Stephen Mejias

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Stephen Mejias  |  May 24, 2012  |  6 comments
I have no real foundation on which to discuss the merits or shortcomings of symphonic music—I’m too busy contemplating Drake, Mike Posner, and Nicki Minaj—but I have heard that the Ninth is considered “the cursed” symphony.

I think it begins with Beethoven, who died after completing his Ninth. Mahler, I’ve read, was so disturbed by the thought of a Ninth, that, after completing his Eight, he tried to dodge The Curse by writing Das Leid von der Erde. But, oh, The Curse can’t be so easily duped: Mahler finally completed a Ninth, but died while working on his Tenth. Gotcha! And we all know what happened to Bruckner. There are at least a dozen other examples, each disputable, surrounded by some level of uncertainty. But, hey, a curse is always good for the history buffs and storytellers. And, as much as anything else, The Curse is what got me interested in Philip Glass’s Ninth.

So, dear Curse, I thank you.

Stephen Mejias  |  May 24, 2012  |  3 comments
Dope Body’s Drag City debut, Natural History, was released earlier this week. It kills. You’ll read (I hope) in my July, August, and September “Entry Level” columns that I use the album to evaluate the rocking capabilities of the PSB Alpha B1, Polk RTi A3, Definitive Audio SM 45, and Tannoy Mercury V1 loudspeakers—all worthwhile choices.
Stephen Mejias  |  May 23, 2012  |  4 comments
The Sonos SUB seems a no-brainer for those who have already purchased Sonos systems and who need, or merely want, the extra bass power. But, because it is so beautiful and so easy to use, it will likely also appeal to anyone who appreciates smart technology and high-quality sound. I have no use for it at all, and I still want it.
Stephen Mejias  |  May 21, 2012  |  6 comments
For the chance to win a pair of Well Rounded Sound WRS WP 2 desktop speakers, all you have to do is register at
Stephen Mejias  |  May 11, 2012  |  12 comments
Somebody asked me for 10 albums, so here are 101:
Stephen Mejias  |  May 10, 2012  |  0 comments
Saturday, May 19, 11am–6pm: The Brooklyn Flea Record Fair will be held at Smorgasburg.
Stephen Mejias  |  May 10, 2012  |  0 comments
While 2011’s Sahel Folk was a quiet, intimate collection of duets—Touré and a friend meeting over a cup of tea—Koïma, Sidi Touré’s second full-length album for Thrill Jockey, is a much more jubilant affair.
Stephen Mejias  |  May 08, 2012  |  4 comments
I’ve been curious about Philips’ new CitiScape Downtown headphones ($99) ever since reading Tyll Hertsens’ review, so I ran into Best Buy this afternoon and checked them out.
Stephen Mejias  |  May 04, 2012  |  3 comments

Eric Chenaux, at Casa del Popolo, Montreal, performing "Put In Music" from the beautiful album, Guitar & Voice.

Stephen Mejias  |  May 03, 2012  |  1 comments
My review of Neneh Cherry and The Thing’s upcoming album, The Cherry Thing, is scheduled to appear in our August issue. Last month, we heard the band’s version of Suicide’s “Dream Baby Dream.” Now we can check out the video for “Accordion,” a selection taken from MF Doom and Madlib’s 2004 album, Madvillainy.
Stephen Mejias  |  May 02, 2012  |  10 comments
Steve Gritzan stands before the beautiful green gates of his shop, Iris Records, at 114 Brunswick Street in Jersey City, NJ.

Initially, I had planned on enjoying a low-key Record Store Day, visiting my local independent shop, Iris Records, and simply leaving it at that. But things never go the way I plan. The allure of J&R Music World in Lower Manhattan, just a short trip across the Hudson, was too great to resist. And if I was going to be in Manhattan, how could I not head over to In Living Stereo? The hi-fi shop was hosting an all-day event with live music, sales on used records, and free beer. It was my duty to attend. And, of course, In Living Stereo is just steps away from my very favorite record shop, Other Music, so I would have to drop by there, too.

Here’s what I picked up along the way:

Stephen Mejias  |  Apr 11, 2012  |  1 comments
As I’ve mentioned, I enjoy making connections between all kinds of seemingly disparate things and ideas, but I take special interest in finding connections between different musical genres or artists. I obsess over this game, as though finding common ground between Drake and Ryuichi Sakamoto—an easy example, but a valid one—will somehow make me a stronger person, make me more intelligent and attractive, allow me to better understand others, make the world a more beautiful place.

It’s in these connections that stories are made. And I love stories. Caught by the idea that everything happens for a reason, that every event is leading to someplace meaningful and magical, I’m hungry for connections, like a DJ attempting to create the perfect mixtape, one that can represent a sum of life’s experiences, wonderful and mundane.

Seems I’m not alone. (Whew.)

Through Kickstarter, director Trevor Undi and producer Sean Barney hope to fund their Kymera Project, a sort of “visual mixtape,” setting songs to images to tell a story that takes place in New York City.

Stephen Mejias  |  Apr 11, 2012  |  1 comments
Courtesy Neneh Cherry and The Thing

People have been understandably curious about The Cherry Thing, the surprising collaboration between Neneh Cherry and free-jazz monster, The Thing, scheduled to be released on June 19 by Smalltown Supersound.

For now, we can hear the band’s version of Suicide’s “Dream Baby Dream.”

Stephen Mejias  |  Apr 10, 2012  |  3 comments
On Valot Kaukaa, Finnish producer Olli Aarni, working as Nuojuva, creates a strange, romantic world of sound. We hear wind and birdsong; crackle and hiss; hints of familiar classical pieces; cello, flute, and violin; whispers and sighs from Rachel Evans of Motion Sickness of Time Travel; and the lovely piano work of Sophie Hutchings, whose 2010 album, Becalmed, was one of my 2011 “Records to Die For.”