Robert Baird

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Robert Baird  |  Jul 27, 2017  |  2 comments
The three most traumatic events anyone can experience in life? The death of a loved one? A surprise audit by the IRS? Your entire LP collection purloined by a disgruntled ex-lover?

And, oh yes—moving.

As 2016 turned to 2017, my wife and I were forced to move from an apartment we wrongly assumed we'd never ever have to leave, which in New York City means a lot. Perhaps we were just a tad naïve?

Robert Baird  |  Jul 25, 2017  |  9 comments
The Beatles: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band: Anniversary Edition
Parlophone/EMI PCS 7027 0602557455328 (4 CDs, 1 BD, 1 DVD). 1967/1987/2009/2017. Giles Martin, prod.; Sam Okell, mix; Jeff Jones, exec. prod.; Jonathan Clyde, Guy Hayden, project prods.; Matt Mysko, Greg McAllister, mix assts.; Miles Showell, Sean Magee, mastering; Matthew Cocker, transfer eng.; James Clarke, audio restoration. ADD? TT: 3:23:11 (CDs only)
Performance *****
Sonics *****

Even VIP visitors to Abbey Road studios are allowed to only peer down a dimly lit hallway to the vault where the Beatles tapes, arguably the UK's most valuable crown jewels, are meticulously stored. Given the value of the band's recorded legacy, it was only a matter of time before even Macca, who over the years has made cryptic and patently false statements about scraping the bottom of the barrel, would get behind new stereo mixes and the long-awaited official release of alternates and outtakes. While the three double-CD volumes of Anthology contained some of this material—and bootlegs had the rest—the release of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band: Anniversary Edition is a welcome and wonderful conglomeration of music and information, old and new, about this landmark recording.

Robert Baird  |  Jul 21, 2017  |  2 comments
Better left in the cut-out bins? Rock from the era of one-album wonders.
Robert Baird  |  Jul 15, 2017  |  2 comments
One of my favorite South by Southwest moments over the 28 years I have attended was the early-1990s performance of Arthur Alexander who was literally sobbing before his set was done. In 1993, after many years out of the music game, Alexander, with the help of a lot of talented friends, made Lonely Just Like Me for Elektra Records, a swansong he never thought possible. Convinced he'd been forgotten, his triumphant performance in Austin just after the record was released, in front of a wildly enthusiastic crowd, moved him to tears. A few weeks later he was gone.
Robert Baird  |  Jul 08, 2017  |  5 comments
If you can put aside the fact that what was once a rock 'n' roll band has now grown into a merciless money machine, and a somewhat creaky repetitive live act that hasn't made a great record since 1978, they still do deserve a nod for never saying die. To borrow a famous line from Midnight Cowboy, those boys are gonna die on the stage. And yes, we will certainly miss them when they're gone!
Robert Baird  |  Jul 04, 2017  |  4 comments
I tend to gravitate towards Stephen Foster and Scott Joplin.
Robert Baird  |  Jun 27, 2017  |  2 comments
New Age. Most of it was acoustic. While there were vocals here and there, much of it featured instrumentalists playing solo or in groups. Some of it was meant to alleviate stress. Some of it was marginally connected to a similarly named movement in spirituality. Environmentalism and respect for nature were constant themes. Some New Age artists created moody, ambient sounds that were intended as background music, to promote healing and relaxation.
Robert Baird  |  Jun 25, 2017  |  1 comments
. . . with a second LP containing an never-released 1992 live show from the University of London.
Robert Baird  |  Jun 16, 2017  |  1 comments
The Dickinson brothers are traditionalists and modern proponents of the kind of music that was celebrated in American Epic.
Robert Baird  |  Jun 13, 2017  |  3 comments
Taj Mahal & Keb' Mo': TajMo
Concord CRE00432 (LP). 2017. Taj Mahal, Keb' Mo', prods.; Zach Allen, John Caldwell, Alex Jarvis, Jesse Nichols, Casey Wasner, engs.; Ross Hogarth, mix; Richard Dodd, mastering; Bernie Grundman, vinyl mastering. AAA? TT: 45:20
Performance ****
Sonics ****

The blues, that wonderful basis of so much American popular music, has for many listeners grown a bit stale and old-fashioned. It's not much of a draw outside bar bands, and other than Alligator Records, most of the biggest blues labels have folded or gone dormant. Losing many of the music's first- and second-generation practitioners hasn't helped.

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