DAP’s, Portable Rig And Driveline Specs Updated For Reviews, Going Forward

DAP’s, Portable Rig And Driveline Specs Updated For Reviews, Going Forward…

The Updated Specs are in Bold below.

AK120 Portable Digital Audio Player and Amplifier Stack ©Christmachine 2017

 

VinylTransfer(Needledrop) / Reel To Reel Transfer/ HD TRAcks/ CD to FLAC/ALAC/ WAV/.mp3(320kbps) -> AK120 (No Mods) 24/192 Capable Portable Audio Reference Server (2 X Stock Wolfson WM8740 DAC’s [One For Each Channel]) w/ 3-ohm output impedance (64GB Onboard FLASH + 2 x 200GB San Disk Micro SDXC-10 Cards) -> ALO Audio SXC 22 mini to mini 3 Wire Silver Plated Copper -> ALO Audio International Headphone Amp w/ 24bit96kHz DAC w/ Cirrus Logic CS4398 DAC Chip -> ALO Audio Green Line (balanced universal mini XLR) w/classic copper sends and silver-plated copper returns -> ALO Audio Green Line RSA 4 pin Balanced XLR -> Audeze LCD2 Bamboo rev. 2G w/mini XLR Metal Reinforced Male Input Connects.

Additional DAP Source Players: Fiio X5 & The Pono Player (For Cross Reference Listening).

Additional Headphones Used: Sennheiser HD700, Audio Technica ATH M50 (OLD Model w/ Coil Chord), Sony MDRV6 (Studio Monitor w/ Coil Chord).

Note #1…I do not use IEM’s (In Ear Monitors) so one has to know whether or not their particular IEM’s match with the 3 Ohm Output Impedance of the AK120.

Note #2…You will notice that the AK120 was not modified (for lower output impedance) as I did with the AK100.  The reason I chose not to modify is because I wanted to use a stock AK120 player…so others could hear what I was hearing if they so choose.

 

Here Is a link to the Spec Sheet for the AK120 (PDF Opens New Tab).

http://www.soundfidelity.co.uk/media/downloads/products/AstellKern_AK120_Manual_English.pdf

 

Disclaimer:  As you know this site is not here to sell anyone anything, so I must disclose that the Pono Player was given to me, as I was an early stage beta tester.  I did not know I was going to be asked to be a beta tester nor did I know that we would be able to keep the player after testing was completed.  More on that another time…I will say that whatever you have read, the people behind Pono are well intentioned.  They created a damn good DAP…all criticisms aside, they really were and are (in the end) just trying to move Hirez forward.  This is a win for all.  The Pono Player will not be a main feature in reviews…I just wanted to let people know my source DAP’s for info.

 

As Far as the other DAP’s:

Some quick thoughts that might be helpful.  I never use the bundled software with the DAP units.  You want headaches…then use the software.  I simply use the DAP’s as default external drives, when plugged into the computer, just drag and drop my music files / folders into the onboard flash or memory cards.  I fill the memory cards by using the adaptor that comes with the cards and do the heavy transferring of music files via the memory card slot on the computer.

Another helpful hint, with the exception of the Pono Player which automatically scans my it’s memory at startup, I never ever ever scan my AK120 DAP…there is no need for me to do so.  I turn automatic scanning off on the AK120 and just remember where I put the files.  I just organize the folders in a way that makes it pretty simple to navigate.  On occasion it will take a minute or two to find something but it’s not a burden.

I don’t listen the way most people do…I do not use playlists, I tag my own files with mp3 Tag freeware, I listen to full albums (except for maybe electronic).  Every time I listen to an album I try to listen for something I never heard before, and every time…no matter how many listens, it presents itself.  I’m not trying to tell anyone how to listen to their music but I see people giving excellent DAP’s a bad review because the software was buggy, or they fill their memory cards with hundreds of GB of music while in the DAPs’ expansion slots.  Sometimes the GUI in the player itself is a little glitchy, but never miserable unless you’re expecting iPhone fast.

I Have had the AK120 for 2 years now and I use it daily with no battery issues…recharge is  slow, just plug in at night and it’s ready to go the next morning.  I do not use the DAP’s continuously all day, I switch between the phone to DAP’s throughout the day and they just work.  A little clunky but sounds damn good enough to make up for any shortfalls.

