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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Ear



... ooops... a missing "Y":-)...

Sincerely, an healthy, wealthy, recession and war free, gorgeous 2012 to everyone, everywhere... so I hope.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Music and food... food and music...


... an indissoluble pair as both are made for pleasure, at their very best, BUT can also be poisonous and a nightmare, at their lowest;-)

Try this... a musical Arcimboldo!

Lenco/Goldring 88


... I would have never bought it if not being an avid "Lenco Lovers" forum reader... will get it soon and will try its merits in slate plinth with a Schick arm... WOW!

Never ending story;-)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

People
















My beloved wife returned from a trip to Northern India and Nepal with a load of nice photographs... my pleasure to share with you some which I liked.

The common topic is... people, of course:-)))

A disc for Christmas... Bjork's "Biophilia"


... which means a gift for the platter, cartridge and... ears and soul, of course;-)

Last Bjork's effort - "Biophilia" - which I bought at Ivan's as a gorgeous double vinyl with credit-card shaped, cool complimentary download feature, is a seldom heard beauty of icy atmospheres, harp-generated sounds, whispering voices and pure electro-acoustic soundscapes.

I read on Mojo, some weeks ago, about Bjork's search behind this very disc, the readings which inspired her to compose and play such a wonderful music... also if "Biophilia" was intended as the first interactive disk, ever, where through iPad or other selected computer apps the listener would be allowed to play with mixes and many others visual interactive effects... well, I must say I remained completely indifferent to those hi-tech pluses... BUT the music, THE MUSIC... it's Bjork at her VERY best, up to "Vespertine" high-lights, better than "Medulla" and, most of all, much better than "Volta".

I listened to the four sides in awe, always curious about the next piece, more and more... and will listen to it again, I'm pretty sure.

I strongly suggest you give a listen to "Biophilia", folks... you'll be captured and brought to a better world.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Music and its places - Lake Dal in Srinagar, India


Kashmir's Lake Dal gently weeps

SRINAGAR - For more than a century, stunning Dal Lake has been the resplendent jewel of Kashmir's tourism trade. Enshrined beneath glacially serrated Himalayan peaks and encircled by blossoming orchards and tulip gardens, its idyllic beauty is legendary.

The late George Harrison, guitarist for the Beatles, and Bengali sitar maestro Ravi Shankar once strummed their strings on its shores. British comedian Michael Palin, of Monty Python fame, Academy Award winning actress Joan Fontaine and former United States vice president Nelson A. Rockefeller all vacationed by the peaceful waters.

Dal Lake, located in Srinagar, the summer capital of the northernmost India-administered state of Jammu and Kashmir, has also been a favorite of India's own rich and famous, including musician Zubin Mehta and three generations of India's powerful Gandhi family, to name just a few. (Last year, Congress party leader Sonia Gandhi presided over the harvest of Dal Lake's tulip plantation - the largest of its kind in Asia.)

My wife was there, only few weeks ago... I saw this marvellous place through her eyes...

Weirdo Dept. - pre-war (high) fidelity

... ho, hooo, hoooooo...


The coolest of musical Christmas' gifts from a more innocent era for the (still) innocent music-lover and root/popular music scholar.




A must!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Alternatives to (Coke-style) Christmas... some suggestions...

Really found annoying the attack on the shore by Santas troops currently on TVs worldwide... more reminding me to WW2 than to Christmas' time... and we all know how much we need peace.

Much more prefere these:







Tim Burton, Charles Dickens, Matt Groening and Charles Schultz own that 'Xmas "magic" lacking in the above mentioned multi-billion advertising campaign.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Fovea Hex - the "Neither Speak Nor Remain Silent" EP trilogy



A seldom heard - fractal like the disks covers - music and a seldom quoted group of artists, under this brand-name... Fovea Hex: imagine Brian Eno, Steven Wilson, Robert Fripp and Donal Lunny with haunting voice by Clodagh Simonds... re-creating folk, in psych/avantgarde sauce...

