January 25th, 2021

It’s hard to believe – or maybe not – that we first heard about the pandemic a year ago. A year. No wonder many of us are feeling more stressed out than ever, and look at the losses we’ve suffered. I recently found out that a few family members and friends have tested positive and it scares me. But a healing thought popped into my head as I was lying awake in bed the other night: keep your eye on the prize.

When my wife was going through two difficult pregnancies, it was one of the toughest things we’ve ever dealt with. She was on bed rest for weeks. But her OB-GYN kept telling us, keep your eye on the prize. Meaning, thinking about the joy of finally having children would get us through the most difficult times of feeling like there would be no end to the uncertain waiting. The doc was right. Twice. Now, as the prospect of getting back to the "prize" – an end to the pandemic – is within closer reach, it’s my mantra once again.

In this issue: Don Kaplan offers 21 of his favorite recordings to kick off 2021. Wayne Robins considers the making of Taylor Swift’s folklore. J.I. Agnew looks for a vintage piano. John Seetoo takes us on a virtual tour of the legendary Abbey Road Studios. B. Jan Montana experiments with unconventional speaker placement. Roy Hall goes to school. I interview EveAnna Dauray Manley of Manley Laboratories. Larry Schenbeck listens to serenades. Ken Sander wrestles with rock and roll.

Rich Isaacs gets a once in a lifetime chance to live with a $90,000 pair of speakers. Anne E. Johnson rocks it with the Beastie Boys and Herbie Hancock. Ray Chelstowski interviews flexi disc mega-collector Michael Cumella. Cliff Chenfeld turns us on to some contemporary women artists. Tom Gibbs goes crate digging and finds music from Henry Mancini, Roger Waters and New Order. Our audio/visual department lines up, finds half-price hi-fi, gets interrupted and basks in glorious symmetry.

Once in a Lifetime?

How often do you get the chance to listen to…

Unlucky Man

Wrestling With Rock and Roll

In 1984 Ian Lloyd of the band Stories calls me…

Outstanding Female Artists: Recommended Listening

Welcome to the second edition of Be Here Now, a new…

Taylor Swift: The Making of folklore

If Andy Warhol were alive today, he’d be rolling out…

Half-Price Hi-Fi

Half-price high fidelity! No tools required! OK, a few. 1957…

EveAnna Dauray Manley of Manley Labs, Part One

EveAnna Dauray Manley is the president of Manley Laboratories, Inc.,…

Inside an Audio Legend: Abbey Road Studios

Since 1969, the name Abbey Road has become synonymous in…

Line Array

Serenades

Serenade (Fr. sérénade; Ger. Serenade, Ständchen; It. serenada, serenata). A…

School Days

Fat Malcolm. Malcolm was fat. This was a rarity in…

Beastie Boys: Licensed to Thrill

The experimental music scene in New York City in the…

The Story of a Vintage Piano, Part the First

In previous issues I have gone into some detail about…

Herbie Hancock: A Lifelong Musical Voyage

Born in 1940 to working-class parents in Chicago, piano prodigy…

Crate Digging — 2021 Style

Once again, we’re at that time of year where there…

Bend Me, Shape Me: Collecting Flexi Discs

When I was working at Goldmine magazine we tried again…

A Few of My Favorite Things

I have close to 3,000 CDs and LPs – a…

Playing the Back Holes

One of my favorite motorcycling buddies, Ralph, invited me over yesterday…

Glorious Symmetry

This is one of several spectacular vaults of York Minster, the huge…
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