A Microwave Oven Named Paolo Conte

You're absolutely right, Christian: I do have the bug. I do! I'm not ashamed to admit it, though it does come as a small surprise. Next thing you know, I'll begin to wonder silly wonders:

1. Are all audiophiles music lovers?
2. Does music sound better on black CD-Rs?
3. Has this amplifier been subjected to double-blind testing?
4. What happened to my remote?

Anyway. Yesterday's goal was accomplished; I made it through all of June and halfway through July. So far, today, I've completed July. I'll begin August soon.

Usually, when I proofread a review, I don't get to enjoy the content much. I read the sentences, and, though the overall meaning does seep in, I'm basically concerned with periods and commas and line breaks — the superficial, the face, the outer body. Writing the blurbs for "Recommended Components," looking beyond the body and searching for the soul of the review, requires a different kind of attention, and so, offers a deeper understanding of the component at hand.

This brings up another question: Can a review have a soul? I'm willing to shrug my shoulders and say: "Sure." But, then again, I'm a guy who talks to his food ("I love you, pizza.") and has a microwave oven named Paolo Conte (aka "Happy Feet").

So it goes. If I love you for what you are and all that you do, I will name you and talk to you and be completely drawn into you, hoping to never ever ever forget exactly what it is you are and why I love you. As you can imagine, when I'm completely drawn into a review, I find myself going from that review to the manufacturer's website and from the manufacturer's website to a dealer. The natural progression would be from the dealer to my credit card, but I'm trying to pay off some debt, you know, and I have the fortunate position of "testing" this stuff for free.

Anyway. It happened yesterday. I was constructing the blurb for the Musical Fidelity kW DM25 transport and DAC, when I got to the part of the review where Artie writes:

The DM25s' stereo imaging was nothing short of stellar, with spatial presentation that managed to be precisely detailed on the one hand, yet unfussy and organic sounding on the other.

And, my god, I knew what he was talking about. More than that, I agreed! And, you know what that means: I had an opinion!

The funny thing is that, a couple years ago, I didn't have this problem. Problem. Listen to me. "Problem?"

It's not really a problem. It's a good thing. But, a couple of years ago, I blurbed like I proofread: detached. If I continue to get involved, I'm afraid it'll take me months to complete this task. And so:

1. Yes. Or, at least, they once were. Until they forgot.
2. Sam Tellig thinks so.
3. Are you kidding me?
4. You're sitting on it. (And you're squishing its soul!)

MegaMon's picture


Wes Phillips's picture

OH, Stephen, I love Paolo Conti! Like Jaques Brel, he doesn't sing songs, he inhabits them. He's a god.And he defrosts, too?

Stephen Mejias's picture

Ha! Yes, he defrosts, but doesn't clean himself, unfortunately.I've been meaning to look into Jacques Brel; I'm not familiar with his music. I'm also curious about the musical. Have you seen it? I've never met a musical that I liked, though, so I'm worried that it won't serve as the best introduction.

Laura LoVecchio's picture

Yes," I know exactly what you mean about the naming thing. I do this with cars. My first car was a very well used 1974 Pontiac VenturaII. It was mine in '79. I named it ""Athena"" after the Who song; as in ""Athena...she's a bomb"". My husband owns a car lovingly referred to as ""The Titanic"". My computer is ""The Beast"" as in beast of burden. I also totally agree with you about the audiophile vs music lover issue.

Monty's picture

Conte gets a lot of radio play here in Austin. I like his stuff," but ""Happy Feet"" has completely wore out its welcome. Sheesh", even Limbaugh was playing it as bumper music for about a year. I'll give you a musical to try," ""Paint Your Wagon."" I'm a huge fan of Lee Marvin", but even if you don't like musicals, you will probably be highly entertained.

Stephen Mejias's picture

>My first car was a very well used 1974 Pontiac Ventura II.That's one helluva car, Laura. Very cool. My first (and only) car was a 1988 Toyota Corolla station wagon," named ""The Tank."" White with blue interior. I miss her.Yes: ""The Tank"" was a lady.

Stephen Mejias's picture

>Conte gets a lot of radio play here in Austin.Interesting. I think I noticed one of his songs in a movie, or commercial, recently, but other than that, I don't hear much of it around here. But I listen to almost no radio. I was introduced to Conte's music by a girl named Michelle, who I met at a hostel in New Orleans. Soon after, I found myself in a great cafe called Le Bouquin Affame, just outside Paris, in Clichy, and heard his music playing there. This was in the spring before I started working for Stereophile. A very important time for me, and Paolo Conte's music is all tangled up in it.>I'll give you a musical to try," ""Paint Your Wagon."" Cool. Thanks Monty.

Christian's picture

I can't wait until you blog about swapping cables," and I think you mentioned you have some on the way. We had a 1993 Corolla; it was a good little car. We traded it in couple of years ago when we got my wife's new car. She calls it her ""Boo""", it's a Subaru Impreza wagon. Suddenly I feel the urge to name other possessions," maybe my BBQ. I could call it ""Killer"""," or maybe ""Le Diable"".

Stephen Mejias's picture

>I can't wait until you blog about swapping cables, and I think you mentioned you have some on the way. Funny you bring this up because I came this close to blogging about cables today. Then I got scared. Why are you interested in cables? What cables do you use?>Suddenly I feel the urge to name other possessions, maybe my BBQ. A BBQ certainly deserves to be named," it seems to me. I do like ""Le Diable."" I also like ""Pit."" There's been a lot of French in the air lately.

Stephen Mejias's picture

>It is still running well. 333K miles. Wow. Congratulations on a kick-ass car. Cheers to De Plate.

Wes Phillips's picture

>A BBQ certainly deserves to be named," it seems to me. I do like ""Le Diable."" I also like ""Pit.""Why not ""Brad?""

Christian's picture

Brad could work," then I would have someone to blame if things don't go well. ""Brad burnt the chicken...again."" Or"," ""Brad ran out of gas halfway into cooking the burgers."" My apologies to anyone named Brad. I think it would be interesting Stephen if you did blog about cables. I recently crafted another pair of Cardas cables replacing my Belden DIY pair. I think that I really like the Cardas cables", it sounds warmer," a more ""natural"" presentation than the Belden. Then again I may be completely delusional because there is no way I can swap the cables and listen to them blind. I also swear that my upgraded power cord made a difference as well. Again"," did it really make a difference or do I simply want to hear something better in my ""craft"" projects? At the end of it all", I have fun putting them together and I have fun listening to them. Maybe that's the answer.

Al Marcy's picture

Delusional about our handiwork is no sin. Delusional about out lack of delusions is a bit drab ;)