Steve Vai Australian Tour Announced

steve-vaiSteve Vai is about to return to Australia with his full solo show for the first time since 2004. Sure, he’s been here quite often lately – with G3, with Zappa Plays Zappa and to give a Masterclass – but it’s been nine years since Vai played an entire show dedicated to his particular and peculiar brand of musical madness. I spoke to Steve this morning and that interview will be up on the site in a couple of weeks (we talked a lot about 7 and 8-string guitars, by the way). But in the meantime, here are the tour dates: Read More …

INTERVIEW: Jim Breuer

Jim BreuerOkay, so if you’ve been reading the site or following me on Twitter lately, you’ve probably noticed that I’ve been developing a bit of an interest in stand-up comedy. I guess I need to find an interest outside of music to keep things fresh, since music is my life’s passion as well as my day job. Anyway, I was just going through some files when I stumbled upon this interview from last year with comedian and fellow metal-obsessive Jim Breuer. Hopefully some of you might like reading about someone who loves metal as much as we do, but approaches it from a different perspective. Don’t worry, I’m not turing the site into I Heart Comedy or anything. Here’s the interview: Read More …

GJ2 Guitars Partners With Cleartone Strings

GJ2I’ve probably said this before, but it’s been really great watching GJ2 Guitars\ grow, and quickly. I’ve had the opporunity to check out many of these guitars close-up and the workmanship is flawless, but just as importantly the creative vision behind each of the designs is very unique – only two years in, you can already tell when you’re looking at a GJ2 even if it’s a model that has its roots in the past like the Glendora. They’ve just announced a new partnership with Cleartone Strings which will see Cleartones featured as standard equipment on all GJ2 guitars. Here’s the press release:

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David Bowie: The Next Day (Video)

David-Bowie-The-Next-Day1-1Mr. David Bowie has released the third video from his new album The Next Day and… well, it’s Bowie being Bowie. After decades of imitators pushing hackneyed symbolism and calculated shock value in the wake of Bowie’s example, he’s set about here to outdo them all. And he does – in a very knowing, sly way, which you’ll see and understand if you make it to the end of the video. This was briefly taken off YouTube and then added again with an explicit content warning, so if you’re sensitive to things and stuff, you might wanna skip it. Read my review of The Next Day here and my interview with guitarist Earl Slick here. And here’s the video:  Read More …

My Interview With Albare

Albare-mainI recently had a great chat with jazz guitarist Albare for Australian Guitar magazine, which you can read here. Albare is a Gibson endorser, a pioneer of Acid Jazz and a lifelong devotee of jazz. I particularly like what he had to say about improvisation: “In the Talmud it says the distance between the head and the heart is the longest in the world. So for a musician to go from the learning and the understanding back to the giving through the heart, it’s a life experience. So what goes through my head? Here’s what goes through my head: I think about my mother. I think about the sea. I think about things that calm me and take my mind away. Read More …

Gibson Gary Moore Les Paul Standard

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Gibson has offered a few different Gary Moore Les Paul models over the years, and all of them have been beautiful. But I just can’t tear my eyes away from the latest: the Gary Moore Les Paul Standard. That Lemon Burst finish just kills me. This guitar takes many cues from the legendary ’59 Burst Moore was most associated with (the one that was previously owned by Fleetwood Mac guitarist Peter Green). There are a few twists though, which set this guitar apart from previous Gibson Gary Moore Les Pauls. Read More …

Marc Maron, WTF And The Nature Of Creativity

MaronIf you’re reading this, you’re probably a guitarist, and if you’re a guitarist, you’re probably obsessed with the creative process. I know I am. I’m endlessly fascinated by the phenomenon of creating something from nothing, and the contrast between the physical intangibility of music and the emotional impact it can have. I guess this is why I like to read musician autobiographies: it’s a little chance to see what makes a fellow creative person tick. And that’s what I take away the most from Marc Maron’s WTF podcast. Marc is a comedian (I first heard of him on Dr. Katz Professional Therapist) and his twice-weekly podcast is a wealth of discussion with creative folks – mainly comedians but also filmmakers and musicians – and it’s always enlightening. Read More …

New Deep Purple Album With Aussie Bonus Track

Deep PurpleDeep Purple will release their new album NOW What?! here in Australia on May 24, and the Aussie release will feature a bonus track in the form of a live versino of Highway Star. Ah but that’s not all! The digipack version of the album will include a bonus DVD with special audio content including the single All The Time In The World in an alternative radio mix, plus live versions of Perfect Strangers and Rapture Of The Deep. The album was produced by Bob Ezrin, who was already super-cool for producing The Wall but gained extra Cool Points by dressing up like a member of Jane’s Addiction when he produced Strays (it’s on the bonus DVD that came with that album). Read More …