Despite Halloween and Thanksgiving being more my favorite… I do enjoy Christmas & Christmas music, both traditional and decidedly not-so.
I resisted streaming for a long time, in favor of just popping mp3’s on to a thumb drive & listening in the car/truck. I’m still in a lot of remote areas, and I think I clung to a desktop setup for a while longer than the rest of the world.
Someday, someday, I will rip all my CD’s, corral all of my purchased mp3’s or FLAC files, & pop the stuff on some kind of server so I can call it up at will.
I use Spotify occasionally. I would use it more, but I refuse to pay for a premium account, and sometimes I swear songs vs. commercials are 1:1 if not 1:3. I refuse to pay for Spotify premium account because we have whatever all-encompassing Amazon plan gives you Prime and Amazon Music.
I’m still building my Amazon playlists… I may pay for one to move to Spotify lists over. Maybe. I’d rather just by records, CD’s, & downloads directly from artists.
I haven’t dipped into YouTube Music yet. I think I have 2 or 3 Pandora accounts, but they’re just frustrating these days when you can actively pick a song with other services.
I just reached out on a couple of FB forums asking for suggestions, and I’m still pouring through, but these are my playlists across different platforms…
So, I’ve written about Metallica before (twice). I can see all this shenanigans about the new single. Honestly, I like it. Hating on Metallica has become low hanging fruit at best to edgelording or gatekeeping at worst, As fans, we all poke fun at our favorite stuff. I’m looking at you, Star Wars and Danzig people.
I found the new one to be a banger. It feels thrashy like KIll ‘Em All, with pop sensibilities like the black album.
I recently posted a reply to a comment of my posting of the video on Facebook, but the original comment was deleted by the author and my subsequent reply has been lost to the 1’s & 0’s I guess.
The gist of what I was getting at was as follows…
To say metallica has lost or hasn’t been good for decades? I get it, and it’s certainly a valid opinion. People have been saying they “sold out” since Ride the Lightning.
Metallica didn’t hit my radrar until …And Justice for All came out. I hadn’t listened to anything much beyond Top 40 radio or oldies at that point. I worked backwards and was caught up in the magic of Kill ‘Em All and Master of Puppets. I wasn’t aware of the punk scene in 1977 when I was born, but I wouldn’t call myself less of a Misfits fan because I wasn’t around? You could probably assume with great certainty that each Metallica album brought in new fans upon it’s release.
I could also argue that Metallic’s output is quantifiably better than most when compared to their peers or contemporaries.
Say in sheer influence in heavy music, Black Sabbath comes the closest. (OK, maybe Led Zeppelin too, but I’ll go with Sabbath here as Zeppelin ended.) You could say that there drop-offs in interest post-Ozzy & again post-Dio. Does that mean that Iommi and Geezer are any less lauded in the riff lord category? I don’t think so. Their early output is so epic and influential, they could release an album of pip farting on a snare drum and it shouldn’t detract from their legacy. James still writes killer riffs. Kirk is still a master of stringing together wah-fueled madness. Lars is a great arranger and cunning businessman. I wish they hadn’t done Newsted dirty, but Rob seems like a great fit.
In 1991/1992, Metallica and Guns N’ Roses where arguably the most lucrative and widely known hard rock acts on the planet. They were two of my favorites at the time and I still have fond memories of that epic show at Three Rivers Stadium. Look at what both bands have put out since then. Sure, Metallica dropped a Lulu turd in the sandbox, but you can scoop that out and keep playing. Guns N’ Roses pissed into the swimming pool with Chinese Democracy and everyone had to get out of the pool. This is coming from a guy that liked The Spaghetti Incident?. I liked Death Magnetic & Hardwired to Self-Destruct. Even St. (B)Anger got better with time. James, Lars, Kirk, & Rob seem on top of their game. Maybe the rhythmic chugs are more of a gallop these days. Slash has improved so much over time, Duff got sober. Axl’s voice went out the window with his grasp of reality & last vestiges of sanity. I couldn’t even tell you who else was in the band, to the end that I actually just miss Velvet Revolver at this point.
