Stephen Mejias

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Stephen Mejias Posted: Sep 09, 2011 9 comments
I’ve been enjoying Comet Gain’s upcoming album, Howl of the Lonely Crowd, 13 songs and 42 minutes of intelligent, heartfelt, poetic rock and soul—timeless, honest, and inspiring.

The album’s opening track, “Clang of the Concrete Swans,” is like something from Springsteen’s Born to Run, as it urges:

Find the forever in what you’re thinking
Find the forever in who you’re kissing
Escape, escape, escape into your dream
Escape, escape, escape right out of here

Howl of the Lonely Crowd will be available on October 4th from What’s Your Rupture.

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Stephen Mejias Posted: Sep 07, 2011 0 comments

The video for Colin Stetson’s “The Stars in His Head” (Dark Lights Remix), directed by Isaac Gale and Dan Huiting. Kinda lovely, kinda creepy, kinda perfect for this chilly, gray day.

Colin Stetson's powerful record, New History Warfare, Vol.2: Judges, available from Constellation Records, was reviewed in the July 2011 issue of Stereophile.

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Stephen Mejias Posted: Sep 07, 2011 3 comments
Zola Jesus - Seekir by sacredbones

Here’s a new track from Zola Jesus’ upcoming record, Conatus, to be released by Sacred Bones Records on October 4. The track is called “Seekir” and suggests a more polished sound for Miss Nika Rosa Danilova. Combining elements of goth, industrial, pop, opera, and noise, Danilova seems to still be searching for her voice, which is exactly as it should be for a 22-year old with an extremely promising future.

Let her keep searching. I'll follow wherever she goes.

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Stephen Mejias Posted: Sep 01, 2011 16 comments
This morning, I walked right by electrician and idiosyncratic amplifier designer, Nori Komuro, and I didn’t say a word. Not even hello. Why didn’t I say anything? I don’t know. I had just emerged from the subway, and was walking up 32nd Street, toward Herald Square, and I wasn’t expecting to see an idiosyncratic amplifier designer. I was looking, instead and as usual, at the ground, at the sky, at high-heels and at skirts. I saw plenty of those. I was pulling a small handcart carrying a box of loudspeakers. Nori Komuro and I would have had something to talk about.

“Oh, loudspeakers,” Nori Komuro might have said.

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Stephen Mejias Posted: Aug 31, 2011 9 comments
A look inside the impressive Emotiva ERC-2 CD player.

Audiophiles have been buzzing about Emotiva for a few years now. The attraction is no mystery: Emotiva’s products are solidly built and modestly priced, and the company takes pride in its strong relationships with customers. Yet, other than in the usual show report, Emotiva’s products have been absent from Stereophile’s pages.

But that will soon change:

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Stephen Mejias Posted: Aug 29, 2011 2 comments
While listening to Keith Freund’s lovely Constant Comments, it’s often difficult to discern whether the sounds are coming from inside or outside the listening room. Voices, birdsong, honking horns, barking dogs, the opening and closing of doors, ocean waves and rainfall mingle, freely and happily, with crystalline and gently strummed electric guitars, synthesizer sounds, electronic burps and gurgles, tape hiss, and more.

The result is a comforting and thought-provoking ramble. Listening to Constant Comments is like walking down 3rd Street, between Coles and Monmouth, late at night, glancing into the glowing windows of strangers’ homes: I can’t help but make up stories for these scattered shards of song. The 12 tracks of Constant Comments, then, are glimpses into other worlds, at once foreign and familiar, and altogether compelling.

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Stephen Mejias Posted: Aug 24, 2011 2 comments
If I could attend just one music festival each year, it would be Iceland Airwaves, held October 12–16, in downtown Reykjavik, Iceland. Launched in 1999 (in an airplane hangar!), Iceland Airwaves holds parties and performances in a handful of the city’s best venues and sets exciting local talent alongside outstanding international acts—all within a landscape of stunning beauty.
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Stephen Mejias Posted: Aug 24, 2011 5 comments

I won’t be in the office tomorrow. I’ll be down in Hunterdon County, NJ, helping a very good friend set up a very special hi-fi system. This is big—BIG—news, but I can’t say anything else about it yet.

Speculate amongst yourselves.

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Stephen Mejias Posted: Aug 23, 2011 5 comments
Already flooded with contenders offering innumerable models in various shapes, sizes, and colors, the headphone market grows even larger today with the launch of SOL Republic, a “music lifestyle company” dedicated to “delivering innovation in sound, style, and durability.” Four SOL Republic models will initially be offered: Amps ($59.99) and Amps HD ($99.99) in-ear models, and Tracks ($99.99) and Tracks HD ($149.99) on-ear models.

The company, whose initials stand for “Soundtrack of Life,” is led by three music lovers with impressive backgrounds in business development and marketing:

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Stephen Mejias Posted: Aug 23, 2011 0 comments
Oneohtrix Point Never is young electronic composer Daniel Lopatin. His critically acclaimed Returnal shook my listening room walls, clattered around in my mind, and stirred my soul. While more lighthearted recent collaborations with Joel Ford (first under the guise of “Games” and later simply as “Ford and Lopatin”) haven’t reached the same emotional depths, news of Lopatin’s upcoming album, Replica, is intriguing.
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Stephen Mejias Posted: Aug 23, 2011 8 comments
Forum member “jgrossman” wants to know what’s stopping more people from getting into hi-fi. Is it the high cost of audio components, the hobby’s steep learning curve, the lack of hi-fi dealers, or something else?

Anton argues that audiophiles are the problem. “I have seen the enemy of high end audio,” he writes, “and it is us.”

What do you think? Talk about it in the Forum.

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Stephen Mejias Posted: Aug 19, 2011 5 comments
During the final episode of Radio Happy Hour, held at Manhattan’s Le Poisson Rouge on Friday, August 12, we were treated to performances by New York five-piece, Twin Sister. The band played a selection of songs from In Heaven, an unabashed pop album full of hooks and charms, to be released by Domino on September 27.

I was drawn to this music from its earliest moments—those celestial and far-reaching chimes, old-school synth beats, and Andrea Estella’s arresting vocal delivery, a strange and glittering coo, reaching out to “Daniel”:

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Stephen Mejias Posted: Aug 16, 2011 4 comments
The Magico Q1 two-way monitor, first seen at the California Audio Show earlier this year, will make its New York debut during the Grand Opening of the new EarsNova showroom at 3 East 28th Street, in Manhattan.
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Stephen Mejias Posted: Aug 11, 2011 7 comments
It’s a beautiful day in NYC: sunny, 80 degrees, with a slight breeze and low humidity—a perfect day for an outdoor concert. Later this afternoon, I’ll head out to Prospect Park in Brooklyn, meet up with Natalie and Nicole—Kristin will be there, too—and enjoy a “Celebrate Brooklyn” event featuring Foster the People, Midnight Magic, and Cut Copy.
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Stephen Mejias Posted: Aug 10, 2011 15 comments
The September 2011 issue of Stereophile is now on newsstands. On the cover, we feature Oppo’s latest universal disc player, the BDP-95: It slices, it dices, it plays everything and sounds great. In his review, Kal Rubinson installs the BDP-95 in his Manhattan apartment where he compares its two-channel output against that of the Sony SCD-XA5400ES, then he takes the Oppo to his Connecticut home and compares its analog multichannel output against that of Oppo’s earlier BDP-83SE. He comes up with some interesting conclusions.

Also in this issue:

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