Lovely Recordings

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Michael Lavorgna  |  May 30, 2016
[Editor's Note: Dynaudio North America's Director of Marketing Mike Manousselis and I were having an email exchange wherein I sent him a link to Sturgill Simpson's cover of Nirvana's "In Bloom". I had played Mike Simpson's cover of When In Rome's "The Promise" at CES, which Mike recognized immediately (at which time he cracked up). Mike returned the favor, in spades, and I thought it would be great fun to share Mike's list of some favorite covers. Enjoy!]
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jun 26, 2017
Greetings from the antipodes, NZ more precisely. I’ve been thinking about this for a while and finally managed to make myself do it.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jun 20, 2016
Hey East Coast Mike! This is West Coast Mike. Also born in 1961 and a fan of your column (not entirely your music taste though). Also have two kids and a wife. Took a stab at doing a "Lovely Recordings" list for your column.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jun 19, 2017
It’s 1996, well before iPods, smartphones and easy Internet access. My employer is sending me from New York City to Sydney, Australia for a 1-year work assignment. My wife and two little kids are coming too. We can bring whatever fits into allowable checked luggage and carry-ons, plus a small “barrel” of other personal items (mostly toys & clothes) that will follow by cargo ship a few months later. We’ll be living in a very small apartment, so most of our possessions will be staying behind (or being sold at garage sale, in the case of my vinyl collection) including everything from our pets to our musical instruments, the hi-fi system and most of my recorded music library. We have two months to get organized. I designate a small cardboard box for CDs to bring along. The ones I choose to fit in that box will have to do me for a year, and I’ll be playing them on a boom-box to be purchased once we arrive. Not the happiest thought for an audiophile, but to be honest there are more pressing things to think about.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Apr 24, 2017
I have very eclectic listening tastes, in fact I think it’s wonderful to put my iTunes on shuffle and see what comes up. Some of the transitions work very well, some are downright hilarious and others are jarring which works too because it jerks my attention to what is playing.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Dec 19, 2016
If there's a theme for this list it's psychedelic repetition. Not all of it falls into that category, but those craving songs in the traditional sense will have some barriers to overcome. Regardless of whether it's ultra lush or mind meltingly harsh, those hypnotic qualities of music is a theme across almost everything I listen to. Oh, and not a lot of vocals, which seems to be another preference of mine. I guess it's easier to drift away to other worlds when there's no human anchoring you to reality.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Mar 05, 2018
"Is there anybody going to listen to my story...".

Being four (or perhaps five) years old I had absolutely had no idea what John Lennon was singing about, but I could tell it was important.

If it started with the Beatles, it continued with Elvis. And Miles—"Sketches from Spain"—I was lured by the cool cover... And piano jazz, because that's what my parents were playing.

The drive of Elvis, the patience of Miles, the urgency of John Lennon, the swing of Errol Garner and the beauty of them all, is what I look for. Pretense. Sure, but that's what I ended up with when thinking about what attracts me to a piece of music or a performance.

Michael Lavorgna  |  Apr 25, 2016
I think it's time to throw some dance moves at this lovely recordings party! Not everything on this list is a party banger but my natural listening tendency is definitely towards music that infects the hips and makes you want to do a little shimmy on the dance floor, or just plain freak out!
Michael Lavorgna  |  Mar 07, 2016
Since my musical tastes are all over the map, it's only fitting that my list would reflect that. I've been very impressed by the diversity of tastes so far in the Lovely Recordings column and have felt compelled to contribute my own list. In keeping with the spirit of discovery, I hope everyone will find something new here to enjoy.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Nov 07, 2016
I've loved music since I was five and proudly taking a tiny plastic record player everywhere I went (I think it had to “disappear” eventually to preserve the relative sanity of the adults around me). I wasn't especially attuned to quality of sound until about fifteen years ago and am still a piker in terms of equipment and analysis compared to most of the posters and readers here. Anyway, here are four recordings I love for musical reasons that also boast at least decent sound.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Nov 21, 2016
The following Lovely Recordings submission represents a small sample of my personal varied taste in music. Hopefully some of the words sprinkled below will be enough to entice some of the readers to further investigate the albums, better yet just let the music speak for itself. Enjoy!
Michael Lavorgna  |  May 23, 2016
What a delight this feature of Audiostream has been. It’s great to see that audiophiles listen to something other than Kinda Blue and Diana Krall. I’ve been looking for the next great musical thing for as long as I can remember. Along the way there were memorable moments of discovering Roxy Music as a teen, seeing Steve Reich premier Tehillim in the Rothko Chapel and watching journeymen players get lost in a sound at the Lennox Lounge in Harlem.
Michael Lavorgna  |  May 15, 2017
Posting on Lovely Music was such fun that I’ve come back for more. I’ve recently armed myself with Roon and a Tidal account, which have made exploring new music a daily event. Equipped with offline Tidal selections and a Dragonfly Red dangling from the iPhone, the morning subway ride is almost bearable.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Aug 07, 2017
It's easy for classical music listeners like me to fall into a rut and listen to the same familiar pieces in multiple different performances. While it's true that there is always something new to find in the old chestnuts like Beethoven's Ninth, why not stretch your ears? So here are three recordings of music that I found exciting and fascinating, plus one fine recording of familiar Chopin played by an artist new to me.

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