A Week in the Life of Listening, Parts 5, 6, & 7

The very lazy day started off with me not taking a shower. Following that, I played another interesting record: Gegenwind by Pirchner-Pepl-Jazzwio from the Mood Records label. What initially attracted me to the album was Harry Pepl's Ovation guitar on the cover, and I always have to support my fiberglass-guitar-bodied homies.

Gegenwind really showcased the ability of my system, most notably in terms of soundstage and realism. Werner Pichner's vibraphone moved from right to left across the right-center of the soundstage, and I sensed the true softness of the mallets, wrapped in cloth, bouncing delicately off each bar.

To conclude the evening, I went over to Kyle and Ryan's apartment to play Rock Band, eat Domino's pizza, and create a mock radio show featuring host K-Sauce, wingman The Robot, and on-field reporter The Buzzard.

My apartment, a disgusting slop hole, needed to be cleaned. Dirty clothes, guitar pedals, a beard trimmer, a large piece of plywood, and tons of little pieces of paper all lined the floor of my room. While I cleaned, I put on the Quincy Jones-produced soundtrack to The Wiz. I found this record and about 30 others, including Sesame Street Disco, Honey by the Ohio Players, and Rufusized by Rufus in a trash can at First Avenue and 14th Street. The Wiz soundtrack was not very enjoyable and all scratched up, so I'll probably donate it.

Following that record, I tuned in to Luciano by Luciano Pavarotti, also found in the trash. Pavarotti sang with impact and the timpani were a joy.

Later in the evening, some friends came over to play Quiddler, a card-game version of Scrabble. We also listened to Egberto Gismonti's Sol Do Meio Dia, one of my quote-unquote reference recordings. But seriously, this album is amazing. The tactility of Gismonti's thumbs pushing down the bouncy pegs of his kalimba became very real. Also, Jan Garbarek kills(!) on this album. I don't know how a man can get his saxophone to sound so extraterrestrial.

We concluded the evening with Neil Young's Comes a Time. Young warns his dear one of her power over his emotions in "Look Out for My Love," then he plays a mean chunky acoustic guitar riff, fingers popping off the strings.

One week later. We've made it. I invited over another friend, Alex Penman, a fantastic blues guitarist and equally soulful singer. We listened to Robin Trower's For Earth Below, and discussed how a Fender Stratocaster just expresses so much more than a Les Paul. After Side 1, we headed back over to the Sidewalk Caf, stoned on blues power.

So after one week with my hi-fi, I've listened to 18 records with friends and without friends. Just one side of the LP or the whole thing three times in a row. At times, I'd find myself falling asleep; other times deeply involved, resting with my back straight up against the couch, feet on a pleather ottoman, gently nodding my head, eyes closed, but ears and heart so willing and ready to accept the music.