Opening Salvo

Wiser? Or Just Older?

Welcome to the 34th issue of Copper!

As I approach yet another birthday, I’m struck by the changes that come with age. Some have come with maturity (I think); others are clearly just signs of wear and tear.

For example: in my younger days, I would agonize over any bit of criticism I received, especially if that criticism was of something I’d written. At this point, I’m pragmatic enough to know that I do the best I can, given the constraints of time and my own ability. Pretty much anything can be improved, given additional time, attention and tweaking…but just as in manufacturing, there comes a point at which a line must be drawn, changes cease, and (as our friend Seth Godin says) you have to ship it. For me, the ability to let go of something, anything—an essay, a relationship,  or even a grudge—has been  one of the hardest things to learn in life.

I’d like to ascribe that ability to let go to maturity, not indifference.

Wear and tear? A few years ago, I drove from Boston to Sarasota, non-stop. A day later I flew to Denmark for a week-long consulting gig, then flew home to Florida. I was okay within two days.

My recent trip to Munich left me exhausted and foggy for a week. The difference a few years have made in my ability to recover from travel-abuse has been eye-opening, and more than a little frightening.

The stories  in this issue’s Industry News  seem to me to demonstrate aging without gaining wisdom. Sears and Radio Shack  were among America’s leading retailers for many decades—and then didn’t respond to changing times. Can a business become senile? I think so.

The rest of our columns are more upbeat: Professor Schenbeck looks at an element of music that we oh-so-serious musicophiles and audiophiles often overlook: is it FUN? Beatles acolyte  Dan Schwartz offers his own unique take on the importance of Sgt. Pepper on its 50th anniversary; Richard Murison takes a side-trip into the bewildering world of patents; Duncan Taylor introduces us to still more amazing musicians; Anne E. Johnson introduces another unique indie artist, Andy Suzuki; Dan McCauley provides this issue’s album review, the newbie from The Mountain Goats. I grumble about sleeplessness and music, and continue my look at horn speakers.

Our friend Jim Smith discusses that audiophile ideal, the dedicated listening room. As promised in the last issue, I review my experiences at the Munich show—including the joy of the biergarten!
The bottom half of our audio show doubleheader has Dan Schwartz doing a quick lap of the new LA Audio Show. Visit on Friday, write on Saturday, publish on Monday—how about that?

We wrap up #34 with a chilly Parting Shot. Our friends Woody Woodward and Jay Jay French will be back soon, and we once again remind our readers that we welcome contributions for In My Room, our feature on reader’s listening rooms. You could be next!

Until next issue—enjoy!

Cheers, Leebs.