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Jon Iverson Posted: Oct 07, 2013 2 comments
The heavens opened this fall and out poured all 13 Grateful Dead studio albums. Your choice: 24/96 or 24/192 PCM in WAV, AIFF, ALAC or FLAC, fresh from the original master tapes.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Oct 04, 2013 7 comments
PJ Harvey collaborator John Parish lends his producing and guitar playing skills to this, Rokia Traoré's fifth album. Beautiful Africa released on the Nonesuch label rocks but thankfully still within the framework of African music and Traoré's Malian home in part due to the presence of Mamah Diabaté’s n’goni lute and the music's shifting and swirling rhythms. There are a total of three guitarists on this record including Traoré, Parish, and Stefano Pilia, and English drummer Sebastian "Seb" Rochford provides the foundation along with bassist Nicolaï Munch-Hansen over which Traoré's vocals swing, dance, mourn, and ultimately delight.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Oct 03, 2013 21 comments

I reported on my outing, along with my friend Stephen Mejias (see his show report), to the Jenny Hval concert at the Mercury Lounge. Stephen sent me a link to this video of one song that was recorded at that show by a guy standing about two feet to my left. And its interesting because there's something missing from this video.

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Oct 03, 2013 11 comments
One week from today I fly out to Denver, CO for the 10th annual Rocky Mountain Audio Fest. I've already received a number of emails announcing new products that will make their debut in Denver and RMAF always promises to deliver tons of hi-fi fun. If there's anything special you'd like me to check out, just let me know.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Oct 02, 2013 0 comments
Last night Jenny Hval and her two bandmates lit up NYC's Mercury Lounge. Some performers during some performances have the ability to capture the room, making everything around you recede into the distance while the music becomes your every breath. Jenny Hval offered up an intimate and moving show filled with such moments featuring some of her older music, some from her recent and highly recommended Innocence is Kinky release on Rune Grammofon, and even a new song. Live, her fragile and forceful voice is even more infectious than on record (which is pretty impressive) and watching her perform is a special and moving treat. I highly recommend catching her if you can.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Sep 30, 2013 219 comments
Expensive Ethernet Cables
I hemmed and hawed. I procrastinated. I averted, diverted, rescheduled, delayed, prolonged, and put off reviewing the AudioQuest Vodka and Diamond Ethernet Cables hoping that something would change. Namely, I was hoping someone would be able to tell me why, in no uncertain terms, they do in fact make a difference in the way my music sounds coming through my hi-fi. In many ways and for many reasons I wished they made no difference at all. I wish they were just some audiophile nonsense that I could plug in, listen to, unplug, and simply shrug at their utter ineffectualness. But that's just not how these things work.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Sep 27, 2013 7 comments
A kaleidoscopic sound collage of cinematic proportions. Big, bold musical movements with glimpses of sheer beauty shattered by glitchy staccato breaks and fractured voices. This is Daniel Lopatin's first release on the Warp label and its a doozy all dreamy and space-age sounding. Listening to R Plus Seven feels like a journey through transmogrified space morphing city and country, present and past, inside and out, ultimately ending up in some far off synthetic future.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Sep 25, 2013 2 comments
A world of music in streaming sound. After I followed the Kora Trail to the Smithsonian Folkways website and Foday Musa Suso, I clicked on their Radio Player and spent the better part of the evening immersed in the music of our world. China, Africa, Mexico, American roots, and more. I was reminded of many wonderful events and places from my past, our shared past, as well as hopes for future travels and experiences. It was dreamy.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Sep 24, 2013 5 comments

It all started yesterday with a comment from philipjohnwright on the NPR Music app post, "My particular favourites are the Tiny Desk concerts where you get pared back performances from a very eclectic range of artists." Which reminded me of the wonderful Tiny Desk Concert featuring Ballaké Sissoko and Vincent Segal (do yourself a favor and click that arrow, sit back, and enjoy). Which led me to look for it in download form (no success but that's OK since I own the LP) but I did find another interesting record featuring Ballaké Sissoko and Stranded Horse called Thee. Which led me to post on Facebook, a rare occurrence, "Is there such a thing as bad kora music?".

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Sep 23, 2013 3 comments
If you like NPR's First Listen and other music-related programming, you'll love the app for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Reader Deckeda recently mentioned the NPR Music App in one of his comments and now's as good a time as any to check it out. The newest featured release is Oneohtrix Point Never's R Plus Seven and its a doozy.


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