Dweezil Zappa brings his Hot Rats tour to Australia

 Dweezil Zappa’s ‘Hot Rats Live Tour’ Coming to Australia this April 

As the son of Frank Zappa, it was inevitable from the moment he was born that Dweezil Zappa was going to be a musician and we’re thrilled to say he is bringing his iconic ‘Hot Rats’ tour to Australia this April, in celebration of 50 years since the album’s release. Featuring a performance of the entirety of his father’s 1969 album, as well as more of Frank Zappa choice cuts, the tour will see dates in Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and Melbourne. 

Dweezil has long undertaken a mission to re-acquaint the world with the sights and sounds of his infamous father and the incredibly talented group of musicians revive Frank’s music in a fresh context, whilst keeping true to Zappa Senior’s unique and impeccable sonic heritage. 

The ‘Hot Rats’ album played a pivotal role in establishing Frank Zappa as a composer and guitarist and was also dedicated to the newborn Dweezil upon its release in 1969. The 50-year old classic album will be surrounded by an assortment of other psychedelic, avant-garde odd metered toe-tappers well known to Zappa aficionados as well as being equally exciting for music fans new to his music. 

Talking about the tour, Dweezil said ‘this is the best version of the band I have ever had. The musicians are able to tackle the hardest instrumental passages and cover a limitless range of vocals’.  Get ready for what’s set to be a tour to remember!

On-sale Dates

Presale Thurs November 21st 10am Local

On Sale Mon November 25th 10am Local

Tour Dates

Thursday 9th April 2020 Fortitude Music Hall, Brisbane

Sunday 12th April 2020 Enmore Theatre, Sydney

Monday 13th April 2020 Croxton Bandroom, Melbourne

Wednesday 15th April 2020 The Gov, Adelaide

Friday 17th April 2020 Astor Theatre, Perth

Also performing at Byron Bay Bluesfest 2020 

For more on Dweezil Zappa see Web | Facebook |  Spotify

Twitch and YouTube and stuff

Hey so …I kinda hate being on camera, but it’s time I knuckled down and did this, yeah?

Once upon a time, people bookmarked the blogs they liked, or they followed them in an RSS reader, and a blogger could write an article and count on it reaching their audience. But that’s just not how people consume content any more; they tend to wait for it to drift through their social media feed. And they tend to watch reviews rather than read them now. Which frankly I think is a good thing because it lets you hear the gear being reviewed, even though I think the best approach is ‘in-depth text review plus video demo.’

But my crushing anxiety about appearing on camera has always gotten in the way of me being a YouTube guy. And I think I just need to get over it. So I’ve started streaming stuff on Twitch (which I’m also publishing on my YouTube channel) and I’ll be doing more YouTube reviews.

So if you’ve followed this site for the 10+ years I’ve been doing it, I hope you’ll give me a chance to get used to this whole ‘being on camera’ thing. I’m a shy guy and most of what I have to say comes out of my fingers either into a guitar or into an article. But the changing media landscape is what it is and I gotta change with it, just as I did when I started I Heart Guitar.

So with that in mind, here are a couple of the live videos I’ve broadcast on Twitch the last couple of days. These are just me noodling and jamming for fun, because guitar is fun, dammit! I would really appreciate it if you subscribe to my Twitch or YouTube channels so you can keep up with this stuff. And you never know when I might live-stream a little noodle-session with a piece of gear I’m reviewing for a magazine.

D’Angelico Guitars are now available at Sweetwater

Here’s some cool news for guitarists in the States: D’Angelico Guitars are now available at Sweetwater. In this video, Don Carr and Mitch Gallagher take a look at the brand. Go here to see the range. They have some pretty incredible deals. Here’s one of my favourite D’Angelicos: the Premier DC in Fiesta Red with ‘Staircase’ tailpiece. Love the art deco vibe that is a hallmark of the D’Angelico style.

Meshiaak’s new album Mask Of All Misery is out Friday!

PRESS RELEASE:

Meshiaak – Release Mask Of All Misery

It has been three years since the Australian quartet’s debut album ‘Alliance of Thieves’ dropped, which married dark undertones, heavy grooves and sophistication whilst retaining old-school metal values. Upon its release Metal Hammer applauded its “modern power/thrash metal attack,” Powerplay exclaimed that the album “bludgeons and berates the senses with incredible precision and astounding musicianship” and Classic Rock revelled in the “mix of brooding progressive metal and heavy rock.”

