Acoustic Sounds

Features: Editor's Choice

With Bowie-mania sure to surge this summer thanks to the first time release of the full concert version of the digitally restored Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars: The Motion Picture, 50 years after it originally screened, and playing in theaters beginning July 3rd, I found Harvey Kubernik's interview with Julian Shah-Tayler too good to not grab and publish—and that's before listening to Forget I'm 50, his re-imagined Aladdin Sane album. What most got me interested was Shah-Tayler's telling Kubernik that he first discovered Bowie through the song "Let's Dance" and wasn't impressed, but when a friend played him “Yassassin” from Lodger... . How would a 50 something who wasn't yet born when the album was released, recast in 2023 Aladdin Sane? With undeniable high energy and excitement, that's how. The only contributing artist I've heard of here is Gene Loves Jezebel (Michael Aston), who does an effective "Jean Genie". Shah-Tayler tackles "Lady Grinning Soul" and makes it tribute-fresh (the album is available on streaming services). For good measure, Kubernik includes interviews with D.A. Pennebaker who produced the film and with our friend Ken Scott who engineered and produced Aladdin Sane. Me? I was on the Ziggy tour for three stops (New York, Chicago and Detroit) in addition to the Boston Music Hall show so I can confirm that the hysteria you see in the movie was real. The Carnegie Hall show was a quasi- religious experience.

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Friday morning at High End Munich 2023 I participated in a panel discussion speculating on the future of hi-fi hosted by Olaf Adam editor of The other panelists were Ljubiša Miodragović editor of Serbian audio site Hi Files and Stuart Smith, editor of HiFi Pig.I began by quoting something I'd written in a Music Connection op-ed back in the mid 1980s. The editorial was so controversial the editor put at the top a disclaimer making sure readers knew this... Read More

April 13th, 2023

Lansing's Lost Legacy the dawn of hi-fi—The Lansing Iconic

By: David MacRunnel

David MacRunnel's story about the hunt (and capture) of the almost mythical Lansing Iconic loudspeaker is part tech, part detective mystery and part audio-repairman diary. It's also a short history of high quality loudspeakers through the decades. If you didn't think an audio story could be nail biter, be prepared to change your mind. Also, read the short bio at the end.

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February 22nd, 2023

Tour Michael's Room in 4K Recently shot video!

By: Michael Fremer

A videographer visited recently to produce this 4K room tour showing my current audio system, including some new products under review, and some records and accessories.There's a similar room tour video shot years ago that's gotten 848,000 views. That sounds encouraging and most comments are positive but I think some people viewed it for the same reason they watch plane crash videos. Some of the comments express a variety of emotions including outrage at the... Read More

In the mid 2010s I had a two hour radio show on the Fairleigh Dickinson college radio station WFDU. It was fun, it was popular and everything played on it was transferred at 96/24 from vinyl so it sounded really good. The weekly show was done under the name of my previous endeavor. I wasn't paid for it so I've gone in and changed the name to " radio". I think you'll really enjoy the eclectic Christmas music and banter from the... Read More

In September 1967 I was watching the "Upbeat "TV show and immediately connected with a rock band called the Ohio Express performing a song with an infectious “Louie Louie” rhythm. I bought the “Beg, Borrow and Steal” 45. In preparation for producing for Rhino The Best of the Ohio Express and Other Bubble Gum Smashes (1983), I conferred with Jeff Katz who had co-produced with Jerry Kasenetz hits with the Ohio Express, 1910 Fruit Gum Company, and others.The... Read More

We’ve all got that one audiophile or music-loving friend who just can’t get along with classical music. It’s too “serious”, or too “boring”. “There’s too many foreign names and words to remember” or “It’s too elitist”. “There’s no beat…..”Well, this may be the one record to entice that friend to think - and listen - again.How can that be? It definitely doesn’t sound like classical music: there’s drums, synthesizers, guitars and drums. No vocals, it goes on for forty... Read More