Next Up Reviews…

 

 

If there’s anything I forgot I will add to the update section below this sentence.

Update: 

As of today 02/23/17 No Updates At This Time.
Thanks For Reading & All Your Endless Support!

Love You Lots! Stay Well, Be Kind & Bless.

Tak Tak, Bless!

Grazie, Ciao!

Obrigadx, Tchau! Adeus!

Gracias, Adios!

Danke, Tchuss!

Merci, Au revoir!

Dank je…Bedankt, Alstublieft!

Merci Vilmal, Adeau!

Gracies, Adieu!

Gracies, Adeu!

 

CM ☕

Please do not reproduce this article either all or in part without the expressed written permission of the (nutty) author who can be reached via the “Contact” section in the header menu. You may link to the article if you wish, all that we ask is that you give credit to the respective author…”Christmachine” wherever you post a link. Thank you.

Copyright © 2017 Christmachine. All Rights Reserved.

©2014 – 2020 Christmachine ☕

Now With That Out Of The Way, Back To Christmachine – Audio Reference Server

Now With That Out Of The Way, Back To Christmachine – Audio Reference Server

Ahhh… Where Do You Keep The Vinyl Rips and Hi Resolution Digital Files ? ——————————–>Photo Courtesy Of Doc KEYAZA!!!

 

So there has been enough (So much!) time passed, it’s blatantly obvious to me that no one else will create an Audio Reference Quality Standards Catalogue for individual album releases.  The powers that be have showed us time and time again that they feel that we should be left in the dark about the music we have purchased and continue to purchase.  It’s loud and clear, they do not have to, there is no other option.

All we asked for was lineage and provenance of recordings that we spend gobs of cash for, as well as the textual and numerical details as to how they mastered, remastered, and transferred the new releases. Once again we are left clueless as to what we are purchasing. We know it can be done, some releases have done just that, usually projects overseen by reputable audio engineers.

I do understand that in some cases they do not know some of these details as they have been lost to time, poor record keeping, lack of proper labeling, and a sad state of storage of the original master tapes.  In some cases they don’t even know whether they are the “original studio masters” or well travelled copies.  We saw that in the report on the sad state of historical music archiving, much has been lost or destroyed….as we know back just a few decades ago music industry analysts and label bosses went with the prevailing wisdom, why would we want to preserve all this music–who is going to want it?  What is the use?

This:

https://www.clir.org/pubs/reports/pub148/pub148.pdf

And ESPECIALLY This (Re-Post):

http://www.billholland.net/words/Labels%20Strive%20to%20Rectify%20Past%20Archival%20Problems.pdf

 

Now that they realize the marketing and money making potential, oh the irony there, eh?  All we have asked for is crumbs; forget about the old arguments (for a moment) on the loudness wars, whether high rez audio can be heard by the human ear (The Nyquist Theorem), Wheather vinyl has more warmth and soul, whether expensive cables give a +/- better listening experience, The law of diminishing returns, “Sources? / Laws of Science?, Do CD’s suck, the failure of SACD, .mp3’s are garbage, etc.  Noel Gallagher saying there will be no more vinyl niche as an industry in a few short years as a result of streaming (He thinks? I agree, he is probably right).

With that said, our niche is just that–our niche, and it will continue as long as the electric grids are up.  Even then some of us crazies will be powering phonographs with a stationary bike, using a carefully sharpened fishbone as a rudimentary needle, a significant other propping up a makeshift jimmy-rigged cardboard cone to telescope and carry those wondrous melodies to the flash mobs in our living rooms.  Vinyl wear and tear bad, but for a time the ears are very good.

Remember what is normal any way, and relative to what?  With those previous dire predictions of the future, keeping in mind that some of us have never had or witnessed an argument on the early Yahoo and Alta Vista message boards about the wonders of Hi Resolution Audio (It will always be Hi-rez to me, soz!), I will try to parse mixed nuts.  Threading the needle like a steaming locomotive on crazy good meds, diplomacy will avail for all, no matter what our differences.  Joy!

 

Why don’t we focus on the things that which we do agree.

