Tuesday, May 25, 2010

New Amp - Vox AC15C1

My new amp arrived last friday and after having spend the last three days playing the shit out of it, I can say that I'm in love with this thing.

It's a member of the family of the latest amps in the Custom Classic series from Vox; a Vox AC15C1. Don't let the 15 watts fool you, this thing is loud. This 15 watts all tube amp kills the 75 watts Line 6 transister amp I have. Of course it's not a matter of how loud it is, the sound is what matters, and it sounds incredible; exactly what I was searching for. I had plans of changing the stock Celestion Greenback speaker to a Celestion Blue, but right now I'm perfectly happy with the Green one - it's killer!

I tried a bunch of amps before deciding that it was either going to be this one or a Fender Hot Rod, but in the end the Vox won me over. It seemed to me much more diverse, capable of more then the FHR. I still think the FHR is a good amp, even though I've heard otherwise from a lot of people, but I love the thickness in tone on this Vox that the Hot Rod seemed to be lacking.

Just look at it. It looks as good as it sounds:

And best of all. To my surprise it sounds great with my old customized Les Paul.
I solely brought it based on how it did with my Telecaster, didn't expect it to be this good with the Les Paul. Win - Win.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Analog vs. Digital

I'm an analog guy trapped in a digital world.

I'm one of those freaks who prefers vinyl over cds and mp3s. Of course it's not like I don't own cds or an iPod. Hell, I'm writing this on a computer, does that make me a hypocrite? Maybe it does, but that's not the point. At least I've come to learn of the warmth present in anything and everything analog. Digital is cold, you can't change my mind about that, period.

Yes, digital is convenient; easy - just press a button and fly away - but really, is the convenience over quality really worth it? I don't think so. In my world the inconvenience is part of the beauty.
For instance, it's my experience that you can throw any cd on your stereo, or play any mp3 file on your computer and yeah, sometimes you listen to it, but after a while you barely notice it. On the other hand when you take out an old (or brand new for that matter) vinyl record from the jacket, dust it off and put it on the turntable, then you've put a certain amount of effort into wanting to hear that record and correspondently want to listen to it, instead of just having it play in the background.

(I'm not really saying what I wanted to say, but I hope the point is there somewhere. My head is killing me, I feel nauseous and my eye sight is fucked up. I shouldn't be sitting here writing while staring into the screen, but I forget my physical condition when I do. Like shooting yourself in the leg to forget the pain in your chest.)

And don't even get me started on guitar amps. Transistors vs. Tubes, though it's something else completely, well kind of...
Which gives me a chance to throw in that my 15 watts all tube Vox amp should be arriving with the post tomorrow. Something that will definitely be mentioned here upon its arrival.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Syd Barret

Possible one of my biggest influences, inspirations and (even though I hate that word) idols.

He was one of those people who was so ahead of his time that people called him crazy, and ultimately he became just that. "He reached for the secret too soon."

He was a genius in his own way, so much more then Roger Waters and David Gilmour, who are normally what most people think of when Pink Floyd is mentioned. Don't get me wrong I enjoy post-Barret Pink Floyd, but there is something special about an album like "The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn" that I just can't find in the other Pink Floyd albums.

It's not just his music, though it's a big part of it, but it's just as much the way he was as a person.

I see myself in him and that makes me a little afraid. As much as he fascinates me, he made a lot of sacrifices that I'm sure not ready to make. Of course I'm no Syd Barret, but there's a small piece of me in the back of my head that reminds me of him.

Shine on, you crazy diamond...

Friday, May 07, 2010

2010 Roskilde Festival Poster

The Festival posted a contest on their website today, involving designing a poster for the festival. The price is two tickets for the festival and even though I already bought my ticket, I thought it could be fun to make one anyway. That and I think the original poster sucks - headliner wise.

So here it is:

Thursday, May 06, 2010

50 Days Till I'm Home Again

I can almost smell that sweet combination of beer, weed and piss. Can almost feel the dust in my hair, hear the drunken swedes and the even drunker icelandic people singing in the distance.
I miss all of it. All those happy beautiful carefree people, the music, the atmosphere. Even the chaos of not finding a spot for the camp, the never moving lines for recharging cellphones, the portable toilets.

Roskilde Festival is getting closer and my senses are tinkling. Getting ready to awake from their slumber.

Soon enough everything will be good again...

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Another State Of Mind

Every once in a while -- if you're lucky enough and willing -- you cross path with something that will change your perception so dramatically, in a way where you completely forget how you perceived things before it. It can be through a movie, a book, music, a painting, anything. It will come through in sense, in smell and in taste ever so lightly. It will feel familiar and unknown at the same time. It will puzzle you like a déjà vu. The term "déjà vu" describes it well. Only it will feel much stronger and after it, you'll no longer be the person you were before. That person will seem like a shadow, an empty husk to you now.

