deckeda's Pick 6! (minus 5)

Warren Zevon

My "Pick 1" is a 1976 Warren Zevon performance in a live radio studio broadcast. So it's basically a bootleg, but a sanctioned one available at (His son Jordan gave the approval.)

The performance is available in two versions. An unedited version includes an interviewer's inane questions and their gamely banter and more notes and comments. Another version is my edited version --- I deleted everything but the music.

Where this fits in with your "Pick" series criteria:

An FM/analog source may skirt the minimum edge of "CD or better" quality, and indeed Zevon's voice sounds like they simply gave him a spare DJ's mic to use --- a bit dark and lo fi. On the other hand, there's NO BAND present and the only other thing you hear is Warren's piano which is very clean and warm. Pretty, even. This is something special for fans who only know "Warren Zevon-the-rocker" and haven't heard him softer and as intimate.

Warren Zevon, Live at WMMS Studio on 1976-10-13

If you'd like to participate (I would like you to), just email me your Pick 6! list. Just remember CD-quality or better—MP3, just say no.

deckeda's picture

As a tie-in to the Sharon Van Etten post below (I haven't heard that release yet) and possible #2 for this list I'm strongly headed in the direction of picking up Paul McCartney's upcoming Kisses on the Bottom. (Hey---I figure I'm doing at least as good as Mejias' list; he didn't even HEAR what he recommended!)

If you're a sucker for jazz standards done well you'll probably like it unless you have a mental block placing rockers in unexpected (read: "unacceptable") scenarios. Truth is, it's restrained throughout without being precious (I was thisclose to writing "treacly" but that'd be the coffee talking) and his voice fits the content just fine.

So, it's no Rod Stewart trainwreck, nor is it something scarier

I'll be getting the 2-LP, 180gm gatefold edition, thanks. It's the only hi res version available. McCartney's site advertises it as including a coupon for a free 320kbps download, but if you click the "Buy Now" link (mine will be coming from here most likely, about a $1 more than Amazon after shipping?) you'll see additional choices for Apple Lossless and FLAC.

The downloads are handled by Topspin Media, and I'd expect hope the same ALAC and FLAC choices to be available to anyone who buys the LP from elsewhere. Caveat emptor. Either way, I don't care. I'll be making my own 24/96 copy eventually.

deckeda's picture

Last week I bought Howler's "Give Up America" after hearing it on NPR. "Modern power pop done well, but with some curse words" I think is the shorthand label I saw attached to this. It arrived from (no affliliation.) Again, the LP is the only way to get it in potentially higher-res sound.

Michael Lavorgna's picture

And you're not allowed to comment on your own post first. Twice.


Ripping vinyl is also coming soon(ish).

johnnya's picture

sound is more than ok. just love the voice and piano, alone. very fresh and poignant. real immediacy, has the feeling of a demo tape.

many thanks.


deckeda's picture

Good to know my flacs worked. When I first thought about Pick 6 I went back to my only copy in iTunes





Because I clone my iTunes library, the backup disk wasn't going to help. I downloaded from and nothing expanded properly back to AIFF or ALAC for me. Okay ... now what?

I tried another tool and got them opened up and re-saved as FLAC and re-upped those, what's there since submitting my almost-list to ML.

deckeda's picture

... because I was just going to drop a note here for #4, yet another purchase caused by NPR. A little story, as it were. I like the Gotye release, it's casual and fun but that's not really what this is about.

It's about stepping up and committing random acts of hi res advocacy.

[Regular readers of my blog here (Hey! Is this thing on? Can I get an intern to bring me my bowl of all-red M&M's? Um, TODAY?) will quickly peg the NPR full album previews as performing a curated function. And why not? Somebody should besides AOL.

Was there a list on this site of places that have something similar? Perhaps I missed it. P.S. These unsoliciated topic ideas come free, as is often commensurate with their value.]

Anyway, back to Gotye, or as I now call him, Wally. En route to chéz deckeda is his new LP but that didn't happen before checking out any possible downloads. It's not that I prefer the latter to the former (or vice versa ...) but in fact, each purchased format is considered anew since there's remarkable lack of consistency offered.

Lo and Behold, he (Gotye) offers a 24-bit digital master download.


This is a high quality digital master of the Gotye album Making Mirrors.

The files are 24bit 44.1kHz wav files



Oh, waiter? Check please! Which is it, the digital master, or a 24/44 copy? I crafted a brief (not too brief, it's me after all) query and submitted it to the site.

My new buddy Wally emailed me back to confirm it's both. Everything was recorded and mixed in 24/44, and so yes, that's what the LP was also cut from. I can handle that, and if you dig the music, so should you. He intends to have an all 24/96 workflow next time.

Very forthcoming guy. Further evidence: check out the 10min. video he made of the making of "Making Mirrors." It's on his home page.

In my initial note (not knowing at the time if my missive would reach him) I offerred up the metadata advantages of formats other than WAV. He thanked me and will consider them for future projects. He also gave an extended, almost song-by-song description of the troubles he had with the (4!) LP test pressings (also noted on his site) but additionally conceded not all of the problems were resolved for the LP. Yikes, I hope it sounds OK. 

The moral of the story is, take the time to contact people about hi res expectations. Who knows? You might just get lucky and make a dent. Or at least a small scrape.

Greg E's picture

Excellent.  Felt like I was in the studio, too.

Great site, btw.

slim's picture

thanks for sharing the link to that beautiful recording, deckeda - your Warren Zevon pick! has been in "heavy rotation" here ever since you presented it.

What's rotating these days? the platters of my external hard disk drive. Used to be piano rolls, shellac discs, vinyl discs, reel-to-reels, then CDs, DVDs, then platters - all rotating.

What's gonna become of the heavy rotation once we store it all on solid state "disks"?