The Pedal Itch.


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.

The Falcondrive guitar pedal from Rude Tech & Eaglebones Falconhawk (Ian Fowles) of The Aquabats!
Rude Tech Falcondrive

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.

Mooer E7 | Mooer Pitch Box
RudeTech Falcondrive | Flamma FC01 Drum Loop

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.

Obi Wan, doing the thing.  👋
“You want to buy the pedals.”

Behold the Aural Dream Organ Synthesis B & Organ Synthesis A. They sound like hot buttered ass.

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, I found the Flamma FS01 Drum Loop, which looks like ridiculous amounts of fun.

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.

Gorilla TC-35 Tube Crunch guitar amplifier.

That got me to seeing about the recent Acorn Amps Solid State pedal made to emulate an old Peavy Decade amp made famous by Josh Homme. That made me nostalgic for my first amp, the Gorilla TC-35. It had a “Tube Crunch” knob, but no tubes. After I got a larger amp to be in a band setting… we used to use it as a PA at AiXeLsyD practice, and I think even at some living room and basement shows.

Gorilla Amps Logo

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.

My current guitar effects pedals:

Quinnamp Dirt & Ernie
DigiTech Trio
DigiTech FX3X
Planet Waves PW-CT-04
Ammoon Pock Loop
LiveWire Solutions ABY Box
Ernie Ball Wah
YesFX

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!

The Mandalorian | Jedi Theory :: SPOILERS


I hate speculative articles about fiction, but here we are. I can’t resist. I fall for the clickbait. I feel the fervor, I feed the fervor. I needed to get t out about the Mandalorian. Don’t read this if you’re avoiding spoilers & aren’t caught up to The Mandalorian Chapter 14: The Tragedy (S2 E6).

A Jedi is coming. Eventually. It will probably occur in the last few seconds of the season ender.

As a huge Rebels fan, I had hoped Ezra Bridger, but he may feature in Ahsoka’s rumored show (hopefully with Sabine Wren) later. I doubt Luke, but you never know. I’m not a gamer, but Cameron Monaghan would probably crush it if they incorporate Cal Kestis. The choice may be much more obvious. They have a bunch more of EU to pull from, or could create a totally new character, but I feel like they have a great direction to go right in front of them.

Is it too clear-cut to be true? Did Grogu call out to Mace Windu?

At first I dismissed theories of a Mace Windu return, but it really would be a major fan-service win while remaining great storytelling.

Especially with his latest Boba team-up… it will REALLY complicate alliances.

Mace beheaded Jango in front of Boba in the prequels. Boba infiltrated the clone cadet program and tried to kill Mace and Anakin in the Clone Wars series. Now they have to work to accomplish the same goal? Protection of Grogu.

Overcoming past grievances and making new fresh decisions on continuing down a dark/light/grey path are Star Wars at its core.

Ahsoka used the verbiage “took” not rescued or saved in Chapter 13. At first I thought it maybe implied Palpatine. Maybe Mace took the child and disappeared?

Falling out a window is certainly an established non-death-sentence in the Star Wars universe… and Windu was too badass to go down without a fight. We have seen Maul, Palpatine, and Boba Fett return from similar perilous circumstances. Perhaps he has cybernetic enhancements or even an eye patch now? Ha ha.

Samuel L. Jackson has been vocal about his eagerness to return to the franchise. There is potential for him to also pop up in the rumored Ahsoka and Obi Wan shows. (He is also professional enough to keep tight-lipped about it, and has a well established relationship to Disney and directly to Jon Favreau through Marvel and Star Wars.)

Dave Filoni has a love for all things Star Wars including the prequels, and has shown to be fantastic at bridging (pun intended) it all together. It would feel like a circular rhyme, which George Lucas tried to explain once.

I see it as a win all around, and would love to see Grogu wield a tiny purple lightsaber (and a tiny beskar suit).

I also see, that in needing to save Grogu at some point, Din will have to take off the hemlet. Will he then draw the vengeance of the Children of the Watch?

I honestly wonder if the call will draw out a Sith, inquisitor, the Night Sisters or another dark force wielder, or perhaps discover & unite all existing Jedi for Luke to start his academy.

At any rate, I have enjoyed every minute of The Mandalorian so far, and I no doubt will continue to do just that, no matter where the story takes us.

