Copper


Fun With YouTube

Issue 153Featured

YouTube is an amazing place. You can see stuff there that you never imagined. You can also spend the rest of your life chasing videos that come up as suggestions...

Vinyls

Issue 153Featured

To the tune of “Royals” by Lorde I’ve never seen a diamond except on a stylusI cut my teeth on Discwasher and ZerostatAnd I’m not proud of my streaming DACIn...

Let It Be: Director Peter Jackson’s Get Back Pr...

Issue 152Featured

Nearly eight-hour Get Back documentary is revelatory for fans Like all Beatles fans, I was intrigued with the news that New Zealand film director Peter Jackson had convinced the Apple Records powers-that-be...

Nobody Told Me There'd Be Days Like These: Get ...

Issue 152Featured

Get Back, directed by Peter Jackson Peter Jackson’s Get Back film tries to finesse the Beatles’ break-up while fulfilling the audience’s dream of a fantasy reunion. When the original Let It Be film first appeared...

Burt Bacharach in the 1960s and 1970s: Artists ...

Issue 152Featured

The Burt Bacharach and Hal David songwriting machine was running full speed ahead through the 1960s. While Dionne Warwick was the singer of many of their best tunes, there were...

Collector as Minimalist

Issue 152Featured

Before my upcoming trip to the record store, I comb through my collection and pull Miles Davis, Kind of Blue, Johnny Cash, Live at San Quentin, Jimi Hendrix, Band of Gypsies, and the...

Words and Music by Stephen Sondheim

Issue 151Featured

Readers don’t necessarily rely on Copper for theatrical news, but there is a good reason why the recent passing of Stephen Sondheim (1930 – 2021) should matter to anyone interested in music:...

The Knob With the Misleading Name

Issue 151Featured

Component audio systems were still comparatively rare when my college roommates and I put one together (see my article in Issue 149), but there was at least one other in...

Shop Class

Issue 151Featured

In my first installment, “When I Was A Boy,” (Issue 150) I spun a yarn of growing up as a budding audiophile by using song titles as references. Many of...

The 150 Greatest Albums Made By Women

Issue 150Featured

In 1979, WBCN-FM in Boston offered its listeners a fantastic deal: tell us what you think are the 10 best rock albums of all time, and we’ll tabulate the results...

Some Notable Analog Recordings, Part Three

Issue 150Featured

Part One and Part Two of this series appeared in Issue 141 and Issue 142. I started exploring recordings on labels related to the Decca Record Company of England in Issue...

1960s Music Magic: Revisiting NYC’s Fillmore Ea...

Issue 150Featured

New York’s famed Fillmore East closed 50 years ago this year. It’s hard to believe it was that long ago. Although only operational for a relatively short three-year period (1968...

150: What’s In a Number?

Issue 150Featured

150 is the magic number this month. 150 bi-weekly issues ago, Copper magazine was launched. It got me thinking about the number 150 and its many uses. Here is a...

Choosing New Speakers: Sensitivity and Room Size

Issue 149Featured

In a previous article (Issue 147) we considered the reality that, although there is an abundance of information describing the technical specifications of loudspeakers, not all of it is particularly helpful in...

Phil Keaggy: A Lifetime of Joyful Noises, Part ...

Issue 149FEATURED

In Part One (Issue 145), we looked at Phil Keaggy’s musical beginnings with power trio Glass Harp, and his early solo recordings, which showed his skills expanding beyond hard rock music to...

Stage Door Tommy

Issue 149FEATURED

It’s never too early for a young boy to start appreciating the music of Marvin Hamlisch. I was nine years old when my mother took me to see A Chorus Line on...

Phil Keaggy: A Lifetime of Joyful Noises, Part ...

Issue 148FEATURED

In Part One (Issue 145), we looked at Phil Keaggy’s musical beginnings with power trio Glass Harp, and his early solo recordings, which showed his skills expanding beyond hard rock music to...

