Recent Vinyl Acquisitions

James Bernard Atwater LP (A Strangely Isolated Place, US)

Deaf Center Low Distance LP (Sonic Pieces, Germany)

Brian Eno with Daniel Lanois and Roger Eno Apollo Atmospheres and Soundtracks 2xLP reissue (Virgin/Universal EU)

The Frogs It’s Only Right And Natural LP reissue (End of All Music, US)

Loscil Equivalents 2xLP (Kranky US)

Hans-Joachim Roedelius and Arnold Kasar Einfluss 2xLP (Deutsche Grammophon, Germany)

Section 25 Always Now 5xLP box set reissue (Factory Benelux EU)

David Sylvian Alchemy An Index Of Possibilities LP reissue (Virgin/Universal UK)

David Sylvian Brilliant Trees LP reissue (Virgin/Universal UK)

David Sylvian Gone To Earth 2xLP reissue (Virgin/Universal UK)

Yagya Stormur 2xLP (A Strangely Isolated Place, US)

YMO BGM Collector’s Vinyl Edition 2xLP reissue (Alfa/Great Tracks, Japan)

YMO Technodelic: Collector’s Vinyl Edition 2xLP reissue (Alfa/Great Tracks, Japan)

Neil Young and the Stray Gators Tuscaloosa 2xLP (Reprise/Warners US)

Young Scientist Results, Not Answers LP reissue (Bureau B, Germany)

I Contributed a Qobuz Playlist: “Post-Rock / Après-Classical”

Qobuz is a French-owned high-resolution streaming and download service that’s now launched in the USA. I’m submitting playlists to them periodically. This is the first one of mine published.

I spent a bit too much time mulling over what to call it. “Modern Classical” doesn’t cut it. “Post-Rock” makes me think of Tortiose. I briefly considered “Post-Post-Rock,” but then decided to hedge my bets.

“Post-Rock / Après-Classical” playlist on Qobuz

How did YOUR Eno “Apollo” LP reissue arrive?

I never assumed one of Universal’s (excuse me, “uDiscoverMusic’s”) superpowers was adequately packaging an expensive mailorder LP for shipping via UPS. I mean, Universal didn’t get to where it is today by knowing how to ship vinyl, right?

This double-LP was dropped into a too-wide 6-inch-high box along with a rolled lithograph (without a tube; mercifully the poster wasn’t tweaked too badly), with nothing to cushion the LP other than some loose bubble wrap. The box was half-open due to only having the bare minimum of tape to close the flaps. One corner of the flimsy box was torn open. The opposite corner of the box was crushed.

How did the contents fare?

Two corners of the jacket were badly bent, and the LPs were visibly and audibly warped.

Upon further examination, uDiscover’s fulfillment has been farmed out to someone calling itself “Warehousing Pro LLC”. Looks as though someone’s not too good a judge of “Pro.” Or maybe they’re just “pro” at warehousing, and junior-varsity at shipping.

Bellying Up to a Low Bar

“If one is going to ask readers to pay attention to what one is saying, one would surely want to dazzle with form and content. We’re living in a meritocratic golden age, right? No one squanders taking his or her best shot in favor of taking a mediocre shot just because it is the easiest one to score. That’s the critical distinction between “trying” and “making an effort.” Everything is better now.”

Seymour Glass, “What’s Going to Happen to Us?” 2018

Thin White Rope Reissues on Part-Time Audiophile

In 2018, Frontier Records began reissuing the Thin White Rope catalog on LP, CD and digital. I write about the series on Part-Time Audiophile.

How to wall yourself off from the “Roon Radio” cloud . . experience

With the advent of Roon’s 1.6 update, I’ve found my experience to be wanting.

Suddenly, “Roon Radio,” the software’s recommendation engine, gloms onto The Cloud.

It’s not necessarily a cloud I requested drift over my living room, mind you.

If you have your Tidal account linked to Roon, you’re faced with an endless surplus of presumed recommendation once your library selections run themselves out.

After upgrading to 1.6, I found these recommendations to be running approximately 95% awful. I’m not willing to settle for that 5-percent-okay quotient.

Color me insular, or elitist, or whatever term makes you feel better — but I have a decent track record of managing my own particular “music discovery.” I trust my own abilities over Roon’s algorithms.

There’s a reason I don’t use Pandora. Why? Because the significant majority of its results are far below par. I’m not paying Roon $120 a year to similarly disappoint me with an upgrade I didn’t ask for. I find this enabled-by-default, post-upgrade “functionality” to be a bug, not a feature.

How to fix this?

