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Messages - Sutter

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Album Board / Reinhold Messner released in high-res
« on: January 29, 2018, 03:58:39 PM »

Appears that the Kevin Gray remaster of this album, which was pressed onto vinyl by Analog Spark, has been released in high resolution on 24 bit, 192 kHz, which is probably the highest res Ben Folds release ever. Pretty neat.

General Board / Re: Slam Book
« on: May 17, 2017, 06:17:04 AM »
1. What was the first BF/F song you ever heard? The Bitch Went Nuts
2. In what order did you obtain the BF/F CDs you own? Way to Normal, Songs for Silverman, Reinhold Messner, Whatever and Ever, Ben Folds Five, Rockin' the Suburbs, the Sound of the Life of the Mind, So There
3. When was the first time you saw BF/F live? April 2014, Princeton NJ
4. How many times have you seen BF/F live? 5 - 3 solo, 2 with yMusic
5. Most recent show? with yMusic in Huntington NY, November 2015
6. Other bands or musicians you love Elton John, Billy Joel, the Beatles, the Beach Boys, Simon & Garfunkel, Laura Nyro, Huey Lewis
7. Do you have a Ben related website? Nope, though I tried to make a BF-themed Tumblr called sports-and-wine
8. Favorite member of the five including Ben? Uhh... Robert
9. Favorite member of Ben's touring band excluding Ben? No idea
10. Have you ever met Ben/had something signed by Ben? How many times? Nope, but I did talk to him from the front row a few times
11. Did you contribute to Crystal's pressie to Ben? No, I'm a bit late to the party
12. Where did you grow up? Where do you live? Long Island, NY
13. What do you do? (student, profession) Three days away from graduation, about to start looking for an IT job
14. Farthest you've ever travelled to see BF/F? Princeton, NJ
15. How long have you been a BF/F fan? Four years
16. Is Ben or BFF your favorite musician/band, or one of many? One of many
17. Five of your favorite BF/F songs Silver Street, Where's Summer B, Magic, Don't Change Your Plans, Sports and Wine
18. Males: You want to be Ben, true or false. Ehh... I envy his songwriting ability, but false
  Females: You want to be Frally, true or false. This is an awkward question in 2017, isn't it?
19. Your favorite B/FF song at this very moment. ONLY ONE. We all know it could change at any second. Ah crap. Sports and Wine
20. Working on a theory here. Did/do your high school activities include marching band or cheerleading? Any others you care to mention? Yes, I was the drum major of the marching band, played euphonium, tuba, a little trombone, some jazz, was involved in theatre including musical theatre, etc
21. What did you/are you/will you study in college? IT with a minor in music
22. Single? Attached? Married? Kids? Attached, no kids
23. If you could have dinner with a character from a BF/F song, who would it be? Hmm... Zak and Sara
24. Why did you choose your screen name? If it's your real name, why did you prefer to use it? it's my real name, it's what everyone called me in high school
25. Too many questions in this list or not enough? I thought too many but I'd be willing to answer more

General Board / Re: Who's on your Ben Folds Mixtape?
« on: May 17, 2017, 06:09:35 AM »
Paul Simon - The Last Polka
His songs frequently use dialogue-driven lyrics, so I think with some stylistic changes this song would be an interesting cover from him.

The Beach Boys - Where's Summer B, Missing the War
The former sung by Mike Love and the latter sung by Brian Wilson. Imagine the harmonies! Seriously.

Album Board / Re: Thoughts on BF/BFF vinyl
« on: March 29, 2017, 06:36:21 PM »
Just listened to the clear vinyl Songs for Silverman. Let's talk about it.

Starting with the packaging again. This album does NOT come in gatefold packaging. The lyrics and pictures come as a full-size insert in the sleeve. The record comes in a nice matte plastic anti-static sleeve. There is definitely a certain sturdiness that Analog Spark's sleeves have, and the art is very crisp.

The vinyl is, once again, dead quiet... to the point where I actually began to doubt whether my speakers were turned on before the music started. And the clear vinyl is very, very cool looking. There is a little inner groove distortion present -- it's barely noticeable on a fairly hot and potentially sibilant vocal on "Gracie," which ends Side 1 in a tight inner groove, and it's also somewhat present in some of the more stridently-sung parts of "Time." It's somewhat forgivable since this record has a very tight inner groove, but I'm left wondering why they didn't reissue it as a double LP like the original pressing. I'm a bit concerned that I can hear it on my linear tracking TT with a microline stylus. I'd assume the IGD is much more noticeable with a traditional tonearm and a less fancy stylus.