Megadeth? Sure, Dave Mustaine can arguably play guitar better than James or Kirk… may be better at writing or arranging songs… has definitely put out more albums in the same timespan… But who has heard them? There have been a revolving cast of players, each successively thrown under the bus, probably the same Greyhound that drove Dave from NYC home to San Francisco. Seriously, the only press that they have received in the last decade that wasn’t Dave commenting on Metallica has been Dave Ellefson’s whacking it on webcam. This led Dave M. to discount all of the former’s contributions over the years.
AC/DC can make the same album over & over again for decades and it can be great… but not everyone can get away with that.
I’m anxious to hear your thoughts in the comments. What do you think? I’m looking forward to the new album. Will I still poke fun at Metallica? You bet I will. Will I enjoy the rest their new stuff? I sure hope so.
Check out my Metallica related playlists. I had a good one on Spotify that I am in the process of rebuilding for Amazon Music.
Halloween has the coolest music. I have made some playlists on various platforms over the years, Amazon & Spotify being the most recent. I thought I’d not only put them all in once place, but also share. I’m always adding to them and changing. I’m listening to the 1st list now.
This stated as a Twitter post/thread, and is ending up here.
Streaming services like Spotify and Amazon Music need a feature that adds in related bands. I can tell Alexa to play Rancid, but I also wouldn’t mind Lars Frederiksen and the Bastards being in there, or Transplants, or Tim’s solo stuff. Or even Rancid covers.
Streaming needs to get smarter already. The Spotify “super grouper” feature picks the absolute worst songs from each selected artist.
Of course, I could just make a playlist. But, with a band like Blink-182 in the news, I wanted to dig into Angels & Airwaves, Boxcar Racer, & +44. I don’t know which songs to add to a playlist.
Also, if I want to listen to ALL, I could want to listen to the Descendents too. What about Guns N’ Roses, Velvet Revolver, Izzy Stradlin and the Ju Ju Hounds, Loaded, Neurotic Boy Outsiders, Slash, Slash’s Snakepit, Miles Kennedy & The Conspirators, all of it.
Snuff, Duncan Redmonds, Dogpiss, Guns ‘n’ Wankers would be another example. As would Misfits, Danzig, Samhain, Son of Sam, etc.
Saying one phrase or typing one into a searchboith to be able to bring them all up.
Is that bandtoband.com still a thing? That could be a reference for connected bands.
Teenage Bottlerocket & the Lillingtons. Screeching Weasel & The Riverdales. Ann Beretta, Foundation, Rob Huddleston, & Sixer. Metallica & Megadeth. Green Day, Foxboro Hot Tubs, The Network, & 300 other bands.
Even unrelated bands. Can I just say “Alexa play songs by Flogging Molly and The Dropkick Murphys” and not confuse the shit out of it?
I have an Ozzy/Black Sabbath playlist on Spotify with a ton of great stuff, including a plethora of killer covers. It took time to curate. I have similar ones for Metallica, Misfits, Guns N’ Roses, & Rancid. I need to transition them all to Amazon Music… we have the family account there since we’re using the firestick. I like Spotify’s suggestions better… but I can listen to Amazon sans commercials. I refuse to subscribe to another service, sorry Spotify. Oddly, most of those transfer services have a paywall once you surpass an unreasonably low amount of songs. I don’t even my remember my Pandora logins.
I would think AI could have probably pretty quickly picked up what I was putting down & fleshed it out.
I wouldn’t expect it to go this deep, but it could link Flogging Molly to Fastway.
With Hip Hop too… say all the solo projects of the members of N.W.A.? All that in one would be awesome.
Does something like this exist and I’m just not aware of it? I miss WinAmp.
I need to rip all kinds of older, local, & obscure stuff and put it on my own damn streaming server. I understand Google Music would let you do that before it collapsed? There is really a lot of stuff out there that you can’t stream, and some of my favorites don’t have their entire catalogs available to stream.
Help me out, audiofiles, music nerds, and techno geeks!
If you don’t know about Pat Finnerty, you should. He has a YouTube channel and he does a series of videos titled What Makes This Song Stink? among others (Now there’s a podcast too!). He has some witty observations, harsh truths, and is just lampooning guitar guy videos on YouTube. The pedal mobile is a thing of genius and pure hilarious delight. He says what a lot of us are thinking. He catches some wild connections or callbacks. He takes a joke way too far, which has always been something I am a fan of. It’s defiant. It’s hilarious.
