Stephen Mejias

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Stephen Mejias  |  Oct 12, 2011  |  6 comments
In our December issue, I review Emotiva’s ERC-2 CD player and use Mark Hollis’s eponymous solo album as a reference. It’s a gorgeous disc, both sonically and musically—full of emotion, power, urgency, and lifelike detail. It was only earlier this year that I discovered Mark Hollis and his band, Talk Talk, through the kindness of Steve Cohen, salesman at In Living Stereo and friend of Other Music.

I had just met Steve.

Stephen Mejias  |  Oct 11, 2011  |  1 comments
I’ve mentioned my excitement for Oneohtrix Point Never’s upcoming album, Replica. Scheduled for release by Mexican Summer on November 8, it’s sure to be one of my favorite albums of 2012.

A month ago, we listened to “Sleep Dealer,” and now we can listen to the title track, a steady and introspective 4:36 of piano, synth, and tape drones.

Stephen Mejias  |  Oct 10, 2011  |  0 comments
On the surface, Sandro Perri’s Impossible Spaces is an ordinary pop album: We hear pleasant guitar, intelligent percussion, and a voice that, while lovely, is easily appreciated, palatable, unchallenging. But there’s a depth and darkness to this music that begs to be uncovered.

It’s the sweetness of the voice and the liquid tone of the guitar that draw me in, but the subtle shifts in key, the clever instrumentation, the aching cello and odd flute, the broken lines and strangely abbreviated melodies that make me listen again, confuse and enchant, charm and intoxicate.

Here’s the video for “Love and Light,” the second track from Impossible Spaces:

Stephen Mejias  |  Oct 07, 2011  |  7 comments
I’ve been enjoying “Bambi” and “Red Song,” two new pulsing, angular, seductive tracks from Montreal’s Suuns.

Suuns - Bambi b/w Red Song by DOJAGSC

The band explains:

Stephen Mejias  |  Oct 06, 2011  |  1 comments

On the evening of Tuesday, September 27, KEF dealers, friends, and associates celebrated the British loudspeaker company’s 50th anniversary. The event was held in the impressive penthouse residence of British Consul-General, Danny Lopez, where guests were treated to tall glasses of Pimm’s, delicious hors d’oeuvres, and electric views of Midtown Manhattan and Long Island City.

Stephen Mejias  |  Oct 06, 2011  |  10 comments
Several weeks ago, a dear friend reminded me of the Commencement address delivered by Steve Jobs on June 12, 2005, at Stanford University. The entire speech heaves with wisdom, hope, and love, and I tend to come back to it every now and then, just as I do Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass—for comfort, compassion, direction, perspective. I meant to write something about it then, but things got in the way.

Here’s a pertinent excerpt:

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything—all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure—these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

And here’s an image of Jobs at home in 1982.

Photo: Diana Walker.

“This was a very typical time. I was single. All you needed was a cup of tea, a light, and your stereo, you know, and that’s what I had.”—Steve Jobs

I'm reminded to live simply, full of love.

Stephen Mejias  |  Oct 04, 2011  |  6 comments
Nite Jewel’s glittery, slinky sound recalls the pop and R&B of the late 80s and early 90s—stuff that you might have heard on Hot 97 or Z100 when you were 12 years old, searching for an identity, a groove, or simply for something good on the radio.

I can't help it: I like it.

Stephen Mejias  |  Sep 28, 2011  |  0 comments
Twin Sister meets Twin Peaks in the video for “Kimmi in a Rice Field,” from the band’s charming, soulful, and often lovely debut full-length, In Heaven. Like a real dream, the video, directed by Bryan Ujueta and Dan Devine and starring vocalist Andrea Estella, is sort of beautiful, sort of creepy, and sort of ridiculous.

Stephen Mejias  |  Sep 20, 2011  |  1 comments
Shara Worden, My Brightest Diamond’s enchanting vocalist, explains: “In November, the great composer Gorecki died and I remember that weekend clearly, listening to the work and reading the lyrics in his beautiful Symphony No.3, the lament of a mother who has lost her son in war. This was the context in which I started writing ‘Be Brave.’”

“Be Brave” is the first single from My Brightest Diamond’s upcoming album, All Things Will Unwind, Worden’s response “to a world unwinding.” With the video, we gain a look into the recording process, but also a look into Worden’s heart and mind.

Stephen Mejias  |  Sep 16, 2011  |  4 comments

Today is my birthday; it's the blog's birthday, too.

Another year older, stronger, healthier, happier. Thanks for sharing it with me.

Stephen Mejias  |  Sep 15, 2011  |  1 comments
I’ve been playing games with myself, attempting to set limits and impose rules around my furious, nearly uncontrollable, record-buying spree. I told myself that for every dollar I spent on a record I would deposit a dollar into my savings account. (I tried it for a few days, but became bored. Saving is not nearly as much fun as record-shopping.) Then, a few weeks ago, after dropping a few hundred dollars during binges at Other Music and the Princeton Record Exchange, I told myself that I would impose a strict moratorium: No more records for me until after the New Year. With few exceptions, I had already purchased just about every new record I wanted, or so I tried to convince myself. But then the new Thundercat album hit stores and I had to have it. And then it was the new Girls record. How could I live without that?

Here’s another:

Stephen Mejias  |  Sep 14, 2011  |  3 comments
Today, Peachtree Audio announced their new flagship asynchronous preamp/DAC, the Grand Pre, the first in a series of “Grand” products (a power amplifier and an all-in-one integrated amplifier will come later) and the first Peachtree component to have its design, final assembly, and final QC all take place in the US. For audiophiles hoping to "buy American," this should come as interesting news.
Stephen Mejias  |  Sep 14, 2011  |  2 comments
The 14th Annual Blues Masters at the Crossroads will be held on October 21st and 22nd at Blue Heaven Studios in Salina, Kansas.
Stephen Mejias  |  Sep 14, 2011  |  4 comments
Girls begin their US tour tonight in Atlanta in support of their sophomore release, Father, Son, Holy Ghost, available now from True Panther.
Stephen Mejias  |  Sep 13, 2011  |  3 comments
To celebrate today’s release of Girls’ sophomore record, Father, Son, Holy Ghost, the band will make an in-store performance at Grimey’s in Nashville, Tennessee, at 5pm on Friday, September 16. You won’t want to miss this. If you can’t make it to Grimey’s, you can still enjoy the show because this will be the very first nationwide in-store: The performance will be streamed live, one time only, across the websites of our most cherished, influential, and important independent record stores.