21 Tracks for Newport Beach: A Playlist
T.H.E. Show Newport Beach will be held May 31 through June 2, at the Hilton and Atrium hotels, near Orange County Airport, in Irvine, California. John Atkinson and Jason Victor Serinus will cover the show for Stereophile.com, while Tyll Hertsens and Michael Fremer will represent for InnerFidelity and AnalogPlanet.
Jason asked if I would send him a flash drive carrying a few demo tracks that he might use to audition systems at the showa fun idea, however one that I can’t successfully realize: At this time, I have no real library of high-resolution (or even CD-quality) digital files, nor do I have proper means of ripping CDs. Simply put, while I do plan on building a proper computer-audio system, I haven’t gotten around to it yet. I’ve been busy hanging out with girls and cats, decorating the new apartment, and admiring the Mets’ ability to find creative ways to lose close games. Give me a few more months.
In any case, I liked Jason’s idea too much to completely disregard it: I’m basically dying to share music with people. So, instead of a flash drive stuffed with hi-rez digital files, I’ve compiled a Spotify playlist. As I mentioned to Jason, I’m typically too shy, or scared, to bring my own demo material to a hi-fi show: Too often, the music I most want to hear proves offensive to too many people, and, despite how it might seem, I’m really not interested in pushing people away or clearing listening rooms.
What I have here, then, is 21 Tracks for Newport Beach: A Playlist Comprising Songs I’d Love to Play at a Hi-Fi Show, If I Wasn’t Afraid to Play the Songs I Love at a Hi-Fi Show. Newport Beach might be just the venue, actually: More than any other North American hi-fi show, this one’s getting a reputation for being a party.
Not that my playlist is especially booty-shaking or anything. It actually contains quite a bit of rather tame, civilized sounds: You’ll hear piano, harp, violin, cello, beautifully recorded female vocals. But, yeah, you’ll also hear some booty-shaking beats.
1. Mary Lattimore: “Poor Daniel”
2. Nadia Sirota: Etude 3
3. Valgeir Sigurdsson: “Reverse Erased”
4. Julia Holter: “Marienbad”
5. Julianna Barwick: “The Magic Place”
6. Sophie Hutchings: “Half Hidden”
7. Nils Frahm: “Ambre”
8. Jenny Hval: “Mephisto In the Water”
9. Hildur Gudnadottir: “Into Warmer Air”
10. David Lang: “Death Speaks, No.1: You Will Return”
11. Nicolas Jaar: “Balance Her In Between Your Eyes”
12. James Blake: “Retrograde”
13. FaltyDL: “For Karme”
14. Usher: “Climax”
15. R. Kelly: “Double Up”
16. Kendrick Lamar: “Money Trees”
17. When Saints Go Machine: “Love and Respect”
18. The Asphodells: “Beglammered”
19. Standish/Carlyon: “Nono/Yono”
20. Beacon: “Feeling’s Gone”
21. Alva Noto & Ryuichi Sakamoto: “By This River”
You need a Spotify account to listen. It takes about two minutes to open an account, and I found the experience to be a lot of fun. I thank Stereophile’s editorial assistant, Ariel Bitran, for getting me started, and Jason for the original idea. I hope you enjoy the playlist. Please don’t hate me if you don’t. (It’s just music.)