RIP Ray Manzarek of The Doors

Ray Manzarek

I’m sad to hear of the passing of The Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek today. Y’know, I was never a huge Doors fan personally – you ever get that thing where you can appreciate the greatness of a band but they just don’t really resonate with you on a personal level? – but I loved hearing his stories when he would appear on documentaries or TV shows. He seemed to have a great memory of and appreciation for the history-changing musical and social era he arose from, and as we lose more and more of our classic rock pioneers, that sense of history is important to hold on to for all of us, especially those of us for whom music is a culture as much as a form of entertainment.

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Scott Tennant Live At GSI

Scott TennantPRESS RELEASE: Grammy Award-winning classical guitarist Scott Tennant will be performing alive concert on June 1st, 2013 at 7:30pm. Held at the Guitar Salon showroom in Santa Monica, CA, the concert showcases seven of history’s most important guitars – all owned and played by the legendary Romero family of guitarists. The seven guitars will be brought to the venue by PepeRomero, Jr., whose livelihood as a world-renowned guitar maker continues the Romero family’s guitar tradition. He will be introducing each instrument with background, technical and historical information before handing it off to Tennant to perform with. Read More …

Rockschool Introduces New Hot Rock Guitar Books

RockschoolPRESS RELEASE: Rockschool’s best selling Hot Rock Guitar series has just been expanded with the launch of the new Grades 4 and 5 books. The acclaimed Hot Rock range brings you eight classic tracks in a variety of music genres giving you a choice of musical styles to play. The new books include songs from some of the most respected, best selling and famous bands on the planet and are an excellent tool for the ‘Free Choice Pieces’ in graded exams. Each massive new book comes complete with edited exam versions of eight classic rock songs drawn from a range of musical styles. Read More …

Lightning Swords Of Death US Tour

LightningSwordsOfDeath-BaphometicChaosiumPRESS RELEASE: LA-based black metal legion, Lightning Swords Of Death, are emerging for a North American tour this June. They will be supporting Melechesh alongside Vreid and Reign of Lies. The tour begins on June 16th in Los Angeles at The Joint and will wrap up on June 30th in Brooklyn. Lightning Swords Of Death’s “caustic yet otherworldly approach” (Decibel Magazine) has earned the band high praise from fans and critics worldwide with their most recent album, Baphometic Chaosium. Read More …

Stone Temple Pilots Record With…

STP…Chester Bennington of Linkin Park! Whoa, didn’t see this one coming. When news surfaced that the band was looking to work with a singer whose name wasn’t Scott Weiland, I started wondering who they might get instead. Would they go for some kind of Weiland clone? Would they get an unknown dude? Or a known singer? And if you listen to the sample of the new song Out Of Time (which you can hear in the video snippet or full Soundcloud song below), well… it sounds pretty badass! Chester is a really good fit. And now I can’t wait to hear what these guys are up to in full. Read More …

COOL GEAR ALERT: Two Notes Torpoedo C.A.B.

CAB thumbnailAah! This is perfect! A lot of us are huge fans of cabinet impulses in the studio but there hasn’t really been a practical way of using them live. You could take your laptop to a gig, but then what if someone runs off with it and finds your porn stash? Well the Torpedo C.A.B. will help you to retain your tone and your dignity by providing cabinet impulses in stompbox form. It’s not a loadbox (so don’t expect to be able to silently record your amp head), but it does include all the other features of the Torpedo Live (which is a loadbox), together with an input stage specifically tailored to accept pedal-level signals.  Read More …

Seymour Duncan Announces The Nazgûl

nazgulAs you probably know if you follow me on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook, I work for Seymour Duncan in social media. It’s a really fun job and everyone at Seymour Duncan is just so friendly, knowledgable and downright cool. Something I’m super-excited about on a personal level – since I’m way into my extended range guitars – is the new selection of pickups designed specifically for 7 and 8-string players: the Pegasus, the Sentient and the Nazgûl. The Nazgûl is a passive humbucker specifically created for extreme metal styles, and it sounds brutal. In the best possible way, of course. Here’s the press release:

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COOL GEAR ALERT: MXR Prime Distortion

MXR_M69Here’s something pretty neat from MXR: a new distortion pedal that’s exclusive to Guitar Center (both instore and online) and Musicians Friend. It’s a vintage-vibed stomper which seems quite flexible and amp-like. Check out the videos at the bottom of this post to get a feel for what this baby can do. By the way, don’t MXR do the coolest videos? I like their style. They seem to capture that whole exciting tunnel-vision vibe you get when you try a new pedal for the first time. And their videos from NAMM this year were killer too.

Here’s the press release for the Prime Distortion, followed by the videos.

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