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…
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.
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.
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.
It still needs a name. I haven’t officially decided. I have been calling it “the music room” or “the guitar room.” Both of those seem boring. Maybe this? I find it amusing but clunky.
I may make some videos of guitar shenanigans as a creative outlet. Not sure what direction they’ll take. I’m not a particularly good or technical player, but I can demo some gear or do some fun silly stuff. I do already have a YouTube playlist started for my guitar-related videos.
The Postitive Grid Spark amp & app have really made jamming quick and fun… they have a cool in-app video feature, but it’s not much different than recording straight-up with the phone’s camera.
More setup inspires more setup. I need a way to store my physical media (mostly CD’s) so it’s easily accessible. I have a lot. Too many probably. I need to build some shelves and the stuff I’m finding online seems painfully expensive and not quite a fit. And I’d like to dump that all on a personal media server. I have a lot of stuff not available on Amazon or Spotify.
The next itch I can already feel will need scratching is some kind of recording setup. I’d like to layer stuff I can hear in my head, without the aid of a looper. I miss the days of a Tascam 4-track with a cassette tape. Maybe I’ll delve into a nice simple digital version of that.
The kids have guitars, ukes, and a keyboard too… and now we almost need drums and a bass or too, right?
At any rate… it’s important to have a creative outlet. Live isn’t conducive to me jamming regularly with a band right now. I only seem to do mazes when the inspiration hits, and I blog pretty randomly. Music is one more option for expression, creativity, and constant learning/exploring. I hope to foster the kids’ musical expression and drive home how important it is to remain creative themselves and appreciative of art in general.
Sound City – What a cross-section of rock n’ roll history. Dave Grohl is cool for putting this together.
Searching for Sugar Man – This is a crazy story about how music can transcend time and borders, and save the artists like it saves the listener.
It Might Get Loud – I wouldn’t list any of these guys in my favorites as far as guitarists go… but this was a damn good movie. I mean, Jimmy Page is Jimmy Page. How can you not respect his body of work?
Beware of Mr. Baker – Fabulous just because Ginger is a wild man. Maybe even a wild animal in a man’s body.
The Punk Syndrome – Finland has some cool-ass social programs, one that gave us Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät. Follow a punk rock band formed by cats with Autism and Down Syndrome and realize that their struggles are a whole lot like yours.
Filmage – ALL gets such a bad rap. Ha ha. I really enjoyed this story.
Mission to Lars – Less about being in the band, more about fandom & brotherly love.
What other ones do you like? I am sure I have missed a few. I liked that one Rush doc, I need to catch all of it. I caught the end on VH1 way back. Bonus points if these docs are “free” on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.
So, recently turning 40 has me reflecting on life in general (which is pretty damn great) & on my accomplishments as a “musician” even though I’m not actively gigging right now.
I’m pretty self-deprecating of my musical talents, but I am proud of the major part of the aural art that I helped create. I compiled and uploaded a few of my favorites after using Audacity to clip out some silence and mp3Gain to try to get all the volume levels somewhat similar.
If you’ll indulge me I’d like to give my thoughts & memories on each of these songs that I was proud to be a part of with AiXeLsyD, Gasoline Dion, & Ernie and the Berts. If I have any of the stories, names, etc. wrong, please correct me in the comments. Being that these are punk rock(ish) bands, you may find the content explicit and/or objectionable. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Gasoline Dion – “Shameless Plug”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | Tommy came up with this cool shuffling progression and I played a super easy solo over it. I believe we kept the first take of the solo even though at the time I thought I could do better. It’s not perfect, but it’s fun. It was cool to open shows with this then rip into something completely different. It was called “Tommy’s Jam” until an inside joke on a local message board inspired the new name.
AiXeLsyD – “Wait”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | Probably the first song that I wrote that I liked, and probably the first original that we worked on in the band. We dug on this & recorded it a million times. It morphed a bit, but was basically the same simple jam. Ben doubling the vocals an octave lower and the guitar part at the end really fills it out.
Gasoline Dion – “Pickle Farm”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | Tommy had recorded this song solo, and it contributed to the itch that I needed to scratch when we formed Gasoline Dion. I really liked the melody. I think he stole the lyrics from Space Ghost or Brak. This song to me is about not being a square peg that’s forced into a round hole. I liked singing background vocals & playing guitar.
