Michael Fremer  |  Jan 01, 2005  |  1 comments

This bio produced by the Spanish Eforfilms is essential viewing for any Nat King Cole fan. There's plenty of great Nat footage, but more importantly, an intelligent script a that looks at all facets of Nat's life, including the tension between Nat the jazz pianist and Nat the pop crooner. Also key was the difficult racial environment in which Cole, among others, was forced to suffer.
There are complete musical performances, including Cole with Ella and a hilarious duet with Sammy Davis, Jr., with Sammy doing a perfect Nat impression, much to the “King”'s delight. Unfortunately I was unable to view the bonus footage, because the bar code on the jacket was placed over where the disc sits and when the distribution company punched the promo hole, it put a hole in the disc. Even without the bonus footage, this is worth having. Other bios in the series include Billie Holiday and Lena Horne, with a Frank Sinatra disc due soon.
Also for Nat fans: Nat "King" Cole Soundies and Telescriptions (idem Home Video IDVD1017NT), a 72 minute DVD compilation of Cole performances from various venues. Mostly black and white with lo-fi sound, it's Nat's look that will mesmerize, and the music's so good, the bad sound will not interfere

Michael Fremer  |  Dec 01, 2004  |  1 comments

Usually an aggressive Irish folkie with a penchant for some mad strumming, Mr. Bloom delivers a real snoozer on this 9 song set. If it puts you to sleep Bloom will be happy, for that is his intent.

Michael Fremer  |  Dec 01, 2004  |  1 comments

Englishman Dolby hit double paydirt with a catchy synth-novelty song and an accompanying video just as the pop-synth and music video/ MTV phenomena broke. However, “She Blinded Me With Science” was not his first song, nor does it really reflect what the guy's about. His first album, The Golden Age of Wireless (Harvest ST-12203), was originally issued without “She Blinded Me…”. When the song and video became popular, the album was reconfigured and reissued. Dolby was an instant celeb, and faded just as quickly, though his album Aliens Ate My Buick (EMI Manhattan E-148075) remains a cult fave for both music and sound. Come to think of it The Flat Earth was pretty good as well.

Michael Fremer  |  Dec 01, 2004  |  0 comments

This 1957 classic, an early LP concept album filled with break- up songs, has always sounded better in mono because Capitol had a bad habit back then of tacking on way too much echo to stereo mixes. Hoffman remixed from the original 3 track master tape, cutting way back on the reverb to produce a positively stunning studio document from the golden age of analog recording.

Michael Fremer  |  Nov 01, 2004  |  First Published: Dec 31, 1969  |  0 comments
TA: Let's go on the 5D era then, if we could. This is a major point of change for you guys. Your two primary sources of material, Gene Clark and then Bob Dylan were not on the record. Did you decide consciously not to do any more Dylan stuff for this record?

RM: I think maybe we got too much flack for doing too many Dylan songs.

John Nork  |  Oct 31, 2004  |  First Published: Dec 31, 1969  |  0 comments

The Tracking Angle Interview: David Crosby

TA: Let's begin with If I Could Only Remember My Name , your first solo album. It won some awards for sound quality. You once were quoted as saying the engineer Steve Barncord did a really good job. Do you think that a record like that could be made and released today?

DC: Probably not. Things have changed in the field. It's not as loose as it was then. Nowadays, if it isn't a clone of whatever's at the top of the charts, it's very hard to get anybody to pay any attention to it at all. We (CSN&Y) had just gotten through doing Déjà vu, you know? And I had more stuff and I was just having fun in the studio. It was the only place that I was really happy right then. That was not long after that girl had gotten killed that was my old lady, and so the studio was my refuge. I would hang out there and all my friends that were loose on any given night would wind up there. It was very self-indulgent, but we had no push, there was no pressure so we could do anything that I could think of. That's not true these days. Nowadays, the prices are so huge and the game is so distorted that winning is what matters and MTV has changed it to where theatrical acts win more than musical acts. Smoke bombs and costumes, you know, how much rage you can seem to express and anything to cut through the fog. It has very little to do with music. But that was a very musical album. I think if it came out now, it would fail.

John Nork  |  Oct 31, 2004  |  First Published: Dec 31, 1969  |  0 comments

TA: Are you interested in the studio side of things, or do you just see it as a means to an end?

DC: I've been forced to get into it because I love the sound. I love making sounds. I love making it sound wonderful That's why If Only I Could Remember My Name sounded the way it did. That's me without any restraints or anybody in the way, you know? I am not a very good "tekkie" but I can hear fairly well and it's not too hard to figure stuff out. I've done things like running analog and digital off of the same recording (mic feed) and then really listening.

TA: And what did you come up with?

DC: I still like analog. I still would rather cut my tracks, anyway, on a Studer.

TA: And why is that?

DC: Two things: one transients, and the way that it handles them, you know? When a kick drum or something sort of shocks the tape, it behaves differently on the two different system but mostly overtone structures, harmonics.

Michael Fremer  |  Oct 03, 2004  |  First Published: Dec 31, 1969  |  0 comments
If the sole criterion for choosing a winner in today's hotly contested premium arms race was original thinking, the Immedia RPM-2 might well come out on top. While some of its design details resemble those found on other products, in many significant areas the arm is unique—not for uniqueness's sake, but in order to efficiently implement some clearly considered goals. If the unipivot RPM-2 bears a resemblance to any other contemporary arm, it is Naim's highly regarded ARO—which I've never heard. The similarity, though, would appear to be superficial.
John Nork  |  Oct 01, 2004  |  First Published: Dec 31, 1969  |  0 comments

Roger McGuinn. McGuinn co-founded the group with Gene Clark and was its nominal leader. If you disassemble the complex tapestry of the Byrds' sound into its molecular underpinnings, McGuinn's distinctive voice and unique twelve-string Rickenbacker guitar are the nucleus. Lead guitarist McGuinn's unique style simultaneously employs a flat pick and fingerpicking patterns, drawing

more from five-string banjo rolls than typical guitar scales. When this unusual picking pattern is done on an electric twelve-string Rickenbacker guitar, the resulting sound is a brilliant cascade of harmonic intervals and gleaming overtones. McGuinn also sang lead on many of the group's songs, including all of their Dylan interpretations.

Michael Fremer  |  Oct 01, 2004  |  First Published: Dec 31, 1969  |  0 comments
TA: How did you select music as a career? What were the factors involved in your going that direction for your occupation?

RM: I just loved it and I kinda fell into it. I was playing it as a hobby and getting ten dollars a night at the coffeehouse.

TA: How old were you at this point?