Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Recovering History

One of the best ways to explore the history of music is to find out who influenced a given artist and explore their work. In this way Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones and Eric Clapton would lead directly back to Robert Johnson. For this method do work one very important thing is necessary. The recordings must be available. Many older jazz or blues performances are extremely rare and only available on 78 RPM shellac discs. These discs are relatively delicate and can be easily damaged. Unfortunately until recent to these historically important performances could be lost forever. United States Library of Congress has been working on a solution. They've come up with a machine that optically reads the information on an analog disc, similar to the way that a computer scanner works. Check out the NPR story, as well as some some before and after samples. Click here for the full story.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Bimbos and audiophile recordings

What do bimbos and audiophile recordings have in common? For the most part after the first encounter or two the thrill is gone. In the end they are great for impressing friends, but offer little to no long term happiness. I haven't heard the recordings from DirectGrace but they don't belong in the bimbo category. Even if the music does fall flat for some listener they will still be able to take satisfaction in knowing that their purchase helped those in need. Now that's long term happiness, it's a fantastic idea. Who among us hasn't felt at least a pang of guilt as we spent more on a pair of interconnects or a power cord than many people around the world make in a year? For that matter many of us own speakers that cost more money than people in the third world will see in an entire lifetime. Is it our faults? Not entirely. Can we do something to help change the situation? Certainly. Just some things to think about while watching the video.