Ernie and the Berts – “Toybox”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | Erin wanted to start a band to play rocked-out Willy Wonka covers. That never happened. This did. It was the first original that stuck, and an early recording became the soundtrack to a friend’s video project. Dave learned to play drums in/for this band. This is a nice simple driving groove and is the perfect vehicle for the introduction of Erin’s gnarly gravelly voice.
AiXeLsyD – “Hopeless & Heartless”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | I wrote this on the outside of seeing someone with a broken heart. I thought it was pretty catchy. The “whoa-oh’s” are overkill but oddly necessary in my humble opinion. I think An-Die, Ben, & I are all singing on multiple tracks here.
Gasoline Dion – “Cold”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | This riff was a leftover AiXeLsyD riff that almost became part of two songs but never really went anywhere. Mike had some leftover Who’s.Keeping.Score? lyrics that Dave & I re-arranged. Dave & I work really well on arranging musical parts & lyrics. I really really dig Tommy & I singing together on this one.
Ernie and the Berts – “Fred Rogers”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | Erin supposed that a local hero may not really be a hero on this one. Maybe he read that weird urban legend. I really like the guitar part here, although it’s missing some kind of effect in my head. Wah? Phaser? Not sure. Erin let me just go goofy with background vocals here. I felt like Danzig or that Not-Danzig guy in the Cult. I love how this song builds into chaos.
AiXeLsyD – “Stand Up”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | This is where it all pulled together, and it was the last proper thing we recorded. Ha ha. An-Die wrote the riff & lyrics, I arranged them. Ben came up with the guitar noodling& octaves riff. I think I came up with the stupid guitar part for the verse. I really dig my guitar solo here,even though I went too long. (Oddly, this sounds a lot like “Anything, Anything (I’ll Give You)” by Dramarama as played by Buckcherry.)
Gasoline Dion – “Political Songs (With Deep Meaning)”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | I was listening to a lot of the Unseen, I think. I don’t really write political stuff that often. This was taking the piss out of that genre. Dave sounded better on it with vocals. I scream “feet” in the background and give the creepy laugh at the end. We lost the original lyrics, so Dave used what he remembered and made the rest up on the fly. I don’t really think any one ever tried to intemperate a deeper meaning. If they did, they didn’t tell us.
Ernie and the Berts – “Don’t Fuck With Ernie”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | It was hard to tell if Erin was serious or joking a lot of the time. He had a deadpan delivery, and it was hilarious. To deliver this ridiculousness so seriously is hilarious to me. I think I sort of came up with this riff over top of his bass line.
AiXeLsyD – “Dave Ugly’s Girlfriend”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | It’s “Dave Ugly’s Girlfriend”, not “Dave’s Ugly Girlfriend.” People always seemed to get that wrong. Dave Ugly played bass & sang for one of our favorite local bands, Useless Torment. I don’t tell the story as well as An-Die, but Dave was apparently saying he loved him, and An-Die was playing the “even if…” game, and arrived at this. I remember being “mad” when Sum 41 came out as a punk band rapping. I think Boner played guitar on this one and Ben played Drums?
Gasoline Dion – “Bitch Pants Opera”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | I don’t know if we could do this one today. People seem so easily offended. It’s just a joke. We don’t really care if you wear girl pants. We’re not insinuating or implying anything. We look ridiculous too. Another Dave vocals song, I am screaming the high parts. All of us are in the beginning. I think the breakdown was inspired by hardcore /screamo kids in skinny jeans doing the windmill and Peelander-Z’s “S.T.E.A.K.”
Ernie and the Berts – “Ikea”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | Dave suggested I try a little more dynamics with space and clean. Dave is usually right. You can do a lot with the same 3 chords over & over. This was a slice of Erin’s life, full of his observations. We almost got permission to go in & shoot a video there. Somebody must have really listened to the lyrics. He had “nicer” ones prepared just in case we needed to sell out.
AiXeLsyD – “Love, Hopes, Dreams, & Smiles”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] |I think An-Die hated this one. I liked the noodling& the melody. The lyrics are super dumb & trite. The song was made infinitely cooler when Ben put in that volume swell in the final mix. That was never there, then we started doing it live after he did that to the recording. This could probably be punched-up a little bit more.
