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Mike Mettler

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Mike Mettler Posted: Oct 05, 2012 0 comments

Duke Ellington knew how to swing. Ellington (1899–1974) was one of the most prolific and influential songwriters of the 20th Century, a purveyor of what he liked to call American Music (he eschewed being labeled as “just” a jazz artist). You know him, even if you don’t think you know him: “Take the ‘A’ Train,” “Mood Indigo,” and “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)” are but slivers of his deep (and deep-felt) compositional and performing catalog.

One particular set of highly attuned ears that were influenced by Ellington’s magic happen to belong to Joe Jackson. Yes, that Joe Jackson, he of the skinny-tie New Wave scene of the late ’70s who began reinventing himself at the dawn of the ’80s and never looked back. “I was always ready to move on,” Jackson, 58, said matter-of-factly over lunch in midtown Manhattan this past spring. (Well, to clarify, I had lunch; Jackson was content with “just water.”) “It never occurred to me that listeners may not have been ready to hear it. I thought the whole idea of being an artist was to do something different than everyone else.”

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Mike Mettler Posted: Jul 04, 2006 0 comments

Musicians sound off about the merits and detriments of the CD and how they're dealing with a digital-delivery-oriented future

Mike Mettler Posted: Oct 20, 2010 0 comments

So we’re here to dissect the Dream Attic, as it were…

Dissect the Attic? Okay, sounds dangerous.

I really like the decision you made to cut this album live while you were on tour earlier this year in the western US. Was that always the intent? How long ago had you decided that route when you were working on this material?

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Mike Mettler Posted: Aug 19, 2014 14 comments
Does Pono deliver on its promise of providing high-res digital music that best reflects how the artist intended you to hear it? I listened to a number of FLAC files at 192/24, 176.4/24, and 96/24 on a yellow PonoPlayer through Sennheiser HD-650 headphones during an exclusive listening session in New York City, and—spoiler alert—the answer is a most emphatic yes.
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Mike Mettler Posted: Feb 17, 2011 0 comments

Some things you know right away in your rock & roll bones. When I first met Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins in 1991, we bonded over the contents of a suitcase he carried with him wherever he went: an ever-growing mountain of live Jimi Hendrix cassettes (some authorized, some not). As the Pumpkins’ trippily punishing debut album, Gish, had just begun melting the ears of the alt-rock cognoscenti, Corgan was already cocksure of where he was going in the world.

Mike Mettler Posted: Jan 25, 2011 0 comments

Get a pair of passionate record collectors together in a dressing room a few hours before a gig, and rest assured that the scheduled show-time is instantly in jeopardy.

Mike Mettler Posted: Jan 20, 2011 0 comments

So I've been basking in the sounds of Cake's new chart-topping album Showroom of Compassion (Upbeat Records; cakemusic.com), and have to say that I'm really loving it.
Oh good. That would be horrible if it was a nightmare for you. [chuckles]

And it's a great album to listen to on vinyl. The bass lines on "Got to Move" and "What's Now Is Now" have real impact.

Mike Mettler Posted: Dec 07, 2010 0 comments

And in an instant, lo, a hole in the sky appeared, and then it hit me like (bang bang) Maxwell's Silver Hammer when "Get Back," the Beatles? 1969 classic song to roller-coast by, cued up on my iPod during one morning's commute. As Paul McCartney's lead vocal embraced the song's galloping melody line, a great revelation emerged: I can sing Black Sabbath?s "Paranoid" to the same tune! Black Sabbath, the dark lords of melody . . . revealed!

Mike Mettler Posted: Feb 07, 2012 0 comments

In honor of today’s release of A Different Kind of Truth, the first album from Van Halen with David Lee Roth as lead vocalist since 1984, we’re proud to present an interview I did with the inimitable Mr. Roth back in 2003. Our chat was ostensibly centered around his covers-oriented solo album Diamond Dave, but we quickly went into, well, a different universe. “As far as learning the alphabet of music goes,” opined the ever-quotable Dave, “I always tell young musicians, ‘Last I looked, the Bible was written in the exact same alphabet as my favorite pornography. So I guess the choice is yours, son.’” As the song says, might as well jump. . .

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Mike Mettler Posted: May 03, 2011 0 comments

The next leg of Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience tour is officially underway, and I highly recommend you check it out. Dates and info are here.

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