On the surface, Sandro Perri’s Impossible Spaces is an ordinary pop album: We hear pleasant guitar, intelligent percussion, and a voice that, while lovely, is easily appreciated, palatable, unchallenging. But there’s a depth and darkness to this music that begs to be uncovered.
It’s the sweetness of the voice and the liquid tone of the guitar that draw me in, but the subtle shifts in key, the clever instrumentation, the aching cello and odd flute, the broken lines and strangely abbreviated melodies that make me listen again, confuse and enchant, charm and intoxicate.
Here’s the video for “Love and Light,” the second track from Impossible Spaces:
On the evening of Tuesday, September 27, KEF dealers, friends, and associates celebrated the British loudspeaker company’s 50th anniversary. The event was held in the impressive penthouse residence of British Consul-General, Danny Lopez, where guests were treated to tall glasses of Pimm’s, delicious hors d’oeuvres, and electric views of Midtown Manhattan and Long Island City.
Several weeks ago, a dear friend reminded me of the Commencement address delivered by Steve Jobs on June 12, 2005, at Stanford University. The entire speech heaves with wisdom, hope, and love, and I tend to come back to it every now and then, just as I do Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grassfor comfort, compassion, direction, perspective. I meant to write something about it then, but things got in the way.
Here’s a pertinent excerpt:
Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everythingall external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failurethese things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
Nite Jewel’s glittery, slinky sound recalls the pop and R&B of the late 80s and early 90sstuff that you might have heard on Hot 97 or Z100 when you were 12 years old, searching for an identity, a groove, or simply for something good on the radio.
Twin Sister meets Twin Peaks in the video for “Kimmi in a Rice Field,” from the band’s charming, soulful, and often lovely debut full-length, In Heaven. Like a real dream, the video, directed by Bryan Ujueta and Dan Devine and starring vocalist Andrea Estella, is sort of beautiful, sort of creepy, and sort of ridiculous.
Shara Worden, My Brightest Diamond’s enchanting vocalist, explains: “In November, the great composer Gorecki died and I remember that weekend clearly, listening to the work and reading the lyrics in his beautiful Symphony No.3, the lament of a mother who has lost her son in war. This was the context in which I started writing ‘Be Brave.’”
“Be Brave” is the first single from My Brightest Diamond’s upcoming album, All Things Will Unwind, Worden’s response “to a world unwinding.” With the video, we gain a look into the recording process, but also a look into Worden’s heart and mind.
I’ve been playing games with myself, attempting to set limits and impose rules around my furious, nearly uncontrollable, record-buying spree. I told myself that for every dollar I spent on a record I would deposit a dollar into my savings account. (I tried it for a few days, but became bored. Saving is not nearly as much fun as record-shopping.) Then, a few weeks ago, after dropping a few hundred dollars during binges at Other Music and the Princeton Record Exchange, I told myself that I would impose a strict moratorium: No more records for me until after the New Year. With few exceptions, I had already purchased just about every new record I wanted, or so I tried to convince myself. But then the new Thundercat album hit stores and I had to have it. And then it was the new Girls record. How could I live without that?
Today, Peachtree Audio announced their new flagship asynchronous preamp/DAC, the Grand Pre, the first in a series of “Grand” products (a power amplifier and an all-in-one integrated amplifier will come later) and the first Peachtree component to have its design, final assembly, and final QC all take place in the US. For audiophiles hoping to "buy American," this should come as interesting news.
To celebrate today’s release of Girls’ sophomore record, Father, Son, Holy Ghost, the band will make an in-store performance at Grimey’s in Nashville, Tennessee, at 5pm on Friday, September 16. You won’t want to miss this. If you can’t make it to Grimey’s, you can still enjoy the show because this will be the very first nationwide in-store: The performance will be streamed live, one time only, across the websites of our most cherished, influential, and important independent record stores.
Fred Mills reviews Beirut’s new record, The Rip Tide, in the November issue of Stereophile, due to hit newsstands on October 18th. The album, released by Zach Condon's Pompeii Records, is in stores now. Here's Sunset Television’s video for the lead track, “Santa Fe.”