So, it’s no surprise then, that the band are back to continue the story and have a new member and renewed energy. Formed in Melbourne, by 4ARM’s Danny Camilleri and Teramaze’s Dean Wells with bassist Andrew Cameron, they have recruited drummer David Godfrey who replaces Jon Dette, following his departure due to logistical reasons with him being based in the US and the rest of the band in Australia.

‘Mask Of All Misery’ is an album that journey’s through a maze of toxic influences and the masks the exponents wear. “The album deals with a lot of personal reflection and issues as well as attacking or addressing much broader issues concerning perhaps the ignorance of society in regards to what’s going on around us all,” explains Camilleri.

The album walks through a number of tough subject matters and it’s something the band refuse to shy away from. The opening song, the instrumental ‘Miasma’ sets the scene and tone for what you are about to expect. Miasma comes from the ancient Greek word for “pollution” and the miasma theory was a theory that held diseases such as cholera, chlamydia or the Black Death were caused by a noxious form of “bad air” or “miasma.” “It’s a theory that has been around for many years,” elaborates Camilleri. “ It’s about how the air we breathe is being poisoned intentionally, and we are all subjected to it. There is no greater good in regards to any government or authority. Especially when they are responsible for the deployment of systematically spraying chemicals and spreading airborne diseases in the very air we breathe.”

The title track was the first song written for the album and is based on responding to toxic situations or people, identifying their behaviours and the rationalisation in response to their thought process, projections and intentions. Because “they” wear the mask, it doesn’t mean you have to too. ‘Bury The Bodies’ continues to delve into the sense of being trapped with personal demons and solitude in your own thoughts. “It’s the war we feel inside. Some of us chose to engage in that war and better ourselves and find our truth through it and some of us chose to pretend it doesn’t exist,” says the singer.

‘City Of Ghosts,’ ‘Face of Stone’ and ‘In The Final Hour’ run full force through heavy metal riffery with anthemic muscle. ‘Doves’ deals with showing great resilience and strength in the face of hopelessness, whilst they tackle dark subject matter on ‘Adrena.’ The song takes its name from the word “Adrenochrome,”which has been found to occur naturally in human blood. Theories suggest that it is used as a drug for the “elites” and that it is harvested through the experience of terrifying individuals, mostly children to the brink of fear and extracting their blood to give the “elites” an adrenaline high, at the expense of missing or lost children. Adrenochrome, it has been suggested was also used by the CIA during Project MKUltra and during secret Cold War experiments.

The album closes with the 7 minute and 21 second epic ‘Godless,’ another personal song dealing with manipulation and severing the ties between an empath and narcissist to take back control back of your life.

The album barely takes a breath through the ten songs and deals with personal struggles and the inner-strength to pull yourself through as well as burrowing into the dark underbelly for an album of uncompromising heaviness. However, the band have an ability to sprinkle light, adding visions of hope lyrically and strong sense of melody throughout the unrelenting power and musicianship of the four members.

The album was recorded and produced by Dean Wells at his Wells Productions studio in Melbourne with the songwriting partnership of Camilleri Wells. Talking about the recording process Camilleri says “We generally have an idea of how many songs we want for an album, we aren’t the kind of band that writes 20 tracks and picks the best 9 or 10 to go on the album, if something doesn’t grab us early we tend to just throw it in the bin and work on something that does! We demo every track to almost album quality before even looking at officially beginning recording, then we’ll sit on it a bit and let it digest.”

Expanding on how the writing relationship works he explains, “We don’t designate or anything like that, either Dean will come up with something cool or I will, we’ll work on it from that point until it evolves into what we envisioned in our head, though a lot of the time the song will take on a completely different face than when we first began work on it, but that’s one of the most enjoyable parts about the writing process with Meshiaak. We never stop pushing the boundaries for ourselves and seeing where we can take something. I love the creative part of it all.”

With a record you can put it on and hear it, feel it even. But sometimes you really need to listen, take it in as a whole, process and think about it. ‘Mask Of All Misery’ is one of those albums. “People will take what they chose to at the end of the day,” ponders Camilleri. “But, I’ve found by talking with a lot of fans that they do pay attention and really digest the content of our music. It’s an amazing feeling when someone connects to it through hearing it and then gets even deeper because they can connect with the content as well.. goes to show you that you are never alone.”

