Thursday, May 26, 2011

Wooden Ships

So, at some point, Ethan remarked that my guitar tone sounded "very good" and that it reminded him of Stephen Stills' sound in "Wooden Ships."
This is amongst the highest compliments a guitar player could ever receive.
And the fact is that I'm very proud of the clean guitar parts on the Mouseverture and the Narwhal Song.
Nowadays when we're trying to figure out how we're going to actually play live, I wonder how I'm going to deal with my guitar rig.
And the fact is that I just can't get that sound from my Peavey Vyper modelling amplifier. I can get it in spades from my Lil' Dawg "Mutt" (jump the channels and turn the right channel all the way down, neck pickup on the Les Paul Custom.)

Now I have heard that Stephen Stills himself used a blonde Bassman. And he mostly used Gretch guitars with their somewhat unusual electronics. But I'm not getting that sound out of the JTM-45 clone by Celtic I have. The big, what I would call "compressed" sound is just coming from the Mutt. And it does sound big.
Remember when I talked about that fantastic sounding Blankenship? The Mutt gives that to me -- especially with the 10" Weber.
Sigh. I didn't want to have to carry these exotic tube amps on the road -- it's going to make my load-in more difficult. And I'll certainly need an assistant to change settings in songs and such. Hoo boy.
Protecting the amps and the speaker cabinet from getting all scratched up will be a pain. The cases will weigh more than the amps.

Jonathan Coulton is a Snuggie

You know, Jonathan Coulton presumably made half a million dollars gross last year. I wrote a whole post with links and everything but it seems to have disappeared. So, imagine if you will, an elegant and scholarly dissertation on Jonathan Coulton's career and business model.

And:

"The Lounge Lizards recorded nine albums and played in Europe and Japan to packed houses. In the mid-nineties, they made thirty-five thousand dollars a week. But their albums usually sold only about fifty thousand copies."
Read more http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/08/16/100816fa_fact_friend#ixzz1NVyHucth

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Machiavellian Intra-Ensemble Politics

So many times a day someone asks "What's going on with Tyrannosaurus Mouse?" Actually that "someone" is me.
I'm a low-down, dirty, mean-spirited sort of guy so what I did was I wrote an email to all the guys in the band saying "I heard we were playing somewhere soon."
This was met with, understandably, some confusion as the only conversations about where and when we were playing were happening inside my own head and I forgot to cc my alternate personalities.

In any case, I'm looking around for places to play. I'm actually a tad nervous about singing and playing guitar at the same time. For most of my life I've avoided singing while playing guitar. When playing electric guitar I used the plausible excuse that I would knock over mic stands if I were singing backup. This, if you've seen me play guitar live, was a very believable excuse.

So I'm looking at venues. Southpaw in Park Slope is huge.

But why am I looking at venues? Our rhythm section plays out all the time, Ethan and Lou know where to play. I'll just ask them.

Via Chance via

Monday, May 9, 2011

Glee? Glump.

Is it fair to complain about the TV show Glee?
I absolutely hate the way the songs on that show sound.
And their version of Rumors was... well honestly it was badly played. I'm not one to get on a kick about how awesome rockstars are but Lindsay Buckingham was actually a pretty OK guitar player. I mean c'mon, he was Peter Green's replacement. So that's gotta count for being some kind of good. And maybe whoever played on the Glee cover is normally an OK player. But, er, and this is a huge insult coming from me -- I'm a better guitar player than that Glee version.
I dunno. I could blame the 80's and drum machines for bands sounding so bland but that isn't really it. There have always been bland and "meh" - sounding covers of songs.
What I find odd is that Glee would bother doing a song with essentially the same arrangement as the original just played worse with more mediocre vocals. I mean, if you're going to do a "musical" version of a tune, then go ahead and do that. Or at least get a volume pedal for the guitar if you're no good at working the volume on the guitar itself.

Robot Christmas video concepts

So I came up with a little ditty called Robot Christmas . And it amuses me. The first verse is about evil robots. They are waiting for t...