Tuesday, September 29, 2009

And the move continues - how to shoehorn a C7

Eight years ago, we bought a 7'6" Yamaha concert grand without measuring the staircase we thought we were going to use to get it into the studio. Hauer music included delivery and setup with the piano, and A-1 Piano and Organ Movers were the company they sent to deliver the piano. They looked at the back stairs first, because there's an outside door, but quickly rejected that, because there's also a wall in the way about 36" inside the door. We had built the entrance into a kind of box - not our choice, but it's the way the basement was set up.
Next, they looked at the inside stairs, which were a straight shot. Unfortunately, there was an overhang, which meant the keyboard end or "head" of the piano wouldn't clear. Oops. At that point, I thought I was returning a piano.
They went back and looked at the other stairs, and after measuring, determind that there was enough room to squeeze it in - by about 1/4". No, I'm not kidding. It took 4 guys and about 45 minutes of jockeying and see-sawing to get it in, but get it in they did.
After they set it up, I warned them not to go out of business, because when I wanted to move it, I was calling them back out, because hey - they got it in, they could get it out.
Today, I made good on that threat, and get it out they did, although it was not easy. Up was harder than down, but they got it out, and got it relocated into its new home, which was a much easier entry.
If you're in the Cincinnati or Dayton area and need a piano moved, especially into or out of a spot where it doesn't look like it will go, call A-1. I can't recommend them highly enough.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Gibson Hendrix guitar?

This just seems wrong, somehow. A Fender Hendrix Strat, sure. Maybe even a Gibson Hendrix V, but how can you put Jimi's name on something that didn't even exist while he was alive, let alone that he ever played one, even once.


Amidst one of the most controversial product launches of all time, Gibson has posted a blog entitled Live From The Production Line At Gibson USA that seems to indicate that a high-end Jimi Hendrix model is set to join the Authentic Hendrix electric guitar packages announced earlier this week.

The pictures show unfinished instruments awaiting hardware and electronics but it is apparent that they are set neck in construction and appear to be routed for a large locking vibrato system and three single-coil sized pickups.

In addition, the headstock - sporting an Authentic Hendrix logo around the back - sees Gibson's famous 'open book' outline integrated into a reverse Stratocaster-style six-a-side peghead.

Ugh. I know it's the music _business_, and I realize Jimi's sister has no other skills or assets on which to draw, but doesn't this cross some kind of line?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Eddie Van Halen Makes a Guest Appearance

Last night on Two and a Half Men on CBS. A short appearance, but good to see Eddie looking healthy, and I think it went over better than his much weirder appearance as a drifter on Cafe Americain:

And We're Off

Bloodspoint Studio is in the process of moving. Got all the racs torn down and most of the stuff moved to the new location, but that's only part of the process. Putting it all together in the new space will take some time, because I'm not just re-creating the space. I'm going to take the opportunity to re-think some things. I'll take some pics today of everything all piled up, and more as things go back together.
Stay tuned.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Dokken Wants to Destroy Your Chicken!

Somebody sent me a link to a Norton Internet Security commercial in which 80's metal band Dokken portrays malware, and a chicken plays the role of your hard drive.

A description of the commercial reads as follows: "Imagine that your hard drive is a chicken. '80s heavy metal band DOKKEN is a computer virus that wants to blow up your chicken. Don't allow heavy metal bands to have their way with your chicken. Get PC protection with Norton Internet Security 2010."

As a long time fan of Dokken, I love it. Among other things, Don Dokken seems to have a sense of humor, which a lot of his contemporaries lacked.
See the rest of the article here:


Here's the video:


Saturday, September 12, 2009

Phil Collins Drums No More

This is kind of sad. Apparently, Phil Collins can't drum any more. The article doesn't get too specific, but it sounds like a degenerative disease of the spine.
As a guitar player, I know it's likely that my hands will slow me down at some point, but I'd hate to think I wouldn't always be able to play at some level.


Here's an excerpt:


Former Genesis rocker PHIL COLLINS will never play the drums again - after years of performing left him with an agonising spinal injury.
The 58 year old made a name for himself due to his skills on the drums, playing the instrument during his years with Genesis, before releasing solo material, including percussion-heavy hit In The Air Tonight.
But due to his talents, the star has slowly been causing devastating damage to his spinal cord - and admits it is too painful to even pick up the sticks now.

Friday, September 11, 2009

New George Lynch


I loved Dokken back in the day, and bought their latest album last year, but as good as Jon Levin is, I still love George Lynch's playing. Here's a clip from his latest. Hear more at http://georgelynch.ning.com/.