Stream of Consciousness: Better Sound From My C...

Issue 148FEATURED

In Part One (Issue 147), we looked at the value of improving your computer audio sound by routing the output of your source to an external DAC, which can be used not...

Burt Bacharach Part Three: Big Screen, Little S...

Issue 148FEATURED

Like many prolific composers, Burt Bacharach was called upon to compose music for a handful of films and stage productions. Some were fantastic works. One was so notoriously difficult that...

Beyond the Firesign Theatre: Other Comedy Troup...

Issue 147FEATURED

(WARNING: You may be exposed to adult content and humor of questionable taste.) The late 1960s through the mid-1970s was a fertile time for recorded comedy, both stand-up and ensemble....

Burt Bacharach, Part Two: Make Way for Dionne W...

Issue 147FEATURED

Part One in Issue 146 covered Burt Bacharach’s early years, writing hits for artists like Jerry Butler, Gene McDaniels, Gene Pitney, and…the Five Blobs. The series continues here. The work of Burt...

1960s Rock Band Rhinoceros: Hype (and Then, Mor...

Issue 147FEATURED

Way before Menudo there was Rhinoceros. Rhinoceros was a late 1960s rock band and the brainchild of Elektra Records’ producers Paul Rothchild and Frazier Mohawk (aka Barry Friedman). Mohawk had...

Burt Bacharach, Part One – The Early Years

Issue 146FEATURED

Burt Bacharach is one of those composers who I’ve listened to nearly my entire life. From the age of six or seven, my mother – the adventurous listener in the...

Alternate Realities – Janácek: Piano Works

Issue 146FEATURED

Janácek: Piano WorksLars Vogt, pianoOndine ODE1382-2 With his tart rhythms and uneasy tonality, Leoš Janáček, a late Romantic Czech composer and early innovator in folk musicology, circles his own little...

Phil Keaggy – A Lifetime of Making Joyful Noise...

Issue 146FEATURED

Part One of this series (Issue 145) covered Phil Keaggy’s early music with hard rock power trio Glass Harp, his experiments with prog rock, jazz fusion, classical and Elizabethan acoustic guitar,...

Phil Keaggy – A Lifetime of Making Joyful Noise...

Issue 145FEATURED

“Use guitars to reinforce your Hallelujahs!” Psalm 33:2, The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language Guitarists who have developed distinctly separate and unique voices on both the acoustic and electric guitar...

Every Picture Tells A Story, Or, How I Recreate...

Issue 145FEATURED

Today’s renaissance of vinyl as a chosen physical music format represents an opportunity for baby boomers to recapture their collective youth. In the 1970s, record stores were the place to hang out...

Self-Help Before YouTube: More Records to Impro...

Issue 145FEATURED

Have you ever wondered how we learned to do things (repair/install/build/develop skills, etc.) before smartphones and YouTube came along?  Well, back in ancient times, before “there’s an app for that,”...

Lyle Mays – Composer, Arranger, Producer and Ke...

Issue 145FEATURED

Part One (Issue 144) covered Lyle Mays’ recordings as a leader and as part of the Pat Metheny Group. The series concludes here. In the last installment, we looked at Lyle...

The Future of Jazz Clubs: a Crossroads and a Co...

Issue 144Featured

For some time, many music industry critics and pundits have postulated that jazz is dead. Even the great Wynton Marsalis wrote a song called “The Death of Jazz.” Some of...

Lyle Mays – Composer, Arranger, Producer and Ke...

Issue 144Featured

It’s been a year and a half since we lost the brilliant composer, arranger and keyboardist Lyle Mays. While he had avoided the limelight during the last phase of his...

Some Notable Analog Recordings, Part Three

Issue 144Featured

As I mentioned in my previous article (Issue 142), I recently installed a new cartridge. Even though it is the exact same model as the cartridge I had used for...

