Search Results for: This Recording

Robbie Adams: Recording U2’s Achtung Baby & Zooropa (1994)

Longreads Pick

Technical interview with the sound engineer on two classic U2 albums and how the band recorded them:

“The band subsequently spent almost half a year in a rented house by the sea near Dublin, using equipment rented from Audio Engineering, Ireland’s largest pro-audio hire company, before moving on to the legendary Windmill Lane studios in Dublin for the final mixes. Similarily, Zooropa was also largely recorded in improvised surroundings. These unusual recording surroundings must have awoken the muses, because the stories of the recording sessions for Achtung Baby and Zooropa recount chaotic and almost manic outpourings of creativity. They feature such unusual tales as: the band simultaneously using three rooms to record and mix and the various bandmembers overdubbing in the different studios with people running around with tapes from room to room; last minute overdubs during or even after the final mix; nightly flights home straight after European gigs to complete Zooropa; the filling of 180 2-hour DAT tapes with a procedure called ‘fatting’, complete disregard for standard recording objectives such as separation and low noise levels, and last but not least the interesting dichotomy between the intense 11 months that it took to complete Achtung Baby, endlessly sculpting the songs into perfect shape, and the attitude of ‘recklessness’ and ‘performance first’ encouraged by Daniel Lanois.”

Author: Editors
Source: Sound on Sound
Published: May 19, 2012
Length: 19 minutes (4,941 words)

Historic Jazz Recordings Find a Home in Harlem, But You Can’t Hear Them

Longreads Pick

The collection is, in a word, historic. “It is a wonderful addition to our knowledge of a great period in jazz,” says Dan Morgenstern, director of the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers University in Newark, N.J. And, Morgenstern says, “the sound quality of many of these works is amazing. Some of it is of pristine quality. It is a cultural treasure and should be made widely available.” The question, however, is whether that will happen anytime soon. And if it doesn’t, music fans might be justified in putting the blame on copyright law.

Source: ABA Journal
Published: Apr 29, 2011
Length: 14 minutes (3,643 words)

Roald Dahl at 100: A Reading List

When I was in elementary school in the eighties, being read to in class was such a treat — and something I really miss. The weekly reading hour that I looked forward to the most was when my favorite librarian came to read a few chapters from a Roald Dahl story. (And over the years, she read them all.) I could hardly wait to hear the next prank Mrs. Twit would play on Mr. Twit in The Twits. Another favorite, The Witches, remains one of the stories from my childhood that really opened me up to the magic of reading. Dahl’s whimsical yet macabre and darkly comic stories piqued my imagination for the first time in those years, and — being a shy, quiet kid — showed me that anything was possible.

September 13 is Roald Dahl’s birthday, and 2016 marks 100 years since his birth. To celebrate, here are seven stories about the bestselling novelist, short story writer, screenwriter, fighter pilot, and British spy. Read more…

Featured Longreader: Matt O’Rourke’s curated #longreads page, @fuckyesreading. See his story picks from Wired, The New York Times, BOMB magazine, This Recording, and more.

The making of the album, on its 40th anniversary:

This is not a blues city. L.A. is about the concealment of appearance, but the blues is about its unraveling. The blues is the opposite of bullshit. And the psychic unrest of L.A. Woman is prominently placed on the album cover, which drops in April ‘71. Jim Morrison is shunted off to the side like a dwarf Russian woodcutter or an American werewolf about to ruin Paris. The border is blood red; the faces of the band, choleric yellow.

“Jim was seduced by the luxury and indulgences of fame,” Manzarek says now. Always bespoke and bespectacled, he has a voice as smooth as soy milk. In 1971, he splits time between a two-bedroom near the Whisky and a small penthouse on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. “The more boorish the behavior, the more Morrison’s crew liked it. We confronted him, and he said he was trying to quit drinking. But he was a guy who would say, ‘I feel lousy. I need a drink.’ Conversely, ‘I feel great, I need a drink.’”

“L.A. Woman Was the Doors’ Bluesy Masterpiece, and Jim Morrison’s Kiss-Off to L.A.” — Jeff Weiss, LA Weekly

See also: “In Which There’s A Girl In New York City Who Calls Herself The Human Trampoline.” — Nell Boeschenstein, This Recording, April 8, 2011

Announcing the ‘Longreads: Best of 2011’ Ebook

Longreads Pick

Longreads: Best of 2011 includes seven of our favorite stories from the past year.

The ebook is a unique partnership with the writers and publishers—we want to help celebrate outstanding storytelling, and this is just another way for us to do it. Additionally, money from the ebook sales will be shared with the creators, and we’re excited to have them participating.

Publishers involved include: New York magazine, Lapham’s Quarterly, This Recording, Popular Mechanics, The New York Times, GQ, and The Awl.

Published: Jan 18, 2012

Kevin Purdy: My Top 5 Longreads of 2011

Kevin Purdy is a freelance writer, and a frequent Longreader. Check out his site here.

Not all written in 2011, but brought to my attention and saved in 2011:


See more lists from our Top 5 Longreads of 2011 >

Share your own Top 5 Longreads of 2011, all through December. Just tag it #longreads on Twitter, Tumblr or Facebook. 

