Tracking Angle contributors  |  Sep 30, 2005  |  First Published: Dec 31, 1969  |  0 comments

This article originally ran in issue #16 of The Tracking Angle, published in the Fall of 1998. It's run here with minor changes reflecting the happy fact that many of these titles have since been reissued on high quality vinyl. Thanks to all of the talented writers who contributed.

Tracking Angle contributors  |  Sep 30, 2005  |  First Published: Dec 31, 1969  |  0 comments

Henry James, in another of his sour moods, once characterized then-President Theodore Roosevelt as "the mere monstrous embodiment of unprecedented and resounding noise." Thankfully, the Master died before hearing Cheap Trick. We think we know this record, and the Trick, too. A generation of rockers have dined out on the chops served up on the original (and brutally truncated) 1979 Epic release. The party crowd (i.e., all of us) has shaken sufficient booty, tail, and keister to make it one of the essential rock albums. And why not? The noise quotient is high enough for blare-oriented ideologues and the giddy fun intrinsic to the band's power-pop attack gets everybody else. The Tricksters make damned sure of that.

Michael Fremer  |  Sep 04, 2005  |  First Published: Dec 31, 1969  |  0 comments
"My original goal was simply to design a better turntable than the Linn because at that time in the UK, Ivor Tiefenbrun was the man—he was the patron saint and all that. And all the hi-fi mags were full of Linns. He did for turntables, in a way, what Mark Levinson (the man) did for amplifiers."
Michael Fremer  |  Sep 01, 2005  |  First Published: Dec 31, 1969  |  1 comments

I conducted this interview with the great Steve Albini way back in 1993, before MP3, before the iPod, back when all but a few outspoken critics like Albini, Neil Young and a few others had anything negative to say about the digital recording revolution. It's fascinating to read Albini's thoughts today. He was right on target then, as he is today.

-Michael Fremer

He's the dean of alternative rock engineers, a thirty-something (now 43) veteran of literally thousands of get 'em in, get 'em out recording sessions, mostly with young, inexperienced bands who can't spend a great deal of money, but who have something to say and who don't want to be restrained in the recording studio. More than anything, they want to recognize themselves when they hear the final product.

Michael Fremer  |  Sep 01, 2005  |  First Published: Dec 31, 1969  |  0 comments

MF: Do you have studio that you work out of now?

SA: I have a 24 track studio in my house-all top of the line equipment-but more importantly than the studio, I have a large collection of very high quality microphones that I tote with me whenever I go anyplace else to make a record.

MF: How did you accumulate them and what are some of them?

SA: Well I got them by buying them......There's the Calrec Soundfield- an amazing microphone that sounds really good.

Michael McGill  |  Sep 01, 2005  |  1 comments

The Libertines, on their debut album Up the Bracket album (issued in the UK, October, 2002, and March, 2003 in America), deliver well-written punk-pop in a ragged-but-right style that teases with echoes of The Clash, The New York Dolls and Pavement. Avoiding the polar pitfalls of Green Day's predictability and Modest Mouse's endless demands on the listener's patience, they thread the skinny needle of superb garage rock, coming out the other side grinning, sweaty, and deserving of your buying them a Guinness.

Michael Fremer  |  Sep 01, 2005  |  0 comments

There's an outlaw tune, a tough-chick-struts-her-stuff tune, one about breakup and regret and other familiar subjects, and Kathleen Edwards and her band express it with edgy, pedal steel drenched country roots-rock that has probably already worn familiar pathways through the musical synapses of your mind, but on her sophomore effort, Kathleen Edwards proves she's got the goods to go for the long haul.

Michael Fremer  |  Sep 01, 2005  |  1 comments

Leonard Bernstein was probably the first classical musician to boldly champion rock music when he enthusiastically endorsed The Beatles back in 1964-well before the group's true artistry flowered. Bernstein wrote a short, joyous, almost inappropriately flowery introduction to Geoffrey Stokes's 1980 book “The Beatles,” which you can read at

Michael Fremer  |  Sep 01, 2005  |  0 comments

“The greatest LP ever recorded in England” gushed The Lama Review ( a website dedicated to psychedelic music. “…the best middle Eastern acid folk album ever recorded,” sayeth MOJO. “An oblique masterpiece…” according to Record Collector.

Michael Fremer  |  Sep 01, 2005  |  1 comments

Abbey Lincoln:
In the upside down year of 1961 (not until 6009 will that happen again), the Kennedy era began, Washington D.C. residents finally got the right to vote in presidential elections thanks to the 23rd amendment to the constitution, and the civil rights movement was in its most activist period, with sit-ins staged throughout the south at public places and freedom riders traveling on buses to force the de-segregation of bus terminals as mandated by federal law.