Music 2020

Wondering what new music, if any, have y’all been listening to while spending so much time at home?

I’m really playing this April release by Yves Tumor - Heaven to a Tortured Mind, a lot. Especially like the songs Kerosene and Gospel for a New Century. I get old man annoyed by the sexually ambigous they pronoun but they are damn good. Great hybrid of genres.

I’m liking the new The 1975 album, and looking forward to listening g to the new Dylan this weekend.

I’m finding myself leaning towards the faith-based tracks in my playlist during these difficult times. Bethel Music, Mosaic MSC (for a slightly more electronic flavor) and Red Rocks Worship tend to float to the top lately. All three have dropped new material in the last month that I am just starting to work through.

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I thought music was prohibited in 2020, along with everything else fun.

Kevin Morby’s Oh God is great. The new Carseat Headrest has its moments. I have been obsessed with Oscar Peterson of late. His The Bach Suite (I think it’s called) just blows me away, also his live Chicago Blues.

Still going back to Home Free. Country music, mostly. All vocals. They are putting out some great music from their homes during quarantine.

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, “Reunions” is fantastic.

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One of my hobbies is open reel tape decks. I also still use cassettes. Typically I buy used vinyl, mostly jazz, clean and play the album then decide based on condition and content if I’m going to record it to cassette. For everyday listening, I most often use my restored Nakamichi Dragon to play the cassettes I’ve made.

I make notes on particularly good tracks and when I’ve got a big enough list, I make an open reel mix tape. Excellent quality new tape is actually available so I don’t mess with the used stuff, it can have sticky-shed syndrome. A 3600 ft. tape at 7.5 inches per second gives me an hour and a half on each side using my four track machine. So I have a collection of curated three hour music reels that sound great plus I get to see the reels go round and round.

I’m getting ready to make a new mix tape using my Crown SX-824, one of the best American made tape decks ever. I’m going to mix genres more than usual. Here’s some of the tracks that I’ll be recording: Abdullah’s Delight by Chico Hamilton, Guava Jelly by Johnny Nash, Can’t Find My Way Home by Blind Faith, Dear Old Stockholm by Miles Davis, Foggy Mountain Breakdown by Skruggs and Flatt, Good Intentions by Lyle Lovett, Sidewinder by Lee Morgan, One Step Beyond by Madness, Crazy by Patsy Kline, Black Orchid by The 3 Sounds, Over the Rainbow by Chet Baker and a lot more. It will be challenging to sequence such a mix, but it should be a cracking good tape.

I’m impressed, but I don’t know if I’m more impressed with the technical coolness or the raw geekiness.

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Tapeheads are a pretty geeky subculture. It’s gotten a lot more popular over the last five years and prices have crept up on the gear. There are still a few qualified techs, although they are aging out. The best techs have almost cult-like followings, sometimes even signing their restorations.

You sound like one hell of a kook, but of course I endorse that fully.

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The Crown (right) with my Teac A-6300 auto-reverse four track. I also have a Teac A-3300SX Two Track not shown.

Very nice. Great hobby. If you had a couple of magneplanar speakers it would look similar to my brother’s living room in the early 80s. I bet it sounds great.

Where’s the Nakamichi Dragon?

I have been wanting some Maggies for a while now, but 1) not sure I have the power to drive them, 2) don’t really have the room for them, and 3) can’t really justify the cost to upgrade 1 and 2. But they sound sweeeeeeet!

They do, but you cannot have a cramped room with them. They need room to breathe.

Exactly. You cannot put them against a wall. Also, they are absolute power hogs. 100 wpc ain’t gonna cut it. I’m more into vintage 70s stuff, which is nice, but it’s one thing after another. The maggies will have to wait a while.

Hidden in the shadows. Ready to breathe fire on the unsuspecting.


That’s a Sony SB-300 switch box on top so I can hook up as many as three tape decks to one input on the amp. I have a couple of them and two tape inputs on the amp so I can have up to six decks hooked up at once. Right now I have five decks connected: The Dragon and a Nakamichi BX-300 along with my three open reel decks.

I have a friend who has a music room in which there are two listening chairs, the components - made by Aurras herself, apparently - with a turntable taking pride of place and a pair of ungodly speakers that have a 6ft tall, flat wooden frame and have at least 6 speakers in each that are seemingly floating in a mesh.

Naturally, the wires to the speakers are exactly the same length and made of vibranium or something, but also lifted off the floor for an entirely logistical reason that I cannot understand. He says he can hear the difference, and I’m not going to argue with him; I have mild-to-medium tinnitus from attending too many gigs/clubs without ear protection.

I love media tech but, when it comes to music, I just need it loud and easily accessible. I am the perfect customer for iPods and streaming services because the fidelity of sound is something that I can no longer discern. It’s also why always I like to have something playing; Mrs Limey think it’s weird, but it’s better than listening to the whistling in my own head.