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  • December 11, 2011
    By Brad San Martin

    Bluegrass: From the past with teeth

    Years ago, while still ensconced in my former life as a music industry stooge (and proudly so), I was in a meeting with legendary polka bandleader Jimmy Sturr. Sturr’s got more Grammies than Whitney Houston and Madonna combined, by the way. Bluegrass music was cresting its post-O, Brother wave of popularity and interest, and there was some marketing-driven discussion about the differences and similarities between bluegrass and polka.

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  • November 27, 2011
    By Brad San Martin

    Men's Room, 40 Watt Club, Athens, Georgia

    Let me open with an apology: The metaphorical pause-button had to be depressed onto VinylSighting for a few weeks whilst I relocated. And, as any record-nerd will tell you, the worst part of accumulating vast vinyl reserves is moving it all. It has serious mass. Lugging it across town in endless successive carloads only prolonged the agony.

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  • September 18, 2011
    By Brad San Martin

    Cristina Press Photos

    The contradictions reconciled so expertly by audio auteur AUGUST DARNELL (aka KID CREOLE) ensure that his stuff has weathered the years supremely well: skeletal (bass and drums to the fore) yet strangely lush, melodramatic yet blasé, drenched in a sort of bygone sophistication yet edgy and clearly up-to-the-minute – regardless of whatever minute it is at this moment.

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  • August 21, 2011
    By Brad San Martin
    On the side...

    You’re successful in a certain undersung capacity. Maybe you write the songs, but don’t sing them. Maybe you provide some hot guitar, bass, clavinet, or drums. Maybe you produce things, but have yet to foist your own music upon the world. You’re a sideman, eeking it out behind the scenes, basking in at-best reflected glory – often deserving as much (if not more) credit than your nominal boss.

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  • August 07, 2011
    By Brad San Martin

    What isn't magnifies what is.

    In the steady march from the 12-inch square LP and the 7-inch single to the 5-inch CD booklet and, lastly, the 300x300 jpg, certain effects no longer resonate in quite the same way. This week I found myself dwelling on the space, clarity, and immediacy achieved by simple, uncluttered design that maximizes impact by minimizing graphics.

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