The best way for me to describe it to you is to compare it with a dream. It will feel like a dream, in fact you'll think you're dreaming. Everything around you seems vague and odd, but you'll accept it. Imagine walking around on the streets in a big city in the middle of the day were cars and people should be all around you, but there are no cars, no people. All there is are the deserted streets you walk, every house and store is empty -- you're completely alone. The mere idea is preposterous, but you accept it and you like it.

This déjà vu like feeling may sound intimidating to the uninitiated, but fear not, at worst you'll be left puzzled and mystified for a period of time until you either solve it, dwell in it or brush it off.

I choose to dwell in it. I want to experience it to it's fullest, and I fear that by solving what it is it might go away. I've learn how to trigger it through certain books and songs. Though I may not experience it every day, I know it's there right behind me. Days, months, years can pass by without seeing it and then one day I turn around and there it is again, starring into my eyes -- into my soul. It creeps up on you slowly, and then you suddenly realize you're in this state of mind again.

Embrace it. Love it. I know I do. Whatever it is...

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Don Mclean Live - i HNT

Det er de færereste der kan formå at gå på en scene alene kun med en guitar og en banjo som følge, og så komme igennem et helt set (et improviseret set vel at mærke) på næsten to timer uden at tabe sit publikum undervejs.
Don Mclean er en af de få der stadig kan og han gjorde det med bravur i går på Horsens Ny Teater.

Han lagde ud med at fortælle at han ikke havde nogen set list og ville spille hvad der nu faldt ham ind, men at han nok skulle spille de hits folk kender, "including that Madonna hit."

Han startede ud med et par cover nummer af Buddy Holly og med dem blev min frygt for at lyden i HNT ville være forfærdelig gjort til skamme. Hans medbragte lydmand gjorde virkelig et fænomenalt job. Jeg har været til et par koncerter i HNT hvor lyden var mudderet og decideret elendig, så lydmanden fortjener en medalje for hans arbejde den aften.

Som sagt optrådte Don Mclean solo på denne tour (hans eneste følge var hans lydmand), da hans band igennem de sidste 15 år sad fast i Nashville som følge af askeskyen. Og gudskelov for det fristes man til at sige for det var virkelig en oplevelse at få en solo koncert fra en så stor (dog efter min mening stadig underkendt) legende som Don Mclean. Han var utrolig vel spillende den aften, stemmen intet mindre end perfekt og kunne ligeså godt være taget direkte fra hans plader. Især hvis man samligner ham med andre aldrende folk-musiker af hans karakter (Dylan f.eks.), så har Mclean virkelig formået at bibeholde hans live performances, som de var den gang for 40 år siden.

Han kom godt omkring i hans improviseret set, hvor han udover diverse cover nummer af Buddy Holly og Josh White selvfølgelig også fik spillet sine egene nummer, blandt disse var "Winter Wood," "If We Try," "Vincent," "Empty Chairs," "Castles In The Air," "And I Love So" og ikke mindst "American Pie." Sidst nævnte var tydeligvis og ikke overraskende det mest kendte nummer blandt det -- kan man vist godt tillade sig at sige -- provinsielle publikum, der absolut ikke skulle blive forpustet af at klappe eller synge med på en sang. Stor hittet fik dog publikummet op af stolene og nøjsomt synge med på omkvædene og hvem bemærker så at Mclean glemte et par linjer og et helt vers i sangen.

Hen i mod slutning af aften fandt han banjoen frem og efter et par af hans egne nummer fremført på banjo blev det -- efter min mening -- virkelig interessant da han sluttede af med at spille et cover af Dylans "Masters Of War." Med det nummer viste han en anden mere alvorlig side af sig selv, den indre aktivist kom frem og alvoren dukkede op i hans ansigt. Han havde en meget slående pointe med netop den sang, om publikum så forstod den eller ej, kuldegysende det var den ihvertfald for mig.
Men det skulle selvfølgelig ikke stoppe der. Efter begejstrede klapsalver kom han med et smukt fortolket ekstra nummer af Beatles' "In My Life" og sluttede aftenens koncert med et smil og ikke dyster alvors miner.

Kendetegnende for Don Mcleans optrædende den aften var hans meget afslappende tilstedeværelse, det var tydeligt at mærke på ham at han har mere end 40 års erfaring som turnerende musiker, igennem de små indkastet anekdoter og guitar/banjo jams imellem sangene. Det var en hyggelig aften og man fik det indtryk at han ligeså godt kunne ha' spillet for en lille håndfuld mennesker hjemme hos sig selv for fornøjelsens skyld, og ikke en udsolgt stor sal i et teater for pengenes skyld.