After each sweepstakes winner confirms receiving their prize, I request a photo of the lucky recipient posing with their reward. Ken Olen’s photo had me mystified. The grainy image of a mustachioed man with a mischievous smile seemed darkened and distant. Where did this picture come from?
Though Olen claims to be from Bedford, New Hampshire, using our fancy photograph-decoding software from partnering magazine Shutterbug and some of John Atkinson's equipment measurement tools, I unveiled Olen’s actual location. He’s in outer space galaxies away! No wonder his transmission came through so hazy. The sound of those Logic3 Scuderia R300 Headphones must really be something special.
I’ll be honest, when Klipsch invited me to see the B-52s on Thursday, August 9th, all I really wanted was for Peter Griffin to stroll across the Irving Plaza stage oblivious to the swirling lights and drifting artificial fog, whip out an acoustic guitar, and play that jangly lead from “Rock Lobster”. A bearded lobster donning a turban would then prance to the front of the stage and everyone would scream “Death to America / And butter sauce!” This never happened. However, I did successfully ignore the opening band Love Funk, had my mind blown by the B-52s, but most importantly, I discovered a bunch of new products from the Klipsch family.
From February 28 until March 04, 2012, the Kurt Rosenwinkel Quartet got cozy in the dark and welcoming Village Vanguard for six evenings and 12 evocative sets of guitar-work and authoritative musicianship. Rosenwinkel partnered with friends Eric Revis (bass), Aaron Parks (piano), and the band young’n Justin Faulkner (drums).
The Sony Radio Cassette-Corder CFM-10 is an unassuming little piece of electronics. I remember back in 1995, while the devastating Hurricane Opal tore across the state of Alabama, my family crouched on the laundry room floor with a cheap green lantern giving us light. My little sister and I were wrapped up in oversized, itchy wool blankets, laughing and joking, while Opal wreaked havoc and destroyed lives. We listened to the wind howling against the house, huge tree branches cracking and crashing to the ground, as we awaited word from weather-god James Spann who spoke from a little black cassette-corder like the one I had just found.
Innovative Audio Video Showrooms, a New York City hi-fi gallery hosted two rooms this year: one room with an ultimate-truth to recording digital playback system and the ultra-smooth analog room.
Scott Haggart, a passionate Innovative employee and expert hi-fi demo deliverer was in the midst of a presentation upon my arrival. Haggart treats his work with serious care, and as anyone who has experienced one of his demos can attest to, he guides the listeners patiently through the exact gear that they are listening to and details about the music, a skill not many exhibitors at this hi-fi show demonstrated.
On Sunday, I took a walk through Inwood Hill Parkthe last existing glimpse to the natural wonder that Manhattan once was. Tulip trees and red-backed salamanders populate these woods. Along the paved trail, a playful soul chalked in instructions for hikers:
Similarly, hi-end audio is a selfless act. We are workers for the world of music and its performers. The thousands of dollars that audiophiles spend on monstrous loudspeakers and thick, slick cables are not shameless self-indulgences, but expressions of grand devotion to the recreation of an expression, an emotion, a feeling! To truly take someone's words to heart. To find yourself in someone else's soundstage. To give yourself away and believe in somebody else's dreams instead of your own.
I'm running sound at a new DIY venue in Brooklyn called The LAB, and I snag some weird stuff. Here's a sample…
Trevor Peterson arrived with a guitar and a bevy of pedals and samplers. With the help of adaptable computer music softwares like Ableton and Logic and popular hardware like the Roland SP-404SX or the Akai APC40, the combinations of technologies passing through the Lab morphs constantly.
I'm running sound at a new DIY venue in Brooklyn called The LAB, and occasionally I snag some good tunes. Here's a sample…
Kashka is a Canadian synth-pop duo formed by vocalist/lyricist Kat Burns and synth programmer and multi-instrumentalist James Bunton. The pair arrived by way of Toronto with stacks of keyboards, drum machines, and a laptop. After a show of reverb-drenched harmonies and airy synth patches, Kat handed me a purple colored tape of their most recent album Vichada. A tape? I didn't quite understand.
Despite a recurring and subtly bothersome perirectal abscess, I was committed to making this a good weekend. My life had been devoid of concerts and bars due to my renewed vow to frugality, but an endless stream of incredible live music in NYC this weekend could not and would not be ignored.
I wear polo shirts daily. Polo shirts keep things simple. Seven-time French Grand Slam tennis champion René Lacoste invented the “tennis shirt” in 1929 as an alternative to the traditional player’s outfit of white button-down and tie. The easy-to-wear “tennis shirt” rapidly expanded as official garb for polo players, golfers, and Homer Simpsons of America. Like the polo, the Logitech|UE 4000 on-ear headphone ($99.99) is accommodating to all in both fit and acoustic profile.
I remember my first real encounter with the Logitech|UE 900s noise-isolating earphones ($399.99). I broke them out riding the B35 to catch the Q to someplace I don’t remember.The UE 900s’ braided cables unraveled gracefully as I lifted them from their burnished black carrying case.
But before heading over, Kimmy and I just wanted to sit down and watch a couple episodes of our favorite show, Curb Your Enthusiasm. We got distracted though, as is always the case with my blog entries, where plans change due to interest in more exciting forms of clarity, a better understanding of the world. By this, I'm talking about the new Vizio television my roommate Jason bought. (Hold your horses now! Don't get so riled up. I know this isn't a Home Theater blog, but I'm getting somewhere, kinda.)
Lenny Abramov thought he found immortality in Eunice Park, the woman who gave him the will to live. He thought he found it in his job, where he sweat endlessly soaking through his acrylic shirts while mindlessly serving Joshie, a back-stabbing “friend”. Eunice would leave him too. In fact, the only true happiness Abramov ever found and returned to were the sounds of his mother and father’s native Russian tongue, their coddling words and thick, laborious accents. In their speech, he could reconnect to the compassion they shared, the basketball they played, and his basement bedroom. Abramov’s parents were the only thing he had, until they died. He was left with bells “tolling, deep and sonorous and thoroughly Russian.” Lenny never chose his parents. He never chose their boundless affection. It was the sound of bells at their deathbeds that reminded him he was loved.