Molly Lambert: My Top 13 Longreads of 2011

Molly Lambert is a writer covering pop culture at Grantland. (She’s also featured in our Top 10 Longreads of 2011)


These are some Longreads I enjoyed this year:

“The Bell Jar At 40”: Emily Gould on Sylvia Plath (Poetry Foundation)

• “The J in J. Crew”: Molly Young on Jenna Lyons (New York magazine)

“The Recessionary Charms Of American Horror Story”: Tess Lynch (Grantland)

• “The Movie Star”: Bill Simmons on Ryan Reynolds and Will Smith (Grantland)

“Occasional Dispatches from the Republic of Anhedonia”: Colson Whitehead at The World Series Of Poker (Grantland)

“Crass Warfare”: Emily Nussbaum on Whitney and 2 Broke Girls (The New Yorker)

“Frantically Impure”: Alex Carnevale on Susan Sontag (This Recording)

“Beauty”: Durga Chew-Bose on Barbara Loden (This Recording)

“God Knows Where I Am”: Rachel Aviv (The New Yorker, sub. required)

• “What Women Want: Porn and the Frontier Of Female Sexuality”: Amanda Hess on James Deen (GOOD)

“‘Make Me Proud’: Does Drake Actually Care About Women?”: Emma Carmichael (The Awl)

“Free The Network”: Allison Bland (The Awl)

“The Celebrity Rehab Of Dr. Drew”: by Natasha Vargas-Cooper (GQ)


See more lists from our Top 5 Longreads of 2011 >

Share your own Top 5 Longreads of 2011, all through December. Just tag it #longreads on Twitter, Tumblr or Facebook. 

Writer David Hill: My Top 5 Longreads of 2011

David Hill writes Fading the Vig for McSweeney’s, writes about basketball for Negative Dunkalectics, writes sketch comedy for The Charlies, and starting next month will write a monthly column for Grantland. He is on Twitter at @davehill77.


“Too Much Information,” John Jeremiah Sullivan, GQ

John Jeremiah Sullivan wrote many notable things in 2011. I chose to highlight this review of The Pale King for two reasons. First because everyone else has recommended the Disneyland story and the story about his house. Second because it is actually a nice bit of writing and it is fascinating in the way that it hits home how much David Foster Wallace has left an impact on a generation of writers, John Jeremiah Sullivan included. An impact that I think is perhaps both good and bad, but one that the jury will likely be out on for a long time. 

“The Garden of Good and Evil,” Katie Baker, Grantland

I have no idea if it is possible to love this piece as much as I do if you don’t love the Knicks. I mean really love the Knicks, as in cried after Game 5 of the 1999 NBA Finals love the Knicks. What I do know is that Katie Baker loves the Knicks the way I love the Knicks and this post mortem on this past season was, in my mind, a fitting and touching tribute to the team I invested far too much emotional energy and actual time this year. 

“The Art of the Body Shot,” Chris Jones, Grantland

Chris Jones is the best writer in the game right now hands down. Anything he writes is worthy of a list like this. This particular piece, however, is worth your time even if you aren’t much of a boxing fan. I read a lot of boxing writing this year—a lot. This was the single standout piece of writing on boxing I read all year. It made me feel like maybe boxing has life in it still yet, and if so perhaps writers like Chris Jones have more time to carry on a tradition of beautiful boxing prose that was handed to them by writers like James Baldwin and Norman Mailer. If so I have no doubt that Chris Jones won’t let them down.  

“In the Wake of Protest: One Woman’s Attempt to Unionize Amazon,” Vanessa Veselka, The Atlantic

I can tell you from first-hand experience as a union organizer that this piece accurately captures the utter hopelessness, intense fear, and emotional overload that workers who try to organize unions in America today must deal with. This story was heartbreaking but also righteous and in the end I feel like she arrives at exactly the right conclusions. It isn’t just about how a generation of workers who are self-absorbed and overly concerned about their self expression are an obstacle to class consciousness. It also makes the point that whether companies like Amazon are anti-union or not is irrelevant. Companies like Amazon that fight unions do so because they are essentially anti-worker and for me at least there is no nuance or complexity to it, it is just that simple.  

“Manhattan in Middle Age,” Elizabeth Gumport, This Recording

I discovered Elizabeth Gumport’s writing this year through a mutual friend and since have read everything she has written. She’s a wonderfully talented writer and thinker who I hope to see even more from in 2012. In this piece she looks at the life of Dawn Powell in New York City and talks about growing old in a city surrounded by the young. It is a subject I’ve thought about and talked about a lot this year as I adjust to my life as a father and try to walk in two worlds at once—that of my youth and that of my future—all the while knowing that eventually I will have to step completely over into one at the expense of the other. 


“The Day Never Ended,” Everyone, Free Darko

Not really a longread but worth noting on this list of the best of 2011. This was the last post on Free Darko, a never-ending parade of goodbyes and thank yous and memories and glass-raising praise for the blog that was the inspiration for so many good things and the grandfather of so many great things yet to come. How we write, how we write about sports, how we think about sports, the way we write and communicate and build community on the Internet—for myself and I’d guess many other people Free Darko made a singular transformational impact. 


See more lists from our Top 5 Longreads of 2011 >

Share your own Top 5 Longreads of 2011, all through December. Just tag it #longreads on Twitter, Tumblr or Facebook.