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Monthly Archives: May 2011

COOL VIDEO ALERT: Pulp = still awesome

Sure, Pulp isn’t traditionally what one might think of as I Heart Guitar music, but Mrs I Heart Guitar is a Pulp fan and they remind me of falling in love and all that, plus Jarvis Cocker’s “Don’t Let Him Waste Your Time” is one of the best songs ever. EVER.

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REVIEW: Ibanez Artist ARZ800


Ibanez may not be particularly known for their single-cut guitars – the iconic nature of designs like the RG and Iceman series tend to selfishly draw the eyes towards them during a casual flip of the catalog – but the company has made it’s fair share of such beauties over the years. In fact, in the 70s Ibanez made copies of a particularly well known single-cut that were so accurate and revered that they got slapped with threats of legal action and had to stop. The Artist offers occasional hints at this history but the series is always undergoing refinement and it’s now very much it’s own family of guitars, not trying to reflect any particular design by another company but not shying away from those sexy curves either.

One aspect that particularly separates the ARZ800 from most other single-cuts is its scale length: 25 inches, halfway between the 24.75″ of traditional single-cuts and the 25.5″ of so-called ‘superstrats.’ This gives the strings a slightly looser feel but not so much that you’ll get weird pitch drift if you pick super-hard. It also makes the guitar a little better-suited to lower tunings, such as Drop D or Drop C.

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COOL VIDEO ALERT: Tim McMillan

Here’s some guitar goodness from the effervescent Tim McMillan.

The worlds first guitar/cooking show.

Random diet Goblincore tapping

The iphone guitar duo

LINKS: www.reverbnation.com/timmcmillan, www.youtube.com/timmctim

REVIEW: Digitech BP355

Bass players often seem to be given the short end of the stick when it comes to multieffects and recording-friendly products. There have been a few cool units over the years, but more often than not bass players are criminally short-changed when it comes to under-foot processing power. No more! DigiTech’s BP355 is going to change all that. Part preamp, part multi-effects unit, part looper, part recording interface, it’s an innovative piece of kit that covers a lot of basses… uh, bases.

Amp models? It has 21, based on – you ready for this? – Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier, Fender Tweed Deluxe, ’63 Vox AC30 Top Boost, ’65 Fender Blackface Twin Reverb, ’77 Marshall Master Volume, Ampeg B15, Ampeg SVT, Ashdown Bass Magnifer, Demeter VTBP-201S, DigiTech Clean Tube, DigiTech High Gain, DigiTech Solo, Fender Bassman, Fender Dual Showman, Hiwatt Custom 50, Mesa Boogie 400+, SWR Basic Black, SWR Interstellar Overdrive, Sunn 200S and Trace-Elliot Commando (as well as a Direct voicing with no amp model to speak of).

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NEWS: MI Audio modded Crunch Box giveaway

MI Audio Pty Ltd is offering a killer giveaway of three Crunch Box pedals with five mods which may be used on a possible future production version.

The mods:

1) Start with an internal voltage tripler to run at the pedal at 24V for the punchiest, most amp-like tone.

2) The presence trimmer is now external for on-the-go adjustments.

3) A 3 position clipping switch for >> traditional CB sizzle, a more organic softer clip, or an open sounding ‘volume boost’ mode.

4) A switchable filter mode for a fat, ‘fixed wah’ tone

5) A switchable lower gain mode, with improved guitar volume sensitivity.

There are 3 ways to win a modified Crunch Box. One Crunch Box will go to someone who has subscribed to MI’s newsletter. Subscription form can be access on their Facebook page or the MI Effects website. A second Crunch Box is Facebook-related and a third is Twitter-related. All the details can be found at http://www.mieffects.com/giveaway.htm

NEWS: Neil Daniels’ Journey biography getting rave reviews

PRESS RELEASE

***NEW*** JOURNEY BIOGRAPHY GETTING RAVE REVIEWS:

 

“…an accurate and obviously well researched biography…”

Malcome Dome – Classic Rock Magazine.com (www.classicrockmagazine.com)

 

“As a lone-time yet casual fan of the band, I found the band’s story very interesting and quite surprising… I received the book on Thursday, used every possible opportunity to read it and finished it on Sunday. That’s a recommendation if any.”

