Miscellaneous

If You Like Power Pop, Check Out the Big Beat of The Knack’s Drummer, Bruce Gary

We rarely have Get The Knack in stock, but we do have

Other Debut Albums of Interest

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This Monster Power Pop Debut by the Knack is an AMAZINGLY well-recorded album, with the kind of Wall to Wall Big Beat Live Rock Sound that rivals Back in Black and Nevermind — if you’re lucky enough to have a copy that sounds like this! (If you’re not then it doesn’t.)

This is a Rock Demo Disc that is very likely to lay waste to whatever rock demo disc you currently treasure. My Sharona is simply STUNNING here. You just can’t record drums and bass any better! 

And let’s not forget the song Lucinda. It’s got exactly the same incredibly meaty, grungy, ballsy sound that Back in Black does, but it managed to do it in 1979, a year earlier!

Mike Chapman produced this album and clearly he is an audiophile production genius. With a pair of Number One charting, amazing sounding Pop albums back to back — Blondie’s Parallel Lines in 1978 and this album early the next year — how much better could he get? The answer is: None more better. (more…)

Company Better Records Searches and Sells Most the Best Prints of Vinyl Albums!

Most the Best Prints of Vinyl Albums Available Now!

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Years ago we were contacted by a Russian reporter who wanted to do a story on Better Records and our Hot Stampers. How could we possibly turn down the chance to spread the word to our liberated friends on the other side of the world about these amazing sounding pressings? Note that the key feature of the article is how high the prices are. This is apparently big news in Russia, yes? The full newspaper page shows three records, each of which is many hundreds of dollars. Crazy Americans? Maybe so, but we say put that on your revolving object and spin it if you don’t believe these are the most musical records. You will see that each cent spent for them is justified.

SOUND AND COLOR

Selectors from California

Company Better Records searches and sells most the best prints of classical vinyl albums

If still one week ago you I am ready to give the sum for well written down vinylic disk, I, perhaps, have stopped on fifty dollars. The price reissue disks in the catalogue of Company Acousticsunds.com is those at the maximum. But in the same catalogue there are disks and on 20 dollars.

Purchase of disks – not cheap pleasure. But who has told, what the illness, known to us as “audiophilia” – for those who wishes to save? What component of a stereosystem take, fluctuations in the price – thousand dollars. It is possible to get a revolving object both for 500 dollars, and for 50 thousand Difference – hundredfold, thus, I assure you, what is also more dear what for, to limit the most valuable component of a stereosystem – the most musical record?

Recently I have learned, that there are records which cost in tens times more expensively. They for elites, and these elites approve, that each cent spent for them is justified.

It is a question of Californian company Better Records which main goods – Hot Stampers, Is a plate which correspond to the highest requirements of sounding.

[words missing in newspaper scan]… a way – to hear to it. You can trust only to the ears, instead of all those advertising labels which today decorate disks for audiophiles.

– Means, you listen to each disk which you then sell as hot-stamper?
– Only so.

– How many at you leaves on it of time?
– It is enough to hear to 10 seconds to define its quality. If it sounds well – we put aside it. Then we listen to it more closely and we estimate according to ours and after a sink [I think this means record cleaning] will be huge. Therefore the machine for a sink of disks also costs thousand dollars! (more…)

The Personification of the Dunning-Kruger Effect

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Presenting the poster boy for the Dunning-Kruger effect, a man who fancies himself an audiophile/mastering engineer.

He’s a mastering engineer in the same sense that a person who makes mud pies is a piemaker.

I have not played any of his classical albums. I have in fact only played one title, a jazz record I happen to know well, and his remastered version is no better than the other records that get an F grade for sound and find a home in our Bad Sounding Audiophile Records Section.

An extract from Steven Novella’s explanation of this psychological effect gives some background:

Dunning summarizes the effect as:

“…incompetent people do not recognize—scratch that, cannot recognize—just how incompetent they are,”

He further explains:

“What’s curious is that, in many cases, incompetence does not leave people disoriented, perplexed, or cautious. Instead, the incompetent are often blessed with an inappropriate confidence, buoyed by something that feels to them like knowledge.”

(more…)

Squeeze – If I Didn’t Love You – “Tiny Collector’s Edition” 5 Inch Single

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This is a brand new, unplayed British import pressing of the world’s smallest 7″ single — because it’s only 5″ across! The record plays at 33 RPM & has 2 songs, ’If I Didn”t Love You’ & ’Another Nail In My Heart’, two of the best songs on Argybargy.

Don’t buy this for the sound or the surfaces, buy it for the awesome coolness of having a unique Squeeze “Tiny Collector’s Edition.” 

