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July 16, 2019

Goldmine1 New Goldmine Giveaway in touch with the ’80s!

Win two new CDs from Deko Music, and read the related interviews with former Enuff Z’Nuff vocalist Donnie Vie and Mark Mangold of American Tears, which evolved from the ‘80s band Touch.

The post New Goldmine Giveaway in touch with the ’80s! appeared first on Goldmine Magazine.

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Goldmine1 10 Albums That Changed My Life: Chuck Negron

Singer Chuck Negron, formerly of Three Dog Night, give the 10 Albums That Changed His Life.

The post 10 Albums That Changed My Life: Chuck Negron appeared first on Goldmine Magazine.

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Discogs Staff The Big, Friendly Sound Of Audio-Technica’s M50xBT

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By Jeffrey Lee Puckett

Headphones make me nervous. Whenever I wear an over-the-ear model in public, I feel like I’m being followed by a parade of murderous freaks and rabid bears, all of them just waiting until “Running On Empty” ends so they can cut me in half.

But maybe that’s just me, because headphones are obviously wildly popular, and few more so than the Audio-Technica ATH-M50, of which AT has sold nearly 2 million pair. The ATH-M50xBT, under review here, is the latest iteration of the M50 line and by popular demand does away with wires altogether (if you so choose).

The ATH-M50 was a standard studio quality professional headphone. The ATH-M50x added the ability to switch out cables for use with smartphones and laptops in addition to headphone amps. The BT in ATH-M50xBT stands for Bluetooth and Bluetooth is freedom, albeit with some compromises.

Overall, the ATH-M50xBT offers sound quality that’s both accurate and forgiving. It’s a big, friendly sound with ample bass and plenty of treble energy, and they don’t err in favor of either tonal extreme. The sound quality does, however, change depending on how they’re used.

The headphones connected to my iPhone flawlessly via Bluetooth and I never had to reintroduce them — as far as ease of connectivity, these things are a dream. They did require my phone to be in close proximity at all times, however; if you leave the room without your phone the music stops, which can be a real problem when you’re in the middle of “High Voltage.” They also hold a charge for a very long time, maybe not as much as the claimed 40 hours but AC/DC tends to drain a battery.

In the real world, distance from your phone is a non-issue as the ATH-M50xBT are meant to be used on your daily commute, in airports, and while the best years of your life are being sacrificed to data entry. In other words, your phone is always going to be by your side. I didn’t have to endure the data entry test but the connection never wavered for me, whether my phone was sitting on a nearby table, stuffed in a messenger bag or tucked into my pocket.

ATH-M50xBT Wireless Over-Ear Headphones

I listened via Bluetooth for hours before trying the provided 1/8-inch cable and all was fine. The orchestrated chaos of Rahsaan Roland Kirk’s “Volunteered Slavery” was unraveled nicely, for example, as was the aforementioned Jackson Browne.

But when I used the cable with a MacBook Pro there was a definite step up in clarity and quality. A slight graininess disappeared and everything just sounded a bit more effortless. This was most evident on one of my go-to albums for both music and sound quality: “Ella and Louis,” a 1956 recording by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong that shames 98-percent of modern recordings.

Using the cheap, simple cable, Ella’s voice regained its purity and Armstrong’s trumpet was strident, as it should be, but not piercing. The difference between wired and Bluetooth was less noticeable on FKA Twigs’ “Pendulum,” but there was a heightened sense of immersion using the cable — I fell into the song rather than simply heard it.

This was most likely due to the quality of the Macbook’s digital-to-analog converter, because using the cable with an iPhone didn’t produce the same results. That bodes well for the ATH-M50xBT’s ability to keep pace with various equipment upgrades, and when listening to these in a crowded airport are you really going to notice the fifth layer of vocals FKA adds to any given song? Probably not.

As far as looks go, the ATH-M50xBT is defiantly old school. It’s a pair of black cans, man, and that’s fine. The thick padding and the size of the cups were ideal for me — at no point did my ears get sore, although they did get hot — and that’s a marked contrast to some other torture-chamber ‘phones I’ve owned.