TRACKLISTING
1. Miasma
2. Mask Of All Misery
3. Bury The Bodies
4. City Of Ghosts
5. Face Of Stone
6. Tears That Burn The Son
7. Doves
8. In The Final Hour
9. Adrena
10. Godless

Positive Grid unveils Spark, the smart voice-activated guitar amp


Positive Grid Unveils Spark: The Smart Guitar Amplifier and App Featuring Intelligent Technology

Intelligent guitar amplifier and proprietary voice-activated app generate real-time practice tools and backing accompaniment. Limited pre-order specials are available now.

San Diego, CA, October 30, 2019 – Positive Grid announces Spark, a smart guitar amp and accompanying app (iOS/Android) driven by intelligent technology to offer real-time Smart Jam accompaniment, Auto Chord detection and intuitive practice features for players of all levels. Spark also functions as a full-range, 40-Watt combo amp and features a variety of tone-shaping options plus amp and fx modeling built upon the company’s award-winning BIAS engine.High value pre-order limited specials for Spark are available now here: positivegrid.com/spark

Guitarists can play and practice using the Spark’s Auto Chord feature to access millions of songs on popular streaming platforms like Spotify, YouTube and Apple Music. The Spark app automatically analyzes and displays chords for millions of songs in real time, and its easy-to-use controls let the player slow down the song’s tempo or loop a difficult section to practice.

Jamming is easy and fun with Spark’s Smart Jam feature. The Spark amp and app work together to learn the player’s style and feel, and then automatically generate bass and drum accompaniments that act like a virtual band – anytime, anywhere. Best of all, the Spark app can be used without lifting a finger. It responds to a variety of voice commands to stream a rock song or a blues backing track, ask for a virtual band to follow the user’s playing, and more.

As a guitar amp, Spark features a deep, loud and immersive speaker design with two custom-designed speakers and a tuned bass-reflex port that are engineered to provide deep, full-sounding basses and crystal-clear highs for every style of music.

Spark also boasts a full amp modeling and multi-effects engine powered by Positive Grid’s award-winning BIAS tone engine to provide realistic virtual tube amps and effects. Players can dial in pristine melodies, crunchy chords or soaring leads for electric guitar; deep, thunderous tones for bass; and a bright and full-bodied sound for acoustic guitar. Players have access to over 10,000 guitar and bass amp-and-FX programs from famous guitarists, session players, studio engineers and producers from around the world via Positive Grid’s ToneCloud community.

For added versatility and authentic feel, Spark also has bass, mid and treble tone stack controls; dedicated knobs for mod, delay and reverb effects; a built-in tuner and tap tempo; plus Bluetooth connectivity for streaming music in hi def audio via the Spark app. You can easily load up to four custom amp-and-FX setups into the Spark amp’s user program locations for instant access to your favorite sounds.

Spark can be used as a USB audio interface for easily recording on a computer. It even comes with PreSonus Studio One Prime recording software for free, allowing players to get started right out of the box.

High value early bird pre-order limited specials for Spark are available now here: positivegrid.com/spark

Find out more at positivegrid.com/spark

Check out the names on this autographed guitar being auctioned to help Jerry Donahue after his stroke


Some of the biggest names in rock and roll including Sir Paul McCartney, Robert Plant, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Steve Winwood, Mark Knopfler, Pete Townshend, Albert Lee, David Gilmour, Joe Brown, Richard Thomson and Dave Pegg have signed a guitar to be auctioned in honour of stroke victim Jerry Donahue.

In 2016, American guitarist Jerry Donahue suffered a catastrophic stroke, almost certainly ending his career as one of the world’s finest folk-rock guitarists. The former Fairport Convention, Fotheringay and Hellecasters guitarist, was regarded by the music media as an extremely talented musician with an extraordinary technical approach to string bending.

Always in demand as a session player and always with the love of his life, the Telecaster guitar, Jerry Donahue performed and recorded with dozens of major artists. The late great Danny Gatton once referred to Jerry Donahue as “The string bending king of the planet”.

“To have so many famous signatures on this guitar is a fantastic achievement,” says close friend Dave Pegg, bassist in Fairport convention. “We know that the guitar will raise many thousands of pounds and all the money raised from the auction will go towards Jerry’s rehabilitation in the USA.”

The guitar itself, donated by John Hornby Skewes Ltd., is Jerry Donahue’s own Vintage Signature V58, built to his own specifications as a collaboration with specialist guitar and hardware designer Trevor Wilkinson and JHS Managing Director Dennis Drumm.

