For the last couple of days, I've been listening to one special CD from start to finish, and over and over again. I don't want it to ever end. Elizabeth must be sick of it. I'm sorry, Elizabeth. But, no: she's not sick of it because she understands. She knows what this is all about. And when I'm not listening to it, I'm holding onto it tightly, smiling over the lovely cover of sweethearts and peaches, reading the song titles from top to bottom and then from bottom to top. Memorizing the shade of red, imagining her hands putting it all together.
“YFS” stands for Your Final System. The company’s founder, Kevin O’Brien, worked in the A/V installation business, doing audio consulting and building systems of all prices, until around 2011, when he decided he wanted to solve that problem once and for all. To that end, the YFS HD Ref3 LE “computer transport” ($15,500) combines an 8-core processor, 32GB of double data rate type 3 (DDR3) RAM, a 1TB solid-state drive (SSD), and a SOtM USB 3.0 PCI digital output cardall with heavily modified external power supply and audio circuitry.
I'm listening to Margot & the Nuclear So and So's now. They sing songs about vampires and kittens, mice and clowns. You might like them. Their story is one of poverty and despair and desolation thwarted by sudden friendship, a burst of creativity, and life on the road. It sounds familiar, but then not. They make music with trumpets and cellos and keys.
To Kevin Mokry and Meghan Hutchinson, I’m just another old dude at a hi-fi show. Which is awesome, because I’m tired of being the new guy, and I’m always happy to see young, enthusiastic faces enjoying high quality sound. Kevin is just 18 years old and already deep into hi-fi and A/V gear, selling for his dad at Quebec’s Centre Hi-Fi, and Meghan is very impressed by the robust bass of Monster’s Beats by Dr. Dre headphones ($350).
Well, ladies and gentlemen, our Zappa Plays Zappa DVD Sweepstakes is now closed. We will not accept any additional entries. I offer my sincere thanks to all those who participated, sending in colorful, encouraging, and often amusingly odd e-mails. Thank you.
I loved the pure, clean sound and sense of touch and bloom that came with Ben Webster’s tenor sax on “Stars Fell on Alabama” from Billie Holiday’s great Songs for Distingué Lovers. And, in “A Foggy Day,” Lady Day’s voice was as rich and true as can be.
Later, I noted fine snap and brassy pluck to the sound of acoustic guitars during “Chuck E.’s in Love,” the opening track to Rickie Lee Jones’ self-titled debut, an album that people often love or hate.