  1. We pay a lot of money re-purchasing music over and over.
  2. Music listening is a different subjective experience for each person.
  3. It “can” take a wee bit of trained ear (Not a B.S Degree), to hear improvements.
  4. The music is only as good as it’s source.
  5. ABX’ing can, not always, but “can” manifest as human listening fallibility & weakness.
  6. Placebo affect and bias are real “things”[sic].
  7. Provenance and Lineage of our recordings is Interesting and “nice” to have.
  8. There is such a thing as “brick walling”, “anti aliasing”, and de-noising”.
  9. There is more than one type of compression in music.
  10. Type A removes many of the tiny spaces to make music file formats smaller.
  11. Type B holds the fidelity of the performance together, Very Good!
  12. Good source players are available at many price ranges.
  13. There are good headphones and bad headphones at all price ranges.
  14. When in noisy public settings, audio nuances tend to decline.
  15. You Do NOT need to be an audiophile, to source good quality audio (If Available).
  16. Audiophiles can be nuts, same with Hi-Rez deniers. (In a good way 😉 )
  17. That said, Head-fi has it’s place, and deniers seem to hang around bigly.
  18. There are, subjectively to each of us, good mastering engineers and poor ones.
  19. We all have to listen to our source material and make our own judgements.
  20. I can have (IMO); my own vast archive of “self-proclaimed” Reference Quality Vinyl Rips, Hi-Rez digital lossless [FLAC 24/48, 24/96, 24/172, 24/192, 32 bit float, .WAV, even ALAC and DSD], quality sourced and mastered CD’s [16/44] etc., portable DAP’s/amps/DAC’s, and use .mp3’s and Youtube to preview and stream when need be.  It’s fine that you might consider this fodder, trendy, and hipsterish.  I often use apple ear buds while on the go with the mobile. I’m not a gobsmacked music snob…I listen to AC/DC cranked on the local radio in the car, beautifully overbearingly loud in all its overly-compressed glory.  I’d dance randomly in the street to an 80’s boombox with cassettes daily if these types of gatherings where more frequent.
  21. You can have 50,000 lossy .mp3’s on the go, with an excellent ear, sourcing quality CD’s and audio on your own volition (all without my schtick). You might even listen to vinyl for nostalgia purposes possibly.  Further you own low cost but excellent sounding source players as well as an expensive pair of headphones and/ or IEM’s. Even bluetooth love…it’s almost 5.0 (I too am sick of those frickin tangly chords). There’s nothing wrong with any of that.  What I’m getting at is it doesn’t matter.
  22. We can all site the Nyquist Theorem till we are blue in the face, and never get anywhere…agree to disagree perhaps.  If you’re happy, I am happy.
  23. Electronic music and Hip Hop does not and should not have to follow any of these rules.  Electronic music tends to sound great, almost always produced very well, unless it’s a very low bit rate or has been up sampled, but that is usually by design.  Hip Hop needs to be vicious or passive aggressive and Bassy…clean tight bassy…Superb dope! The only reservation I have is when either genre is too bright and shreds my ears. It’s rare, again unless by design.
  24. Classical music is on the other end of the spectrum…the rules DO very very very much apply. Soundstage and instrument separation are paramount.  Loud and soft, loud and soft just like The Pixies or Nirvana. A muddy midrange is a killer.  Attack, sustain, decay should be transparently punchy, grainy, and accurate.  The music has to breathe and pulse…ripping the heart right out your chest even with headphones on. Emotions, knocked about, tugged like a puppet to strings. It should convey an air of atmospheric space with perceivable parameters…and in a perfect world, pseudo-holophonic sound, as if you the listener can imagine you’re there live sitting center stage with the orchestra wrapped 180 degrees from ear to ear.  You’ll know something is wrong right off, a piano from each and every-little-single-ebony-to-ivory key is muddled together as one, or squashed in a constant spew of notes like an accordion. We should be able to perceive and hear milliseconds of spaciation[sic] and be acute to a differentiation between every single tapped key, no matter how fast the piece. I’ve said before piano is the hardest instrument to reproduce in recording with accuracy.  If that’s muddy then it’s all over.  I won’t get started on the pneumatic breath of the solo cello…you get my drift.
  25. Pop music…It depends on if it’s good! 😉 😉

So with all that said we arrive at the conclusion that we may not agree subjectively.  Please forgive me, as I was being purposefully presumptuous in some of the things I said above… but that is not the point.  I’m just generalizing for the sake of getting at the crux.  Most of the people reading this will not care one way or the other.  Some will be bored to tears as to, “what is the going on and on about”.  In the end we all just love music and are devilishly passionate about it–Pretty simple, no? 🙂

