The term “Happy Holidaze” has become a cliché, the progenitor of silly memes and cards – and has also taken on a new meaning in 2020. What a year it’s been, and I doubt that there’s a single one of us who doesn’t feel dazed by it. But the holiday season is a time of rejoicing, and my holiday wish is that we can find renewed spirit, togetherness, hope, and, yes, joy during the season and in 2021.
I want to again take the opportunity to thank everyone at Copper for making this magazine possible. It has been, in the words of Paul McGowan, a “shining beacon,” certainly in my life, and it has helped me get through some tough times this year. Perhaps Copper has made your lives a little brighter also.
In this overstuffed holiday issue: John Seetoo recommends some Christmas songs you might not have heard before, and WL Woodward looks at favorite holiday movies. Wayne Robins reviews Dave Alvin’s From an Old Guitar: Rare and Unreleased Recordings. Jay Jay French ponders Zen and the art of criticism. Larry Schenbeck examines the bel canto work of Rossini. Ken Sander tells about his time with Johnny “Guitar” Watson. Don Kaplan asks: what happened to honk, bonk, boing and blomp? Dan Schwartz reflects upon Keith Jarrett’s retirement. J.I. Agnew concludes his series on vertical tracking angle and stylus rake angle.
Anne E. Johnson finds that Bach and Beck are where it’s at. Steven Bryan Bieler ponders chess and music. Adrian Wu continues his series on audio testing. Tom Gibbs reviews new releases from Smashing Pumpkins, David Bowie and Seasick Steve. I review the new book, Audio Research: Making the Music Glow and conclude our interview with The Audiophiliac, Steve Guttenberg. Ray Chelstowski has an inside look at when Clarence Clemons toured with the Grateful Dead. Stuart Marvin contemplates the many and varied cover versions of “Hey Joe.” Our audio/visual department looks at late arrivals, audiophile wedding rings, days gone by, musical holiday gifts of yore, and more.