BMEWS
 
Sarah Palin is the reason compasses point North.

calendar   Sunday - August 02, 2015

Audiophile Rock

The Wall Of Sound

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A 75 ton, six channel, line array, 28,800 watt stereo for the band to play through, using early prototype phase inverted noise canceling microphones. 650 speakers, all powered by glorious blue McIntosh 300w tube amps. In 1974. Because getting the sound right was important. Right meant clean and clear. Alive. Not just loud, but effortlessly dynamic.

How right was it? On a clear night you could stand half a mile away and hear every note and nuance. For real.

Who built it? Who else but the Grateful Dead? (officially retired now as of last month, 50 years in the running, and 20 years since the death of lead guitarist Jerry Garcia)

There had been nothing quite like it. The Wall’s scientific base was seemingly so far ahead of its time that everyone interviewed for this story, including some of the Wall’s many original engineers and crew members, said that most everything about this particular system has gone virtually unmatched ever since.

“The tones of the instruments—the clarity of the instruments—has not been matched,” said Turner, who worked for Alembic ... indispensable in conceptualizing and building the Wall from the ground up. “It’s just as simple as that.”
...
Still, at nearly 28,800 watts of continuous power in its loudest iteration, the Wall was the most powerful sound system built to that point by a considerable margin. On-stage Wall levels once registered around 127 decibels. That’s about as loud as a military jet taking off at a standing distance of 50 feet. But few people who caught a Wall show, or who were involved in designing and perfecting the system as it evolved, would say the system roared like an F-16. The Wall emitted such a clear mix ... that it simply didn’t seem loud. The fidelity was that high.

Here’s a link to a bootleg tape made from an audience recording of a 1974 concert. The sound is so clean you’d swear it came straight from the mixing board. Except there was no mixing board. Because getting the sound right also meant giving it completely to the performers.

“A straight wire with gain” is what all audiophile systems strive for. “Needs to be delivered by two semi trailers” isn’t usually part of the description, but was for this purist monster.

McIntosh is still in business. They still make lovely tube amps with the big blue illuminated meters, and they still cost a fortune.

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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/02/2015 at 03:50 AM   
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calendar   Saturday - June 20, 2015

cookin with butter

6 minutes of cool



This is what happens when the coffee (ahem) kicks in








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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 06/20/2015 at 11:04 PM   
Filed Under: • Eye-CandyMusic •  
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calendar   Tuesday - June 16, 2015

Music To Build Glorious Film Around

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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 06/16/2015 at 08:45 PM   
Filed Under: • MusicRacism and race relations •  
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calendar   Friday - June 12, 2015

Playing In The Dirt, Fishing In The Dark

See Rich? Toldja it was fun!  (this is an extremely bright soundtrack, so be ready to turn the treble down a few notches)


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 06/12/2015 at 01:17 PM   
Filed Under: • Music •  
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calendar   Saturday - May 09, 2015

A different kind of landslide




I always like this one. It’s groovy in a modern way. It’s not quite the bouncy dark fun as Puddle of Mudd’s She Hates Me, or the lyrically trippy art of Train’s Drops of Jupiter, but it will do. 


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 05/09/2015 at 03:25 PM   
Filed Under: • Music •  
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calendar   Friday - April 17, 2015

A Scary ReMake

We’ve been marathon watching TV again. Immersion viewing, catching several episodes of some show a night, every night. The current one is True Blood, which must be the only vampire show we ever managed to miss. The wife seems addicted to them, and I swear we’ve had them all, from Angel to Edward.
“Oh lucky us”, we have 6 seasons of True Blood to watch. rolleyes  Well, at least the lead actress is cute in a hot kid sister kind of way. Whazzer name, Anna Penguin? Something like that. Looks like a younger version of Reese Witherspoon. And the show is fun enough, since it’s set down in Louisiana and everyone seems to spend their entire lives at the local bar. Except when they’re having sex or getting killed. Mostly. Or arguing. They all do that a lot.

Anyway, at the end of one episode, either near the end of Season 1 or near the start of Season 2, they played this number as the credits rolled. It’s an old Johnny Cash tune, but with extra verses and played at double tempo. And the banjo adds an extra kick.

