NEWS: Eddie Van Halen Frankenstein humbucker available for preorder

Whoa! I just spotted this over at the Van Halen News Desk. Released on March 1 is the EVH Frankenstein humbucker. Recommended retail price is $199.99. There’s also a relic’ed, Eddie Van Halen-autographed version (see below) for $399 which, while expensive, is pretty freakin’ cool!

CLICK HERE to buy the EVH Frankenstein Relic Humbucker LTD (Signed) Standard for $399 from Music123.

CLICK HERE to buy the EVH Frankenstein Humbucker Standard for $149 from Music123.

Or if you’re feeling particularly saucy, why not CLICK HERE to splash out $25,000 for the EVH Frankenstein guitar?

A page on the Van Halen Store says:

EVH Frankenstein Relic Humbucker LTD (Signed) StandardThe legendary humbucking pickup from the guitar that changed everything.

Think of it as a brand-new version of the original Frankenstein’s battle-worn pickup, wound to the exact original specs and built to fit in any humbucking-pickup-equipped guitar. One of the most famous humbuckers of all time is now available at a competitive price and serves as a great upgrade and alternative to the popular crop of cliché replacement humbuckers.

This is awesome news. Who hasn’t wished they could leach some of that famous Van Halen I tonal magic? I think I might just have to get one of these and chuck it into the Ibanez RG370 I wrote about in my guest blog on Jemsite.

New releases 27/01/2009

Well, the Christmas/New Year period is well and truly over, so it’s time for new CD releases, after about 2 months of reissues and best-ofs. So let’s peer into the crystal ball and see what will be rocking your socks this week. Links to buy each title are at the bottom of this post.

The Empyrean by John Frusciante
The eleventh solo album from the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ guitarist. The Empyrean is a concept record featuring Flea, Sonus Quartet, Johnny Marr (woo!!!), and The New Dimension Singers.

A-LEX by Sepultura
Graar!!! Brazil’s most metallic export cranks it up with this concept album based on A Clockwork Orange. One for fans of brutal metal, citrus fruit, and/or watchmaking.

396 by Chris Duarte
Duarte has always been a monster player with chops out the wazoo. His new album is a collaboration with Japan’s premier blues-rock band, Bluestone Company.

Old Money by Omar Rodriguez-Lopez
This new conceptual solo album about exploitative industrialists from the Mars Volta guitarist is said to fit comfortably between his work with The Mars Volta and his prior rock-based solo releases. Sweet.

REVIEW: Jeff Beck at the Palais, Melbourne

Last night (January 26, Australia Day, woohoo), I saw Jeff Beck at the Palais in Melbourne. I’ll write a full review for the next issue of Mixdown magazine, but in the meantime here are a few thoughts and observances for anyone who’s interested. Beck’s playing again at the Palais tonight, so CLICK HERE to see if there are still tickets available.

Okay, thoughts in dot-point form cos they’re fun.

· Beck appeared to have a pair of Marshall Plexis on stage, (although only one of them was turned on – I guess the other was a spare) and a Fender combo. My vision sucks at the best of times (but at least I have cool glasses), so I couldn’t quite tell what models they were.

· He played one of his signature Fender Stratocasters for the whole show, and only needed to retune once, about an hour into the gig, despite his frequent and mind-destroying whammy bar use.

· On drums, Mr Vinnie Colaiuta. Frank Zappa’s favourite improvisation buddy, and an important part of why Megadeth’s ‘The System Has Failed’ album is so friggin’ cool. Vinnie threw in lots of double-kick work, and stole the show several times.

· On bass, Tal Wilkenfeld. She’s only 22 and her playing is frighteningly good, especially her solo during ‘Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers.’

· Beck long ago chucked away guitar picks, and it’s inspiring if not a little intimidating to hear what he can do with just his fingers and a whammy bar. Surprisingly, most of his vibrato comes from rapidly pushing and releasing the guitar’s tremolo bridge with the side of his picking hand, instead of from his fretting hand.

I won’t spoil the setlist for those who are yet to see this tour, but Beck’s playing is as good as ever, and his band is amazing. If you’re in Melbourne and you haven’t already got a ticket for tonight, GO GO GO GO GO!!!

CLICK HERE to buy Jeff Beck’s ‘Performing This Week…Live At Ronnie Scotts’ from Amazon.com

CLICK HERE to buy the Fender Jeff Beck signature Stratocaster from Music123.

Remaining Jeff Beck Australian tour dates:

27 Jan Palais Theatre, VIC

29 Jan Brisbane Convention Centre, QLD

30 Jan Enmore Theatre, NSW

31 Jan Enmore Theatre, NSW

NEWS: DVD release – Girls Rock: The Movie

Out today on DVD is Girls Rock: The Movie, a documentary chronicling an all-girls rock ‘n’ roll camp in Portland, Oregon. The film centers around girls ranging from ages 8 to 18 who have one week to form a band, select an instrument they may have never played, and write a song.

The film features appearances from female rockers Carrie Brownstein of Sleater-Kinney and The Gossip’s Beth Ditto.

You can download the track “Global Warming” by one of the bands, Blubird, for free by CLICKING HERE.

I’ll review the documentary soon, but in the meantime, the trailer is below, and you can see the official site HERE.