Features include a maple fingerboard and neck and an American alder body finished in Ash Blonde and Jerry’s signature pickup and tone control layout.

Dave Pegg continues, “It all started when I had a call from guitarist Matt Worley, another close friend of Jerry’s, he’d acquired Jerry’s Signature guitar with the idea to have a few big names sign it so we could raise some money for him.”
“At first we just asked a handful of people,” Matt Worley explains. “And with help from Tony Kelsey who co-opted the likes of Steve Winwood, Robert Plant, Andy Fairweather Low and Dave Pegg himself, word got out, the gates opened and we were swamped with some of the biggest names in the music business eager to autograph the guitar and pay their respects to Jerry.
Even Sir Paul McCartney and they’re still coming in, Tony Iommi, Jeff Lynn, Martin Barre, John Paul Jones and we’ve just squeezed in Brian Wilson and Al Jardine from The Beach Boys. The guitar is more or less full now, so we are moving on to the guitar case.

There are some very rare signings as well, some who never sign anything and as far as we know, this is the first collective signing of all three guitarists who were in The Yardbirds; Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck. The three remaining members of Led Zeppelin are on there and of course, diehard fans will remember Eric Clapton played with Steve Winwood in Blind Faith, the first of the ‘supergroups in ‘69’ ”

There are not many collectables in the world that are as cool as guitars and the auction, to be held at Gardiner Houlgate’s in Bath, UK Auction rooms, on 11th December 2019, is expected to attract attention from collectors and music fans from all over the world.

GARDINER HOULGATE.
The Specialist Auctioneers.
+44 (0)1225 812912
+44 (0)1225 812612
auctions@gardinerhoulgate.co.uk

https://www.gardinerhoulgate.co.uk/

Hear the new Ozzy song, ‘Under The Graveyard’

You’ve gotta hear the new Ozzy Osbourne song, ‘Under The Graveyard.’ I know there’s been a little bit of skepticism in the metal community about Ozzy’s forthcoming album because he worked with ‘Post Malone’s producer’ but there are a few things you should consider.

A) the track he did with Post Malone recently, ‘Take What You Want,’ was badass;

B) Andrew Watt isn’t just any producer: you may know him from the band California Breed with Glenn Hughes and Jason Bonham. Andrew is a blues-rock prodigy with a great 70s-influenced style but his production is through more of a modern prism. Check out his work in that band here:

C) The rhythm section on Ozzy’s new album, Ordinary Man, is Duff McKagan and Chad Smith. What an insane collection of talent!

So here’s the press release about ‘Under The Graveyard,’ and I hope you give it a listen.

OZZY OSBOURNE TODAY RELEASES ‘UNDER THE GRAVEYARD’
FIRST SINGLE IN NEARLY 10 YEARS FROM HIS FORTHCOMING ALBUM, ORDINARY MAN

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and Grammy®-winning singer and songwriter OZZY OSBOURNE today has released ‘Under The Graveyard’, his first new solo music in almost 10 years. A massive ballad that builds into a searing rocker, it’s the first single from OZZY’s forthcoming album, ORDINARY MAN, due out on Epic Records through Sony Music Entertainment Australia in early 2020. Listen to the song HERE.

“This album was a gift from my higher power–it is proof to me that you should never give up,” OZZY says.

Recorded in Los Angeles, the album features producer Andrew Watt on guitars, Duff McKagan (Guns N’ Roses) on bass and Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers) on drums.

“It all started when [his daughter] Kelly comes in and says ‘do you want to work on a Post Malone song?’” OZZY explains. “My first thing was ‘who the fuck is Post Malone?!’ I went to Andrew’s [Watt] house and he said we will work really quick. After we finished that song, he said ‘would you be interested in starting an album.’ I said ‘that would be fucking great, but now I am thinking I don’t want to be working in a basement studio for six months! And in just a short time, we had the album done. Duff [McKagan] and Chad [Smith] came in and we would go in and jam during the day and I would go work out the songs in the evenings. I previously had said to Sharon I should be doing an album, but in the back of my mind I was going ‘I haven’t got the fucking strength…’ but Andrew pulled it out of me. I really hope people listen to it and enjoy it, because I put my heart and soul into this album.”

Stay tuned for additional details on ORDINARY MAN in the coming weeks.