Ellen DeGeneres Sued by Record Labels

As a performer and composer myself, I understand the legalities of licenses. Still, I think this is a bit much. I wouldn't mind if Ellen danced to one of my songs, and I gotta love her response. In part:

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Four of the world's biggest recording companies have sued the producers of "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," accusing them of using songs without permission.

On the popular daytime program, which averages about 3 million viewers daily, newly named "American Idol" judge and show host DeGeneres dances to popular tunes selected by a deejay.

In the lawsuit, which was filed on Wednesday in federal court in Nashville, Tennessee, the labels said that when they asked why licenses were not obtained for use of the songs, representatives for the show said they "did not roll that way.
See the whole article here:


Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Van Halen To Tour in 2010?

Fresh on the heels of the allegations that VH colluded with ticket scalpers on their 2007 tour:


...comes word that the band will be touring again in 2010.


In part:

Van Halen will hit the road in 2010, Ticketmaster Entertainment CEO Irving
Azoff announced during the 2009 Bank of America Merrill Lynch Media,
Communications and Entertainment Conference Sept. 9.

Say, does anybody notice that Irving Azoff, CEO of TicketMaster, is also VH's manager? That's gotta be a coincidence, right?


I hope it's a good show, 'cause chances are it won't be cheap if you want decent seats. Whatever happened to sleeping outside the box office for two days and getting front row? Any more, all the good seats are in the hands of "ticket brokers" long before they even go on sale.

The Record Industry is Dead! Long Live the Music!

Those of you who know me know that I am not a big fan of the way the "old system" worked. Memo deals, exclusive contracts, album options, and huge bills, recoupable, of course, out of the artists' pockets.

These days, it's easier and cheaper for artists to record their own music, and charge for it what they want. Bands like Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails have given entire albums away, or asked that people pay what they think they're worth.

The big advantages of the record companies - the distribution network and airplay - have both been supplanted by internet technologies. Distribution is as easy as offering downloads from your site, or sending your music off to places like TuneCore and CDBaby, and anybody can stream music off their own site or places like MySpace.

I've often felt for a while too, that the album is dead. Who killed it? Napster may have started the ball rolling. Certainly, iTunes and Amazon and Rhapsody share part of the credit/blame, but the record companies helped by charging $18.99 for a CD. Weren't they supposed to be cheaper to make than LP's and cassettes?

The music buying public has returned to a "singles" market, which is the way it was until the mid sixties, when bands like the Beatles and the Stones came along and brought with them the concept of an album.
When was the last time you bought an album and liked all of it. At best, I might dig 40% of what's on a 10-12 song album. Sometimes, I like one song - one. That's a lot of money for one tune.

Anyway, here's some interesting analysis from Rolling Stone a couple of years ago that I think covers it pretty well.


So, what do you think? Are albums and record companies dead, or just waiting for the next Beatles? And what really did kill the record industry? Napster? iTunes? The industry itself?

Friday, September 04, 2009

Auto-Tune App for iPhone?

I use Auto-Tune in the studio all the time (well, when I have to) for correcting vocal pitch, and sometimes as an effect, ala artists like T-Pain. Usually, you'll find Auto-Tune only in recording studios. Now Smule, the company responsible for such iPhone apps as Leaf Trombone and Ocarina, bring you "I Am T-Pain" for iPhone.
The idea? You rap into the iPhone, and it applies the Auto-Tune effect to your voice. Check it out. They have some demo videos that are pretty cool.

I Am T-Pain is HERE

Introducing the first iPhone app to give you Auto-Tune in the palm of your hand. You can sing along to T-Pain's hits or create your own. You can record and share your genius with the world. You'll never look at your iPhone the same way again.

What will they come up with next?
I have to admit, as un-hip as it probably makes me, I don't yet own an iPhone. I'm pretty happy with my Blackberry, and hey - I've got like, eight months left on my contract. No way am I paying full fare for one. Still, with all these cool apps, it gets harder and harder for a gadget freak like me to resist.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Van Halen Jamming in the Studio

From Eddie Van Halen's Twitter page:

"Wolfie , Alex and I rehearsed today and had a blast. We played a bunch of songs that we didn't play on the last tour, like 'Drop Dead Legs', 'Girl Gone Bad' and 'Outta Love Again'! And just jammed a bit. Haven't played these songs for a long time but they sound f'ing amazing!"

Hopefully, this means that Eddie is recovering from his recent hand surgery, and sooner or later, we might get some music out of them from the ten albums' worth of music Eddie claims they have sitting around.

As a VH fan for thirty years, I'm always hopeful, but skeptical.