Stephen Mejias
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Stephen Mejias
Stephen Mejias May 23, 2013 2 comments
Julianna Barwick’s third full-length album, Nepenthe, is scheduled for release on August 20th, by Dead Oceans. Unlike Barwick’s previous work, largely self-produced in her Brooklyn bedroom, Nepenthe was produced and engineered in Reykjavík, Iceland, by Alex Somers. And while Barwick’s earlier work is made mostly of her own voice, Nepenthe features contributions from Icelandic band Amiina, guitarist Róbert Sturla Reynisson of múm, and a female choir.
Stephen Mejias
Stephen Mejias May 23, 2013 6 comments
I first became acquainted with Lindsay Dobbin’s work in 2010, when she released, under the name Broken Deer, a limited-edition cassette on Al Bjornaa’s Scotch Tapes label. The music sounded like it came from some other, remote time and place—hushed, fragile, inspired by dreams and memories.
Stephen Mejias
Stephen Mejias May 22, 2013 2 comments
Photo: Rick Bahto

Julia Holter’s new album, Loud City Song, is scheduled to be released on August 20th, by Domino. This is Holter’s third album in as many years: Her limited-release debut, Tragedy (recently given proper and deserving reissue treatment by Domino), was met by almost universal critical acclaim, while her follow-up, Ekstasis, expanded her sound, solidified her standing as one of today’s most exciting young artists, and was one of my favorite records of 2012.

Stephen Mejias
Stephen Mejias May 20, 2013 17 comments
Beautiful listening in Munich. Photo: Michael Lavorgna

We have to ask ourselves: Can all hi-fi shows be as efficiently run, popular, successful, and downright fun as the Munich High End Show? Is it possible to cultivate, here in the United States, that combination of heartfelt enthusiasm, relaxed atmosphere, and healthy balance of substance and style?

News, Stephen Mejias
Stephen Mejias May 10, 2013 0 comments
Stereophile celebrated 50 years of continuous publication in November 2012 and released its milestone 400th issue in May. The magazine remains committed to providing all audiophiles—young, old, enthusiastic newbies, and grumpy veterans alike—the tools necessary to get the very best from their systems and music libraries. To that end, we’ve bundled our hot-selling Recommended Components Collector’s Edition and our invaluable test discs into two neat and affordable Audiophile Essentials packages.
Stephen Mejias
Stephen Mejias May 08, 2013 0 comments
Conrad Standish and Tom Carlyon are formerly of the Australian noir-rock trio Devastations. While that band’s thoughtful, honest work could bring a listener to tears, Deleted Scenes, Standish and Carlyon’s debut as a duo, is much more interested in physical pleasures.
Stephen Mejias
Stephen Mejias May 08, 2013 9 comments
In today’s previous entry, I mentioned that Standish/Carlyon’s Deleted Scenes reminded me of Peter Gabriel’s early solo work. Fans of FX’s outstanding TV series, “The Americans,” will have noted that the season’s finale made fine use of Gabriel’s hit single “Games Without Frontiers.” That is, if those fans were already familiar with the song. I was not.
The Entry Level
Stephen Mejias Apr 29, 2013 Published: May 01, 2013 10 comments
It wasn't very long ago that I boasted, in my casual, self-effacing way, that I didn't really like headphones—that I didn't need headphones. Because most people in the New York metropolitan area would rather die than communicate with each other, they use headphones as a sort of fortress of solitude, shielding themselves not only from their physical environment but from all other living creatures. I, however, claimed to enjoy listening to the sounds of the world around me—even screeching tires, blaring sirens, and the drone of air ducts could be musical. La-di-da.
Stephen Mejias
Stephen Mejias Apr 26, 2013 4 comments
Whenever I post one of these entries, there are at least a couple of readers who ask for reviews of the albums I’ve listed. And while such requests are quite reasonable, they take for granted that I’ve actually listened to all of these albums. Sadly, I have not.

Even sadder, I still haven’t listened to the albums I bought last payday.

Stephen Mejias Apr 22, 2013 0 comments
Tempo High Fidelity's John Quick, dCS's US distributor, stands beside a dCS Vivaldi stack at Lyric Hi-Fi's annual audio show.

The Lyric Show 2013 was held at Lyric Hi-Fi & Video (1221 Lexington Avenue) in Manhattan, on Friday and Saturday, April 12 and 13. An informal VIP presentation, held on Thursday, April 11, was open to members of the press. Last year, Ariel Bitran and I covered the event; this year, I was on my own.

This year’s event, much like the last, was well-attended. Most guests made their ways casually from one demonstration to the next. Some lingered in between rooms, chatting and enjoying glasses of red or white wine while picking happily at small plates of fine food. Others seemed glued to comfortable seats in one of the several listening rooms. Manufacturer representatives, many of whom were also enjoying refreshments, held tight to iPads and kept close to gorgeous turntables, ready to take music requests. The entire place buzzed with energy and enthusiasm.

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