Dynamics on the album are much better than any digital version I've heard, but there is still a decent amount of compression inherent in the mix itself. I feel as though the sound holds back a little too much during its loudest moments, for example the loudest parts of "Landed" and "Trusted." I will say that the band just sounds huge in those loudest parts in spite of the dynamics being a bit "tucked in."

Again there is a distinct lack of clutter in the sound. There is fantastic separation between the instruments, and the spaciousness of the recording is evident. The sound is truly warm and inviting, which is perfect for a laid-back album like this. Extremely smooth presentation.

Indeed there appear to be VERY subtle differences in the songs themselves such as the lyric change in "Jesusland" ('from town to town' rather than 'town to town'), but as I'm not quite as familiar with this album as I was with Messner, so it's harder for me to say where those differences are for sure.

I think the Messner reissue was a 10/10, while this is more like a 9/10 due to the slightly more conservative packaging, slight inner groove distortion, and taking into consideration that it would've been better off as a double LP set. That being said, this is the best-sounding Songs for Silverman ever released. Kevin Gray's mastering is impeccable.

Album Board / Re: Thoughts on BF/BFF vinyl
« on: March 28, 2017, 02:56:10 PM »
Oh shit, I'm going to have to go get that. My 99 pressing, I bought used (didn't become a fan till 05), and doesn't sound great - previous owner clearly played the shit out of Army... and that's about it.

WELP my normal go to store doesn't have the red variant. Time to hunt.
The black vinyl will certainly sound just as good. Depending on whether or not resellers jack up the prices of the red, it may not be worth spending the extra money on the red.

Album Board / Re: Thoughts on BF/BFF vinyl
« on: March 28, 2017, 12:27:07 PM »
Just got my red vinyl Messner today. Put it on 30 seconds ago. Will come back with results.


Here is my rig, for reference:
Pioneer PL-L800 linear tracking turntable
Audio Technica AT440MLa cartridge
Sanyo integrated amp

First, let's talk about the packaging. Very nice glossy sleeve, including a gatefold which replaces the printed inner sleeve which is now a snazzy matte plastic anti-static sleeve. The sleeve feels very sturdy. The art has great clarity and the words are printed pretty clearly, which is rather refreshing after the somewhat disappointing packaging of the Whatever and Suburbs reissues.

Next, the colored vinyl is just gorgeous. Bright red color, very clean, and appears to be little to no pressing defects. I think there was one tiny dimpled area which is inaudible on playback. The vinyl is dead quiet with virtually no surface noise. The sound is consistent from the first drop of the needle to the very inner groove with no distortion to be heard anywhere.

Most importantly, let's discuss the sound. I can say with complete confidence that this is the best sounding version of Reinhold Messner ever released. The dynamics are fantastic. Robert's bass and Darren's drums have never sounded better. The background vocals are rich and lush. The recording really seems to open up; the soundstage feels bigger and better.

The separation of instruments is out of this world -- the sound is NEVER cluttered, even in the loudest parts of Narcolepsy, the synth craziness of Your Redneck Past, the end of Regrets, or the climax of Lullabye. The increased clarity of the recording brings out details like the chimes at the end of Don't Change Your Plans and the little creaks of the studio in Magic. Like the original vinyl pressing, Hospital Song concludes side one and the final chord rings out into silence. On the CD, that decay would be interrupted and Army would begin. The horns have such great presence in Army.

I'm hearing things I've never heard before, such as very faint studio chatter in the right channel as the band begins to play on Your Most Valuable Possession. Jane is rich and warm (WARMTH on a Ben Folds Five record, imagine that) and I've never heard the electric piano quite as well as on this LP. There's also a gorgeous synth during the chorus that I never noticed before.

This is the definitive version of the album without a doubt. While there are no differences in the mixes used (unlike the Silverman reissue), the sound quality alone makes it worth the price of admission.

Album Board / Re: Thoughts on BF/BFF vinyl
« on: March 27, 2017, 04:23:21 PM »
I know Messner like the back of my hand. Can't wait until it comes in. If there's anything different going on, I think I would notice instantly.

