Music Disc Reviews

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Philip Ryan  |  Sep 12, 2011  |  0 comments

Can't make it to the gig? These days, that won't stop you from listening in high resolution - soundboard recordings aren't the cassette tapes of yore anymore. FLAC HD is the format of choice nowadays, and our new blogger Philip Ryan (who in his spare time serves as the technical editor of S+V's sister publications Popular Photography and American Photo) will be checking out a wide range of high-res recordings to see how close he can get to being there.

Dan Bracaglia  |  Sep 21, 2011  |  0 comments

This past weekend, the Union County MusicFest brought an impressive roster of local and national acts to the Union County Fair.

Mike Mettler  |  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.
Mike Mettler  |  Aug 31, 2018  |  0 comments
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Always the pauper, never quite the prince. Such was the case for Love, the racially integrated Los Angeles psychedelic/folk-rock hybrid who were always on the cusp of breaking through the ether during those heady revolutionary times of the late 1960s, but just couldn’t totally get there. While the sounds of other SoCal Sunset Strip brethren like The Doors and The Byrds made the leap into mass consciousness, Love’s impact initially came at more of the cult-favorite level—though their multicultural influence has only grown over the ensuing years, especially within the British alternative scene of the early ’90s.
Mike Mettler  |  Nov 29, 2017  |  2 comments
Performance
Sound
I hate to admit it, but I didn’t “get” Marillion when I saw them open for Rush at the Rosemont Horizon just outside of Chicago on March 21, 1986, playing their 1985 breakthrough album Misplaced Childhood in its entirety. While I was properly enamored with the uplifting performance of their touchingly seductive FM hit “Kayleigh,” I just wasn’t able to connect with the rest of the set for some reason. Apparently, I wasn’t alone in that feeling, since I also heard a good bit of the crowd boo/catcall Marillion throughout their performance, the first time I had heard such a thing occur at a live show.
Mike Mettler  |  Apr 23, 2014  |  0 comments
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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  |  Jan 02, 2014  |  1 comments
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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.)
Steve Simels  |  Mar 02, 2011  |  0 comments
 
Tall Girl
Music •••• Sound •••

 

Jeff Perlah  |  Apr 22, 2009  |  0 comments
Reprise
Music ••••½ Sound ••••
Review
Epic
Mike Mettler  |  Jul 07, 2011  |  0 comments

Dave Grohl and I are crouched together on a hot blacktop driveway that encircles the SoCal locale where the photo session for this exclusive S+V cover story is taking place. To the onlookers who shuffle past us and sometimes hover at a respectful distance, it appears as if these two hunched, animated, close-talking bearded longhairs are plotting to take over the world — and perhaps that’s not an entirely wrong assumption.

Mike Mettler  |  Apr 10, 2014  |  1 comments
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“Best guitar player I ever heard.” Some hip muso waxing on about the next Hendrix? Nope, that’s Bob Dylan on the late Michael Bloomfield, and the Bard’s ears are some damn fine arbiters. This three-CD/one-DVD Bloomfield box set reclaims a master guitarist’s legacy that’s as deep as the Delta, by way of the Windy City and the City by the Bay. Disc 1, subtitled Roots, sets the tap. The instrumental take on Dylan’s iconic “Like a Rolling Stone” is revelatory, keeping the focus on the as-it’s-happening creation of the now-familiar melody via Bloomfield’s chiming Telecaster riffs intermingling with Al Kooper’s wheedling Hammond B3.
Mike Mettler  |  Aug 23, 2017  |  0 comments
Performance
Sound
It was one of the most galvanizing live experiences of my life. The instant WNEW-FM announced Midnight Oil would be performing live on a flatbed truck on Sixth Avenue in the heart of New York City in front of the Exxon Building around noontime on May 30, 1990 to protest the mishandling of the March 1989 Exxon Valdez oil-spill disaster in Prince William Sound, Alaska, three colleagues and I sprinted the entire length of the two long city blocks from the Stereo Review and Audio offices at 50th and Broadway to get as close as we could. Success! Each of us wound up standing no more than 10 people deep from the flatbed’s perch upon our out-of-breath Sixth Avenue arrival.
Steve Guttenberg  |  Aug 16, 2006  |  0 comments
It's not just cables anymore.

It was in the late 1970s when Noel Lee, a laser-fusion design engineer, started a little company, Monster Cable, which soon spawned, well, the entire high-end audio-cable industry. Over the decades, Monster maintained their dominance in the cable market as it branched into power conditioners and M•Design home theater furniture. Now, with Monster Music, they're jumping into the record business with a line of High Definition Surround SuperDiscs. Noel Lee's passion for multichannel music—and frustration with the stillborn SACD/DVD-Audio formats—pushed him to extract the best sound from Dolby- and DTS-encoded music. Monster Music claims that the SuperDiscs are the first music releases certified by THX for sound quality.

Mike Mettler  |  Nov 25, 2013  |  0 comments
Performance
Sound
How do you make a perfect album even more perfect? In the case of Van Morrison’s seminal 1970 neo-rock Caledonian masterpiece Moondance, you compile a 70-track deluxe edition that includes three discs of sessions, outtakes, and alternate mixes, in addition to a separate Blu-ray Audio disc with a long-lost surround sound mix done by one of the album’s original engineers. Yes, as any good Van the Man fan knows, it’s too late to stop now.
Rob O'Connor  |  Mar 10, 2009  |  0 comments
Attack/Lost Highway
Music •••• Sound ••••
Okay, one of the labels involved with releasing this new Morrissey album is the alt-country leader Lost Highway,

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