That Brazilian “Yacht Rock”-ish song on the new Southern Comfort TV commercial…

This currently airing TV spot got me on the hunt.  The track is “Estrelar” by Marcos Valle, a Brazilian singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist who came to the US in the mid ’70s and collaborated with Leon Ware (who co-wrote “Estrelar”), and Chicago (on their not-as-dreadful-as-advertised Chicago 13), among others.

He returned to Brazil and cut two amazing, groove-infused albums in 1981 (Vontade de Rever Você) and 1983 (Marcos Valle).  I’m learning, and you should too.  Go get your Brazilian groove on…

Here’s “Estrelar” in its entirety:

Here’s the album that preceded it, 1981’s Vontade de Rever Você in its entirety:

And both albums in full on Spotify:

Been waiting for Led Zeppelin remasters? Your time is gonna come – June 3rd…

lz_slider

Just reporting the news here.  The only opinion I’ll offer is that I’m in for the Deluxe Edition CDs, myself.  No personal need to spend 4x the $$$ on vinyl I’ll never play, though the high-def would be nice.

Here’s the deets, from the horse’s mouth:

First Three Albums Newly Remastered With Previously Unreleased Companion Audio

March 13, 2014

First Three Albums Newly Remastered By Jimmy Page,
Each With An Additional Disc Of Previously Unreleased
Companion Audio

Multiple CD, Vinyl, And Digital Formats,
Including Limited Edition Super Deluxe Boxed Set, Available June 3

John Bonham, John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant came together in 1968 as Led Zeppelin. Over the next decade, the band would become one of the most influential, innovative and successful groups in modern music, selling more than 300 million albums worldwide. Their songs are some of the most celebrated in rock ‘n’ roll history that, to this day, resonate with fans young and old around the globe. Still, no matter how many times you may have listened to their music, you’ve never heard Led Zeppelin like this before.

With the June 3 release of deluxe editions of Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin II, and Led Zeppelin III, the band will launch an extensive reissue program of all nine of its studio albums in chronological order, each remastered by guitarist and producer Jimmy Page. Led Zeppelin will also open its vaults to share dozens of unheard studio and live recordings, with each album featuring a second disc of companion audio comprised entirely of unreleased music related to that album.

“The material on the companion discs presents a portal to the time of the recording of Led Zeppelin,” says Page. “It is a selection of work in progress with rough mixes, backing tracks, alternate versions, and new material recorded at the time”

Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin II, and Led Zeppelin III will each be available June 3 from Atlantic/Swan Song in the following formats:

·    Single CD – Remastered album packaged in a gatefold card wallet.
·    Deluxe Edition (2CD) – Remastered album, plus a second disc of unreleased companion audio.
·    Single LP – Remastered album on 180-gram vinyl, packaged in a sleeve that replicates the LP’s first pressing in exacting detail. (For example, III will feature the original wheel and die cut holes.)
·    Deluxe Edition Vinyl – Remastered album and unreleased companion audio on 180-gram vinyl.
·    Digital Download – Remastered album and companion audio will both be available.
·    Super Deluxe Boxed Set – This collection includes:
o    Remastered album on CD in vinyl replica sleeve.
o    Companion audio on CD in card wallet.
o    Remastered album on 180-gram vinyl in a sleeve replicating first pressing.
o    Companion audio on 180-gram vinyl.
o    High-def audio download card of all content at 96kHz/24 bit. (Live tracks are 48kHz/24 bit).
o    Hard bound, 70+ page book filled with rare and previously unseen photos and memorabilia.
o    High quality print of the original album cover, the first 30,000 of which will be individually numbered.
o    Led Zeppelin will also include a replica of the band’s original Atlantic press kit.

The Led Zeppelin legend began in January of 1969 with the group’s eponymous debut. From the opening salvo of “Good Times Bad Times,” on through to “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You,” “Communication Breakdown,” and “Dazed And Confused,” the album introduced the band’s unmistakable sound and left an indelible mark on the music landscape. Led Zeppelin has been certified diamond by the RIAA for sales over 10 million and was inducted into the Grammy® Hall of Fame in 2004.

The companion audio for Led Zeppelin features a previously unreleased performance recorded on October 10, 1969 at the Olympia Theatre in Paris. The nine-song set features seven tracks from the album, including an epic 15-minute version of “Dazed And Confused,” as well as “Heartbreaker” and “Moby Dick,” which would debut on Led Zeppelin II later that month.

The band wrote and recorded nearly all of Led Zeppelin II while touring relentlessly to support its debut album. Incredibly, the album was released just seven months after Led Zeppelin in October of 1969. Led Zeppelin II features some of the band’s most beloved tracks including “Ramble On” and “Heartbreaker” as well as “Whole Lotta Love,” considered by many to be one of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll songs of all time. The album is certified diamond by the RIAA with sales of over 12 million copies.

The Led Zeppelin II companion audio gives fans the first peek into the band’s recording sessions, with alternate mixes of five songs from the album, backing tracks to “Thank You” and “Living Loving Maid (She’s Just A Woman),” and the previously unreleased track “La La.”

Following the whirlwind success of their first two albums and near constant touring, Page and Plant took to the now famous Bron-Yr-Aur cottage in Wales in 1970 to start the early composition of Led Zeppelin III. They later convened with Bonham and Jones for rehearsals before entering London’s Olympic Studios to begin recording in May 1970. Fueled by classic tracks such as “Immigrant Song” and “Since I’ve Been Loving You,” the album soared to the top of charts worldwide upon its release in October of 1970 and has since been certified 6x platinum.