So, in the past I did some reviews….Beck, The Beatles Catalogue, Led Zeppelin Catalog, etc., they each get hundreds of hits daily as reference, awesome.  I also posted full album playlists (with some lineage)…it was quite subtle, again on purpose as to what I have deemed a Reference Quality Audio Recording.  I don’t know if I said it outright, I may have…If not my tongue in cheek went over people’s heads. A failed attempt by me.  Yes, you are left to taking me at my word, have to search for it yourself, and availability is spotty.  I know it’s somewhat authoritarian but let your ears be the judge.  There were many times I have searched for a single particular recording over weeks and months before finally getting a hold of it.  Time well spent!

If you search hard enough you will be able to get a hold of same source as I did, some searches will be easy, others will require patience and time.  Moderately I will recommend the High-Rez digital transfer available for everyone to purchase with a quick download and some cash.  I have no stake in this…no adverts, self funded hosting and servers.  I’m just passionate about music and everything else, and I know you are as well, or you would not be reading this.

Just a note **** again, the night site is under maintenance (The links from here the day page are static as of writing this)…It will be up again soon enough.  I’m going to do all those recordings here on the main page individually anyhow.  So there will probably be some updates as well.  When live, it will give you an idea of some of what I will cover, and it is only a small part of projected works.

From now on instead of taking a few months to do mega reviews, although I will someday do the Complete Pink Floyd Archives Posts (Damn there I go again, that’s one exception), from now on there will be single album releases (From past and present) which a single post can be done in one day.  I will do whatever I am listening to and I have in my wheelhouse as the best recordings and rips / digital to date.  The posts will vary widely in style, genre, and medium.  One day or two could be Thrash, the next Classical, Jazz, Electronic, Pop, wherever the music takes me.

In between I will continue to do my sordid stories, post mixes, photos, memorabilia, any type of art really.  I intend on making this site better by making it a reference site for individual albums.  In that vein It would make it possible for those who do not want to read my silly erotica, still be able to come here intentionally via direct link or search engine in order to just browse my reviews and recommendations on specific albums…quick and easy.

In conclusion, each album will have an easy to read, specific format that I have worked out, and tweak things as I go along.  If there is anything extra about a specific release that you would like to see, send me an email or message.  If I can get the info – I will post it or write you back.  Understand that I cannot council and/or recommend file sharing or piracy, so do not ask…messages from readers as to these types of questions will go unanswered.   No disrespect…just being clear.

 

Thanks For Reading & All Your Endless Support. My Readers Are Awesome!

Love You Lots! Stay Well, Be Kind & Bless.

 

Tak Tak, Bless!

Grazie, Ciao!

Obrigadx, Tchau! Adeus!

Gracias, Adios!

Danke, Tchuss!

Merci, Au revoir!

Dank je…Bedankt, Alstublieft!

Merci Vilmal, Adeau!

Gracies, Adieu!

Gracies, Adeu!

 

CM ☕

Please do not reproduce this article either all or in part without the expressed written permission of the author who can be reached via the “Contact” section in the header menu. You may link to the article if you wish, all that we ask is that you give credit to the respective author…”Christmachine” wherever you post a link. Thank you.

Copyright © 2017 Christmachine. All Rights Reserved.

 

©2014 – 2020 Christmachine ☕

Neil Young On Pono Music / Videos From This Weeks 2015 CES In Las Vegas…

Neil Young On Pono Music / Videos From This Weeks 2015 CES In Las Vegas… I will update this page with any new videos or articles that are released ASAP!

 

Today Up On Christmachine Audio Reference Music Server :

Video #1 Neil Young On Pono At 2015 CES

This first video is only available off site…it is a Pro Shot and embedding is not allowed. So here’s the link below photo :

IgubWzKEAOlzhttp://www.cesweb.org/News/CES-TV/Video-Detail?vID=UKXkJRAGXSCY&dID=DliGIusJiD1C&sID=OhYr3WpdgEMj

 

Video #2 Neil Young On Pono At 2015 CES

Enjoy and Bless Bless!

Thanks for your support.

 

CM ☕

 

Please do not reproduce this article either all or in part without the expressed written permission of the author who can be reached via the “Contact” section in the header menu. You may link to the article if you wish, all that we ask is that you give credit to the respective author…”Christmachine” wherever you post a link. Thank you.