As someone who has made art for it to mostly serve as a creative outlet that happens to have a very small circle of people who may have enjoyed it to varying degrees… It’s nice to see this guy get traction.
Writing, recording, and performing your own stuff lends itself to a certain level of judgement of others’ art. There’s probably some narcissism in there, but not at an unhealthy level. It’s not necessarily mean spirited, but it can be. I remain humble and understand that my creative output is not for the masses. I cater to a very small crowd with very similar tastes and no hang-ups about production quality. You have to wonder though… on some stuff… Why is this objectively certifiable crap popular? It’s hard to pin. It’s hard to point out.
I have played with some awesome musicians that “get it.” I have encountered many who do not. We are not on the same page. You’re not wrong in your opinions, but then again… you are. Pat gets it. Pat & I would probably disagree on a lot of things…. but we’d both have arguments to back it up. I appreciate his overall music nerdiness.
So, remember the SPAMP+? It was a ton of fun. I wrote to ask the SpampMAN if I could get a ¼” stere-to-mono adapter for the headphone jack to make the headphone jack essentially an “out” for a guitar amp so I could use the Spamp+ as an effect or pre-amp.
Dude is solid, and sent me one! He may include it as an option with future builds! The grilled, chilled, & fried all work as you would expect and sound gorgeous coming through my Blues Jr.
Here I used my New York Pro StarGazer (with GFS Lil’ Killer Rails) into the SPAMP, then my Fender Blues Jr. The tones are still awesome! the volume differences are there, but if you pick one & go that rally shouldn’t be a problem. This is totally cool as a pre-amp effect! There’s no on-off, but I do have an A/B/Y switch that I could maybe use to put it in & out of the loop. At any rate, this is still super fun, and that’s what it’s all about!
I dimed the SPICE and HEAT knobs, but left TASTE at 12:00. Why? I always dime all the knobs. I like gain and dirt and punk rock. I ran each guitar through the CHILLED, FRIED, and GRILLED settings.
I like FRIED and GRILLED, but there was a noticeable volume drop with Grilled with all the guitars/pickups. This is a super fun little amp. I may get the normal one to use as a distortion pedal… as I don’t think this headphone out is suitable to run to an amp.
I will eventually get to using a 9V & rocking the headphones. This was plugged into a 9v power supply for the video.
I did test a 9V in it, and it had the same volume drop to GRILLED. Of course I used the oil can guitar in the Spam can amp first.
You can see what kinds of pickups they have and if not just ask me in the comments. You get single coils, humbucker/single split, lipstick, humbuckers, hot rails, and P-90-ish ones. I think the SPAMP+ sounds absolutely killer with the P90’s.
I try not to ruin my guitar/gear videos with talking.
Should I explain things for the 3 of you that watch? Lemme know what you think. Do I need the one that acts as a pedal?
Send me a pedal and I will demo it with all the knobs or almost all the knobs dimed.
So, we all know I have a thing for guitars. I like ’em weird and I like ’em cheap. Anyone who plays & reads about guitars on the internet knows about the reality of G.A.S. and all its warning signs.
I only have a few pedals. I mean, I could always use more. Right? I think the Falcondrive sparked this most recent attack. Eaglebones Falconhawk is the renowned stringman and Fender aficionado of the insanely fun band, The Aquabats!
It’s overdrive and distortion all in one… and I like all kinds of noise. I like high gain, overdrive, distortion, chorus, fuzz… all of it.
Eaglebones sounds great, and he’s a killer player… this takes two of his older beloved modified pedals and combines them all into one package. What’s not to dig about it?
Yeah. That got my interest piqued. Then between AliExpress and Amazon, I ended up in a cheap-ass pedal deep dive. I love cheap gear. But not garbage. We’ll say inexpensive gear.
How do the algorithms know? They’re listening.They’re reading.They’re watching.They’re pressuring.