Why is it scary, given that it’s a Christian song? Because I love it. Which frightens the Mrs., who is rather a New Jersey Italian Catholic raised on rock and disco and Andrew Lloyd Weber. Celtic music, country music, swamp rock, zydeco, and some Christian songs are not her thing, but they come naturally to me. And banjo. I love banjo. And bagpipes, and hurdy-gurdy. All of this makes her give me the side eye and make vomitty noises.



Of course that’s pollarding. Were you thinking coppicing? Oh, nay nay!




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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/17/2015 at 02:13 AM   
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calendar   Wednesday - April 01, 2015

at luchtime, looking back





Simple, elegant, poignant; one of the best ever from Sting.

He says it’s a song about making peace with his father, but it could apply to any romance. This is the short version. I love it, but somehow it’s always seemed like music to die gently to. Which is very sad, but it turns happy at the end.

And now I’m getting all dribbly, missing my dad, gone these 18 years now.


You were my compass star
You were my measure
You were a pirate’s map
Of buried treasure

If this was all correct
The last thing I’d expect
The prosecution rests
It’s time that I confessed
I must have loved you

I must have loved you


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/01/2015 at 03:07 PM   
Filed Under: • Passing on, Death and DisasterMusic •  
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calendar   Wednesday - March 25, 2015

Christmas Present

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I need a new Eye Candy subcategory for “She’s so cute I can’t breathe.”

Dido Florian Cloud de Bounevialle O’Malley Armstrong, known as Dido, is an English singer-songwriter. Dido attained international success with her debut album No Angel. She was born December 25, 1971.

h/t to Rodger, The Real King of France.




18 years or so later, more than 30 million album sales down the road, and her career is still going strong.

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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/25/2015 at 01:42 PM   
Filed Under: • Eye-CandyMusic •  
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calendar   Monday - January 26, 2015

Apologies to Vilmar. Today’s Musical Break.

I really feel the need to raise the class of the BMEWS website. As part of that, I am going to start posting classical music. As an example, here is some Bach!


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Posted by Christopher   United States  on 01/26/2015 at 02:24 AM   
Filed Under: • CULTURE IN DECLINEMusic •  
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calendar   Thursday - January 08, 2015

It’s Only Natural

Fish got to swim, and birds got to fly,

Ships got to float, whether listing or dry

Can’t keep the Hoegh Osaka stuck in the sand



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Hoegh Osaka under tow, sideways



A cargo ship carrying high-quality cars has “freed itself” from the sandbank where it has been stranded since Saturday.

The Hoegh Osaka, which ran aground shortly after leaving Southampton on its way to Germany, began to move at high water.

Salvors had been pumping water out of the vessel, which is carrying 1,400 cars and construction equipment including Jaguars, Land Rovers and JCBs.

It will now be towed to a holding position in Southampton water and a full assessment will be carried out before she is moved any further.

It was thought the 590ft-long car carrier Hoegh Osaka had taken on too much water to sail free after being run aground in the Solent.

A £10million rescue was planned, with fears the ship and its cargo of 1,400 cars could be stuck for weeks.

The vessel was towed two miles east in the Solent and will be held by two tugs until Thursday for a full assessment by salvage company Svitzer.

The Marine and Coastguard Agency (MCA) said the vessel had “self-floated at high water”.

The ship was towed east of its grounding position to Alpha Anchorage, between East Cowes and Lee-on-the-Solent.

A temporary exclusion zone of 300m (984ft) was established around the vessel.

A full assessment of the ship’s condition is expected to be carried out on Thursday.

Pretty neat. All the cargo is still secure as well, except for a couple farm tractors and excavators.



If that header seemed a bit familiar, here’s why ...

... guess the Osaka is a bit of a Showboat as well now.