 

 

 

Copyright © 2015 Christmachine. All Rights Reserved.

©2014 – 2020 Christmachine

Exclusive: The Most Comprehensive Review Ever Done For One Of The Most Influential Albums Of All Time, Influencing Every Genre From Electronic Dance To Heavy Metal. The Definitive Guide To All Available Formats Ever Released, Coming Within One Week!

Exclusive: The Most Comprehensive Review Ever Done For One Of The Most Influential Albums Of All Time, Influencing Every Genre From Electronic Dance To Heavy Metal. The Definitive Guide To All Available Formats Ever Released, Coming Within One Week!

Coming Up Christmachine Audio Reference Music Server :

I hope everyone is having a pleasant New Year!

I think everyone will enjoy the next review I post here. From the way it looks now I’ve been 34t3452aworking on it for the last week and I assure you it is an immense undertaking and will be well worth the wait. It has to be definitive and to get it that way I have to love it to death. Nothing will be spared.

I am in the bunker…this is spiritual…I will never be the same.

 

 

 

 

As you can see I added some social media links in the upper right hand corner…stupid I 34t3452bknow, a little spice makes things nice. I don’t know if I will keep them as a permanent feature…not a big deal. We shall see. That said I link to Facebook and Tumblr, as I’ve said before I use them for archiving not interaction. I may add others if I ever begin to use them.

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks, as always, for your support!

More Interesting Articles and Reviews to come.

 

Cheers and Bless Bless!

 

CM ☕

 

Please do not reproduce this article either all or in part without the expressed written permission of the author who can be reached via the “Contact” section in the header menu. You may link to the article if you wish, all that we ask is that you give credit to the respective author…”Christmachine” wherever you post a link. Thank you.

 

 

Copyright © 2015 Christmachine. All Rights Reserved.

©2014 – 2020 Christmachine

My Experience: Nirvana ~ The 2 Days Punk Went Mainstream…& My Time W/ Kurt Cobain

Today Up On Christmachine Audio Reference Music Server :

 

 

Click On Photos To Enlarge~

My Experience: Nirvana ~ The 2 Days Punk Went Mainstream…& My Time W/ Kurt Cobain

 

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Photo Courtesy Of Doc!

Many of you know by now from previous posts, how I was involved in the music industry so I am not going to go over all that again. If you are new and you would like to know then you can read a lot of posts on just this subject from the last few months at this website. Many more of these will be presented here over time and I hope you get some enjoyment in reading them. This one in particular has been painful to reexamine but I am looking at it as a sort of catharsis, and a way to organize my emotions that have been quite tangled over the years just thinking about it. I was affected by it, and I don’t know how far I will go to explain why.

I have fought my emotions over and over as to whether I should publish this for two reasons; I did not want to write about someone who became a mega cult figure in the world of music just to gain readers, and two for a long time I thought I should let sleeping dogs lie. There are portions of this story that I was aware, and in the middle of, that have caused major shit storms in the media in the past and a lot of people were hurt emotionally. I will have to walk a fine line here so as to not sensationalize this piece, meaning that some things will be spoken of in generalities where people will know what I am talking about, and also may have to leave some specific details out as they are just dirt and have been well covered by the mainstream press.

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All Rights Belong To The Respective Copyright Holders…Please Contact Admin / Webmaster To Remove or Recieve Credit for Copyrighted Materials. Thank You

My experience of the two days punk went mainstream took place in three small clubs in Boston in the fall of 1991, where the first show on a Monday in late September was in every sense of the word pre-punk mainstream and the next day literally “Oh well whatever, Nevermind”. I decided to write about my experience as an ode and a sad goodbye to my cultural guide for many years, a free weekly entertainment and lifestyle paper which served as my source of news (The Boston Phoenix), and a farewell to it’s sister radio station 101.7 FM WFNX Boston.  This week the final issue was sent to press and the word came down, even as a surprise to workers, that the complete media group would be shutting down for good after a decade of trying to reorganize to save the iconic presence that it held in the difficult media space that we find ourselves in. Ladies and gentlemen this is the death of not only an era for Boston but more importantly the continuation in an age of 092391.0003superficiality that has been brewing for a long time. As Holden Caufield would say we live in a phony time.

