Michael Fremer

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Michael Fremer  |  Jun 27, 2013  |  31 comments
Dylan claims Blood on the Tracks' pained, heartbreaking and often very angry and vicious songs weren't personal confessionals, though he was in the midst of a painful divorce. His son Jakob says they were. Does it really matter if they were about or inspired by his life? He delivers them as if they were very personal as does any great actor, but they are just as satisfying or disturbing thought of as having been inspired by his personal circumstances at the time.

Michael Fremer  |  Jun 25, 2013  |  8 comments
Have you noticed how the pace of things "going digital" has increased? There's no escaping it, and television's next. It'll take about 10 years, but then, like abandoned canals, the empty two-lane cement of Route 66, and overgrown railroad rights of way, the analog broadcast pathways will be discarded, handed back to the government for reuse in what will no doubt be a far less glamorous endeavor—garage-door opener or pocket-pager frequencies, perhaps.

Route 66 has made a tailfin'n'Elvis–based nostalgic comeback. So have steam trains, taking railroad buffs on daylong excursions over commuter rails. Last year I took one myself—and I enjoyed every soot-sprayed, purgatory-hot, steam-stinking, smoke-belching minute of it. (I hung out in one of the two open cars: standing room only, no glass in the windows.)

But analog television? Is anyone going to miss it? I doubt it—which is how most people felt about records with the introduction of the compact disc. Remember? People dumped their vinyl like carcinogens, and most haven't looked back with regret. Clearly, from our perspective, that's their loss.

Michael Fremer  |  Jun 24, 2013  |  23 comments
Ridley Scott's 1982 "future noir" classic "Bladerunner" based on Philip K.Dick's "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep" was a box-office flop when first released. Like "TRON", another flop, it has gained stature over the years, though like "TRON", the movie's visual and sonic pleasures are greater than the storytelling.
Michael Fremer  |  Jun 20, 2013  |  38 comments
According to mastering engineer Chris Bellman, Freak Out! was cut from a digital source.
Michael Fremer  |  Jun 20, 2013  |  4 comments
John Prine's Grammy Award winning (for "Best Contemporary Folk Album") 1992 album The Missing Years will make its "long overdue" vinyl debut July 9th on his Oh Boy record label.
Michael Fremer  |  Jun 19, 2013  |  10 comments
The Rolling Stones rolled into Philadelphia's Wells Fargo Center Tuesday night for the first of two shows. There was no opening act. The house lights finally dimmed more than an hour after the 8PM "lip" call (there was no curtain) but the full house, aged from teens to the seriously addled, didn't seem to mind.

Michael Fremer  |  Jun 19, 2013  |  11 comments
The addition of the WOW! turntable to the Acoustic Signature line adds yet another under $2000 turntable/arm combo to a growing list of 'tables at this attractive price point.

Michael Fremer  |  Jun 18, 2013  |  14 comments
Yes, I apologized for my over the top reaction to Rob Sevier's The Wire story. Had you told me after I'd read it that he and his partner ran a vinyl record label, you could have knocked me over with an MP3.

Michael Fremer  |  Jun 17, 2013  |  3 comments
Acoustic Signature designer Gunther Frohnhöfer has been building mass loaded aluminum-based turntables for decades. Back in 2001 I reviewed and really liked a model called the Final Tool. It ended up being purchased by someone I knew and he’s still using it trouble-free all these years later and it still sounds solid.

Michael Fremer  |  Jun 17, 2013  |  2 comments
Are you old enough to remember when New York State, much of the rest of the Northeast, and parts of Canada were blacked out by a power failure on November 19th, 1965 at 5:18pm? I was in my Phi Sigma Delta frat-house library at Cornell, HO model-car racing—for money. At the flick of the wrong switch, all bets were off for the night. I'll never forget that.

Where were you when you heard your first compact disc? I'll never forget where I was: at an early-'80s AES Convention in Los Angeles. It was Roxy Music's Avalon played on a refrigerator-sized machine, and the sound was as awful as the technology was brilliant.

I may not have been listening as an industry insider on the playing field of the audio biz, but I wasn't exactly a spectator in the stands, either. I was kind of on the sidelines. You have to at least be on the sidelines to attend an AES demo of the new electronic future.

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