The Audio Butterfly Effect

Issue 143FEATURED

The best-fitting suit is a well-tailored one. You likely would never expect to try on a garment in a store and have it fit perfectly, if taken randomly from just...

Classic Rock Reissues: Real Value or Sonic Head...

Issue 143FEATURED

In the consumer packaged goods biz, it’s common practice for manufacturers to reposition brands as “new and improved.” We’ve seen brands like Tide, Jell-O and Bounty do this time and...

10 Great Music Documentaries

Issue 143FEATURED

A lot of people turned to binge watching during the pandemic lockdowns. Although I wasn’t binging, I did take the opportunity to check out a number of documentaries about bands,...

AES Show Spring 2021, Part Four: Gaming Sound, ...

Issue 142Featured

As a result of COVID-19, the Audio Engineering Society’s AES Show Spring 2021, appropriately named “Global Resonance,” was conducted online from Europe. This afforded me the rare opportunity to view...

Facing the Music

Issue 142Featured

Oliver: Wanna shot of single malt, Terry? Terry: Still got some of that Bunnahabhain? O: Here. I wonder why some of our friends don’t show up to our music gatherings anymore; I know...

Born-Again Brahms

Issue 140FEATURED

The intrepid Hungarian pianist András Schiff has pressed against received wisdom since indulging in Bach early on and rarely programming any Chopin (a cornerstone of any pianist’s repertoire). You can...

A Charmed Life

Issue 140FEATURED

 One of the attendees I met at The Home Entertainment (T.H.E.) Show in Long Beach last month was a guy named Carter. Every time I noticed him in the listening...

What Was the B.F.D. About R.E.M.?

Issue 140FEATURED

My neighbor is a generation younger than me. I’ll call him Trent. Like everyone else in my neighborhood, Trent and his wife are spending part of the pandemic cleaning out...

Self-Help Before YouTube

Issue 139FEATURED

Have you ever wondered how we learned to do things (repair/install/build/develop skills, etc.) before smartphones and YouTube came along? Well, back in ancient times, before “there’s an app for that,”...

Chris Whitley: A Nonconformist

Issue 138FEATURED

The definition of a nonconformist is “a person whose behavior or views do not conform to prevailing ideas or practices.” Yup, that defines the late blues-rock-folk artist Chris Whitley quite...

Strategy

Issue 137FEATURED

Despite no record of accidents ever, or tickets for the last 25 years, the state recently demanded I renew my motorcycle license. That included a written test. The California DMV...

The Jazz Side of Henry Mancini, Part Three

Issue 137FEATURED

In our last installment (Issue 136; Part One appeared in Issue 135), we left you at the Banzai Pipeline, surfing your way to one of Henry Mancini’s greatest big band tunes....

The Jazz Side of Henry Mancini, Part Two

Issue 136FEATURED

We left off our last survey of the jazz side of Henry Mancini (Issue 135) in New York City, fresh off the Breakfast at Tiffany’s soundtrack. That album was recorded...

Taking Control: A Personal Journey

Issue 141FEATURED

In issue 140, I told the story of Carter, a Texan who seems to have beat cancer by means of changing his environment. The reason it had such an impact on me is...

I Hear Music…

Issue 141FEATURED

This is an attempt to describe how I experience one of life’s greatest sensory pleasures – music. I don’t listen to songs. By that, I mean I don’t really give...

Sustaining Creativity

Issue 142FEATURED

Many years ago, I owned and ran a UK guitar shop, which my family and I had purchased as a going concern. It was a very successful and happy business...

London “Decca” Cartridges: Unique Design, Timel...

Issue 135Featured

Decca cartridges are unique transducers with quite a bit of interesting history behind them, starring with the Decca company itself. From their 1929 beginnings as a British record company and...

The Yamaha Influence, Part Two

Issue 135FEATURED

In Part One (Issue 134), we looked at Yamaha as being both a musical instrument maker and a manufacturer of audio components, and how each of those sides of the...