Monthly Archives: October 2012

Perhaps prompted by their brief appearance on the London Olympics Closing Show, we present Elbow’s 2008 album The Seldom Seen Kid.  And I’ve chosen to introduce it with a link to a grudgingly positive review by someone who just doesn’t doesn’t like the band in the first place! (Even if you don’t care to read about the album, his review is a fun read.)

http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2008/mar/14/popandrock.shopping
 

The Seldom Seen Kid is a terrific listen, somewhat nostalgic in its soundscape, and very much in the lyrical rather than the rocking camp.  To calibrate your thinking, it reminds me very much of Sting’s The Dream of the Blue Turtles.  One thing you’ve got to hand to Sting was that he released some damn fine-sounding recordings.  Elbow shares those values.  In fact, when releasing The Seldom Seen Kid, Elbow made a lot of noise about the Loudness War and how they were having nothing to do with it.  As a result, Kid is unusually dynamic for a modern commercial recording, and rewards playback on a high-performance audio system.

Enjoy….

Perhaps prompted by their brief appearance on the London Olympics Closing Show, we present Elbow’s 2008 album The Seldom Seen Kid.  And I’ve chosen to introduce it with a link to a grudgingly positive review by someone who just doesn’t doesn’t like the band in the first place! (Even if you don’t care to read about the album, his review is a fun read.)

http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2008/mar/14/popandrock.shopping
 

The Seldom Seen Kid is a terrific listen, somewhat nostalgic in its soundscape, and very much in the lyrical rather than the rocking camp.  To calibrate your thinking, it reminds me very much of Sting’s The Dream of the Blue Turtles.  One thing you’ve got to hand to Sting was that he released some damn fine-sounding recordings.  Elbow shares those values.  In fact, when releasing The Seldom Seen Kid, Elbow made a lot of noise about the Loudness War and how they were having nothing to do with it.  As a result, Kid is unusually dynamic for a modern commercial recording, and rewards playback on a high-performance audio system.

Enjoy….

Carlos Kleiber was by popular reckoning – and in particular in the opinion of his fellow conductors – the greatest conductor of the 20th Century.  All this despite a recorded oevre which remains quite stunningly limited.  Additionally, Kleiber’s orchestral appointments were not those you would associate with a conductor of such repute, although he did turn down an offer to succeed Karajan as conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic, considered by many the most prestigious appointment in the world.  This is often attributed to his reclusive, erratic, and uncompromising personality.  Perhaps also to an element of fear of failure, which some ascribe to his domineering father, Erich Kleiber, also a conductor of international repute.  Carlos apparently felt throughout his life that he was always striving to live up to his father’s accomplishments.  However, few critics would not agree that he did in the end comfortably surpass his father’s status and repute.

Kleiber’s recorded magnum opus is undoubtedly his 1975 recording of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.   Kleiber absolutely kills the piece.  Nails it.  Dead.  There is absolutely no need for anybody to bother recording it again, although many, many will continue to do so.  Kleiber is the Reference Standard.

https://www.hdtracks.com/index.php?file=catalogdetail&valbum_code=HD00028944740028

There is a 24/96 release on HD tracks, but it is not all that superior to the CD, nor to the original LP.  I have all three.  Part of this is DG’s congested multi-miked recording practice of that era which produces a tonally accurate representation at the expense of a chaotic and confusing sound stage in which most of the instruments seem to be located more or less where they should be, but you just can’t seem to focus cleanly on them.

All this is totally secondary to Kleiber’s astonishing performance.  This is THE Beethoven’s fifth, and it is going to totally, completely, blow you away.  Surely even Beethoven himself would agree.

Carlos Kleiber was by popular reckoning – and in particular in the opinion of his fellow conductors – the greatest conductor of the 20th Century.  All this despite a recorded oevre which remains quite stunningly limited.  Additionally, Kleiber’s orchestral appointments were not those you would associate with a conductor of such repute, although he did turn down an offer to succeed Karajan as conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic, considered by many the most prestigious appointment in the world.  This is often attributed to his reclusive, erratic, and uncompromising personality.  Perhaps also to an element of fear of failure, which some ascribe to his domineering father, Erich Kleiber, also a conductor of international repute.  Carlos apparently felt throughout his life that he was always striving to live up to his father’s accomplishments.  However, few critics would not agree that he did in the end comfortably surpass his father’s status and repute.

Kleiber’s recorded magnum opus is undoubtedly his 1975 recording of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.   Kleiber absolutely kills the piece.  Nails it.  Dead.  There is absolutely no need for anybody to bother recording it again, although many, many will continue to do so.  Kleiber is the Reference Standard.

https://www.hdtracks.com/index.php?file=catalogdetail&valbum_code=HD00028944740028

There is a 24/96 release on HD tracks, but it is not all that superior to the CD, nor to the original LP.  I have all three.  Part of this is DG’s congested multi-miked recording practice of that era which produces a tonally accurate representation at the expense of a chaotic and confusing sound stage in which most of the instruments seem to be located more or less where they should be, but you just can’t seem to focus cleanly on them.

All this is totally secondary to Kleiber’s astonishing performance.  This is THE Beethoven’s fifth, and it is going to totally, completely, blow you away.  Surely even Beethoven himself would agree.

