So Much Heat

The August issue ships to press tomorrow. Somehow, despite nasty computer viruses, similarly nasty sinus infections, trips to Los Angeles, Denver, and Munich, and a terribly unforgiving production schedule, we managed to get the book out on time—miraculous!

Today, then, is a relatively quiet day in the office. And I like it. Editorial assistant Ariel Bitran has hit the road for a dusty, 700-acre farm in Manchester, Tennessee, where he will enjoy (among other naughtier things) the eclectic sounds of Buffalo Springfield, My Morning Jacket, Dr. John, Explosions in the Sky, Beirut, Gregg Allman, Ratatat, Warren Haynes, Wiz Khalifa, Best Coast, Phosphorescent, Henry “I Am An Audiophile” Rollins, and many, many more, all at this year’s Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival—certainly poised to be one of those unforgettable, life-changing experiences. I can’t wait to hear all about it.

Meanwhile, here in hazy, humid New York City, Vision Festival 16 is in full swing, twisting and turning and burning like waves of heat from these black city streets.

And hot off the presses, a new Stereophile recording: Attention Screen Takes Flight at Yamaha features Bob Reina on the revolutionary Yamaha AvantGrand N3 hybrid electric/acoustic piano, and includes comprehensive liner notes by John Atkinson and Jason Victor Serinus. We’ve also just repressed the invaluable system diagnostics tool, Test CD 3, which includes recordings from Telarc, Chesky, Analogue Productions, B&W Music, and, of course, Stereophile, as well as signals for testing loudspeakers, rooms, amplification, and electronics. Both of these recordings are now available from our online shop.

Finally, a few music recommendations:
First of all, I can’t stop listening to Wild Beasts’ new one, Smother, which is a gentle exploration of love, lust, passion, and pain. Good, hot stuff. Available from Domino.

Matana Roberts’ COIN COIN Chapter One: Gens de couleur libres merges the sound of powerful saxophone with spoken word poetry and the ghosts and demons of America’s past. She touches the spiritual ecstasy of Albert Ayler, the fury of Archie Shepp, the pure beauty of Coltrane, but offers her own beating, bleeding history, exquisite and frightening. On Constellation, available from SC Distribution.

Jenny Hval’s Viscera is blistered, scarred, luscious. It opens with “Engines in the City,” a single bass note gently plucked, cymbals malletted, strings scraped, Hval, confessional, alluring: “I arrived in town with an electric toothbrush pressed against my clitoris.” And that should tell you most of what you need to know about this record. It is also beautifully recorded. It wants to slice an opening through your speaker cones, step onto your listening room floor, sit down on your anxious lap, and whisper stories into your burning ears.

“How Gentle,” from Jenny Hval’s Viscera, out now on Rune Grammfon, available from Forced Exposure.

michaelavorgna's picture

That Jenny Hval record sounds wonderfully creepy.