Amazing music, indeed, in these 3 x EP/single-(boxed) disks... thanking my friend Franz;-) - the italian one.

BTW and FYI... "The Fovea is a tiny indentation in the retina where the sharpest vision is. Hex can mean various things — amongst other meanings, a jinx or a curse. In a way, to me, Fovea Hex means something like "through a glass darkly".

Monday, December 19, 2011

Nice Blog





Have a browse...

STC/Coles 4038A Ribbon microphone on BBC papers


A rare, seldom read BBC's paper about Ribbon mikes and related.

STC/Coles 4038A remains THE well kept secret among studio microphones!

My acoustic guitars never sounded so lively and transparent, through 4038's.

Roland Topor's wisdom



"100 good reasons to kill myself right now"... from Roland Topor's iconoclastic wisdom.

Dedicated to the late, braveheart (italian film director) Mario Monicelli [see 8)].

Japan and tsunami: to do not...


...forget...

Cool rock & pop & jazz & folk & blues comics


Well informed and quoting among the best musicians ever...

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Bad as Me - Tom Waits' last disc...


... cool title, "Bad as Me"... Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan, the couple guilty of among the best discs of the last two decades are always joining and joined by the ol' bunch of trusty friends... Marc Ribot, Larry Taylor, Augie Meyers, Charlie Musselwhite, David Hidalgo, Flea, Casey Waits (Tom's son), plus Keef Richards' cameos on vocals on one track and his raw 5 strings Telecaster almost everywhere... the best songs - like "Face to the Highway" - from the gorgeous 180 grams vinyl including a superb booklet of Tom's pixes and the complimentary full disk are, strangely, reminding to me the best forty years old songs - i.e. from Blue Valentine and Small Changes and all first Asylum album, where say, Ray Crawford, Shelly Manne, Chuck Domanico and other L.A.'s scene top session-men were greatly supporting Tom's sandpaper younger voice... recording, in best tracks, are as lo-fi as some Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards' cuts, including el cheapos tubey sounding, hissing and buzzing guitar amps and greasy voice and all.

A nice disc, supported by a nice recording, as well... as a blue label says on cover "The first disc in seven years"... but sooo far from being a tired proof, as it is still fresh as, say, much beloved Swordfishtrombones or Mule Variations...

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Subsonic vinyl-discs cleaning - a DIY option?




The difference? Apparently not so huge and MUCH worth some investigation and DIYing re. brush and the like... maybe a mix between a (manual) Knosti and the subsonic feature of the dental-use cleaner could successfully work together... why not?!?;-)

From USD 219 of a.m. (white/blue) machine to (about) USD 3500 for the audiophile-grade, German-made, ready to go sub/ultrasonic cleaner...

... mmmhhhh...

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

(My very own) Gentle Giant's Three Friends


The weirdest disc I EVER purchased in decades of vinyl fairs, shops and WEB browsing?

Years ago I found a minty first pressing on sought-after UK Vertigo "Swirl" label of seminal Gentle Giant's psych masterpiece, "Three Friends".

I had it from early '70s, but it was a worn out italian pressing on shitty, noisy heavy vinyl... I kept to these days only for romantic reasons;-) as this disc gave to me musical fuel of best quality and opened new worlds of musical bliss.

... the a.m. first pressing REALLY was a shiny, top conditions early pressing and I'm still enjoying it a lot.

I still remember the surprise when I opened the pizza-box from UK, inspected and carefully handled and smelled (... yeeessss, defintely so...) it... and...

... oh, oooh...

What I found inside the sleeve... "this" still amuses and intrigues me...

... a Rizla "Orange" cigarettes papers "long" blister was innocently blinking to me... inside, a carefully hand-made, better, hand-rolled;-)))... joint, still so lively smelling of good quality grass... pot, Mary Jane, greeny and cool smelling cannabis sativa.

WOW... psych-mavens at Vertigo put an "attachment" to one of their most beloved discs, ever?!?!

