Speaker update Looking back to this post which, we see, is from SIX MONTHS AGO, I finally got the damn speaker fixed:
I had intended to go through a place called Human speakers to get what are supposed to be original factory-ish replacements. Well, that was taking forever, so I cancelled that order and took the bad drivers (8" woofer, 10" passive radiator) to SpeakerLab locally and they replaced the cone, spider, voice coil, surround, etc. I think only the basket and magnet assembly are the same, though I think they swapped out the radiator basket for a new one because. . . .the old one had 4 screws and this one has 8. I also lost 2 screws in the interim which are probably somewhere on the floor, having been pilfered off the shelf they were on by some felid bent on getting a new toy.
They say they match everything as close to original spec as possible, and there are no obvious differences that I can tell yet. The other speaker has replacement parts as well (same drivers), after having been shredded by another felid 10-15 years ago.
What am I listening to? Asia's first album. Still one of my favorites. Asia was one of those prog rock supergroups that often tend to make long orchestral songs that only devoted fans like. These guys tend toward the more traditional with strong melodies and more of a pop-ish sound. Definitely radio and MTV friendly. They were one of the first big MTV bands. Still, they're all excellent musicians and the arrangements all have a deceptively complex structure behind them. Track 5, Time Again, especially combines complex instrumentation but still remains pretty hard rockin'. They're one of those groups who you will listen to for years and still find something interesting in it that you never noticed before.
One would think they'd have put on an awesome live show (I saw Yes in 1984 and they were magnificent) but a friend of mine went to one after the first album and he thought it was boring. They had a magician as their warmup act, and he said they didn't play for very long or really vary the songs very much. I went to a Cars show and they did the same thing: just stood on stage and played just like they were cutting the album again (Wang Chung opened for them and showed them up badly, IMO).
The second album isn't quite as good as the first, but still worth listening to. It's a bit more formulaic. After that. . .eh. I bought the Astra CD and hardly ever listen to it. The first two are definitely worth getting though.