Gibson Has Done Something Really Clever With Their 2016 Line

2016 Gibson StandardsGibson USA has just unveiled their 2016 line-up and the coolest thing is that now you have the choice between Traditional (T) and High Performance (HP) versions of a huge variety of models including the Les Paul Traditional, Standard and Studio, the Firebird, Flying V and Explorer and various SGs. Click here to pop open the link in a new window to check them out. Read More …

Fender Jimi Hendrix FSR Stratocaster

Hendrix Strat White

Fender has just announced a new Jimi Hendrix model Stratocaster which recalls the VooDoo Strat  model from about ten years ago in that it’s a right-handed Strat with back-slanted bridge pickup and reverse headstock. I’m sure there will be folks who will love this guitar – reverse headstocks on Strats look badass, after all, and a lot of people  – but I dunno, a case could certainly be made for a fresh run of ‘lefty-strung righty’ Hendrix models like the ones Fender made a while back. Or you could do what Jimi did and make the Stratocaster your own in your own way.

: Honoring the electrifying “Voodoo Chile” who popularized the Stratocaster guitar and its tremendous sonic flexibility, the Jimi Hendrix Stratocaster gives you the same fiery tone and playing feel to wield as your own. Full of incendiary vintage tone and classic style, this extraordinary instrument features signature touches and unique appointments based on his distinctive “flipped-over” guitars. Read More …

IK Multimedia releases iRig Pro DUO


PRESS RELEASE: IK Multimedia, the leader in mobile music creation technology, is pleased to announce iRig® Pro DUO, the first truly mobile high-definition dual-channel mobile audio and MIDI interface for iPhone/iPad, Mac/PC and Android devices. The smallest fully-featured dual-channel interface, iRig Pro DUO finally frees musicians to create inspired music on the go with studio-quality audio and a whole suite of features found in interfaces costing three times the price. Designed and made in Italy, it comes fully loaded with everything musicians and producers need to record on the move. Read More …

“Nice Jeans.”

Being that this is one dudes’ blog and there’s no reason I can’t post personal stuff on here if I want to from time to time, I figured this was a good place to tell a bit of a story.

Just now I was out getting some lunch, wearing my American Eagle jeans with exaggerated ripping and patches. I like these jeans. They fit nicely, they’re comfortable, and I just feel like me when I’m wearing them.

As I headed back to my car, some neatly-dressed accountant-looking guy muttered to his friend, quietly but just loud enough for me to hear as I walked past, an unmistakably sarcastic “Nice jeans.” My honest, reflexive response was to chuckle out loud and think “Haha, I bet that guy’s life and my life are waaaay different.” What I’m wearing today is probably as alien to his life as what he’s wearing is to mine. No big deal.

The reason I’m writing about this is that if that interaction had happened in October 2004 instead of October 2015, my initial thought would have been something along the lines of “What’s wrong with me? Is everyone looking at me? Oh god, what are they all thinking?”, followed by a quick rush home to pace back and forth in my room in the grips of an intense panic attack. It’d probably end with me tearing at the jeans in frustration, irreparably ripping them (in ways the manufacturer didn’t intend) and dumping them in the trash.

But in October 2004 I visited my doctor to check on a bad cold. At the end of the consultation she asked “Is there anything else?” and it was like a voice outside of me blurted out “I have a panic attack every time I try to leave the house and I’m really scared.”

Over a few visits we determined that I was suffering from social phobia. It’d been simmering away for a very long time. I remember feeling that way even in first grade, but it became worse and worse. I was late for work every day because I couldn’t work up the strength to leave the house. I would cancel every chance to meet up with friends because I just couldn’t do it. Or if I worked up the strength to go to a party or work drinks I’d feel completely out of place, like I was an unwelcome gatecrasher in someone else’s party. And that’s how I felt pretty much all the time: I felt guilty for existing alongside everybody else’s healthy sense of social connection.

With the help of my doctor I went through a program of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy which helped me to retrain my brain to not instantly default to the most crushing possible negative interpretation of every sentence or action of others. It was really hard. I was fighting against a voice that had always been there. Sometimes I still hear that voice. It visited me in the lobby of the Sheraton hotel in Anaheim this year when I went to catch up with some friends. I felt so out of place that I had to leave. It sometimes visits when I arrive too early to pick up my son from school and I have to stand around with the other parents. 

But I know that what I’m really experiencing is an internal voice of doubt, not an external voice of disapproval. Because I know now that when I do actually encounter an external voice of disapproval – like the dude saying “Nice jeans” – I now naturally default to the most appropriate way to process the information: “That guy doesn’t know me, these jeans do look a little weird if you’re not used to that sort of thing, and it’s not a big deal anyway.”

If you think you need help with social phobia, talking to your doctor about it could change your life. I know it did for me. I think it’s interesting that I didn’t intend to ask my doctor for help but it was almost like my subconscious – the part of me that was most tightly connected to the issue of social phobia – took that opportunity to ask for help in coping with itself.

Thanks for listening. Here’s a picture of a guitar.


AmpliTube for iPhone/iPad Adds Ampeg & Fulltone gear, iOS 9 Compatibility


PRESS RELEASE: IK Multimedia, the leader in mobile music creation, is pleased to announce a new update to AmpliTube®, the ultimate mobile tone studio for iPhone and iPad that adds 7 new pieces of gear that include everything from bone shaking metal amps to versatile stomps and more. The update now also lets musicians export loops made in the Looper feature so they can be used in the DAW for song composition or other audio apps. In addition to the new gear and features, AmpliTube now sports easier gear navigation and selection, iOS 9 compatibility and a number of new in-app gear bundles. Read More …

A New Look For Spector


PRESS RELEASE: Brooklyn native Stuart Spector famously designed his first instrument in 1976, beginning a revolution that would change the music world forever. In the years that followed, Spector Basses have been used to hold down the low-end on the world’s biggest stages. Now, nearly 40 years later, Spector is proud to introduce the latest additions to the Spector lineup including two new Bass models, several new finishes to their Legend line, and extended pickup options. To celebrate the new releases, Spector is giving away four free Metallic Red Performer 4 basses via

Read More …

INTERVIEW: Tommy Thayer of KISS


KISS are about to hit Australia on their 40th anniversary tour, and if there’s one thing you can rely on in music, it’s that KISS are going to put on a big, big show. But this time they’re bringing their biggest: their ‘Spider’ lighting rig is coming with them to tower over the band and be even more menacing than Gene Simmons’ famous blood-spewing bass solo. And on stage left you’ll find Tommy Thayer inhabiting the role of the Spaceman as he has done since 2002. In the 13 years since Tommy started donning the iconic makeup and costume he’s gradually added hints of his own character to the icon. You can hear it in a certain confidence to his own solos, and see it in his choice of guitars, which diverge from the three-pickup Les Pauls Ace Frehley used when he was the Spaceman. Read More …