... don't know... I didn't dare asking or bothering the UK seller on the matter... and, no;-)... are you wondering if... no, I didn't smoke it...

Fool I am...

More likely the previous owner stored like in a safe his dopey manufact for the "right" evening...




... and I respected his will... like a glass-bottle with some rolled paper inside, as found on a beach... it's mysterious stuff, folks.

The orange Rizla's with its Nick Drake-hinting "Five Leaves Left" advice is still in my "Three Friends" on Vertigo "Swirl" label disc.

A time-caspule from a better, easier world?

I loved this;-)

Happy Blue Year - THE blues calendar...



Some people like cats, football, nudes, cars, flowers or novelty calendars to keep them smiling all year round.

But only the Blues Artwork Calendar - out yearly since 2004 - lets your eyeball rare ads for blues, race 78s from the 1920s (see September Evil Woman Spell...) while checking off important blues deaths, births and whatnot.

You get also a free disk of rare songs... could you ask for more?!?! As a plus, the topic - i.e. - feeling bluesy - is also soooo tailored and proper to present times...

Have a look here for info and orders.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The endless orgasm...


... it happened this morning, when I finally returned, full-time - after about two months with the EMT 930st - to the Mighty Magnifier, H.M. the Garrard(zilla) 301!

I had my 301 half dismantled as I was trying both the new spindle and the new 12 kilos platter, listening of course, but more as a work-in-progress experimental listening than a relaxed musical enjoyment.

Swapping tables, arms and cartridges dramatically made me aware of the EMT's shortcomings... pleasant, smooth and "radiophonic", in the sense it always reminds me when - I learned it after years - the 930st was "the" radio workhorse... its sound was... is no spikes, no dips, let's say average sounding... a concept I already expressed several times:-)

The Garrardzilla (see a previous post) is something hard to be believed... sincerely, when I say "Garrardzilla" I mean the almost completed - I'm still waiting for the very last puzzle-part, the Ray Clark's solid chassis which sure as hell will further improve things - and will soon reach 301's Olympus, a statement.

I apologize for repeating myself, the combo is 301, fully hauled and lubricated (new stainless steel springs, refurbished motor, etc. etc.) my own spindle and platter, stainless-steel idler wheel, slate plinth and Schick "Haiku" 12 inches silver arm with Lumiere DST cartridge... it's such a one-of-a-kind piece of gear, an empathic combo, so full of after-market, bespoke parts and attention to details that all the energy and attention returns to the listener at every listening, blossoming and amazing:-)

The overall sound is so... soooo sweet and detailed and full of air and various and life-like, every note has its personality, weight, character, decay and weight in the musical palette... it's always been like this, also in the past... BUT now, folks... it's pure magic, period.

930st vs. 301 seems such a nice match... but unfortunately (not for yours truly...) it's a true lesson for myself my friends and everyone doesn't believe that a table (and arm and cartridge) owns a soul: the music flows freely and effortless, light to the ears... never tiring... with Garrardzilla you risk to listen to 4-5 records in a row, without any sense of time passing or being tired.

A disc - a Telefunken's Ludwig Streicher double bass with piano - I listened only yesterday evening on 930st (with RMA 229 and TSD 15 spherical) sounded brand new, so fresh and full of new nuances with 301... the bow strokes, rosin and fingers of Maestro Streicher are like it's in front of me... breathing and masterfully playing... that's it!

I truly cannot stand in my shoes waiting for the next listening at my studio... seeking again & again, endlessly for "that" orgasm-like feeling... later I'll enjoy music with my pal Franz Hinterlehner, visiting me, my town and Gotorama, of course, for a couple of days.

That's audio, that's its truest meaning... enjoying, moving, giving emotions and shivers... and it's always a joy sharing the above with friends.

... aaahhhhhhhhh...

Sunday, December 4, 2011

... some readings about music, looping and composing/improvising...


... as found at Looper's Delight.

BTW, worth repeating: LD is a great site, and a true goldmine at several levels...