This album was recommended on one of the vinyl youtube sites.  Album recommendations are, of course, subjective, but this one interested me immediately.  There aren’t very many hooks or riffs of any kind, but if you want to relax and chill with, what I consider, a classic noir sound this will fill the bill.  The band has been around since the early nineties and the genre is considered ambient/jazz.  This album is extremely easy to listen to and, despite its simplistic style, is incredibly interesting.  Bohren has a nine LP catalog that spans  from 1994 to 2015 and I’m hoping that collection grows

 

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Eva Marie Cassidy (February 2, 1963 – November 2, 1996)

Eva Cassidy’s beautiful and angelic voice weren’t made known to me until more than a decade after her death on this date in 1996.  In fact, most of her success came after she succumbed to melanoma when her music was promoted on BBC radio and TV to great acclaim.  Sadly, the singer/songwriters death could have been prevented if she’d have kept up with regular checkups after removal of a malignancy.  This is one of her best covers and probably the best version of the song, “Fields of Gold.”

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old

I remember being a young teenager and frequently visiting an electronics store called “Wall To Wall Sound” . I couldn’t afford anything in there, but listening and looking at all the Hi-Fi equipment was a great experience. I can still remember daydreaming about the perfect stereo system I’d have one day…and a black van…lol. I eventually saved enough to buy a complete “Sharp” stereo, mostly due to affordability and looks. I spent a lot of time blasting rock and roll records through that system and surprisingly, my parents were pretty tolerant about it. Eventually, life happens. Between moving about the country and audio industry format upgrades, I finally landed on listening to lossy MP3 files on an IPOD. I guess as the quality of the medium gradually declined I became used to sub-par audio experiences.

I’d resisted getting back into vinyl when interest started trending, thinking my hearing loss was so great I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference anyway. I was wrong. Eventually, I decided to give vinyl a spin and bought a newer model turntable. Wow! The music sounded amazing, almost like listening to a different record in some cases. I could hear sounds and nuances I hadn’t before. This was especially true of music I’d only experienced on compressed MP3 files. I also liked that listening to music on a turntable was something that made you pay more attention to the music. Listening to music was the thing you were doing and not something that happened in the background while you did something else.

I’m not going to get into the science, because I’m not that smart, but I do understand that compressing something like music into MP3 format requires a loss of information…sound. It makes the music muddy and indistinct, while vinyl brings out every sound. They say vinyl is warmer, and while I can’t explain what the means, I think I can feel that too.

Eventually I began to build that system I dreamt about so long ago. Vintage high quality equipment is extremely affordable and in many cases equal to some of todays higher cost systems. Vintage equipment also looks cool.

So get on craigslist and pick up an amp, turntable, and speakers and use the web to learn more about that equipment.

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Sigur Rós – Varúð

One of a collection of 16 short films made for the Valtari Film Experiment –

Translation for the Morse Code in the video:

“It doesn’t matter what I say”
“The only thing that matters is how you feel”
“Understanding that the words are irrelevant is of great importance”
“What feelings do you have”

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I’d passed up this Icelandic band so many times in the past.  I had a narrow definition of Post-Rock, and anything with vocals was out.  Now, however, I realize that genres are fluid and that makes them pretty much meaningless except in the general sense.  Sigur Ros is considered “Post-Rock” because “Post-Rock” people listen to it. And that’s how I’ll approach it from now on.  Enjoy this track from the pride of Iceland.

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