Album Board / Re: Thoughts on BF/BFF vinyl
« on: March 22, 2017, 01:28:02 PM »
Not sure if anyone's gotten the Songs For Silverman reissue or listened yet, but I just noticed something quite interesting. In "Jesusland," the line, "Town to town, broadcast to each house..." is now "From town to town..."
The Reinhold Messner and Silverman reissues were described as being from the "original mix reels." I wonder if these albums were remixed specifically for the records, or if an alternate mix was erroneously used?

I ordered the red vinyl Messner and the clear vinyl Silverman. Bit the bullet and got them both since they're limited releases. Buy now, think later... right?

Tour Board / Re: Paper Airplane Show Highlights
« on: March 03, 2017, 08:58:42 PM »
BRUISED! Bloomington, IN

Soundcheck @ the Blue Note, Columbia, MO
includes Erase Me, Bastard, Cigarette, Fred Jones Part 2, Boxing, Landed, Careless Whisper, Jesusland

Soundcheck @ Richmond, VA
Part 1:
Lullabye, Where's Summer B (!!), Fired, Mess,
Part 2:
Hiroshima, Do It Anyway, Brainwascht

Silver Street - Richmond, VA

Soundcheck - Song for the Dumped, Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head

Your Most Valuable Possession - Madison, WI

Conan O'Brien Story - Bergen PAC, NJ

Uncle Walter - Westbury, NY

other cool stuff not on any videos i've found include Late, Trusted, Don't Change Your Plans, Smoke, Evaporated, Give Judy My Notice, full performance of Lullabye, the Ascent of Stan, Your Redneck Past, Magic

Album Board / Re: Thoughts on BF/BFF vinyl
« on: December 26, 2016, 07:19:24 AM »
The Analog Spark reissues are very intriguing. Kevin Gray is a hell of a mastering engineer, and if it's from the original mix reels, that means these reissues should beat the original issues (digitally sourced, likely the CD masters) by a wide margin. I already have Reinhold Messner pre-ordered, I may just order Songs for Silverman, though it's not one of my favorites. That would leave Way to Normal as the only Folds album I don't own on vinyl.

Transcription / Re: Piano Players Question
« on: December 02, 2016, 02:29:36 PM »
I started playing piano in 2010 learning mainly Beatles. I moved on to Elton John which was more complex, helped me become better. But Ben's music absolutely forced me to become a better piano player and musician. The first song of his I ever learned was "Cologne," then "Magic." After that I don't remember. Fred Jones Part 2 is relatively easy. Cigarette is difficult but it's slower. Don't Change Your Plans is a really fun one, I see you've already tried it, keep it up.

Album Board / Re: Thoughts on BF/BFF vinyl
« on: November 01, 2016, 11:18:44 AM »
The quality of the recording is fine, but the Plain Recordings reissue was poorly mastered. The CD sounds a lot better. I've never heard the original vinyl issue of it, but I have to imagine it sounds better than Plain's. Don't get me wrong, it's my favorite BF5 album. I just wish there was a better sounding issue of it.

Album Board / Re: Thoughts on BF/BFF vinyl
« on: October 31, 2016, 03:11:06 PM »
Thanks for the comments. I a bit slow-- but what does "S/T" stand for? I know I should know but I don't!
S/T stands for self titled, e.g. the album "Ben Folds Five."

Album Board / Re: Thoughts on BF/BFF vinyl
« on: October 31, 2016, 08:47:33 AM »
Plain Recordings S/T reissue is terrible. ORG Music reissue of Whatever and Ever is decent, but digitally-sourced from the 2005 masters. The original Messner LP is cut from CD masters as well as far as I know, but the new reissue is being mastered by Kevin Gray which should be really nice. ORG's reissue of Suburbs was pretty good sound-wise. Sound of the Life and So There are excellent.

Tour Board / Re: Paper Airplane Show Highlights
« on: October 30, 2016, 02:33:10 PM »
Some new videos:

"medley of requests" Gracie, Underground, Jackson Cannery, Still Fighting It, F10-D-A, Effington, Do It Anyway, All U Can Eat, Bitches Ain't Shit, Evaporated, Don't Change Your Plans, instrumental I don't recognize, Rockin' the Suburbs, Alice Childress, Late, Hiroshima, Steven's Last Night in Town, There's Always Someone Cooler Than You, One Angry Dwarf, Brick, Army

alternate video of that medley:

"Cover Request":

Underground featuring 3 audience members:

The Last Polka:

no videos of Twin Falls, Magic, Mess, etc

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