Robert Baird

Sort By: Post Date | Title | Publish Date
Filed under
Robert Baird Posted: Feb 11, 2008 4 comments
Writing about the idiocy known as the Grammy Awards Show just isn't that much fun anymore. I used to take great glee is slicing and dicing them but they’ve been so dumb for so long that, to quote Mr. King (as in B.B.): the thrill is gone. That said, I now look at it as live comedy, of the squirm in your seat variety. It's always mildly amusing to see the U.S/U.K. music business make an ass of itself for the entire world to see. In no particular order here's a few Grammy 2007 observations. On one of those occasions when the camera whirled down and across the crowd, I saw Jeff Tweedy of Wilco, looking very adult-like, and his wife sitting in a coveted aisle seat. He's come up in the world. His band's Sky Blue Sky was nominated for Best Rock Album but lost out to the Foo Fighters. Sinatra and Keys? A tragic mistake for her. Showed how limited her talent is, but then anyone would come up short against Frank. That little sound/image synch problem did not help. A bad idea gone wrong. Tina and Beyonce. Tina looked spectacular at 69 and sounded even better. She is a wonder of nature. And plastic surgery. Beyonce? Damn, the woman has dancer thighs doesn't she? She looked and sounded very nervous. Of course again, she was matched, not to her advantage, with a masterful singer. Maybe the whole young/old thing needs a rethink. Liked the commercials for Garth Brooks Greatest Hits records. The Jerry Lee Lewis/Little Richard/John Fogerty segment was fairly amazing. The Killer, who has been rumored to be on death's door for at least the last decade, looked jowly as hell but was still having fun. Little Richard, on the other hand, was oddly waxen looking (yes, more than normal) and was downright grim when he played. It did occur to me that that performance could well be Jerry Lee's final television appearance, the last glimpse America will ever get, of one of the more unforgettable creators of rock ‘n ‘roll. Thank God Michael Jackson didn’t show up to pay tribute to Thriller. The freak quotient was off the map to begin with. Seeing and hearing Keely Smith was great. Kid Rock however is the same untalented dope he's always been. His only redeeming quality is his respect for rock's elders, which still ain't enough to make me say anything but: why does this man have a music career? Loved the look on people's faces when Doris Day’s name was mentioned. Ooohh was that a LONG time ago. Andy Williams looked like Andy Williams if he were one hundred and ten years old. It’s testament to what performing in Branson, Mo. ad nauseum will do to ya. And poor squinting Tony Bennett did not a whole lot better. Great choice on Herbie Hancock. Blew everyone's mind. In a good way.
Filed under
Robert Baird Posted: Sep 12, 2008 4 comments
It’s been a Guitar Fest here in NYC lately. I’ve seen Bill Frisell (always superb), Kenny Burrell (a very rare pleasure because he hates to fly) and Mike Marino (with new Blue Note pianist Aaron Parks). Tonight is a tribute to Fender's Jazzmaster guitar headlined by Nels Cline, J. Mascis, Thurston Moore and Tom Verlaine. Must be frets in the water or something.
Filed under
Robert Baird Posted: Feb 19, 2010 0 comments
The relationship between the internet and music continues to evolve in new and bizarre ways. The latest is Guvera, a site that offers free music downloads, that the principals say uses the sponsorship model in new and they hope successful ways and keeps everyone—from artist to label to consume—happy. When you register for the site, they ask you a battery of questions about your likes and dislikes and then you’re free to search for a song or an artist. The site will then direct you to a channel or channels, sponsored by an advertiser, which has what you’re looking for. Using the information from those initial customers’ surveys and then your subsequent download history, the site’s algorhythms find the target audience for certain advertisers and grab their eyeballs in a better way than pop up or strip ads. They also tell the advertisers what music the customers they want to reach listen to. The advertiser pays the royalties on the music to whoever holds the copyright. In other words, either the record label or the artist gets paid. It ain’t stealing.
Filed under
Robert Baird Posted: Jun 11, 2007 1 comments
You gotta hand it to The New York Times; they do try and cover the audio industry. And when it comes to dumbing it down, they truly aren't fucking around. Rather than have to read an article from last week's Circuits section on how MP3's might someday sound better, A Quest for That Warm Sound of Old (June 5, 2007), which was printed just above a piece entitled Making Tunes a Fixture on the Patio (snaring more Jersey readers is obviously an NYT priority) here are the some beauties, salient or otherwise. "The more you turn it up, the punchier it sounds…" "…tries to sweeten digital sound by putting back what compression has taken out." "…what are people really going for, accurate reproduction or pleasing reproduction?" "Our technology tricks your brain into hearing something that isn’t there." "When you can't hear the difference anymore, it's overkill." "The process is never perfect." "With a good recording, the quality may be improved by tweaking the playback." "Don’t throw away your records yet."
Filed under
Robert Baird Posted: Sep 26, 2014 3 comments
Do the singles in this boxed set which features a quality pressing job and nice if no frills packaging sound better than the CDs that both Rhino and the pair’s own label mentioned above have been releasing over the years?
Filed under
Robert Baird Posted: May 23, 2014 1 comments
The long overdue rediscovery and re–enshrinement of Harry Nilsson that began with the 2010 release of the film, Who is Harry Nilsson (And Why is Everybody Talkin’ About Him?) shows no signs of abating which is a good thing for fans of the man’s songwriting and most of all, his peerless voice.
Filed under
Robert Baird Posted: Sep 06, 2013 1 comments
The worlds of creating and selling music have never been in such a dramatic state of change. While the CD declines, the LP is resurrected. As piracy charges along undiminished, downloads continue to increase in sales. And then there’s streaming….
Filed under
Robert Baird Posted: May 14, 2007 0 comments
What a great show HE 2007 turned out to be. Large crowds and much good feeling all around. If two channel audio is truly dying then I didn't see it. Lots of good sounding rooms, much impressive, well-priced gear, a successful RAVE awards and a hotel with a key location all made for a very successful show.
Filed under
Robert Baird Posted: Nov 21, 2014 4 comments
Filed under
Robert Baird Posted: Aug 29, 2014 0 comments
There are records where one look at the cover art and without listening to a note, you know exactly what’s inside.
Filed under
Robert Baird Posted: Jul 28, 2006 0 comments
Drenched in sweat thanks to the charming weather here in New York—Oh wait, I forgot, I promised only to bitch about one season which would be winter so let me say I love summer and begin again.
Filed under
Robert Baird Posted: Nov 14, 2014 6 comments
This is not nostalgia. Far from it. The man still has much to say. His gifts have grown richer. And the devil is a waitin’
Filed under
Robert Baird Posted: Aug 15, 2014 1 comments
Forget those damned blade wielding misfits from today’s mindless slasher films, real horror films need a monster...
Filed under
Robert Baird Posted: Aug 19, 2011 29 comments
Michele Bachmann, who is now warning us about the rise of the USSR, vowing to padlock the EPA, and saying she will single–handedly bring back $2 a gallon gas. . .
Filed under
Robert Baird Posted: May 14, 2007 0 comments
Today, May 14, is a momentous day in music history as the anniversary of the passings of Keith Relf (Yardbirds), Chet Baker and one of the humankind's greatest musical talents, the one, the only, the chairman of the board, Francis Albert Sinatra who died in 1998. Somewhere, Frank's still got the world on a string—Ring–A–Ding–Ding!

Pages

X
Enter your Stereophile.com username.
Enter the password that accompanies your username.
Loading