The Week of February 25th - March 3rd


Words according to Thomas, Co-Founder, Jack of all Trades, and Creative Director of Raven Vanguard

No need for a TRIGGER WARNING of any kind this week because my threesome partners have abandoned me in favor of greener pastures. And since we posted a Raving earlier this week, today’s Once-over is curtailed in favor of conciseness at the expense of aphorisms and wittiness. In reality, Brooke and Dakota told me to just STFU.


Decoding the Mystery of Life and Living

Now that I have your undivided attention, let’s talk about the next best thing, the transcendent experience of music in a Raven Vanguard dreamt up music room.

So many questions lately from prospective clients about our utterly unique philosophy underlying and indispensable to our design of one-of-a-kind music listening rooms.

So many of you continue to ask us – why all the focus on the beauty and intimacy of the physical environment when it is the hearing part of it that is most important?

This is precisely where Raven Vanguard parts company with those designers who have both feet rooted in audiophile ideologies. Here’s the thing in the simplest of terms, sight overrules hearing. What you experience with your eyes alters the essence of what it is that your ears perceive.

Trying to capture the feeling of musicians playing live in your listening room through the medium of recorded music is a theoretical impossibility. Thus, requiring your designer to create the grandest of all illusions in which it becomes possible for you, the listener, to suspend all manner of disbelief while listening to your favorite music. By creating a visually immersive environment in which to experience music, your listening pleasure is heightened.  

So, what this means, is that the listener’s qualitative perception of the overall music listening experience in a Raven Vanguard designed music room will run circles around that of a listener in a monotonous and dispassionate setting where the sole objective from a design perspective is acoustic superiority.

The pure enjoyment that comes from listening to music is not rocket science folks. So, if you wish to have your mind truly blown by this miracle of life bestowed upon us by so many incredible musicians, give us a call, but be prepared to rid yourself of that troublesome notion that your listening space must be covered by acoustical treatments to make such an experience even possible.


Nuclear Disarmament, Trump and Kim Jong-un Bid Adieu to Hanoi

Did anyone have any real expectation that Trump could strongarm Kim Jong-un into dismantling North Korea’s stockpile of nuclear weaponry or abandoning its nuclear program?

Certainly not me. The fact that Trump was made a laughing stock in his own Country while negotiations were ongoing made any chance of progress with North Korea inconceivable.  


What is the Allure of Kashmir and How Does It Factor Into the Escalating Blood-feud Between India and Pakistan?

Damned if I know. But I wonder if those opium farm raiding parrots have something to do with intensifying tensions between the two opium-producing countries?

Decoding the Mystery of G-o-D Herself

Unlike my Biblical namesake, I am Thomas the fanciful one, not Thomas the doubting one. And when it comes to the potency of my belief in G-o-D, while, at times, I may have been reticent in my faith, perhaps, even momentarily wavering, I have never doubted the existence of the Divine.

I just can’t imagine creation to be some happy or fortuitous accident, or having been spawned by some cataclysmic anomaly amid a void, emptiness, or nothingness. While my belief in G-o-D and my concept of G-o-D’s physical incarnation differ from most organized religions, I cannot outright deny the possibility that G-o-D may be a Woman; thus, my repeated references to G-o-D Herself. I wonder whether this makes me a heretic? If not heretic, surely a schismatic?

My faith privileges belief in a sacred otherworldly Being and the benediction of prayer over the dubiousness of pseudo-scientific assertions calling into question the existence of G-o-D. I will forever trust in the intervention by the Divine from beyond. But, heh, that's just me.

Eric Dolphy’s Out To Lunch

Fifty-five years ago, February 25, 1964, to be precise, Eric Dolphy created his musical masterpiece, Out To Lunch, which also happens to be one of the greatest artistic achievements of any kind in the history of humankind. Sadly, but not surprisingly, most people have never heard this record.

In the year that also saw Coltrane record Crescent, Albert Ayler record both Spirits (Witches and Devils) and Spiritual Unity, Wayne Shorter record both Speak No Evil and Juju, Joe Henderson record both In ‘n Out and Inner Urge, Sam Rivers record Fuschia Swing Song, and Andrew Hill record Point of Departure, it is Dolphy’s Out To Lunch that, to this very day, still sounds way ahead of its time. To be more precise, Out To Lunch is not relatable to any period in time. And although the two records sound nothing alike, I place Out to Lunch and Yes’ Close to The Edge in that same undefinable category because in a sense they are from another place and time altogether.

On his only recording for Blue Note, Dolphy, as Bandleader, entered Rudy Van Gelder’s New Jersey studio with band members Richard Davis, Bobby Hutcherson, Freddie Hubbard, and Tony Williams to create and record this revelatory masterpiece and, in a cruel twist of fate, Dolphy was dead just four months later before the album’s August 1964 official release.


Hard Work Conquers All

By no means am I implying that everything I attempted in my life has been a complete success because at times I have tasted the bitterness and sting of failure. But even in defeat, there is a takeaway. There has to be. At least there should be if you don't want the experience of that failure to be in vain.