John Atkinson snapped this shot of our hardworking intern, Ariel Bitran, during last night's performance at the Sidewalk Caf. It's not that this photo was taken on John's phone under poor lighting conditions; Ariel actually looks like this when he plays. The dude is on fire, lit from within like a good single-ended amplifier.
A couple of friends came over this weekend to listen to records, and I’m happy to report that we experienced no trouble at all. No static, no distortion, no woman, no cry. Record after record, beer after beer, the Rega sounded just fine. I do believe my days of vinyl misery are over. But just in case the static monster decides to come round again, I also picked up a can of StaticGuard ($4 at DuaneReade). Before the dudes came over, I sprayed the stuff on the rug in front of my system, as well as on the curtains behind the system. The smell wasn’t so bad and the dry mist evaporated quickly. My apartment has never been so static-free.
Which brings me to my latest recommendation: Xiu Xiu's Women As Lovers takes its alluring title from a novel by Austrian author Elfriede Jelinek. The album, Xiu Xiu's sixth full-length, was released much earlier this year, but I only got around to it this weekend, during a trip to Vintage Vinyl in good ol' Fords, NJ, along rich and wild Route 1.
Things are quiet now. Kristina's iPod has gone to sleep. Aside from some street noise a passing siren or a honking horn the only music in our office comes from the printer. Soon these coarse black and whites will be colorful glossies. These proofs will grow to be the pages you turn.
I spent some time last night listening to Joanna Newsom's Ys. Tangent CDP-50, Tangent AMP-50, Totem Arro loudspeakers. I know and love the Totem speakers, but the Tangents are new to me and, with Joanna Newsom's help and harp perhaps, they sounded bettermore capablethan ever before in my small living room. The sound was fleshy and fast and detailed, whereas (earlier on and with other material) it had been thin and mechanical and uninvolving. I don't know if this has to do with the electronics breaking-inthey've now been in the system for about 200 hoursor if I was just in a good mood or if Joanna Newsom was responsible. And, right now, I don't care. I'll try to figure it out later.
A shot of me at the recent Consumer Electronics Show. The headphones are Skullcandy's Aviators. Photo: Robert Deutsch.
Tomorrow afternoon, from 3 to 5pm EST, I'll be joining the Reddit social news and entertainment website for an "I Am A" question-and-answer session. Participants can ask me anything pertaining to Stereophile magazine or, I suppose, life in general. I'll do my best to answer intelligently.
The quiet evenings leading up to a DeVore Fidelity Monkeyhaus event are passed by searching through your record collection for the perfect LPs. Every attendee will offer their own ideas of interesting and exciting music, and you will not be outdone by some other audiophile. You decide to bring one of your 2009 R2D4 selections, Lo Dice Todo by Grupo Folklorico y Experimental Nuevayorquino; Richard Hayman's Genuine Electric Latin Love Machine, not only for the persuasive content but also for the outstanding album art; and El Guincho's Alagranza! because you're pretty certain it'll shock and impress the crowd.
The people behind Atocha Design want you to get your records off the floor. Hmm, have they been snooping around my apartment? Have they seen the ever-expanding mess of vinyl propped up against footstools and bookshelves? I want to get my records off the floor, too. (Help.)
And on Saturday, April 24th, Attention Screen performed at Yamaha’s Artist Services concert hall. The performance was recorded by John Atkinson for a future Stereophile CD, the band’s third, scheduled to be released at the 2010 Rocky Mountain Audio Fest in October. It was an excellent night of music. Check out the images in our Gallery.