Gasoline Dion – “Two of a Kind”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | Tommy sings like an angel. I have no idea what in the hell he’s talking about here. I think Dave & Mike made this honky-tonk-ish. I played a little solo under Tommy’s vocals at the end because nobody ever told me not to. The end sounds like the Misfits’ “NY Ranger.”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | Same thing as the first track, second solo take by me with a wah pedal this time. Dave is also on guitar making crazy noises and soloing in between all of my notes. Ha ha. If you don’t “get” the speaking part, watch the Josie and the Pussycats movie some time.
I’d love to know what you think, or to read/see/hear your own memories about these bands or in any bands or projects in which you have participated. Did I miss a song or two that you may have remembered or liked? Comments (or likes or whatever is deemed social-media-appropriate) on the songs on SoundCloud or YouTube would be awesome and greatly appreciated, too.
So,what awesome cheap guitar moves have you pulled on stage? I’m a horrible guitar player, but I can wow a crowd with some flash, flair, and goofy-looking guitars. I’m guilty of the checked following…
☑ Playing behind the head.
☑ Playing while squatting with guitar in between knees, reaching arm through legs from behind.
☑ Playing while falling/laying down.
☑ Dropping-trou and continuing to play.
☑ Playing on knees bending back until head almost touches the ground.
☑ Sad 80’s dance move with shuffling feet while playing.
☑ Playing on chairs.
☑ Playing on tables.
☐ Playing on the bar.
☑ Walking outside & in another door if possible with a wireless.
☑ Sitting in a seat with a wireless.
☑ The Chuck Berry/Angus Young walk.
☑ Switching instruments mid song.
☐ Using a beer bottle as a slide.
☑ Using a mic stand as a slide.
☐ Blowing bubblegum bubbles. (Like Doyle.)
☑ Drinking mid song.
☑ Injuring a band mate by accident. (I chipped the lead-singer/bass player’s tooth.)
☐ Injuring a band mate on purpose.
☑ Improvising a mic stand out of duct tape, a hockey stick, & gatorade bottles. (Hey, we were playing at a dek-hockey rink.)
☐ Playing on someone’s shoulders.
☐ Playing while someone is on your shoulders.
☑ Playing from behind a wooden bear statue with the guitar on the front of the bear.
☐ Putting a lit cigarette under the strings in the headstock.
☐ The amp-hump. (Like Jimi.) ☑ The guitar-as-a-phallic-symbol air-hump. (Like Rex from the Lone Rangers in Airheads.)
☐ The guitar toss – Badass edition. (Like Prince – also, check out the falling into the crowd move!!!)
☐ The guitar toss – Oops edition. (Like Prince with the borrowed Epiphone or Krist Novoselic on MTV.)
☐ The guitar toss – Someone else catches & starts playing.
☐ Smoke-bombs. (Like Ace Frehley.)
☐ Set Fire to the guitar. (Like Jimi.)
☐ The windmill. (Like Pete.)
☑ The powerslide.
☑ The failed powerslide.
☐ Swinging from the rafters. (Hard to do while actually playing? This dude did it.)
☐ The “‘round the world” spin.
☐ The failed “round the world” spin.
☑ Yelling out a second story window mid-set for people to come into the bar.
☐ The “nyah-nyah you can’t see me” EVH turn-around.
☐ The flying karate kick.
☑ On the knees.
☐ On top of a piano. (Like Slash.) ☑ Dancing with the crowd.
☑ Duel of the Fates – using another musician’s fretboard as a slide. ☑ The salute – All in the air.
☑ The Poison-ish choreographed lean.
☑ Lean on a bandmate.
☑ Lean into a bandmate.
I know there are more. I know photos & videos exist of some of these with me. I know this post can get goofy. Please, I implore you to share your moves, including videos, animated gifs, and photos in the comments! This kind of stuff is hilariously entertaining to me.
What’s your favorite to do? What’s your favorite to watch? What have you copied? What have you invented? What did I miss on this list? Share your stories and images and favorite stuff from your favorite performers!
Now, for the self-indulgence:
Under the nuts.
The campfire solo
Lean back ’til you can’t no mo’
The other choreographed lean
Three Axe Salute
Sweep the leg.
Attention, bear-f__ker, do you require assistance?
I love the Misfits. You may or may not love the Misfits. They have some great songs. They have some really great songs beyond the confines of the Misfits. There also exists many terrible terrible things under the Fiend Club umbrella.
We’re going to play a game.
Which is the worst?
Please, spill some fanboy tears and discuss. I’d love you to elaborate on your answers, and maybe even point out something I’ve missed.