Mace Windu: "Shit Grogu, that's all you had to say."
I wish I knew where this came from to give credit.

Posting #AllMyAxes. 🎸 (Part 2)


Did you see part one?  I felt like posting all my guitars online simply for something else to look at, and I thought others might enjoy.

I still plan to blog about some of the more interesting ones.  Hopefully you guys enjoy the content.  Thanks for the likes on social media.  I don’t think anyone else started to use the #AllMyAxes hashtag.  Oh well.  Ha ha.

Show me some of yours in the comments, tag me on social media, or use your own hashtag!

 

The Family Ukuleles & Mandolin

The Kids' Guitars

 

Mandalorian Maze


I, apparently like every other Star Wars fan, am fascinated by the Mandalorian and “the child.”

I was in a maze mood earlier too.

Help the Mandalorian find the child, or help the child find the Mandalorian.

Please excuse the drawings. I am wholly out of practice when it comes to things other than squiggly lines.

Mandalorian Maze by @AiXeLsyD13

Mandalorian Maze by @AiXeLsyD13

Print it. Solve it. Snap it. Post it. Tag me. (Or post it here in the comments.)

That’s @AiXeLsyD13 on most every social media platform.

If you’re so inclined, you could probably use a program on your phone, tablet, or ancient laptop or PC to solve & post.

I posted it on Instagram earlier.

My 6 year old saw me drawing and drew her own “Baby yoda.”

She is cooler than me.

So is it Baby yoda? Baby Yoda? Baby Not-Yoda? Baby Yoda-Clone?

Hit me up in the comments, then go read my last post.

All the #StarWars things.


I know I posted about this before, but a lot has changed since then.

All the Star Wars Things

(-o-)

So, if you were going to try to watch it ALL in chronological order, except the Lego cartoons, would it go like this?

  • Star Wars – Episode I: The Phantom Menace
  • Star Wars – Episode II: Attack of the Clones
  • Star Wars: Clone Wars (animated microseries)
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars (3D CGI movie)
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars (3D CGI series)
  • Star Wars – Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
  • Star Wars: Droids (animated series)
  • Solo: A Star Wars Story
  • Star Wars Rebels
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
  • Star Wars – Episode IV: A New Hope
  • The Star Wars Holiday Special
  • Star Wars – Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
  • Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure (made for TV movie)
  • Ewoks: The Battle for Endor (made for TV movie)
  • Star Wars: Ewoks (animated series)
  • Star Wars – Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
  • The Mandalorian
  • Star Wars Resistance
  • Star Wars – Episode VII: The Force Awakens
  • Star Wars – Episode VIII: The The Last Jedi
  • Star Wars – Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker

Forces of Destiny and Galaxy of Adventures are messing with me by jumping all over the place.  Does Blips belong there too?

Shut up about canon.

|-o-| [-o-] |-o-|

Also, would be fun to see in the mix:

  • Fanboys
  • Laugh It Up, Fuzzball: The Family Guy Trilogy
    • Family Guy: Blue Harvest
    • Family Guy: Something Something Something, Dark Side
    • Family Guy: It’s a Trap!
  • Robot Chicken: Star Wars
  • Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode II
  • Spaceballs
  • Spaceballs: The Animated Series
  • Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back

Light it up in the comments.  Maybe someday we’ll continue Star Wars movie nights.  Peep all my Star Wars related posts.

 

Some of our favorite #ElfOnTheShelf setups this year…


The kids were really into Jovie-Belle, their Elf on the Shelf, this year.  These are a few of my favorites. Post your favorites in the comments! (I have a bunch on Pinterest too… some appropriate, some not at all.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We didn’t get crazy creative every night, but the kids really made a big deal about finding her every morning. Maybe next year we’ll get a second elf and have some more fun.

☆ Why are there animals and people and robots all together? ☆


(Copied from a Facebook post.  I forgot to post closer to Star Wars Day.)

