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September 13th, 2022

Jack Pfeiffer: The Last Interview

From the archives: Michael Fremer talks to veteran RCA "Living Stereo" producer Jack Pfeiffer

By: Michael Fremer

(This feature originally appeared in Issue 7, Spring 1996.)When I sat down at last January’s Consumer Electronics Show with veteran RCA producer Jack Pfeiffer, I had no way of knowing that I would be conducting the final interview he would ever give. Pfeiffer suffered a fatal heart attack on Thursday, February 8th at his RCA office where he’d worked in the Red Seal division for the past 47 years. He was 75.Jack Pfeiffer was a pleasant man, soft spoken and easy to talk... Read More

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September 13th, 2022

And You’ll Never Hear Surf Music Again: Jimi Hendrix On Record

From the archives: Jimi Hendrix's discography... on vinyl!

By: Michael Fremer

(This feature originally appeared as a cover story in Issue 5/6, Winter 1995/96.)Contrary to prevailing opinion circa 1967, Jimi Hendrix did not arrive from outer space. He was from Seattle, which probably had a greater effect on his music than if he had come from another planet. For those of us old enough to remember hearing Are You Experienced? when it was first issued in America, summer of 1967, Hendrix was some Black English cat who’d taken psychedelia from the... Read More

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September 13th, 2022

A Conversation With Jimi Hendrix Biographer John McDermott

From the archives: Michael Fremer talks with John McDermott about the state of the Hendrix vault

By: Michael Fremer

(This feature originally appeared in Issue 5/6, Winter 1995/96.)In my interview with Eddie Kramer, I asked many questions regarding the mastering particulars of the first four records. He was unable to provide the answers, referring me instead to John McDermott, author (with Billy Cox and Eddie Kramer) of Jimi Hendrix Sessions and Hendrix: Setting the Record Straight, two indispensable books for any Hendrix fan—and without which this issue’s cover story would have... Read More

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September 13th, 2022

Palace Music's 'Viva Last Blues'

From the archives: Will Oldham's third record as Palace Music

By: Michael Fremer

(This review originally appeared in Issue 7, Spring 1996.)The question is, how far are you willing to climb to reach a pure source? Do you want the water as it exits from a fissure in the rocks? Or is a filtered five gallon bottle delivered to your back door good enough for you?Which are you more comfortable with? PJ Harvey? Or Alanis Morissette? Fresh or packaged? What you’ll get here is drawn straight from the pure stream of Will Oldham’s cosmic ether. Oldham is a... Read More

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September 12th, 2022

5 Inexpensive Phono Preamplifiers We Like

Priced From $99 to $1500

By: Michael Fremer

Priced from $99 to $1500, these 5 phono preamplifiers offer fine build quality and sound to match. Equally important: they are from stable companies that will exist when in the future you might need customer support. Of course, there are many others worth noting but we want to avoid a laundry list here. Meanwhile, as in “Miracle on 34th Street”, where Macy’s Santa sent people to Gimbel’s, please visit my “former endeavor” and scroll through the phono preamp reviews.... Read More

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September 12th, 2022

Lost Song From Silver Jews' Magnificent American Water

I Discover a Classic & Obscure 'Porky Prime Cut'!

By: Joshua Smith

With disbelief I deciphered the writing in the dead wax: A Porky Prime Cut it read, not etched in some old Led Zeppelin or Mountain record from the '70s, but on this circa '98 seven-inch from the Silver Jews, the recording project of late poet and songwriter David Berman. Porky Prime Cut!, I thought to myself, that means George Peckham, the legendary mastering engineer whose work for Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, T. Rex, and others is brain-bendingly... Read More

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