Sunday, November 30, 2008

Introducing The ROUND SOUND 2X10 Speaker Cabinet

Odd little cabs. Read on...

Introducing The ROUND SOUND 2X10 Speaker Cabinet - eBay (item 180308090261 end time Nov-30-08 16:20:49 PST): "The speakers are round...why can't the cabinet be round also?"

Dumas and Merton

Rogues are preferable to imbeciles because they sometimes take a rest.
- Alexandre Dumas

The least of learning is done in the classrooms.
- Thomas Merton

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Yet another new bass

For those who have not followed my Yamaha bass saga, here is a recap:

I bought one of those fancy-schmantzy, lighted-dial, uber-light RBX5-A2 basses. The bridge nearly fell apart and the neck got wonky. China, he said. Back it went.

That one was exchanged for an RBX-375. I wrote about this bass, basically saying it was the coolest cheap bass ever. I rescind those remarks; not only did the neck get a kink, but something weird happened with the pickups, causing distortion and making a sound like the strings were hitting the pickups (they weren't). I checked everything out, but back it went. China, he said again.

You can see I'm lucky to be able to return these wonky instruments. That's what good customer service is all about.

I was still on the hunt for a good Yamaha bass. I wanted Yamaha because I like the necks, and generally I've really liked the quality of Yamaha gear. To get 2 basses from them that were both crap has been a very unexpected experience. But along the way I developed a jones for a Yamaha TRB-1005, so I went looking for a black one.

I found out that Yamaha stopped making colors in this product line; all they now make is natural. Bummer. So while tottering around Guitar Center in Towson, MD, I saw a knocked-around TRB-1005. Not black, it was natural, but the thing played like, as they say, butta. It had a bunch of dents and such on it, and the battery door was broken off, the battery held in with black gaff tape. I'll never understand how anyone can not take care of a nice bass like this, but maybe this was meant to be. I got it for a sweet deal, and Eric at GC threw in a really nice gig bag, and even paid for a new battery box (which I replaced in about a minute).

So how is it? So far so good. I'm still working out the sound, but it plays great. Honestly, I liked the sound of the RBX375 better; it was clear and deep without any tweaking. This TRB-1005 requires a bit more finesse, but it's also got more knobs on it, and it sounds anything but lame. And more knobs is always better, right?

It's a great bass, and even had I paid the "new" price for it (currently running around $800), I'd be really happy with it.

Nice Little Tool Bag

I added this little bag to my kit, to hold small tools and such. But it's not marketed as a bag: it's a pencil case, from Staples! Yes, they come in colors.

GC - What a great experience!

I thought I'd drop some creds here. I'm not being paid for this, so you know.

I wanted to let my musician friends know about the great experiences I've had at Guitar Center in Towson, MD. Manager Eric Dixon has been taking excellent care of me, but that care extends throughout his staff. Ryan also went out his way for me, for nothing. For once, the peeps at GC are knowledgeable, and friendly, and cutomer-oriented - something hasn'tr been true at GC since forever.

Eric has really turned the place around. And he says if you don't see the deal you're after, then ask. I did, and got what I was looking for.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Picasso and current art

"There is no abstract art. You must always start with something. Afterward you can remove all traces of reality.
- Pablo Picasso"

I remember my first day at Maryland Institute College of Art. I was chatting with one of the painting students, and I asked about her work. "I do abstract," she said. Then offhandedly, she remarked that she couldn't paint anything that looked real.

I was surprised; seemed like a poor artist, to me; it lacked the fundamentals. But there she was, working on an MFA.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Oh, the irony

Maybe Madonna is a good judge of "unreasonable behavior." Still seems weird, though.

Madonna & Guy Granted Preliminary Divorce - Breakups, Guy Ritchie, Madonna :
"According to a document released by the court, 50-year-old Madonna – the petitioner – said in a sworn statement that she is divorcing Ritchie for his 'unreasonable behavior.'"

Rene Magritte's birthday

Some you know who Magritte was, some not. I mention it here because he painted the cover for one of rock's more important albums, Beck-Ola.

The painting on Beck-Ola is entitled, The Listening Room. However, my favorite Magritte painting is called The Human Condition (left). He painted it in 1933, before television, and I think it depicts us now more than it did then.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Sometimes, You've Just had Enough. - Attendant Helps Land Plane After Pilot Is Sedated, Restrained During Breakdown
"DUBLIN, Ireland — An Air Canada co-pilot having a mental breakdown had to be forcibly removed from the cockpit, restrained and sedated, and a stewardess with flying experience helped the pilot safely make an emergency landing, an Irish investigation concluded Wednesday.