At $200, the ATH-M50xBT will require some budgeting for a lot of people, although its street price is usually around $170. That’s still a lot of money for a lot of people, but I’d rather listen to these than my $40 pair of wired Monoprice headphones, which make every recording sound exactly the same: bass heavy, dark and stiff.

The ATH-M50xBT sound like music.

This article was produced in partnership with Audio Technica.

The post The Big, Friendly Sound Of Audio-Technica’s M50xBT appeared first on Discogs Blog.

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Tomaga & Pierre Bastien share the title track from their debut LP

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STEIM celebrates its 50th anniversary

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Preview Lea Bertucci’s new album in full

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Unknown On ClassicsToday: Concerto Budapest and András Keller in Bruckner (Tacet)

Budapest Bruckner: Unimpressive SublimeReview by: Jens F. Laurson
Artistic Quality: ?Sound Quality: ?If you dig deep enough into this Bruckner Ninth, if you are set up for SACD-Surround Sound and have no neighbors, and if you care about orchestral nuance more than goosebumps, this recording by Concerto Budapest might be for you. There is no doubt that András Keller (of Keller Quartet fame) has

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letters@jazzwise.com (Mike Flynn)

The latest names announced for this year’s EFG London Jazz Festival, which runs from 15 to 24 November, ad include several concerts seeking fresh perspectives on the music’s past. These include a collaboration between influential promoters Total Refreshment Centre and iconic jazz label Blue Note, which marks its 80th anniversary this year, with a night featuring some of the hottest names from London’s resurgent ‘new-jazz’ scene, reinterpreting classics by artists associated with the imprint such as Elvin Jones, Horace Silver and Bobby Hutcherson (Queen Elizabeth Hall, 15 Nov). This show is complemented by north London’s imaginative monthly Jazz in the Round showcase, which presents ‘Tributes to our Musical Heroes’ with six-piece band Hexagonal playing the music of Bheki Mseleku and McCoy Tyner; Brit-jazz bass boss Dave Green saluting Oscar Pettiford and Jimmy Blanton and guitarist Rob Luft (above right) with his take on Grant Green’s distinctive style (Kings Place, 22 Nov).

Elsewhere, there’s a spiritual jazz summit featuring former Charles Mingus and Max Roach saxophonist Gary Bartz (above centre) as part of a night under Gilles Peterson’s We Out Here banner, which also includes soul-shaking vocalist Dwight Trible and rising stars Maisha (Royal Festival Hall, 16 Nov); while there’s an evening of avant-garde electronica with Brighton-based musician Gazelle Twin collaborating with ‘drone choir’ NYX, who create visceral soundscapes with an edgy operatic twist (QEH, 20 Nov). Vocalist/performance artist Elaine Mitchener (above left) also pushes boundaries with her ‘Vocal Classics of the Black Avant-Garde’, which features her group of saxophonist/MD Jason Yarde, trumpeter Byron Wallen, pianist Alexander Hawkins, bassist Neil Charles, drummer Mark Sanders and poet Dante Micheaux, all performning the music of Eric Dolphy, Archie Shepp, Joseph Jarman, and Jeanne Lee, among others (Purcell Room, 21 Nov).

Further shows just announced include rising star singer Judi Jackson (Islington Assembly Hall, 17 Nov); African cellist Abel Selaocoe and Austrian percussionist Bernhard Schimpelsberger (Kings Place, 20 Nov); Pulled By Magnets featuring Seb Rochford, Pete Wareham and Neil Charles (St John on Bethnal Green, 21 Nov); and Get The Blessing’s 20th Anniversary concert (Moth Club, 23 Nov). These shows join those already announced in Jazzwise, who are festival media partners.

Mike Flynn

For the full line-up and tickets www.efglondonjazzfestival.org.uk

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Alan Licht revisits sound art

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