Bland on Blonde: why the old rock music canon is finished

There are so many artists and recordings accessible in a multiplying set of genre/sub-genre/style (see Discogs descriptions on this), that “greatest” no longer matters. For example, Kiwi Steve Apirana’s music is described as Gospel and Blues. I hear blues with occasional Christian ministry. Or how about genre Jazz, Funk/Soul, style Easy Listening!? I simply listen […]

Instrumental Spectrum

I buy quite a lot of ‘old’ records. These have ‘old’ production values (stereo effects more important than the music), and may sound dated, and some are worn. Altogether, the sound quality can be disappointing. This $0.50 purchase was made out of curiousity. The performers are entirely anonymous, and my research (primarily at Discogs) shows […]

Thomas Edison’s baby

Edison made many inventions but the phonograph (patented in 1878), which he called “his baby”, was his favourite, despite him being disdainful of music in favour of the spoken word. The original idea was to transcribe sounds on a cylinder wrapped in tinfoil. It was the user who did the recording! He listed ten possible […]

360 Sound: The Columbia Records Story

My son Joe gave me this book today (an early Father’s Day present), and it’s going to be on my listening room table for quite a while. It’s full of fabulous photographs, and I’m especially interested in the technical accounts. Sean Wilentz’s book marks the 125th anniversary (in 2012) of the founding of the company. […]

Deconstructing the Relaxomatic Project

One of the great joys of eclectic music hunting is that some finds turn out to be exceptional. This is one such. I picked up this 2002 album (Virgin Records NZ) partly because I thought I recognised the name Dan Sperber (I was wrong about that), and mostly because the title is unusual. The article […]

Speaker Cables: Can You Hear the Difference?

I read somewhere that a significant difference is heard only when a cable is poor. I currently use 10A 1.5mm sq. three core mains cable, with very satisfying sound quality. This article tells of a battle with the Monster. For sound quality and value-for-money, the unbranded heavy-gauge wire was the winner. Not everyone was happy! […]

Music discovery: Country Town Collective

Country Town Collective put the “collective” back into collective, and have been charming audiences since 2005. With at times 10 members based in two cities (Darwin and Adelaide, Australia) they mixed and matched instruments (though usually perform as a five-piece band). Some call them folk, some call them rock, some call them experimental, almost everyone […]