I find it akin to Nirvana and all the other great bands at that time wiping the slate clean of decadence and bringing with it heroin chic and doom and gloom. None of the bands were at fault as we know that music in any time period is a reflection of the society as we know it  If the 80’s were all about fun and excess, then the 90’s were about introspection and cutting the fat. Both era’s felt really powerful and exciting, while at the same time courting death as if it was an old friend on standby just waiting to fill the void. The big difference was that in the 80’s seemed without consequence, where the 90’s were all about celebrating the damage that had already been done. They were both thrillingly dangerous coupled with the excitement of endless possibilities. Now the danger has accelerated to  a new level of pharmaceutical purity and as I said a disconnect of virtual 092391.0002superficiality where everyone is a “rockstar” whether everyone else around you knows it or not. It takes “fake it till you make it”, to new levels of obscenity and vulgarity.

So Nirvana was coming to town from Canada and they arrived on September 22, 1991 (the day prior the WFNX Party but were not present at the clubs that I knew of until the next day), they had played a show in Montreal the night before. The reason that Nirvana was coming to town was a result of a number of serendipitous reasons as well as some hard work by a DJ at the local alternative radio station in Boston WFNX. It just so happened that Nirvana had Boston on their minds inadvertently for a long time as big fans of the amazing Boston band The Pixies. Second WFNX was one of the few radio stations that was playing Nirvana early on, well before they were famous. WFNX happened to hold 092391.0004a birthday bash every year where all the clubs on Lansdowne Street hosted up and coming bands as well as some headliners that were on the verge of some trajectory of stardom.

I think the DJ at WFNX I am referring to was Kurt St. John, he ended up doing some interviews with Nirvana (Not the one live on air done at this party) but a few which would be the first, if not only, CD interview with the band released officially by Nirvana’s Label. Earlier in the summer of 1991 St. John basically begged  Nirvana management to play the WFNX birthday bash in September 1991. After some wrangling and persistence by St. John he convinced them to agree to Headline the party at Club Axis. At this time Nirvana only had the album “Bleach” out, as well some singles that would eventually end up on “Incesticide”. A few people had advance promo copies of Nevermind (WFNX being one of them) on cassette and probably CD and I seem to remember hearing “Smells Like Teen Spirit” played on WFNX in the afterhours, at the time 61EZcegYhCL._SY300_not knowing exactly who it was. I had already seen Nirvana play once before with Chad, and it was also the first time I met Kurt…we finished off a bottle of my …. ….. Not proud of it but it happened.

So when I heard they were coming to town for the WFNX bash, I was excited but I had no idea. I had seen many bands that got my attention early on and after they had received some commercial success only to fizzle out or just maintain a cult following…so this was how I imagined it would go as well. I was going or working at every show I could any day of the week because it was essential to me to hear the latest and the greatest of what was to come. Because I was around the clubs most of the day in the preparation stages of setting up and on days like the WFNX Birthday…officials from the record labels as well as radio representatives would be there along with members of the crew and the bands. Being in this position I saw almost everyone that was coming or going throughout the day.

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This was the point where the sound engineers would be consulting with the bands as to what the they required for setup for them to play. Amplifiers, guitars, drums, etc. were brought into the clubs. Each club had it’s own security and crew setting up for the evening festivities. One thing that was different this night is that Nirvana was going to be performing a sort of record release night. The night of the WFNX bash was the day before the release of “Nevermind” and of course few if anyone knew what was about to happen ( at least how big ). On days like this there was always a heady excitement in the air…so I look back and remember that I recognized it was to be special night as everyone was running around like chickens with their heads cut off.

At some point in the late afternoon Smashing Pumpkins arrived as did Nirvana and the other two bands that were opening that night, it was the first time seeing their new drummer Dave. Kurt was with his “girlfriend” at least I thought it was his girlfriend she was around the whole two days and they seemed more than just friends. I did not give any more attention to it friend or girlfriend, they were close I’ll put it that way. So Nirvana did their sound check and they tore the roof off…I thought holy shit, I don’t remember them being this good. I do remember thinking their new drummer hit the skins as hard as John Bonham…no joke he was that good. Soon after their sound check I ran into Kurt and he remembered who I was because he walked up to me and I said something like…’The new drummer holy shit.’ Kurt replied…”That’s Dave he’s great”. I said I’ll be around for the duration if you guys need anything just let me know. Kurt said “Thanks, I’ll see you later.” I then went to get dinner on Boylston Street and stopped by Tower Records and I knew someone who worked there and after telling him I was going to the Nirvana show that night and I can’t wait to get the new album. He said I have something for you…he gave me the “Nevermind” cassette without a cover or artwork, I was on cloud nine to say the least. After a quick meal it was back to Lansdowne for the night.