The report by the Irish Air Accident Investigation Unit into an incident in January applauded the decision-making of the pilot and the cockpit skills of the flight attendant, who stepped into the co-pilot's seat for the emergency diversion to Shannon Airport in western Ireland."

H. Rider Haggard

"As I grow older , I regret to say that a detestable habit of thinking seems to be getting a hold of me.
- H. Rider Haggard"

Murdoch to media: You dug yourself a huge hole

Murdoch to media: You dug yourself a huge hole | Coop's Corner - CNET News:
"With newspapers cutting back, and predictions of even worse times ahead, Rupert Murdoch said the profession may still have a bright future, if it can shake free of reporters and editors who he said have forfeited the trust and loyalty of their readers.

'My summary of the way some of the established media has responded to the Internet is this: It's not newspapers that might become obsolete. It's some of the editors, reporters, and proprietors who are forgetting a newspaper's most precious asset: the bond with its readers,' said Murdoch, the chairman and chief executive of News Corp. He made his remarks as part of a lecture series sponsored by the Australian Broadcast Corporation.

Murdoch, whose company's holdings also include MySpace and The Wall Street Journal, criticized what he described as a culture of 'complacency and condescension' in some newsrooms.

'The complacency stems from having enjoyed a monopoly--and now finding they have to compete for an audience they once took for granted. The condescension that many show their readers is an even bigger problem. It takes no special genius to point out that if you are contemptuous of your customers, you are going to have a hard time gettin"

Monday, November 17, 2008

My Problem all these years

"The sad truth is that excellence makes people nervous.
- Shana Alexander"

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Perfect for my Son! iNap!

You know young people - stay awake all night and sleep on someone else's dime. Maybe this can get some work out of him! Now if it could just wake me when I get to the chorus...

iPhone and iPod Touch Application List » iNap:
"iNap is a 'next-generation' travel alarm. Using the GPS in your iPhone it will determine where you are, and wake you when you are close to your destination! Using the integrated user-friendly Google Maps you determine your destination by typing in an address, city, train-station etc. And you are ready to take a nap!"

Going too far?

Here's an (arguably) nifty musician tool: 4 tracks of recording for your iPod.

Now, I'm old enough to remember the days when the cool thing was a Teac 4-track reel-to-reel. If you had one of those in your home stereo or studio, you were really something. But now, that same functionality (and much more, actually) can be had in an iPod.

I dunno, there just seems to be something too convenient about humping a 4-track around with you all the time...

Sonoma Wire Works

Geting the Flu?

Google has a nifty tool to let you track the location of the flu on a state-by-state basis.

Google Flu Trends

What is the flu?

Influenza (the flu) is a serious contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. Millions of people in the United States get the flu each year. Most people are sick for about a week. Some people (especially young children, pregnant women, older people, and people with chronic health problems) can get very sick and may die from the flu.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The American Voter

To be stupid, selfish, and have good health are three requirements for happiness, though if stupidity is lacking, all is lost.
- Gustave Flaubert

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Outstanding Quotes Today

"Sometimes the mind, for reasons we don't necessarily understand, just decides to go to the store for a quart of milk.
- Diane Frolov and Andrew Schneider

The United States is a nation of laws: badly written and randomly enforced.
- Frank Zappa

It is better for civilization to be going down the drain than to be coming up it.
- Henry Allen"

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Saturday, November 8, 2008

TSG Backstage: Rage Against The Machine

Ultra-liberals and Dom Perignon, an unlikely mix. These are the guys who are supposed to be politically alternative, but their menu reads like a GOP fund raising dinner.

TSG Backstage: Rage Against The Machine

Friday, November 7, 2008

What did it say?

Learn to love your computer. Or at least not to beat it with the zeal it so richly deserves.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Antares Auto-Tune Evo Pitch Correcting Plug-In

It was bad enough when Gison came out with a self-tuning guitar, but calling this the holy grail of recording? How about a pox upon music? No longer do singers need talent, just plug 'em in!

Now we know how Madonna got so far...

Antares Auto-Tune Evo Pitch Correcting Plug-In:
"Hailed as a 'holy grail of recording,' by Recording magazine (and adopted worldwide as the largest-selling audio plug-in of all time), Auto-Tune corrects intonation problems in vocals or solo instruments, in real time, without distortion or artifacts, while preserving all of the expressive nuance of the original performance - with audio quality so pristine that the only difference between what goes in and what comes out is the intonation."

Zebron and James