Finnish producer Olli Aarni, working as Nuojuva, creates a strange, romantic world of sound. We hear wind and birdsong; crackle and hiss; hints of familiar classical pieces; cello, flute, and violin; whispers and sighs from Rachel Evans of Motion Sickness of Time Travel; and the lovely piano work of Sophie Hutchings, whose 2010 album, Becalmed, was one of my 2011 “Records to Die For.”
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Stephen Mejias Posted: Apr 05, 2012 1 comments
Nine hundred sixty individually cut LPs were used to create the video for Benga’s “I Will Never Change.”
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Stephen Mejias Posted: Apr 05, 2012 0 comments
The April NYC edition of Classic Album Sundays will take place on Sunday, April 8, 5–8pm, at Bellwether (594 Union Avenue, Brooklyn). As a bit of solace to fans that couldn’t get tickets to the upcoming Kraftwerk performances at the Museum of Modern Art, Classic Album Sundays will present Kraftwerk’s Autobahn in its entirety. Cool.
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Stephen Mejias Posted: Apr 02, 2012 20 comments
In recent conversations with myself and with others, I’ve been trying to explain my addiction—and I truly do believe it’s an addiction—to music, new and old. A lot of times, when I’ve got an unfamiliar album in my hand, I feel like I just need to hear it. I just need to know what it sounds like. Why? I think I’m searching for connections between different times, places, and musical styles and artists. Why? I don’t know, exactly. I imagine there’s some magnificent story to be told through music, that all recorded music is somehow connected, and, if I can just trace those connections, I’ll learn something deep and special about myself and the world.

Searching for odd connections in music: It’s a game that I play.

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Stephen Mejias Posted: Mar 30, 2012 3 comments
I knew nothing about Shintaro Sakamoto, but there was just no way I could have resisted such provocative album art or a title like How to Live With a Phantom.
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Stephen Mejias Posted: Mar 28, 2012 0 comments
Divine Ricochet is a three-part music series made to accompany John Chamberlain: Choices, on view through May 13 at the Guggenheim Museum. The series takes its name from Chamberlain’s 1991 work, a large and colorful, mangled assortment of painted and chromium-plated steel.
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Stephen Mejias Posted: Mar 23, 2012 1 comments
I’m in a daze. My mind is officially, seriously blown.

Nothing, seriously nothing, could have prepared me for the news that Neneh Cherry—Neneh “Raw Like Sushi” Cherry—is heading a new project with the powerhouse free jazz trio of Mats Gustafsson (saxophone), Ingebrigt Haker Flaten (bass), and Paal Nilssen-Love (drums).

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Stephen Mejias Posted: Mar 21, 2012 7 comments
My favorite holiday, Record Store Day, falls on Saturday, April 21—just one month from today. Independent record stores across the nation will celebrate with contests, giveaways, all kinds of limited-edition releases, in-store performances by exciting bands, and lots of other fun stuff. Check the Record Store Day website for details and participating stores near you.

This year’s Ambassador, Iggy Pop, has this to say:

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Stephen Mejias Posted: Mar 20, 2012 1 comments
"Daddy?" asked the young audiophile.

"Yes, son?"

"How are loudspeakers made?"

"Hmm...Maybe it's time we had a little talk. Follow me into the listening room..."

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Stephen Mejias Posted: Mar 15, 2012 0 comments
The first model in Thinksound's Monitor Series: the ms01, shown here in Chocolate Gunmetal finish.

During my recent trip to Seattle for Definitive Audio’s Music Matters 7 event, I decided to compare Thinksound’s ts02 ($79.99) to their ms01 ($99.99), the first model in the company’s new Monitor Series.

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Stephen Mejias Posted: Mar 15, 2012 13 comments
The system, as it is right now: Rega P3-24 turntable with Elys 2 cartridge and Boston Audio Design Mat 1, NAD C515 BEE CD player, Sony Playstation 1 CD player, NAD C316 BEE integrated amplifier, Parasound Zphono USB phono preamplifier, PSB Alpha B1 loudspeakers, Kimber Kable PBJ interconnects, Kimber Kable 8VS speaker cables, Furutech eTP-60 power distributor.
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Stephen Mejias Posted: Mar 14, 2012 0 comments
Marc Phillips and Collen Cardas of Colleen Cardas Imports introduce the Unison Research S 6 integrated amplifier at the Audio Doctor in Jersey City, NJ.

On Saturday, March 3rd, during an unusually warm and sunny afternoon in Jersey City, the Audio Doctor held an open house to introduce new products from Unison Research. Our hosts for the event were Dave and Paula Lalin of the Audio Doctor and Colleen Cardas and Marc Phillips of Colleen Cardas Imports (CCI), the exclusive US distributor for Unison Research and Opera Loudspeakers.

Before listening, Lalin invited us into the kitchen for some delicious food and drink. “This is a party!” he said. After I stuffed my face with meatballs, chicken wings, chips, and cookies, we headed into my favorite of Lalin’s four listening rooms—a medium-sized room at one corner of his beautiful Victorian home, packed with hi-fi gear, and home to “The Rack.”

There, Colleen Cardas introduced herself and told us the story of how she and her business partner, Marc Phillips, the Vinyl Anachronist, became involved with Unison Research and Opera.

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Stephen Mejias Posted: Mar 08, 2012 Published: Mar 09, 2012 1 comments
The first time I heard “One Second of Love,” the title track from Nite Jewel’s new album (released earlier this week on Secretly Canadian), I didn’t think much of it. It was another pop song from another young, indie artist, recalling the late 1980s and early 1990s—enjoyable, but unimaginative.

I was crazy. My initial reaction was wrong: The more I listened, the more I enjoyed the song’s motoric drive, insistent, each cold verse followed by seductive chorus, its gentle harmonies contributed by fellow LA-based artist, Julia Holter, its insolent snarl and alluring coo. I can’t get the song out of my mind. I wake up with it, come back to it throughout the day.

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