We at Supertouch have literally not purchased a single physical CD in well over a year. Given that fact, news of the imminent release of a fully remastered BEATLES back catalog in both stereo and true mono mixes accompanied by all original artwork and packaging comes brings a tear of joy to our jaded eyes. This is because the entire range of true studio albums has not been upgraded since first being transferred to CD in the 80s with some of the least dynamic, fully crap digital transfers ever produced. The NY TIMES breaks it down in full:
“Like the original set of Beatles CDs, released in 1987 and not upgraded since, the reissue series will include only the 12 albums the Beatles released in Britain between 1963 and 1970, from “Please Please Me” through “Let It Be,” along with “Magical Mystery Tour” — an American album that was originally released as a two-EP set in England — and the two-CD “Past Masters” compilation of the group’s nonalbum singles. All told, the set includes 16 CDs. (Beatles projects are typically tightly guarded; few outside EMI have heard the remasters yet.) Compilations released since 1987, including the “Beatles Anthology” series, “The Beatles Live at the BBC,” “Yellow Submarine Songtrack,” “1” and “Love,” the soundtrack for the Cirque du Soleil show in Las Vegas, are not included in the new series. Nor are the two “Capitol Albums” boxed sets, which presented several of the Beatles’ albums in the versions released in the United States.
The main reason collectors have been so intent on reissues of music they already own is that the 1987 CDs, like many discs released in the early years of the format, sound comparatively harsh and brittle by today’s standards. Since then, improvements in digital sound technology and remastering equipment have yielded a richer, smoother sound, and most of the major groups and artists from the 1960s — from Bob Dylan, the Byrds and Simon and Garfunkel to the Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd — have had their catalogs refurbished at least once since their first appearance on CD. And the Beatles’ own recent releases, including the “Capitol Albums” and “Love” discs, showed that the band’s recordings could sound vastly better — warmer and with far greater presence — than they do on the 1987 discs.” Click HERE to continue reading…
Though the band technically still has four living, breathing members, Metallica has been dead and gone for years. Luckily, stepping in to fill that monstrous gap is Atlanta-based MASTODON whose hybrid hard rock/metal sound is every bit as heavy (and members as hairy) as the name. Released last week, the band’s fourth album (following 2006’s incredibly epic “Blood Mountain”) “Crack The Skye” is a brutally gorgeous seven-track ticket to heaven via a long and twisted road through czarist Russian Hell. Continuing the band’s penchant for thematic content, the new disc focuses on they mythical life of Rasputin, whose existence the Mastodonians embellish with an array of compulsory metal mythology. The record’s story arc is perhaps best described by the band’s guitarist Bill Kelliher:
“There is a paraplegic and the only way that he can go anywhere is if he astral travels. He goes out of his body, into outer space and a bit like Icarus, he goes too close to the sun, burning off the golden umbilical cord that is attached to his solar plexus. So he is in outer space and he is lost, he gets sucked into a wormhole, he ends up in the spirit realm and he talks to spirits telling them that he is not really dead. So they send him to the Russian cult, they use him in a divination and they find out his problem. They decide they are going to help him. They put his soul inside Rasputin’s body. Rasputin goes to usurp the czar and he is murdered. The two souls fly out of Rasputin’s body through the crack in the sky(e) and Rasputin is the wise man that is trying to lead the child home to his body because his parents have discovered him by now and think that he is dead. Rasputin needs to get him back into his body before it’s too late. But they end up running into the Devil along the way and the Devil tries to steal their souls and bring them down…there are some obstacles along the way.”
When questioned about the archaic spelling of the word Skye in the disc’s title, Dailor went on to explain that “Crack the Skye” is also meant as an homage to his sister, Skye Dailor, who committed suicide at age 14: “My sister passed away when I was a teenager and it was awful, and there’s no better way to pay tribute to a lost loved one than having an opportunity to be in a group with my friends and we make art together. Her name was Skye, so Crack the Skye means a lot of different things. For me personally, it means the moment of being told you lost someone dear to you, [that moment] is enough to crack the sky.”
As a bonus for fans who still BUY music, the iTunes version of “Crack the Skye” comes with the to-die-for bonus of an instrumental version of the entire disc that plays like a full-fledged metal symphony in seven parts. Touring across the US now, and throughout Europe this summer with (unfortunately) Metallica, the prehistoric rockers should be considered a must-see for even the most jaded live music fan.
Read the NYTimes review of “Crack the Skye” HERE.
Mastodon were the first Western band to ever record the kazak national anthem…
Music award shows are for suckers. That said, RADIOHEAD did it right tonite on the less-relevant-than-ever GRAMMY AWARDS backed by a tight high school marching band. Coldplay literally should not even be allowed to play on the same show when Radiohead is present…
Struggling tech-unsavvy single mothers everywhere can now rejoice in the news that their rent check is secure with the RIAA’s announcement that it will finally put an end to the legal assault against music downloaders. The Recording Industry Association of America’s hugely-unsuccessful series of lawsuits—35,000 and counting since 2003, to be exact—has done nothing to abate the illegal sharing of music and other media files online and in a string of highly publicized early instances intended to frighten consumers, the organization managed to nearly bankrupt several families who were totally unaware of their technologically-advanced offspring’s online activities. The organization hasn’t given up altogether, though, as the RIAA has also announced that it will instead focus its anti-piracy efforts on Internet service providers (ISPs) who allow the files to be traded over their lines in the first place. Under the new plan, the RIAA will contact ISPs when illegal uploading is detected. It will then be the duty of individual ISPs to contact offending customers with a notice that would ultimately be followed by a reduction or cessation of service. While the organization won’t disclose which ISPs they’re collaborating with, the RIAA has stated that it won’t require ISPs to reveal the identities of offending individuals. It has, however, reserved the right to pursue legal action against the most notorious up/downloaders. Perhaps the RIAA’s first order of business under the new plan should be to monitor the online activity of Metallica.
Easily their most accomplished and sonically compelling offering to date, ANIMAL COLLECTIVE‘s new “Merriweather Post Pavillion” LP is a trippy collection of driving sound fields colored by layers of Beach Boys vocal harmonies in the key of “Feel Flows.” Strangely enough, it’s also named for starchitect Frank Gehry‘s 1967 outdoor concert venue, one of his first major constructions. Unlike one of Gehry’s buildings, however, this record is something you’ll be able to live with for a long time to come.
Looking for the perfect mix for tomorrow nite’s OBAMA INAUGURATION afterparty? Supertouch homie DJ Z-TRIP has made his freshly-minted “Victory Lap: The Obama Mix II” available for free by clicking HERE.