I have sort of always been looking at an EHX B9 or the Earthquaker Organizer(or the EHX C9, Bass9, Key9. or Synth9 really). Honestly though, let’s face it; Most of my guitars cost as much as or less than these inarguably awesome quality pedals.
I found a super cheap and entirely crappy sounding sort of competitor online, then I found a slightly less crappy but seemingly more useful competitor online… still also pretty damn cheap.
That though, somehow led me to this, which does not sound super terrible: The Mooer E7 Synth. It is not quite as expensive as the big boys, but also doesn’t sound like a dying sound card from a Commodore 64. (Arguably, even that could be a valid fun sound to chase… but if you’re not going for that, then you probably don’t want it by accident.)
Why do I want a synth pedal? Because, for years when playing out in bands, one of the songs I always dug covering was “Cool Kids” by Screeching Weasel. It has two super short keyboard parts that I always just played on the guitar. I would be immensely amused by the 3½ seconds of satisfaction that would provide.
That’s how G.A.S. works, right?
That led me to the Mooer Pitch Box. I don’t even need a pitch box, but is sure sounds cool. And it’s cheap. Damnit. That just led me to the even cheaper VSN Harmonizer. And a drummer pedal! The struggle is real. The pedals have gained sentience and are conspiring.
Then there are the other pedals that I can’t forget. I love my Orange Micro Terror. Apparently they make it as a pedal now, The Terror Stamp. I use an A/B/Y sometimes to play through both the Micro Terror and the Fender Blues Jr. at once. It would be fun to Orange-up the Blues Jr., or to play the Terror Stamp into the Micro Terror to make the Orange even more Orange.
Is it possible to make into a pedal? I don’t have the skills. I have a soldering iron, but I am no good with it. I used to do drafting in high school, but I am lost on the schematics for electronics. It looks like at least two people have made the combo into a head(…OK, one was for bass). A schematic exists online. Someone even has a circuit board which emulates the circuits for the amp, but is small enough to fit in a pedal. Why make a $200 pedal for a $50 amp? Yes. Why? Also, why not?
I wrote all of that, and still don’t know the point. To relieve G.A.S.? I would guess it should only serve to exacerbate it.
I mean, I do have a few pedals. They’re not even on a board. I had them on the cut-off bottom of a milk crate, but then I wanted to remove one. They are fun, and they do indeed do things.
This, hive mind, is where I need your help. Do I want more pedals? Yes. Do I need more pedals? Also, yes. They are sure to spark creativity. Use your wisdom to teach me. Can anyone build me a TC-35 pedal? I can get my wife to Cricut the logo in vinyl! Ha ha. Which pedals should I go for? What would you go for? I’m looking for those people experienced with these cheap pedals all over the internet. Send me your thoughts, reviews, & opinions!
A while back, I had the opportunity to reach out to Jimmie Bruhn about the Indy Custom Flycaster, and way way back I did some research on the BB Stone. (I have to try to recover all the stuff that used to live on SquareGuitar.com, all those links are now dead.)
I thought it would be fun to try and track down Dewey Decibel(a.k.a. Joe Jerardi – or is it Joe Geradri? Stage names are fun.), and get some insight on the inception and production of one of my favorite axes!
After some emails exchanged, here’s the story from the man himself!
I’m awfully sorry there was a delay on getting back to you. I honestly have had my hands full this year, and it slipped my mind. Just for your patience, I can offer the most information I’ve shared about my FlipOut days to this point. And thanks for asking.
I was performing solo in NY back in the 90s, playing CBGBs and many of the NY clubs. My stage name was Dewey Decibel, and I always performed hooked up to an IV pole. Just a thing I did – never mentioned it on stage. Played electric guitar, with synth sequencers for backing, plus voice.
One day I thought of this backward guitar – Its just wood I thought – so it would play the same, just super unsettling, and deeply rock and roll to my mind. I found one shop out of all the NY guitar techs who would follow my instruction. It was Rick from Carmine Street Guitars. I love him because he didn’t even blink, just said “sure, I can do that”. I went on to form a band called… Dewey Decibel, and kept doing shows, and finished up my third album “Unnecessarily Beautiful” with those guys, great players Jon Howard, and Martin Miller. We did good work. I always played the original FlipOut, which started its life as a Fernandes brand Strat. I always had the IV drip by my side.
