Tuesday, January 31, 2006

... make the rockin' world go round

Seems there are two types of guitar players. Those who like knobs and those who, well ... no wait that's crap. Everybody likes knobs. Knobs are good. You get to twiddle them and experiment with sounds. Its why you buy pedals. More knobs.

So what the hell is this? This is a statement saying Queen acheived perfect tone sometime during the 70s and every song I ever play should be with that tone.

VOX is forgetting that Brian May was a bit of a tweaker and circuit bender though. He acheived his tone with a top boost pedal in front of the AC30 (which they've encorporated into the design, but don't allow you to control). And before that the knobs he was given were so inadequate, to acheive his desired tone he built amps out of car radios.

I'm not saying I'm switching over to computer based amp modelling, but less isn't necessarily more.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Low Wattage Combo Roundup

Guitar Player Magazine has a new collection of reviews on high end point to point hand wired low wattage combo amps. Nary a PCB to be seen anywhere:

DST Engineering U84-TNT
Cornford Harlequin
Carr Mercury
Mojave Coyote
Dr. Z Mini-Z

As great as I suspect these amps are (I've only played the Mini-Z and a different Carr model) I was dissappointed to see a lack of real criticism. Somehow I'm reminded of food critic Homer Simpson fattening Springfield. Maybe these magazines might like to set the bar a little higher.

In case you had any doubts about the high end guitar market getting out of control, MSN money can tell you how to invest in a vintage axe.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

62' Reissue

She so p'urdy.

The very thought of twins!

Yeah, I think I have a problem.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Mandolins RAWK!

OK, maybe not "rawk" but "alt-country" doesn't make for a good verb. Check out 100 Damned Guns. Especially if you like Cuff the Duke or The John Henrys.

"Roads left in both of our shoes"

In addition to creating the great battle of the bands story arc I've recently posted, John A. has done the great service of introducing Natasha Allegri, webcomic artist and Death Cab fan.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Harmonica Lessons

This tutorial is a little more obvious: harmonica lessons at www.harmonicalessons.com. It appears you can come by some basic technique before signing up though.

Back to School

My favorite Seattle based guitar teacher has recommended an online tutorial: 70s punk band Television's Richard Lloyd. The text is fascinating, starting with Pythagorus and frequency analysis creating the chromatic scale, but also practical learned muscle memory technique where you ignore any musicality to train your hands to perform physically.

Why doesn't this guy have a book?

Saturday, January 21, 2006


Found some pics (go to NAMM->winter->2006) of a lot of synths and a few new ZVex pedals: Box of Rock distortion pedal; Ringtone and Tremorama look like a ring modulator and a modified and Seek-Trem.

Friday, January 20, 2006

You're a handsome devil ...

... what's your name?

Now normally I'm all about the rosewood fretboards. In my opinion they just feel better, and I read somewhere that the tonal differences are a myth based on 50s era bridges (before rosewood was introduced due to cosmetic reasons - people didn't like the visible wear and stains on maple) being higher off the body and away from the p'ups, hence brighter.

But you gotta admit this Tele looks slick. 70s era Custom with the neckbucker and bridge single coil, in the one finish that wasn't replicated by the Japanese (decent) or Mexican (crappy) reissues. And that maple fretboard matches the finish perfectly. Pure Keef.

But if I ever find an original or Japanese sunburst with rosewood, she will be mine.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Esther de Groot is in a band

An all-girl-punk-goth-type-band by the looks of it.

To further blur the lines of web-comic-fictional-music-critique and the delicious taste of comic artists, here's Jeph Jacques recommended listening and Kean Soo listens to some great music too.

Update: Milford has a Jaguar and just like Paul Frank, three chords. "SPLANG, WONG, CHANG!"

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Winterlude Concerts

I have it on good authority that The Stars will be playing Winterlude on February 18, although I can't find anything about it with the NCC.

And yeah, that appears to be Ben Gibbard with The Stars, and he seems to be singing into an imaginary microphone (I hope).

Friday, January 13, 2006

Now Start a Band

Contrary to Seth Coen's Paul Frank T-shirt ethos (yes, lifted from authentic punk, and Bob Dylan before that), here's an article on why you might want to go to college for guitar. It's both informative and well written, quite a feat for an ultimate-guitar post.

This is Zoe. She's 15. This is her radio show.

What was I doing when I was 15? Oh yeah, listening to metal and puking out the windows of moving cars.

But Zoe has her own radio show.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

"Bad Kitty! Mom! Kitty's being a dildo!"

Capsule just got a new Bad Cat Cub II. Pretty sweet little Class A 15W combo. And Brody Dalle (scroll down) seems to like them.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Rarified Semi-Hollow Coil Taps

The other day I tripped upon the little known Gibson semi-hollow ES-369, I don't even remember where. It wasn't here. It's notable for the dirty fingers and a coil tap, but otherwise its a 335.

It's pretty nice, but its rarity and Gibsons known lacking manufacturing practises mean you'd be paying extra for a substandard product.

But I think I should've looked closer at the Yamaha in Songbird only a couple months ago. The Japanese have a sneaky way of hiding nice features without disturbing the visual aesthetic of the instrument they copy. Damn.

FYR Amps

You know how Porsche sometimes has some promotion where you buy a 911 and they send you to Germany to see it roll of the line, then drive it on the Autobahn and some race tracks for a week, before they pack it up and send it home with you?

Well I'm going to Finland for a fucking amp. Damn!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Online guitar lessons

Most instruction on the web I've come across is either haphazardly organized and contributed by random readers with varying degrees of quality (no, uniformly poor) or it only hints at tutelage before trying to sell you something.

This is different.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Radio3's Year End Roundup

Grant Lawrence, CBC Radio 3's DJ came up with his top 14 singles of the year - all new, all Canadian, and all pretty damn good. Some familiar names, like Joel Plaskett and Great Lake Swimmers, and of course Wolf Parade and The New Pornographers, but lots of great stuff I've never heard before, too.

Charlottetown's Two Hours Traffic definitely heeds investigation.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Laura Veirs

Strangely, she made neither the AV Clubs nor John Allison's year end list. But damn its good. Worth more than a listen.


New Years at a wintery cottage would've been fine with just a couple amateurish guitar players, but when the talent showed up with a neat toy, it hit a new level.