Rolling Stone finally gets it right; Music Critics Still Assume It’s Wrong

24 11 2011

Rolling Stone magazine, in my estimation, is a joke.  It does, however, sometimes get its (meaningless) top _____ lists right.  2003’s list of greatest guitarist had arguably the best hard rock guitarist of my generation, Eddie Van Halen, way down at 70.  Now he’s in their top 10.  Why the change?  Critics say that RS simply wants to be in good with EVH as a new Van Halen album approaches.  Apparently, critics think Clapton’s rated too highly.  I’m not a big EC fan, but his influence justifies his placement on the most recent list.

http://music.yahoo.com/blogs/amplifier/rolling-stone-greatest-guitarists-list-too-high-too-181042395.html





Never heard it this way before

17 06 2010

Maybe my favorite Van Halen track is “Hear About It Later” from Fair Warning.  I searched it on youtube and came across this cool guitar track.  Enjoy.





Farewell to guitar pioneer Les Paul

13 08 2009

lespaul

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090813/ap_en_ce/us_obit_les_paul

Sadly, guitarist extraordinaire and creator of arguably the greatest guitar ever (mass) produced, Les Paul, died today at age 94.

If you can, watch some videos of him playing.  He was an amazing guitarist.  More than his play, he’s probably known for his pioneering work on the electric guitar.  Les Paul model Gibson and Epiphone guitars — to say nothing of all the knock offs — have been played by some of the greatest guitarists in music history.

Les will be missed.  We were lucky to have him for as long as we have.





Here she is

17 05 2009

For the last month or so I’ve been meaning to post pictures of my most recent instrument purchase.  She’s a 1997 Epiphone Accu-Bass.

Supposedly she has a plywood body, but she has really, really good sustain.  Sometimes I can get the growl I want but I think she sounds better in the mids.  Her action is good and she’s pretty easy to play for a 34″ scale bass.  I haven’t weighed her, but she’s a tad heavy when strapped and over my shoulder.  I suppose that will just take some getting used to.

For $300 out the door I got the bass and an 80 watt Kustom amp.  The bass is definitely worth all of $150, which is what the pawn shop guy was asking for her.  I s’pose I paid full price for the bass but saved some money on the amp.

Hopefully when the NHL playoffs end — I’m loving watching them this year — I’ll be able to get back to more playing.  I feel like I’m missing out on quality time with my new girl. (That’s a joke)

Epi1

Epi2

Epi3

Epi4Epi5





I’ve had it up to here with…

17 04 2009

I try to stay positive on this blog, but tonight I feel like ranting.  This is a list of things in/around popular music that I can no longer tolerate.  I’d like these things or people to vanish from sight for just awhile.

John & Yoko’s wedding and bed-ins — I’m about as big of a Beatles fan as you’ll meet, but I’m sick to death of all this stuff celebrating the 40th anniversary of John & Yoko’s marriage and their bed-ins for peace.  The bed-ins were a funny idea, but the fact that we’re talking about them 40 years later baffles me.  These weren’t marches like civil rights supporters held in the south in the 50’s and 60’s.  The marches actually changed things.  The bed-ins were a gimmick that attracted a lot of media attention for a positive subject (world peace is a good goal, I agree) but, in the end, accomplished nothing.  I’m frankly sick to death of seeing those old photos of John and Yoko laying in bed together.  I saw Imagine: John Lennon when it came out in theaters 20 years ago.  It had all one would ever need to know about their wedding in Gibraltar and the bed-ins.  Let’s move on, ok?

Phil Spector’s reputation as a genius — I can’t say all about this subject that I would like to, at least not in this post.  Suffice it to say that I think his “wall of sound” sucked on albums like George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass.  Spector ruined that brilliant album.  McCartney was wise to “de-Spectorize” Let it Be a few years back.  He sees (hears) what many others are unwilling to recognize: that Spector could be a hack and he overproduced stuff.  More about this some other time perhaps.

Beatles Rock Band video game — I’m not going to blast Paul, Ringo, Yoko and Olivia for allowing this video game to come out.  It will introduce younger kids to the Beatles just as I was introduced to them the better part of a decade after they split.  That said, I’m sick to death of reading and hearing about it.  Instead of playing video games, kiddies, get a damned bass or guitar and learn to play music yourselves!  Parents can get starter guitars, with amps, cords, the whole bit, for $200.  XBox or wii or whatever systems kids play on these days (I sound old, don’t I?) cost as much or more than that.  Make your own music.  Stop living in the fantasy world of playing someone else’s music on a computer.   Either that or stop telling me that Rock Band comes out in September.  Stop posting ab0ut it.  I’ve read it at least 100 times already.  I get it.

Disney actors cutting albums — I fully support a lot of what Disney does.  But I’m disgusted that they keep pumping out CDs by child actors that can’t sing a lick.  That Emily Osment has her own album is proof positive that the music business these days is just plain awful.  It’s a joke.  I like Disney’s TV shows for kids, but how about we get kids listening to good music instead of garbage like the Jonas Brothers.  To balance out the sonic assault on my daughter’s ears that she gets from Disney channel and Radio Disney, I play the Beatles, Oasis, Marvin Gaye, Hank Williams, Sr., Paul McCartney, Sinead O’Connor, and other artists that actually have (or had) lots of talent.  She knows what a good singer should sound like and she knows that the crap Disney is trying to sell her isn’t good.

Stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame — I was recently happy to learn that George Harrison was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  Besides being a Beatle and a pretty darned good solo artist, George was into film and his company, Handmade Films, put out some pretty cool stuff in the 80’s.  My happiness for one of my favorites being honored was diminished when I learned that guys like John Stamos also have stars on the walk.  John Stamos?  Really?  C’mon.   It seems anyone that’s ever been on a bad sitcom gets a star on the walk.  It’s the equivalent of every kid in little league soccer getting a trophy.  Ugh.

Coldplay — I’m not going to attack them.  They seem to be a pretty decent band.  They’re not my cup of tea but, hey, I think I have an idea why others like them.  My beef, though, is that it has been put ’round that Coldplay are the “Beatles of their generation.”  I hate declarations like that!  Coldplay might be one of the most popular bands around these days, and for the last several years, but this generation has no Beatles.  Since the height of Beatlemania, there has been nothing even close to the Beatles.  Michael Jackson in 1983-85, U2 in the late 80’s and again in the early 90’s, and Oasis (mostly in Britain) in 1994-97 came about as close as anyone ever will, but were still light years behind the overall popularity and madness surrounding the Beatles from 1964-66.  The world will never see a band as popular and influential as the Beatles.  Never!  So the comparison is ludicrous.  Can’t we call Coldplay the “U2 of their generation” or the “Michael Jackson of their generation”? Those labels work better.

I think I have more rants in me, but I’ve run out of steam.





Ron Asheton, Stooges guitarist, dead at age 60

6 01 2009

Punk guitarist Ron Asheton of The Stooges has been found dead in his Ann Arbor home. He was 60.

City police Sgt. Brad Hill said officers discovered Asheton early Tuesday after they were called to his home around midnight by an associate who had not heard from him in several days.Hill said there were no signs of foul play, and the death appeared to be of natural causes.Asheton was an original member of The Stooges, the influential protopunk band founded in Ann Arbor in 1967. Asheton’s brother, Scott, was the band’s drummer.Asheton’s distorted guitar was a hallmark of the Iggy Pop-led group’s late-1960s and early-1970s sound. He was named the 29th greatest guitarist of all time in 2003 by Rolling Stone.

http://www.clickondetroit.com/news/18422780/detail.html?rss=det&psp=news#-