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Mike Mettler Posted: May 28, 2014 1 comments
“We were united for the best sound we could get, and that was it. That was what we were chasing.” Is Linda Ronstadt revealing her high-end hopes for Hasten Down the Wind? Actually, that’s her assessment of the main goal she had for the 15 songs on her new compilation, Duets (Rhino). The ace song interpreter simply soars on songs like the tender but tough “I Never Will Marry” with Dolly Parton, the special intuitive blend she gets with James Taylor on “I Think It’s Gonna Work Out Fine,” and the complementary vocal halo she sets for Frank Sinatra on “Moonlight in Vermont.” Ronstadt has since retired from singing (in 2013, she revealed she has Parkinson’s disease), but that hasn’t stopped her from appreciating the sound of a good mix or a stellar vocal — or gently trilling a few lines of her favorite songs while we talk. Here, Ronstadt, 67, and I discuss her hi-fi proclivities, when not to use echo, how the right vocal texture tells the right tale every time, and how she learned about spotting hollow fifths.
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Mike Mettler Posted: Sep 30, 2008 0 comments

You've always been a bit of a hi-fi geek, haven't you? I have. On prom night, my boyfriend and I checked out stereo speakers at an all-night speaker sale. It was a big deal back then, a ritual - you had to get the perfect speakers, and set your room up a certain way.

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Mike Mettler Posted: Apr 04, 2012 0 comments

“Church.”

That was how a musician friend responded shortly after I told him via iPhone chatter that it was 10 minutes before Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band hit the stage last night in the first of two dates at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

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Mike Mettler Posted: Apr 09, 2012 0 comments

I knew I was in for something special as soon as I took my aisle seat in Row M in the orchestra at the Howard Gilman Opera House at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (a.k.a. BAM) last Friday. It was Night 2 of Dr. John’s 3-night stand, named for his new, supertasty album Locked Down, produced by the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach.

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Mike Mettler Posted: Jun 01, 2012 0 comments

Radiohead followed their own muse at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey on Thursday, May 31.

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Mike Mettler Posted: Dec 07, 2008 0 comments
Buena Vista
Movie ••••½ Picture ••••• Sound ••••• Extras ••••½
TV's benchmark for A/V quali
Mike Mettler Posted: Mar 29, 2017 0 comments
Performance
Sound
“Isn’t that amazing? I mean, there it actually is. I can’t believe it. I lived long enough to hear it right.” That’s Lou Reed, lifelong audiophile, commenting to his longtime friend and producer Hal Willner while listening to the in-studio playback of the remastered version of “I Wanna Be Black,” from his landmark 1978 album, Street Hassle.
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Mike Mettler Posted: Aug 03, 2016 0 comments
It’s one of the Top 3 moments of smashed guitars in music history, right behind Jimi Hendrix at Monterey Pop and Pete Townshend at Woodstock. But this one happened in a movie — namely, in the 1978 comedy classic, National Lampoon’s Animal House. That man on the stairs whose guitar was so violently gutted by Bluto (John Belushi) was in fact noted singer/songwriter Stephen Bishop (“On and On,” “It Might Be You,” “Separate Lives”). I called Bishop, 64, at his homestead in Los Angeles to discuss the literal sonic blueprint for his eclectic new album Blueprint, the give and take of writing with Eric Clapton, and confirming some heretofore unrevealed tech specs about that infamous Animal House guitar.
Mike Mettler Posted: Apr 23, 2014 0 comments
Performance
Sound
Some bands sputter and wither after major personnel changes, and then there’s Marillion. The British neo-progressive collective’s first incarnation crested with 1985’s concept-driven Misplaced Childhood, which featured original mercurial lead singer Fish and the hit guitar-driven lament, “Kayleigh.” Act II commenced with 1989’s transitional Seasons End, featuring new vocalist Steve Hogarth (a.k.a. “h”), who has since helped fuel the band to greater compositional heights over the last two decades.
Mike Mettler Posted: Jan 02, 2014 1 comments
Performance
Sound
Finally seeing a stateside release after being available internationally for over a year, Privateering, Mark Knopfler’s seventh solo offering (and first double album of all-original material) is a showcase of Americana, as innately authentic as anything produced by any artist born on U.S. soil. Somewhere, Chet Atkins, Johnny Cash, John Lee Hooker, and Muddy Waters are all picking, grinning, and haw-haw-hawing their collective approval. (Me, I suspect Knopfler was spiritually born on the Mississippi Delta and then transplanted to the moors of his native Scotland.)

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