Last night we were watching the end of Empire Strikes Back on TV when the kids & I got home from a trip to Target. Molly was full of questions, including but not limited to;

☆ What happens if he gets hit by those pewers?
☆ Why does he have a pewer?
What are those pewer things called?
☆ Why are they blasters?
☆ I called them pewers because I didn’t know what they were called. They sound like “pew pew.”
☆ Why is C-3PO in a net?
☆ Why does he have a lightsaber too?
☆ Why is it blue?
☆ Does Darth Vader have a pewer?
☆ Why is a lightsaber more civilized?
☆ Why did they freeze him?
☆ Where are they taking him?
☆ Why does he owe Jabba the Hutt Money?
☆ Boba Fett is a good guy. Is Boba Fett a good guy?
☆ How does he fight without his hand?
☆ Why is Darth Vader a bad guy?
☆ Why is Chewbacca choking that guy?
☆ Why is R2-D2 smoking?
☆ Why is C-3PO holding his leg?
☆ Where is Chewbacca going?
☆ Why are there animals and people and robots all together?
☆ What is that place?
☆ But what part of Cloud City are they in?
☆ Why is there a big hole to fall down?
☆ Where does it go?
☆ Why is there a slide there?
☆ It’s a good thing that bridge is there. Why is that bridge there?

Ian calls Darth Vader “Tai Tai” or “Kai Kai” and we have no idea why. He was also excited to see “Bobo Baba” (Boba Fett) and “Doot Doot” (R2-D2).

He weaseled his way back downstairs later to manage to catch some Ewok (“Weeewok”) action in Return of the Jedi. Ha ha.

View this post on Instagram

#StarWars!

A post shared by Eric Carroll (@aixelsyd13) on

 

Anchorhead vs. Galactic Empire


Anchorhead vs. Galactic Empire

Anchorhead vs. Galactic Empire

I have seen Galactic Empire blowing up lately, and I love it… but it makes me wonder what happened to Anchorhead, who was doing it first.  (Yes, I know scores of metal versions of Star Wars songs are all over the Innerwebs, but these guys are the best.)

Here’s some side-by-side comparisons…

Anchorhead:

…and check out this incredible entire live show!  Apparently all these cats ever left was one EP & a handful of performances.  Their guitars have so many strings, it takes 12 parsecs for any non-force user to make their way across the fretboard.

I did download all I could form MySpace, but all I could get of some of the stuff was some snippets of songs.  Their interpretations are proggy, masterful, eerie, and dark.  I would love to get my hands on the EP.

Galactic Empire:

Obviously, these scruffy-looking Nerf Herders rock too.  The costumes and video production are all-out.  The metal seems happier if that’s even a thing.  They used kickstarter to fund their eventual takeover of the galaxy.  Galactic credits go far with the Empire.  I’m anxious for their full-length album, too.

It looks like of the two, these guys are the only ones currently in existence.

Vote for Your Favorite:

I would love to see a fan mix of the movies using either of these guys to score the entire thing.  I don’t think Disney would go for it, unless like Darth Lucas they realize they can make more money by selling the movies again to the same people that already own all possible formats & variations.

Bonus:  Check out Sarlacc!

Star Wars Songs – Post your favorites in the comments! #MayThe4thBeWithYou!


Songs about Star Wars are almost as cool as the songs in Star Wars! Post your favorites in the comments!

 

( °) Pointless Arguing. |-o-| [-o-] |-o-|


One thing people seem to be good at is arguing over texts.  We can argue different points about the same information.  How many interpretations are there for the constitution?  And that’s just one language.  Hit up the Torah, Bible, or Koran that’s been translated into different languages a few times and it’s absolute chaos.  People seem to focus on minutiae instead of the big picture.

image

I can easily imagine a post-apocalyptic dystopian future where the Star Wars films have become the basis for religion. People will subscribe to their own versions of the Jedi and Sith philosophies and have an overall high regard for the force. Some people will say it’s all fiction. Magicians will use levitation and spoon-bending illusions to “prove” that the force is real.

imageI can imagine sects breaking out of each group of trilogies, finding their own interpretations of the overall themes to be the only correct way to see things.

Some will say Anakin/Vader brought balance to the force. Some will say it was Luke. Some may focus on the new characters to come. Some cults will say you have to go to the dark side before you can be redeemed by the light and that is the only true path to Jedi salvation.

Some will argue that the original films unedited are the only true word. Some will argue that the standalone films and animated series are like the apocrypha, and can’t be true canon.

Monasteries will open and instead of vows of silence, they will talk like Yoda.

Books will be written trying to prove that the holiday special did in fact exist.

People will kill each other arguing over who shot first.

image

I think you now have a script for Idiocracy 2: Idiocracier.