Have you ever been in Havelock North?

This 1983 album has some stellar players, including Jeff Porcaro, Abraham Laboriel, Steve Lukather, Steve Khan, Richard Page, Alan Tarney, and Mo Foster. It reminds me that about this time five years ago we found ourselves eating lunchtime sushi at an outdoor table adjacent to Leo Sayer. He had played a Mission Estate winery concert […]

Great minds think … like ….. Sha Na Na

Found this 1976 album today for $2 – and bought it as Discogs value it at $30, and I am reminded of their Woodstock festival appearance. Their 50s nostalgia rock ‘n’ roll was surely the blueprint for the UK 70s group Showaddwaddy. I’d always had them down as a somewhat less than intellectual show band. […]

Classical pop

Here’s a list of a few well-known songs that draw from classical heritage. As they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery – and it avoids the tedious need for originality.

How to make your audio system sound better for free

Getting up close may be sonically superior, but not practical in all but dedicated listening rooms. Near-field listening is how producers, artists, and engineers listen in the studio. Yet, hardly anyone listens to music in the home that way. There’s an obvious mismatch, which is introducing room effects, the uncontrolled factor when equipment is sold […]

Vinyl value is much bigger than new sales

Well, yes, there’s a lot of used records in storage as well as in circulation. I rarely buy from dealers, as I find plenty of interesting records in the third stream – second-hand and junk shops, and especially op shops. I rarely need to pay more than $1-3 and that goes to charitable causes. Recently, […]

Foregrounding background noise

Some people claim that they prefer pops and crackles from old records. Indeed, John Peel famously said that life is background noise. I don’t know a name for the condition in which such surface noise is distracting and deeply irritating, I only know that I am cursed with such a hyper-sensitive reaction. I enjoy old […]