Wait until Roon Radio foists you off to a track you don’t like.

On the bottom bar of Roon, you’ll notice an icon on the left side marked “Queue.” Click it.

Chose “Limit Roon Radio to Library.”

Voila. Roon will no longer follow your chosen selection from Eno’s “Music For Films” with Billy Joel’s “My Life.”

Favorites of 2018

I managed barely a post a month this year. There always seemed to be other things to do.

I apologize for this apparent lack of commitment, and will try to do better in 2019. Let’s hope our executive and legislative branches do the same.

Happy holidays.

AUDIO

Neil Young Roxy – Tonight’s The Night Live LP (Reprise US)
“Welcome to Miami Beach, where everything’s cheaper than it looks.”

Taylor Deupree Fallen CD (12K US)
Eno’s Thursday Afternoon leavened with a dash of Eno/Budd and glazed with a pleasing dollop of gauze and glitch.

Brian Eno Music For Installations LP box (Opal/Universal UK)

Steve Tibbetts Life Of 24/88 AIF (ECM Ger)

K. Leimer Mitteltöner LP (Origin Peoples US)

Cosey Fanni Tutti Time to Tell LP clear vinyl (CTI International UK)
First it was on cassette. Then CD. Now on double clear vinyl. The best post-TG release.

Jóhann Jóhannsson Englabörn & Variations 2xLP (Deutsche Grammophon Ger)

K. Leimer Threnody CD (Palace of Lights US)

Gentle Giant Three Piece Suite LP and Blu-Ray 5.1 DVD (Alucard UK)

Ólafur Arnalds re:member 24/96 / MQA (Decca EU)
I want to like this on its own considerable merits, but I can’t help but speculate that Mr. Arnalds might’ve been listening to the work of Helios / Keith Kenniff over the past couple years.

Max Richter Never Look Away 24/48 (Deutsche Grammophon Ger)

K. Leimer Degraded Certainties CD (Palace of Lights US)

Marc Barreca Shadow Aesthetics (Palace of Lights US)

Kate Burkart “Moonlight” 24/96 (Luckystar)
She’s my sweetheart and partner. I helped mix it. You think I’m gonna leave it off the list?

BOOKS

Seymour Glass “If You Can’t Be Good, Be Reasonable” tour diary (Chocolate Monk UK, 2018)

Obi Kaufmann “The California Field Atlas” (Heyday, 2017)

The Mono Basin Ecosystem – Effects of Changing Lake Level (National Academy Press, 1987)

Sean Prentiss “Finding Abbey” (University of New Mexico Press, 2015)

Salman Rushdie “Joseph Anton – A Memoir” (Random House, 2012)

Edward Abbey “Confessions of a Barbarian” (Little, Brown, 2003)

Russell Chatham “Dark Waters” (Clark City, 1988)

Doug Peacock “Walking It Off” (Eastern Washington University Press, 2005)

Jeffery F. Burton “Garden Management Plan – Gardens and Gardeners at Manzanar” (National Park Service, 2015)

FILMS

Leave No Trace (director: Debra Granik, Bleecker Street)

TV

The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling (director: Judd Apatow, HBO)

Who Is America? (Showtime)

The Last Alaskans (Animal Planet)

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon)

Speechless (ABC)

“John Cage probably found it a tad on the nose”

Part-Time Audiophile continues to print everything I send them. For this I am grateful. The latest example? My review of The Beatles White Album Super Deluxe 6CD+Blu-Ray Box Set.

Steve Tibbetts, Miles Davis reviews on Part-Time Audiophile

Part-Time Audiophile has posted my reviews of Steve Tibbetts’ Life Of and the quadraphonic SACD reissue Miles Davis’s Bitches Brew.

“It’s one of the first albums I’ve liked as much as Natural Causes over the past seven years. As time works its inexorable magic, however, I’m increasingly challenged to find ways to articulate why and how I love a certain album, or artist. Tibbetts’ intangible artistry doesn’t make things any easier. It’s feasible that I find this album irresistible because I can’t explain why it’s so sublime.

John Stancavage 1959-2018

John passed away on August 10th. His wife posted this obituary today.

I knew John mainly through his posts at Part-Time Audiophile and periodic updates on his Facebook page. I admired his writing and the strength he showed while dealing with multiple serious health problems — ones that would have set anyone else back on their heels. But not John.

We can take a certain amount of consolation in the grace, dignity and good humor with and through which he navigated his difficult last few years.

We need more like him and I hope his life and words inspire others. I know they inspire me.

The obituary (with additional photos) has been reposted on Part-Time Audiophile.

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