The Golden Age

Next Saturday, April 3, Mr. Furious Records will release The Golden Age’s self-titled album, Rob Hawkins’ follow-up to the incredible “Calla Lily” EP.  We hope you’ll enjoy it, and we’re honored to be a small part of it.

SWPR Soup Cook-Off Saturday

From the press release:
“Songwriter Power Ranger was an acoustic concert series that started in spring 2009 and ran through the autumn of that same year.  It was a beautiful partnership between two Lincoln music-scene veterans (Cory Kibler and Ember Schrag) and Box Awesome/The Bourbon Theatre. It was named so, because these gatherings of local songwriters resembled the coming together of the Power Rangers to create one enormous, crime-fighting robot, only with songs and drinks instead of karate-chopping and explosions.

swpr.jpg“The series brought in many beloved regional acts (Sarah Benck, John Walker, Brad Hoshaw, Midwest Dilemma, Dereck Higgins, et al) as well as a few nationally known artists (Ali Harter, Jake Bellows).  The shows were fun and lighthearted, and had a charming, earnest sense of music and community.  Also, there were crazy drinks from zany bartenders.

“On Saturday, March 27th at the Bourbon Theatre (1415 “O” Street), Songwriter Power Ranger will make its glorious return for one night only, and the cover is a mere $6.  There will also be a soup cook-off, and Bourbon gift-certificates will be awarded for those who place 1st, 2nd and 3rd: just bring a crockpot full of your soup, and let the crowd pick its favorites.  The soup cook-off begin at 5 pm, and the music begins at 6 pm and ends at 9 pm.  Consider this a Lincoln Music Event in line with the wildly successful “Under the Covers” event held at Duffy’s back in January.

Performing are Cleemann (Denmark), Rob Hawkins (former Golden Age), Das Hoboerotica, Ember Schrag, Cory Kibler (The Sleepover), and Chanty Stovall.

“Thank you very much for your time, and please let Ember ( or me ( know if you have any questions.  We hope you’re able to post the press release/spread the word, and we’d (of course) love to see a story or five written about the event.  We want to make it a huge success!

Cory Kibler”

MR|Review – Ted Leo And The Pharmacists’ "The Brutalist Bricks," Broken Bells’ "Broken Bells"

I write this as a guy who thinks “Shake The Sheets” is a 5-star record, and got into Ted Leo’s older stuff because of it and to the extent that it points toward “Sheets;” “The Brutalist Bricks” is less than the sum of its parts.

tedleo_jpg.jpg Must-hear!
Fans only
Skip this
Owww! My ears!

Leo & Co.’s inclusion of some fresh sounds – acoustic guitar, synthy noise – are welcome in theory, but make “Bricks” seem a bit too ProTooled.  Song arrangements depart from verse/chorus/verse, which, again, seems good on paper but never gels.  Wish I could say it did; my hopes were high, but this is a classic record that’s for fans only.  If you don’t love TL+P already, “The Brutalist Bricks” won’t convert you.

brokenbells.jpg Must-hear!
Fans only
Skip this
Owww! My ears!

As impossible as it would seem to predict before hearing “Broken Bells,” this superduo’s debut – the Shins’ James Mercer and Danger Mouse (The Grey Album, Gnarls Barkley, Gorillaz’ “Demon Days” – sounds about like you’d expect. And it will probably deliver at about the level you anticipate.

I imagine it went down like this:

1) James demo’d some songs

2) DM took each element, chords, vocals, lead lines, etc., and treated them as sample sources for his own re-creations

3) Voila; “Broken Bells.”

I’m sure it was more collaborative than that, but that’s about what we hear.  And it’s super-solid; no more, no less.

MR|Review directs readers’ limited attention among works via ratings, and within works via prose, focusing on works where our opinion diverges from critical or popular consensus, or we have significant insight that compliments or challenges readers’ aesthetic experience.

2010-03-20 Dynamic Range Day

Dynamic Range Day – Loudness War ProtestMastering is tricky business; there are so many options, and such fine balances to weigh, that it’s never a straightforward proposition.  That being so, the final dynamics of the music I work with is always my top concern.  If the final master is too crushed, loud, and flat, or (on the other side of the spectrum) perceived as too soft relative to other music that listeners are likely to hear, nothing else I do is going to make up for it; it won’t be an enjoyable listen.

Toward that end, from the Production Advice blog:

Dynamic Range Day is March 20th, 2010

Join us in a day of protest against the CD “Loudness Wars” – more info below

  • Show your support – check out the Facebook Event and RSVP to say you’ll “attend”
  • It’s easy to take part – just SHOUT (type in all caps) ALL DAY, EVERYWHERE !
  • And when people ask, tell them why you’re shouting
  • Add a Dynamic Range Day Banner to your website or blog
  • Use the Twitter hashtag #DYNAMICRANGEDAY

Read the full story here: Dynamic Range Day – The Idea

Latest News

What are the “Loudness Wars” ?

Music is getting louder, and sounding worse.

Engineers and artists are using modern technology to push the average level of recorded music up and up and up against the “brick wall” maximum level of the CD format.

This results in distortion, lack of punch and a flat, two-dimensional, lifeless sound …