Pat Metheny Has a Few Thoughts about Kenny G

Pat Metheny

Question:

Pat, could you tell us your opinion about Kenny G – it appears you were quoted as being less than enthusiastic about him and his music. I would say that most of the serious music listeners in the world would not find your opinion surprising or unlikely – but you were vocal about it for the first time. You are generally supportive of other musicians it seems.

Pat’s Answer:

Kenny G is not a musician I really had much of an opinion about at all until recently. There was not much about the way he played that interested me one way or the other either live or on records.

I first heard him a number of years ago playing as a sideman with Jeff Lorber when they opened a concert for my band. My impression was that he was someone who had spent a fair amount of time listening to the more pop oriented sax players of that time, like Grover Washington or David Sanborn, but was not really an advanced player, even in that style. He had major rhythmic problems and his harmonic and melodic vocabulary was extremely limited, mostly to pentatonic based and blues-lick derived patterns, and he basically exhibited only a rudimentary understanding of how to function as a professional soloist in an ensemble – Lorber was basically playing him off the bandstand in terms of actual music.

But he did show a knack for connecting to the basest impulses of the large crowd by deploying his two or three most effective licks (holding long notes and playing fast runs – never mind that there were lots of harmonic clams in them) at the key moments to elicit a powerful crowd reaction (over and over again). The other main thing I noticed was thathe also, as he does to this day, played horribly out of tune -consistently sharp.

Of course, I am aware of what he has played since, the success it has had, and the controversy that has surrounded him among musicians and serious listeners. This controversy seems to be largely fueled by the fact that he sells an enormous amount of records while not being anywhere near a really great player in relation to the standards that have been set on his instrument over the past sixty or seventy years. And honestly, there is no small amount of envy involved from musicians who see one of their fellow players doing so well financially, especially when so many of them who are far superior as improvisors and musicians in general have trouble just making a living. There must be hundreds, if not thousands of sax players around the world who are simply better improvising musicians than Kenny G on his chosen instruments. It would really surprise me if even he disagreed with that statement.

Having said that, it has gotten me to thinking lately why so many jazz musicians (myself included, given the right “bait” of a question, as I will explain later) and audiences have gone so far as to say that what he is playing is not even jazz at all. Stepping back for a minute, if we examine the way he plays, especially if one can remove the actual improvising from the often mundane background environment that it is delivered in, we see that his saxophone style is in fact clearly in the tradition of the kind of playing that most reasonably objective listeners WOULD normally quantify as being jazz. It’s just that as jazz or even as music in a general sense, with these standards in mind, it is simply not up to the level of playing that we historically associate with professional improvising musicians. So, lately I have been advocating that we go ahead and just include it under the word jazz – since pretty much of the rest of the world OUTSIDE of the jazz community does anyway – and let the chips fall where they may.

And after all, why he should be judged by any other standard, why he should be exempt from that that all other serious musicians on his instrument are judged by if they attempt to use their abilities in an improvisational context playing with a rhythm section as he does? He SHOULD be compared to John Coltrane or Wayne Shorter, for instance, on his abilities (or lack thereof) to play the soprano saxophone and his success (or lack thereof) at finding a way to deploy that instrument in an ensemble in order to accurately gauge his abilities and put them in the context of his instrument’s legacy and potential.

As a composer of even eighth note based music, he SHOULD be compared to Herbie Hancock, Horace Silver or even Grover Washington. Suffice it to say, on all above counts, at this point in his development, he wouldn’t fare well.

But, like I said at the top, this relatively benign view was all “until recently.”

Not long ago, Kenny G put out a recording where he overdubbed himself on top of a 30+ year old Louis Armstrong record, the track “What a Wonderful World”. With this single move, Kenny G became one of the few people on earth I can say that I really can’t use at all – as a man, for his incredible arrogance to even consider such a thing, and as a musician, for presuming to share the stage with the single most important figure in our music.

This type of musical necrophilia – the technique of overdubbing on the preexisting tracks of already dead performers – was weird when Natalie Cole did it with her dad on “Unforgettable” a few years ago, but it was her dad. When Tony Bennett did it with Billie Holiday it was bizarre, but we are talking about two of the greatest singers of the 20th century who were on roughly the same level of artistic accomplishment. When Larry Coryell presumed to overdub himself on top of a Wes Montgomery track, I lost a lot of the respect that I ever had for him – and I have to seriously question the fact that I did have respect for someone who could turn out to have such unbelievably bad taste and be that disrespectful to one of my personal heroes. (more…)