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The best thing I remember about the two days was just being around to take it all in(I know that sounds camp)…I look back on it now and I remember bumping into Kurt several times over the two days and having a smoke. He was very shy but personable. At one point he seemed to put me in a psych corner, asking me what music I listened to. I told him everything from Metal to Classical to Jazz and Punk. He said something about “Macho”. I was not shy and I told him “I Fucking hate Machismo…” I said ‘I joke about the Men Men Men thing, but I get along better with women than men. Not in a sexual way, I have a lot of girls that are friends, more than guys. I know it sounds cliche but I remember having short chat about gays as well because I worked at the gay nights although I was not gay (not that it mattered anyway but that’s how it came up), I’m comfortable in my sexuality.’ (I said with a smile) Kurt was like ok, smirking “I get it” as if a tip to calm down. I remember vividly thinking he’s probably going to ditch me now. He did not, we just had a smoke and I remember him also saying to me “Boston is a great city.” He was always on the move and had a lot of people shuffling him around. So I had chats with him when we found ourselves standing near each other off and on over the next two days.

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Kurt wasn’t around a lot…I found out later that he was hanging out with his girlfriend, would’nt you do the same. Dave and Krist were around most of the time doing promotional stuff. I found it funny that Kurt just ditched it. Of course what we know of Nirvana now it 092391.19was not a stretch to see Kurt disappear on all the phonies. Krist and Dave were funny to watch and were constantly joking around. When Kurt was around he was selectively responsive and short in conversation with others in an ironic way. Depending on who he was talking to he could switch right into sweet and kind mode. It was interesting just watching him talk to people, he seemed to have a very active intuition about people…he would take in the vibe and then return with a similar response on a dime. He was definitely an interesting person, and as I found a joy to be around.

Now to logistics, if you’ve ever been to Axis you would know there really is not any backstage, just a small area to the side of the stage House Right Stage Left speaker avalonaxis 11 lstacks. There is a door there that leads to a fenced in alley between what was then Axis and Club Venus De Milo. This is were people would hang out and smoke or catch a breath of fresh air. The backstage for Axis was either the second floor up one of two stairwells as well as a door that led to a room off the second floor above the stage of Avalon Club. The bands, crew, and security would wander between the three clubs as food was being served. A while later they did an on air interview with WFNX which I did not see, but then they went onto the stage at Bill’s Bar and MTV was there where they filmed all the bands playing Crisco Twister. Krist was the most outgoing slathering himself up in Crisco (See Video). Kurt, Dave, James Iha, and Billy Corgan jumped in as well.

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Next was the show for the first night, I heard the Smashing Pumpkins go on so I went in the side door. They were amazing but way too short. Bullet Lavoltta was great as well…at that point I was really excited for Nirvana the place was sweaty and packed! The crowd was like the tide going in and out, undulating to the beats and harmonies. Axis Club which 092391.16was a black hole (even when empty and the lights on) and smelled of piss and rubber latex, but that night had turned into a black mass. The altar on which legends are made, and the crowd was lovingly violent. The floor in front of the stage only held several hundred people and all the wings were standing room only. I remember thinking why did they not have this at Avalon. I didn’t go on about it because I was in…I did wonder how many of the masses of people lined up down the street got in. There were three shows going on at once, one at Venus, one at Axis, and one at Avalon. How it would work is, you had to get into the club you wanted early because if one was full, as Axis was, you could wait for people to leave or go to one of the other clubs. In this case that meant being shut out and have to settle with another venue.