Kimmo Toivonen – Rock United (www.rockunited.com)

“A very entertaining and well researched biography, Don’t Stop Believin’ is as close as you will get to the story of Journey…”

Dean Pedley – Sea Of Tranquility.com (www.seaoftranquility.com)

 

 

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NEWS: David Byrne – Ride Rise Roar DVD

PRESS RELEASE

On May 31 Eagle Rock Entertainment releases Ride Rise Roar, a documentary film detailing the unique creative process of David Byrne shot over the course of his `08/`09 “Songs of David Byrne & Brian Eno” tour.

Having screened at the prestigious Silverdocs, SXSW and Seattle International Film Festivals, Ride Rise Roar is called “a visceral experience” by The Hollywood Reporter while Time Out Chicago notes that “What makes this doc work—besides the fact that Byrne gives a really great show on this tour and uses dancers to liven things up a bit—is the interviews with Byrne, the various noted choreographers…and with the dancers and back-up singers. The doc looks and sounds great.”

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NEWS: Online bluegrass guitar school

PRESS RELEASE
Guitarists from Memphis to Melbourne will soon be able to learn bluegrass and flatpicking guitar online from one of the top names in the Bluegrass guitar world.  The School of Guitar with Bryan Sutton is part of the newArtistWorks Academy of Bluegrass that will also see Tony Trischka (banjo), Mike Marshall (mandolin), Darol Anger (fiddle) and Missy Raines (bass) offering personalized instruction online using innovative Video Exchanges™.

The School of Guitar with Bryan Sutton will contain high quality basic, intermediate, and advanced acoustic guitar video lessons; as well as a number of social features aimed at the acoustic guitar community.  Every student at the guitar school has the opportunity to send a recorded video of themselves practicing and receive a personal video response with individualized instruction from Bryan.
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NEWS: Silverchair goes into ‘indefinite hibernation’


Silverchair are calling time out, at least for now, after almost 20 years of rockin’. They’re not calling it a break-up but rather ‘indefinite hibernation.’ I like that. It makes me think of Yogi’s First Christmas. Who knows, maybe they’ll go into this with the intention of hibernating for a long, long time but will instead be woken up by Huckleberry Hound, Snagglepuss, Augie Doggie and Doggie Daddy arriving to celebrate Christmas.

Here’s the message from their site.

“We formed Silverchair nearly 20 years ago when we were just 12 years old. Today we stand by the same rules now as we did back then … if the band stops being fun and if it’s no longer fulfilling creatively, then we need to stop.

Therefore after much soul searching we wanted to let you know that we’re putting Silverchair into “indefinite hibernation” and we’ve decided to each do our own thing for the foreseeable future.

We assure you that this decision has not been taken lightly. In fact we’ve been struggling with it for quite a while now.

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The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of metal

You know where you are? You’re on the forest moon of Endor, baby!

REVIEW: Blackstar Series One 50

Blackstar offers some pretty innovative designs in its rapidly expanding catalog. The Series One 50 is a 50 watt head is designed to deliver fully rocktastic Class A-style tones at all volume levels thanks to a very clever power reduction feature. But before we get to that, let’s look at the rest of the goodies.

The Series One 50′s tube quiver includes one ECC82, three ECC83s and a pair of EL34s. There are four channels: Bright Clean, Warm Clean, Crunch and Super Crunch. The two clean channels share Gain and Volume controls, as do the two overdrive channels. Next we have Bass, Middle, Treble and Blackstar’s famous ISF (Infinite Shape Feature) tone voicing control, a master section with Resonance, Presence and Volume, and the DPR (Dynamic Power Reduction) knob. When the amp arrived, most of the preamp tubes were cracked and the amp was unusable. I assume this is something that happened in transit, and after the local distributor supplied some replacement tubes, the amp fired up without a problem, so whatever wiped out the tubes wasn’t enough to kill them amp. The amp feels a little bit plasticy and it sorta smells funny, but obviously the construction seems pretty tough.

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Peter Hodgson Hi! I'm Peter Hodgson. I write for Gibson.com, Australian Guitar, Australian Musician, Mixdown Magazine (including my instructional column, 'Unleash Your Inner Rock God,' which has been running since 2007), BluntBeat (including their weekly hard rock/metal column Crunch) and The Brag. And I'm Assistant Social Coordinator with Seymour Duncan. I've been playing guitar since I was 8 years old, and I've been writing for magazines since I was 18. I've also worked as a guitar teacher (up to 50 students a week), a setup tech, a newspaper editor, and I've also dabbled in radio a little bit. I live in Melbourne, Australia, and my hobbies include drinking way too much coffee, and eating way too much Mexican food. You can check out my guitar playing at Bandcamp or on YouTube, and feel free to email me at iheartguitarblog@gmail.com

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