We did no real promotion for the album, for any of my albums, so they reside in resplendent obscurity, rarely to surface.
Here is what exists online, though there are 3+ albums and an EP somewhere:
At shows, my guitar got so much crazy attention I conceived of the nutty plan to use a release of these guitars to bring attention to my band. In 2003 I went to the NAMM show on the recommendation of a friend, to look for a manufacturer. There I approached many confused factory reps from Asia, and ended up having luck with a Korean group who were ready to please. I ordered some prototypes during that year, and tweaked things. Then at 2004 NAMM I introduced them to the unsuspecting earthlings, took orders, and started shipping out of San Francisco once the container ship arrived. That first NAMM show was funny funny stupid funny.
The stupid part was that Fender lawyers sent me a letter on the opening day of my NAMM launch that I was in breach of their trademarks. This is a much longer story but I ended up licensing with Fender later, which was great for name dropping and demonstrating to folks that it was a quality guitar.
I was living in a warehouse with boxes of these guitars and my drum set. It was a time of odd existence, taking orders, shipping, doing R&D, and lining up reviews with the big guitar magazines. The FlipOut got strong thumbs up reviews in Guitar Player as well as Guitar One. I did care about the feel of the neck and the pickups. It’s self evident I think when you handle one.
I was moving forward on the BottomOut bass, having received a few prototypes which worked nicely. Even took orders. The problem was that the whole business had me working in too many directions, and exhausted. I’d gone to Europe, and did a bunch of sales, there and in Australia too. I was overworking, and getting wiped out. This was all on my own, and I’d been living with some fantasy that these cool guitars would elevate the music, and demonstrate my sovereign rock and roll whimsy. But alas, the FlipOut project ended at around 500 guitars because I was exhausted, the R&D was too slow, and I couldn’t parlay the thing into working for another manufacturer. I was too much of a lone wolf for them. So I went back to graphic design and animation. I’m an animator today living in incredible San Antonio. I also continue writing and recording a new album, to be released secretly into thrift store bins.
The guitar colors were just my favorites at the time, the names were inspired by memories. Barry Leventhal was I think a kid I played in little league with. Austin really had cabs colored like the guitar.
I’ve seen the FlipOut rip-offs coming from Europe/China, and they look ridiculous, all backward and stuff. Just joking – I guess it was inevitable someone would cash in.
Hey thanks for your interest. Hoping it fills in some detail.
I tried to pick the most odd & attention grabbing of my herd. Do you think I missed the boat by not including some of my other notable oddballs? He didn’t even mention the amps or pedals. Ha ha.
Shout-out to my peeps at Actual Ugly Guitars! It’s a Facebook group focused on looking for guitars ranging from the weirdest of the weird to just pure abominations with strings and sometimes even frets. If you’re gonna join, answer the questions or you won’t get in.
Here’s a rundown of what’s pictured if you’re interested:
If not rocking the Spark for practice or jamming along to YouTube or the built-in drummers, I like to rock a guitar through the tuner then into the A/B/Y into both the Blues Jr. and the Micro Terror through the Laney. Sometimes I put the wah up front, or sometimes on just one amp. I had a Dunlop CryBaby for years, then once I heard the “tone-suck” even when it was off, I couldn’t un-hear it. Same with the Dirt & Ernie… sometimes I just use it as a boost. It will come in handy if I ever get back to live stuff. My “sound” is pretty much gain on 10 master volume on 2 through both amps because I love the sound of the overdriven amps, so I don’t really need to add much dirt. If I set up the Trio, I run the “band” out to the PA so drums & bass come out of that nice & clean instead of one of (or both of) my amps. I am terrible with the POCK LOOP looper. The Lil’ Smokey is also a ton of fun, and I have used to to drive a 4×12. I think I need simpler one or more patience. Maybe both.
So, that’s my setup. Yes, I do play these guitars. Yes, they’re all playable. (I have a go-to guitar guy that is like a guitar-whisperer.) Yes, I have gigged & even recorded with some of them and would gig with all of them.
Which ones do you dig or hate the most? Got any oddballs you want to share? Hit me up with some comments!