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I remember talking to people later on that had no idea who Nirvana was and went to the other clubs instead. Major fail, as we say today. It took a while for Nirvana to go on and when they did it was just Dave and Krist…Kurt came a bit later, it seemed like forever.  When they ripped into their first song, the place went absolutely mental. The songs that stood out for me were, Drain You, “Jesus Don’t want me for a sunbeam” (their first known performance of this) and “Rape Me” which would not be out for a few more years on “In Utero”. I was mesmerized and in love, all the talk was that this band was going to be huge. Now thinking back it reminds me of how Lemmy of Motorhead described what it was like before and after rock and roll. Lemmy said somewhere that he ‘remembers what it was like before Rock and Roll’. All there was and I’m paraphrasing here, ‘was your mothers Rosemary Clooney Records, then all of a sudden there was Elvis, Little Richard, and Jerry Lee Lewis.’ When I heard him say this all I could think of was these Nirvana shows. Exactly how it felt…there was before and after, like a demarcation in time, as if that time had stopped for a while and then started again. Everything was somehow different. I’m not trying to be dramatic here, it’s just how it was.

Nirvana: Live at the Axis Nightclub – September 23, 1991
Intro
Aneurysm
Drain You
School
Smells Like Teen Spirit
Come As You Are
Sliver
Jesus Don’t Want Me For A Sunbeam
Floyd The Barber
Polly
About A Girl
Breed
Rape Me
Blew
Been A Son
Negative Creep

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After the show was over I was pretty hopped up so I went to a friends house that was having a late night party. When I got there I told people what I had just witnessed and I said you have to hear their new album…so I put the cassette in a boom box and played “Nevermind” in full. The reaction was negative from everyone, I think the words used was, “hated it” and this was a crowd into new and heavy music. I was stunned, they did not get it. It’s safe to say that a month later they were all listening to “Nevermind” on repeat. I never mentioned the cold greeting it got when I first played it that night. Not only that I did not pursue any of them to go the next day to the second show as a result of their reaction. So I got fired up that night on chemicals, alcohol, and my beloved cough syrup. What a blur!

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Woke up the next day early afternoon and shook off the cobwebs and head back to Lansdowne for the second early show. They had decided to add another show that day September 24, 1991 because the first show was 21+ this way younger people could get in. It really seemed like everyone in the band was having a great time here in Boston. I was quite proud of that. That Boston could stand tall against bigger markets in terms of music quality, with top shelf audio engineers, crew, and staff second to none.

Again it was another blowout  It was magnificent, the sets were a little different, on order especially. The standouts were Come As You Are, .Breed, Pennyroyal Tea, and my favorite song Dive. I only remember the setlist because I have the recordings of these shows. Thank God someone realized that this was history in the making and knew to record it. I’ve recorded some great shows as well but this was before my rogue recording career was in full swing.

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Nirvana: Live at the Axis Nightclub – September 24, 1991

Jesus Wants Me For A Sunbeam
Drain You
Floyd The Barber
Sliver
Smells Like Teen Spirit
Come As You Are
Breed
About A Girl
Satisfaction
Territorial Pissings
Pennyroyal Tea
School
Blew
Negative Creep
Been A Son
Dive

When It was all over it really took years to sink in as to how great that moment was. Now I am able to look at it with a smile. Nirvana was not on my mind, although I do remember thinking it would be great to see them again. So when I was in the UK the next year I saw them at the Reading Festival…I was now just a face in a crowd of hundreds of thousands it was weird but still fun. The thoughts of the guys in Nirvana just walking around unknown, flashed in my memory and now this. OMG! My next recollection in regard to this time that would cause me to sink into the very lowest point in my life. It was April of 1994 and I was driving through Kenmore Square in Boston, and I heard over the radio that Kurt had died of a self inflicted gun shot wound to the head. I went into a trance it seemed, like I had been punched in the gut. I almost got in an accident pulling over to the side of the road in busy traffic. I was gutted.

The next few days I reflected on my life what was important family, etc…and I had a mean drug habit as well. This is why it was so hard to even begin this piece. I was one of the lucky one’s. I was able to clean up quite fast, still at such a young age, and sad to say that it had to take something like this to happen. I probably would have straightened out eventually anyway…it was in my thoughts already. I was using hard and not getting high anymore no matter how much I tried, I think what saved me was that I never hit the needle. Too many of my friends are dead from guns and drugs so much pain for the families left behind…so much freaking wreckage!

There seems to be a cult following of Kurt today and he was not a superstar first, he was not a God, he was just a person. Nirvana was really something special and for a moment in time it felt like we could fly….Two for the ages!

 

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Up the Irons, Droogies! 🙂

 

Thanks, as always, for your support.

RIP~ Tommy Ramone!

 

Enjoy, more interesting articles to come!

Cheers and Bless Bless!

 

CM ☕

 

 

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