Michael Bell
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 0Posted at 9:09am | re: It Sure Seems Like Neil Young's Pono Player Is Bullshit (64 comments)

But I’m ok with that answer; people have always chosen to listen to their music based on the delivery medium’s “cool” factor. There wasn’t anything wrong with my walkman, and cassettes were everywhere; but I wanted a Discman because it was cooler. Sure the sound quality was better, but the device was terrible for walking and mowing the lawn. Records are just way cooler, and they have the potential to sound better than mp3′s if you invest a little bit in your system.

 +3Posted on Jan 30th | re: It Sure Seems Like Neil Young's Pono Player Is Bullshit (64 comments)

I’ve listened to a pono, and yes, there is a difference. Pono audio quality is better. The issue (now, as ever regarding audio fidelity) is whether the things you can hear in a hi-fi system actually matter to the listener. Do you want to visualize (“image”) the environment where it was recorded? Do you want to listen for the acoustic qualities of Abbey Rd Studios vs. Electric Ladyland? Do you want to hear fingers on strings, palm-slaps on congas, etc? If you do, then there’s a lot that only hi-fi can give you. If you just want to hear the music for its general effect, then get whatever delivery system works for you and your budget.

In my opinion, articles like this one persist because audiophile jargon (and the ppl themselves, frankly) keep the distinctions of hi-fi as esoteric as possible, and so even pros making side-by-side comparisons don’t know what they’re supposed to be listening for.

 -3Posted on Jan 28th | re: Taylor Swift Trademarks The Phrase "This Sick Beat" (57 comments)

I like 3 Taylor Swift records and would buy a ‘This Sick Beat’ t-shirt if I weren’t a 40 year old dude. No opinion on Bjork’s production skills.

 +7Posted on Dec 30th, 2014 | re: Watch The Trailer For N.W.A Biopic Straight Outta Compton (9 comments)

I’m gonna watch the heck outta this undoubtedly mediocre movie.

 -9Posted on Dec 17th, 2014 | re: Madonna's Entire New Album Reportedly Leaks Before It Was Even Announced (21 comments)

Well at least you’re not helping spread the word in a way that further undermines an artist. Wait, yes you are.

 +7Posted on Dec 9th, 2014 | re: Billy Corgan On The Smashing Pumpkins: "The Fanbase Is Gone" (37 comments)

I’ll speak from my experience as a member of their fanbase. I met Billy Corgan after an infamous show on the first US leg of the Siamese Dream tour. BC got mad at the sold-out crowd and ended the show 5 songs in, storming off the stage. 30 mins later he came out for the express purpose of signing autographs but was totally rude about it. That’s the kind of guy he’s always seemed to be; one who wants to engage fans, but also wants them to feel bad about it.

His band made two meticulous, beautiful records, and then they became a band with different, predictable pressures on them. ‘Under the Bridge’ created an alt-rock arms race for mom jams and SP’s were standing by with ‘Disarm’ AND ‘Today.’ The Pumpkins did mellow slow burn better than their peers, but for album 3 instead of making another ‘Rhinoceros’ we got ’1979.’ That’s when I could sense it all slipping away.

Billy Corgan may have written and played every note, but on those first two records they were The Smashing Pumpkins. Everyone knew they didn’t get along very well, and I wouldn’t blame Corgan for failing to keep them all together necessarily. But musically inept and/or disagreeable, D’Arcy, Iha, and Chamberlain oozed cool and made them a band. Corgan tours with a revolving lineup under the banner of his old band and tinkers with his sound in ways that make it very clear to someone like me that he’s helming a mid-sized venue nostalgia act. I’m glad he likes the music he makes now, but I’m no more interested in seeing his band than I am in seeing Alice in Chains or Live.

 +4Posted on Dec 9th, 2014 | re: Billy Corgan Disses Pearl Jam, Foo Fighters On Howard Stern (56 comments)

My problem with the show was largely how self-serving it was. Dave Grohl is probably the perfect rock celebrity to host a maudlin documentary about semi-recent American music because he’s utterly non-threatening. If it had just been “Dave Grohl’s Sonic Highways” it might have been something special. But no, it’s “Dave Grohl Pretends There’s A Concept Behind His Latest Album That Sounds Like All His Other Albums.”

The perfect example of how Dave Grohl works is going to Steve Albini’s studio to let Butch Vig produce his music.

 +16Posted on Dec 9th, 2014 | re: Billy Corgan Disses Pearl Jam, Foo Fighters On Howard Stern (56 comments)

Corgan added, “Look, if you want to release a record in 2014 that’s steeped in pretentious grandeur, you don’t have to make everybody sit through 8 hours of television to do it. Trust me.”

 +4Posted on Dec 8th, 2014 | re: Morrissey's About To Record Another Album (6 comments)


Morrissey cancels new album

 0Posted on Nov 18th, 2014 | re: Billy Bragg Says Taylor Swift Is A Liar Who Sold Her Soul To Google (33 comments)

Paid-tier Rdio is full on access and usability. $10/mo gets you queued albums, playlists, stations, the ability to choose your stream quality, and offline mobile listening – which is a proprietary download that lives on your device. It’s amazing. And it has Taylor Swift.