The nine tracks featured on Led Zeppelin III’s companion audio continue to offer a window into the band’s recording process with seven studio outtakes of songs from the album as well as three previously unheard compositions: “Jennings Farm Blues” (an instrumental forerunner of “Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp”), “Bathroom Sound” (an instrumental version of “Out On The Tiles”), and their take on the blues classics “Keys To The Highway/Trouble In Mind.”

Led Zeppelin continues to be honored for its pivotal role in music history. The band was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1995, received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005, and a year later was awarded with the Polar Music Prize in Stockholm. Founding members Jones, Page and Plant – along with Jason Bonham, the son of John Bonham – took the stage at London’s O2 Arena in 2007 to headline a tribute concert for Ahmet Ertegun, a dear friend and Atlantic Records’ founder. The band was honored for its lifetime contribution to American culture at the Kennedy Center Honors in 2012. In January of 2014, the band won their first ever Grammy award as Celebration Day, which captured their live performance at the Ertegun tribute concert, was named Best Rock Album

Led Zeppelin

Track Listing

1.   “Good Times Bad Times”
2.   “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You”
3.   “You Shook Me”
4.   “Dazed And Confused”
5.   “Your Time Is Gonna Come”
6.   “Black Mountain Side”
7.   “Communication Breakdown”
8.   “I Can’t Quit You Baby”
9.   “How Many More Times”

Companion Audio Disc

Live At The Olympia – Paris, France
October 10, 1969

1.      “Good Times Bad Times/Communication Breakdown”
2.    “I Can’t Quit You Baby”
3.    “Heartbreaker”
4.    “Dazed And Confused”
5.    “White Summer/Black Mountain Side”
6.     “You Shook Me”
7.     “Moby Dick”
8.    “How Many More Times”

Led Zeppelin II

Track Listing

1.   “Whole Lotta Love”
2.   “What Is And What Should Never Be”
3.   “The Lemon Song”
4.   “Thank You”
5.   “Heartbreaker”
6.   “Living Loving Maid (She’s Just A Woman)”
7.   “Ramble On”
8.   “Moby Dick”
9.  “Bring It On Home”

Companion Audio Disc

1.   “Whole Lotta Love”
2.   “What Is And What Should Never Be”
3.   “Thank You”
4.   “Heartbreaker”
5.  “Living Loving Maid (She’s Just A Woman)”
6.   “Ramble On”
7.  “Moby Dick”
8.  “La La”

Led Zeppelin III

Track Listing

1.   “Immigrant Song”
2.   “Friends”
3.   “Celebration Day”
4.   “Since I’ve Been Loving You”
5.  “Out On The Tiles”
6.  “Gallows Pole”
7.  “Tangerine”
8.  “That’s The Way”
9.  “Bron-Y-Aur Stomp”
10.  “Hats Off To (Roy) Harper”

Companion Audio Disc

1.   “The Immigrant Song”
2.   “Friends”
3.   “Celebration Day”
4.   “Since I’ve Been Loving You”
5.  “Bathroom Sound”
6.   “Gallows Pole”
7.  “That’s The Way”
8.  “Jennings Farm Blues”
9.  “Keys To The Highway/Trouble In Mind”

And you can pre-order any configuration you want here.

Po-NO THANKS…

Pono playersOooh, look at those cute things!  Reminds me of those old Trivial Pursuit pieces you used to fill in when you ran a category.

Those are supposed to be the future of high-fidelity music listening enjoyment according to Neil Young. Yes, THAT Neil Young. Long an audiophile, ol’ Shakey has spent enough years railing on about how horrible the state of today’s music mastering and download-quality is that he’s finally doing something about it – and it’s heading for crowd-sourcing site Kickstarter for help (and maybe to gauge public appetite).

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you PonoMusic and the PonoPlayer.

Now, I’m all for better remastering, available at CD quality (16 bit/44.1kHz) or better, at a reasonable price.  So if this project leads to more competition, more availability of such product, and more awareness of the need and want for lossless music downloads (in lieu of physical product – which is still my personal #1 choice), then I’m all for it.

But, once again, industry prophet and resident curmudgeon Bob Lefsetz got it right:

And now I’ve got a single device that lets me play music, surf the web, talk, text, stream music and files…and Neil says I’ve got it all wrong, I’ve got to go back ten years and get a single player, that looks chunky in the pics, so I can get higher quality audio. Why don’t you just lobby for a faster Internet connection, so I can get hi-res streams? Isn’t Google Fiber gonna wipe you out? Do you really want me to go back in time fifteen years when MP3s were cool? What next, a return to BlackBerry, because it had a keyboard and it was such a good e-mail device?

And – BOOM goes the dynamite!

First off, the thing is TRIANGULAR!  If you stand it up, you have wires popping out the top. If you lie it down – on one of the TWO SIDES that lack controls – it still just looks…weird.  Second, Young wants to sell us an audiophile experience to be listened to THROUGH HEADPHONES.  Yes, I realize there are some tremendous-sounding cans/IEMs out there from Sennheiser, Grado, Ultrasone, Etymotic, etc., but my idea of an audiophile experience involves a couch or comfy chair planted in the sweet-spot between two speakers.  (Notice I said “two speakers” – don’t even get me started on 5.1 remixes!)

In my humble opinion, you could get virtually the same audiophile experience Young and his partners suggest by adding a high-quality headphone amp and good headphones to the computer or portable player you likely already own, and load it up with high-definition FLAC files already available for purchase at sites like HDTracks or Qobuz.

And you won’t need a $399 one-trick-Pono/future doorstop or paperweight to accomplish that.

UPDATE 3/12/14:  Apparently, Pono reached its Kickstarter goal of $800,000 on Day 1.  Hmmm…do you think this would’ve happened if, say, JOE Young had conceptualized this?