Here’s a record that defies categorization. Take Yo-Yo Ma, world-renown classical cellist, plus three accomplished eclectic musicians steeped in Bluegrass, and what do you get? Answer – the Goat Rodeo Sessions!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7EcT5YzKhQ

http://www.allmusic.com/album/the-goat-rodeo-sessions-mw0002203889

I thought the best way to describe this to you would be to post a good quality YouTube link, featuring the band playing three tunes from the album courtesy of NPR (National Public Radio).  Goat Rodeo Sessions is a breath of fresh air in a musical world in which albums are sadly becoming more and more compartmentalized according to a bewildering variety of genres which most people I know are at a loss to identify.  Anything which can’t be neatly slotted into a convenient consumer category (one that some marketing suit can locate on his spreadsheet) is always going to be a tough sell.  Props to these guys for putting this project together – although when one of them has Yo-Yo Ma’s name recognition, that is always going to help!

Goat Rodeo Sessions takes a few listens to really get into it, but isn’t that always how it is with all of your absolute favorite albums?  Give it a shot – you won’t be disappointed.

Here’s a record that defies categorization. Take Yo-Yo Ma, world-renown classical cellist, plus three accomplished eclectic musicians steeped in Bluegrass, and what do you get? Answer – the Goat Rodeo Sessions!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7EcT5YzKhQ

http://www.allmusic.com/album/the-goat-rodeo-sessions-mw0002203889

I thought the best way to describe this to you would be to post a good quality YouTube link, featuring the band playing three tunes from the album courtesy of NPR (National Public Radio).  Goat Rodeo Sessions is a breath of fresh air in a musical world in which albums are sadly becoming more and more compartmentalized according to a bewildering variety of genres which most people I know are at a loss to identify.  Anything which can’t be neatly slotted into a convenient consumer category (one that some marketing suit can locate on his spreadsheet) is always going to be a tough sell.  Props to these guys for putting this project together – although when one of them has Yo-Yo Ma’s name recognition, that is always going to help!

Goat Rodeo Sessions takes a few listens to really get into it, but isn’t that always how it is with all of your absolute favorite albums?  Give it a shot – you won’t be disappointed.

Every major city has its huge musical talents that seem to be criminally under-appreciated, and in Toronto, that status most assuredly applies to Jason Wilson.

www.jasonwilsonmusic.com/discography.html

Jason Wilson’s music is, surprisingly for a white guy of European descent, firmly rooted in Jamaican Reggae, thanks to his having grown up in the Jamaican community in Toronto.  But he imbues his reggae core with jazz, folk, rock, blues, and various other genres that seem to blend seamlessly in.  I first encountered Jason Wilson playing in an open-air set at the Mont-Tremblant resort, in front of a casual audience of perhaps a hundred or two.  “Anybody out there love Reggae?!” he shouted to kick off his set.  You could have heard a pin drop.  But once the band started playing, nobody left, and the whole set was greeted with real enthusiasm.  I’ve paid three figures for tickets to hear lesser musicians.  Jason is a live performer par excellence, with a strong, well-toned, and confident voice. His band plays with the tightness that only comes from years and years of determined work together.

I bought a couple of his CDs at the concert, and when I got them home I was surprised – not to mention pleased – to find that he is as accomplished in the studio as he is on the stage.  My personal favorite is a double CD called “The Peacemaker’s Chauffeur“.  It is a great place for the curious listener to start.  The recording is of a quality that most major label artists fail to reach (for which there is, of course, absolutely no excuse).

Please give Jason Wilson a listen.  A fantastic songwriter, fronting a first-rate band, and a real, real treat for the uninitiated!

Every major city has its huge musical talents that seem to be criminally under-appreciated, and in Toronto, that status most assuredly applies to Jason Wilson.

www.jasonwilsonmusic.com/discography.html

Jason Wilson’s music is, surprisingly for a white guy of European descent, firmly rooted in Jamaican Reggae, thanks to his having grown up in the Jamaican community in Toronto.  But he imbues his reggae core with jazz, folk, rock, blues, and various other genres that seem to blend seamlessly in.  I first encountered Jason Wilson playing in an open-air set at the Mont-Tremblant resort, in front of a casual audience of perhaps a hundred or two.  “Anybody out there love Reggae?!” he shouted to kick off his set.  You could have heard a pin drop.  But once the band started playing, nobody left, and the whole set was greeted with real enthusiasm.  I’ve paid three figures for tickets to hear lesser musicians.  Jason is a live performer par excellence, with a strong, well-toned, and confident voice. His band plays with the tightness that only comes from years and years of determined work together.

I bought a couple of his CDs at the concert, and when I got them home I was surprised – not to mention pleased – to find that he is as accomplished in the studio as he is on the stage.  My personal favorite is a double CD called “The Peacemaker’s Chauffeur“.  It is a great place for the curious listener to start.  The recording is of a quality that most major label artists fail to reach (for which there is, of course, absolutely no excuse).

Please give Jason Wilson a listen.  A fantastic songwriter, fronting a first-rate band, and a real, real treat for the uninitiated!

At last – a Hi-Res version of Deep Purple’s 1972 classic Machine Head, that really cooks.  Waaaay superior to the older DVD-A release.  HDtracks can be a bit of a lottery – I don’t know how much say David Chesky (who runs HDtracks) has in how the product he sells is created from the original analog Master Tapes.  I suspect a lot less than he would like.  Chesky’s own label proves beyond doubt that he knows a thing or two about good sound.  But this is one release that can be safely purchased.

At last – a Hi-Res version of Deep Purple’s 1972 classic Machine Head, that really cooks.  Waaaay superior to the older DVD-A release.  HDtracks can be a bit of a lottery – I don’t know how much say David Chesky (who runs HDtracks) has in how the product he sells is created from the original analog Master Tapes.  I suspect a lot less than he would like.  Chesky’s own label proves beyond doubt that he knows a thing or two about good sound.  But this is one release that can be safely purchased.