Stephen Mejias

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Stephen Mejias Posted: Jun 19, 2013 32 comments
A small subset of audiophiles (always men—the especially old and joyless ones, I suspect) are sick of reading about my adventures in domesticity: They've been there, done that, and managed to do it far better than I. Good for them. Really, I'm glad they're so wise, mature, and experienced that they would spend their free time pounding out frenzied letters to the editor, caps firmly locked, disparaging my taste in music, my relationships with women, my choice of loudspeaker.
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Stephen Mejias Posted: Jun 17, 2013 6 comments
"My life would be worthless without music," says one young member of the Landfill Harmonic, a music program for the children of Cateura, Paraguay.
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Stephen Mejias Posted: May 30, 2013 9 comments
Aidan Baker. Photos: Leah Buckareff.

Aidan Baker’s Already Drowning is our “Recording of the Month” for June 2013. In preparation for our review, I asked Baker a few questions about the album. We discussed literary and musical influences, the songwriting and recording process, and the importance of sound.—SM

Stephen Mejias Posted: May 29, 2013 Published: Jun 01, 2013 2 comments
Though classically trained in flute and exceedingly capable on a wide range of other instruments, including drums, trombone, piano, and various electronics, Aidan Baker is best known for his work on acoustic and electric guitar. A perusal of his unofficial discography on Discogs.com reveals some 80 full-length albums, and another couple dozen singles, EPs, and compilation credits. Beyond merely prolific, Baker's recorded output is profound—and nearly impossible to chart.
Stephen Mejias Posted: May 24, 2013 15 comments
T.H.E. Show Newport Beach will be held May 31 through June 2, at the Hilton and Atrium hotels, near Orange County Airport, in Irvine, California. John Atkinson and Jason Victor Serinus will cover the show for Stereophile.com, while Tyll Hertsens and Michael Fremer will represent for InnerFidelity and AnalogPlanet.

Jason asked if would send him a flash drive carrying a few demo tracks that he might use to audition systems at the show—a fun idea, however one that I can’t successfully realize: At this time, I have no real library of high-resolution (or even CD-quality) digital files, nor do I have proper means of ripping CDs. Simply put, while I do plan on building a proper computer-audio system, I haven’t gotten around to it yet. I’ve been busy hanging out with girls and cats, decorating the new apartment, and admiring the Mets’ ability to find creative ways to lose close games. Give me a few more months.

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Stephen Mejias Posted: May 24, 2013 4 comments
Jenny Hval. Photo: Kasper Vogelzang.

I’m embarrassed to admit that I haven’t made much progress since the last Payday Albums post: I keep buying records, but the days don’t get any longer. What’s up with that? The number of LPs in my collection that have gone unplayed is growing dangerously large; soon enough, my collection will be made mostly of unplayed LPs. Meanwhile, I’m just plain running out of shelf space. What’s a guy to do? Buy a massive hard drive and convert to computer audio?

Hmm . . . I’ll cross that bridge when I get there.

For now: Today’s payday. These are the albums I bought.

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Stephen Mejias Posted: 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.
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Stephen Mejias Posted: 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.
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Stephen Mejias Posted: 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.

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Stephen Mejias Posted: 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?

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