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just not the Cotton Blossom.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/08/2015 at 10:53 PM   
Filed Under: • Eye-CandyMusicplanes, trains, tanks, ships, machines, automobiles •  
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calendar   Monday - December 22, 2014

Get Your Holiday Uke On





A reader emailed me about one of the posts the other day, and mentioned a Christmas music album made by Bing Crosby and The Andrews Sisters. I picked up a CD copy cheap on Amazon, and it’s a beautiful clean copy of a DECCA label record from the early 50s in glorious monaural, with that glassy, brittle sound of the 40s. Neat. And on it was Mele Kalikimaka. Fun. And new to me. I’m all for different holiday tunes. Any cover of Run Run Rudolph - which is done by everyone, from Sheryl Crow to the Grateful Dead - beats another inescapable Muzak iteration of Little Drummer Boy

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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 12/22/2014 at 02:37 PM   
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calendar   Monday - December 08, 2014

Convoy!

peiper, just some background here:

After touring with the Norman Luboff Choir, he took a job with an Omaha, Nebraska advertising agency writing jingles. These included spots for a local bakery featuring the fictional trucker C. W. McCall. The spots were co-written with advertising writer William Fries, who became the voice of McCall. The spots were so popular, they were persuaded to begin writing non-advertising songs featuring McCall. The duo released a total of five albums between 1974 and 1979. Davis was named SESAC Country Music Writer of the Year in 1976.[citation needed]

Davis founded Mannheim Steamroller in 1974 to showcase his interest in fusing modern popular and classical techniques. The first Fresh Aire album was completed shortly after. It was turned down by major record labels so Davis founded American Gramaphone to release the album. American Gramaphone has been the label for all subsequent Mannheim Steamroller releases. A total of eight Fresh Aire albums were released, concluding with Fresh Aire 8 in 2000.

And now, an old live performance of Chip Davis, aka C.W. McCall.

I did notice a ‘Christmas’ subcategory has appeared. Thank you which ever of you did that. Still want to pare the categories down, but new stuff as a subcategory may help.


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Posted by Christopher   United States  on 12/08/2014 at 11:15 PM   
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calendar   Wednesday - September 17, 2014

Music For A Low Stress Commute

Happy happy humpday. Here’s a tune for happy driving on you way to work. Beats me how you’re going to access BMEWS or YouTube while you’re driving, but if you catch this post ahead of time, it’s likely you’ve got this album sitting around in some form or another. So grab it an go. And don’t text and drive.








Oh heck, let’s go around again and kick it up a gear. After all, music like this is why stick shifts, V8s, and Camaros were invented.





Happy motoring. Don’t get a speeding ticket. I always liked the uptempo covers of this old Don Williams tune better than the resting heartbeat original. Drew, you old speed freak.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 09/17/2014 at 11:50 AM   
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calendar   Sunday - August 24, 2014

Sure, Why Not?

A little tie in with the next post ... for all you parrot heads out there. Count me in.

... and now that I’m home from Jerry’s 50th birthday party, NOW I feel like drinking and dancing. I need a cup or two of tachyons; I’m about 4 hours behind realtime.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/24/2014 at 02:36 AM   
Filed Under: • Fun-StuffMusic •  
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Not that very many people ever read this far down, but this blog was the creation of Allan Kelly and his friend Vilmar. Vilmar moved on to his own blog some time ago, and Allan ran this place alone until his sudden and unexpected death partway through 2006. We all miss him. A lot. Even though he is gone this site will always still be more than a little bit his. We who are left to carry on the BMEWS tradition owe him a great debt of gratitude, and we hope to be able to pay that back by following his last advice to us all:
  1. Keep a firm grasp of Right and Wrong
  2. Stay involved with government on every level and don't let those bastards get away with a thing
  3. Use every legal means to defend yourself in the event of real internal trouble, and, most importantly:
  4. Keep talking to each other, whether here or elsewhere
It's been a long strange trip without you Skipper, but thanks for pointing us in the right direction and giving us a swift kick in the behind to get us going. Keep lookin' down on us, will ya? Thanks.

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Oh, and here's some kind of visitor flag counter thingy. Hey, all the cool blogs have one, so I should too. The Visitors Online thingy up at the top doesn't count anything, but it looks neat. It had better, since I paid actual money for it.
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