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Album Reviews
Michael Fremer Apr 01, 2007 1 comments

Riverside issued this Charlie Byrd album in 1960, two years before his collaboration with Stan Getz on the classic Jazz Samba (Verve V6-8432), which has been reissued by both DCC Compact Classics and Speakers Corner (still in print, I believe).

Album Reviews
Michael Fremer Apr 01, 2007 1 comments

This obscure little 1967 instrumental gem rescued from the dustbins of antiquity by Sundazed featuring guitarist Earl Hooker backed by an anonymous group of musicians including a drummer, bassist, organist, sax player and perhaps a rhythm guitarist, or Hooker’s overdubbing himself, is nothing more than a series of funky jams that show off Hooker’s unique curlicue guitar twanging style.

Album Reviews
Michael Fremer Apr 01, 2007 1 comments

Forget the Van Gogh-like cover. There’s nothing crazy going on here, or perhaps these four guys just wanted to subliminally suggest that you lend an ear. I’m glad I did.

Album Reviews
Michael Fremer Apr 01, 2007 0 comments

Rosanne Cash’s moving, sometimes mysterious tribute to her late parents and step-mother June Carter Cash was, for me, last year’s most profound and affecting album. Perhaps that’s why I haven’t sat down to write about it until this year.

Album Reviews
Michael Fremer Apr 01, 2007 0 comments

The production, arrangements and recording are strictly decent (but clean and well crafted) demo-quality, the drummer boat-anchors the tunes behind the beat&#151he’s no Ringo&#151and with tunes such as “You’re Like Lead” (you’re always bringing me down), and “Rubber Soul,” and with an album title like Love Is Not Enough (get it?) you have to wonder if these guys are doing Beatles or Rutles.

Album Reviews
Michael Fremer Apr 01, 2007 0 comments

This year's (2006) showing of this 1965 animated special drew a huge audience. I don't have the numbers but I think it beat everything in its time slot.

Album Reviews
Michael Fremer Apr 01, 2007 0 comments

“Tastes good on th’ bun” are all the lyrics you get on “Tastes Good on th’ Bun,” the opening tune, of the Ween brothers’ new collection of closet clutterers and leftovers. There’s a tune called “Big Fat Fuck.” Can you guess the lyrics? Close. Add “Feelin’ like a” and you’ve got it.

Album Reviews
Michael Fremer Apr 01, 2007 0 comments

When this arrived I stated the obvious to myself “Why would I want to hear Dion sing the blues?” I can hear Robert Johnson do his own tunes, I can hear them “rock-a-fied” to great effect on any number of albums from the 1960’s, I can hear other blues greats, from Mississippi John Hurt to Howlin’ Wolf to Lightnin’ Hopkins, singing their originals and covers, some superbly recorded, and generally I was so down on this disc that I played it more to see how awful and/or pointless it was.

Album Reviews
Michael Fremer Apr 01, 2007 0 comments

Sundazed has just released the first five Byrds albums cut from the original mono master tapes, which didn't see that much action when new and haven't seen much since. Thus the sound on this first one has a chance of being positively stupendous and it is.

Cartridge Reviews
Michael Fremer Mar 19, 2007 0 comments
Back in 2000, when Lyra introduced the Helikon moving-coil cartridge, which replaced the then six-year-old Clavis D.C., the company inexplicably retained the Clavis D.C.'s retail price of $2000. This was inexplicable because the Helikon's revolutionary design was new from the ground up, and because audiophiles—like most, if not all, consumers—perceive price to be a reflection of quality and performance.