Robert Baird

Robert Baird  |  Mar 09, 2023  |  0 comments
Margot Price: Strays, Loma Vista Records (16/44.1 WAV download; also available on CD, LP, cassette tape)
Robert Baird  |  Feb 27, 2023  |  1 comments
At this point in the vinyl revival, it's hard to believe there are many undiscovered masterpieces left that are worth discovering. Record Store Day (RSD), a much-ballyhooed source of unique and unreleased music on vinyl, has been a major spur in the drive to plumb the vaults, but even though it has an excellent reputation, most RSD unearthings have turned out to be less than essential.

The increasingly rare exceptions are to be celebrated. Here's one. Just before the year turned to 2023, on what would have been Donald Byrd's 90th birthday, a smoldering, untapped artifact surfaced after 50 years in the can.

Robert Baird  |  Feb 15, 2023  |  6 comments
Steely Dan: Countdown to Ecstasy
ABC/Geffen Records/UMG, Analogue Productions UHQR 0010-45 (2 LPs). 2022.
Gary Katz, Chad Kassem, prods.; Roger Nichols, Miss Natalie, Bernie Grundman, engs.
Performance *****
Sonics *****

They were elitist brainiacs. The lyrics were too obscure. Their rhythmic, irresistible pop confections resisted easy description. Yet their debut album, Can't Buy a Thrill, was a surprise hit. The band's response? Knowing that their sales success had bought them goodwill at ABC, their record label, Donald Fagen and Walter Becker went the integrity route. They forgot about hit singles, embraced risk, and fearlessly pushed the genre envelope in the direction of saxophone breaks, funk rhythms, and bluesy explorations.

The result was Countdown to Ecstasy.

Jim Austin, Robert Baird, Phil Brett, Tom Fine, Anne E. Johnson  |  Feb 09, 2023  |  0 comments
Peggy Lee: Norma Deloris Egstrom from Jamestown, North Dakota (Expanded Edition); Blancmange: Private View; Weyes Blood: And In the Darkness, Hearts Aglow; Pit Pony: World to Me; Various Artists: Live Forever: A Tribute to Billy Joe Shaver
Robert Baird  |  Feb 02, 2023  |  1 comments
To be a poet is to be tormented. And singer/songwriter Townes Van Zandt's demons were relentless: mental illness, addiction, willful recklessness. He constantly complicated his life and the lives of those around him. Even fans who felt lucky just to have him play their town were unwittingly drawn in, often exhilarated but occasionally aghast. Yet judged by his recordings, he was indisputably a songwriting genius—often sad and confused but gifted nonetheless. The scion of a storied and wealthy Texas clan, he was that rare artist who was compelled to create art.
Robert Baird, Phil Brett, Anne E. Johnson  |  Jan 13, 2023  |  0 comments
David Bowie: Divine Symmetry (An Alternative Journey Through Hunky Dory), Björk: Fossora and Emily Scott Robinson: Built on Bones.
Robert Baird  |  Jan 03, 2023  |  1 comments
It's time to address a snarky rumor, a persistent urban legend surrounding music fans who care about listening in the highest quality sound possible. It's been posited from time to time that quality gear and heavy, quiet LP pressings go better with a certain intoxicant—that you have to get high to truly have the fullest possible listening experience.
Jim Austin, Robert Baird, Thomas Conrad, Sasha Matson  |  Dec 16, 2022  |  1 comments
Ethan Philion: Meditations on Mingus, Jakob Bro, Joe Lovano: Once Around the Room: A Tribute to Paul Motian, Brother Jack McDuff: Moon Rappin', Miles Davis: That's What Happened 1982–1985 (The Bootleg Series, Vol.7), Marshall Gilkes: Cyclic Journey and Noah Garabedian: Consider the Stars Beneath Us.
Robert Baird  |  Nov 16, 2022  |  2 comments
The Kinks: Muswell Hillbillies/Everybody's in Show-Biz
BMG BMGCAT720DBOX (6 LP, 4 CD, Blu-ray). 2022. Ray Davies, Andrew Sandoval, prods.; Mike Bobak, Matt Jaggar, Kevin Gray, others, engs.
Performance ****
Sonics ***½

Despite world-class songwriting and great singing from Ray Davies, solid guitar work from brother Dave, a run of six classic albums from Face to Face (1966) to Muswell Hillbillies (1971), multiple hit singles and albums in the US and the UK, the Kinks are rarely mentioned, on either side of the Atlantic, in the same breath as contemporaries the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Why is that?

Robert Baird  |  Nov 08, 2022  |  0 comments
Professor Longhair in his living room! Etta James—live—at Tipitina's!! Previously unknown James Booker recordings!!! All of it unreleased and unheard???

In the music world, spare time spurred by COVID closures led to many good ideas and side projects. Few have been better than Tipitina's Record Club (TRC).

Pages

X