Roxy Music live in Melbourne – March 3, 2011

On Thursday night Mrs I Heart Guitar and I went to the Roxy Music gig at Rod Laver Arena here in Melbourne. We don’t get to go to many concerts together – I’m a metalhead and she likes far classier music than involves far less shouting, skulls and demons – but occasionally our tastes overlap. Like Zappa, Steely Dan and David Bowie. The Roxy Music gig was great, with a balance of the rowdier, glammier moments that we live for, and the more poppy, radio-friendly early 80s fare that it seemed the rest of the audience was waiting for with folded arms. My buddy Joe Matera was also at the gig – he recently interviewed Roxy Music guitarist Phil Manzanera for Guitar & Bass Magazine – and he was kind enough to let me accompany him backstage to say hi to Phil afterwards. Thanks Joe!

By the way, Manzanera used some great guitars during the gig, including his red Gibson Firebird, a 3-pickup Les Paul, and a Fender David Gilmour Stratocaster.

Here’s the setlist.

India (Tape, for walk on)
The Main Thing
Street Life
Prairie Rose
If There Is Something
More Than This
Jealous Guy
Like A Hurricane
In Every Dream home A Heartache
Bitter Sweet
To Turn You On
Same Old Scene
My Only Love
Virginia Plain
Love Is The Drug
Editions Of You
Do The Strand
Let’s Stick Together
For Your Pleasure

If you’ve never really checked out Roxy Music before, might I suggest this, which I hold up there with Bowie doing ‘Oh You Pretty Things’ as one of the greatest things ever to happen in the early 70s.

NEWS: Christmas gift ideas for guitarists

According to feedback from some I Heart Guitar readers, not everyone who reads the site plays guitar: some just like guitar-based music and are into the interviews and reviews and stuff. I guess in a way this post is dedicated to them, provided there’s a guitarist on their Christmas shopping list. Here are some goodies which are bound to fulfill two key criteria: a) stuff a stocking, and b) guilt the receiver into letting you have the last slice of turkey/tofurkey at Christmas dinner, hehe.

MXR M-102 Dyna Comp Compressor Pedal Standard

One of the coolest compressors known to man, the MXR Dyna Comp is not the pedal to stomp on if you want a clean guitar to sound like a crisp FM radio. But if you’re after soupy funk, swampy blues, snappy soul, or those singing, silky David Gilmour tones, you can’t go past this little red monster. It’s also quite inexpensive, yet very sturdy and roadworthy. You could probably use it to hammer in a nail, or crack a home intruder over the head and keep him down for the count until your biker mates arrive to finish the job. I have one of these on my pedal board and it’s my secret weapon. Well, that and my magic amulet.

This elegantly simple device from the mind of Eddie Van Halen attaches to the low E string saddle on a Floyd Rose-style bridge (at least, if it’s set to divebomb-only mode, either due to the design of the bridge cavity rout or some kind of aftermarket blocking method). Flip the lever and you’re instantly in drop D tuning. Now you don’t need to change guitars to crank out ‘Unchained.’  Eddie claims that you could have 6 of them on a guitar and drop the whole dang thing down a whole step. Unfortunately it’s not recommended for fully floating bridges, so that rules out all of my Floyd-equipped axes.

Dunlop Eric Johnson Classic Jazz III Guitar Pick 6-Pack

Believe it or not, these picks from Jim Dunlop are paintstakingly modelled on a specific favourite red Jazz III pick from Eric Johnson’s personal collection. They feature a more refined and smoother tip, are more flexible than a standard Dunlop Jazz III, and have a matte finish with raised logos for grip. There have been signature picks before (I’m quite fond of Ibanez’s Paul Gilbert picks), but not quite like this. Will this start a trend? Will we see picks replicating the teeth-marks of Eddie Van Halen, or the pick scrapes of CC Deville?

Marshall MS-4 Micro Stack Standard

There are quite a few mini amps on the market, but this has gotta be my favourite. There is, of course, nothing cooler than a Marshall stack, and you could probably talk yourself into buying 8 or so of these so you could have a mini Yngwie amp rig on your desk. Think about it: 4 dry amps in the middle, and 2 either side, each pair with its own delay signal. Ok, maybe that’s just me, but at the very least you could chuck one of these and a travel guitar in your backpack for a picnic. Or you could have a bitchen Barbie concert in your doll house. 

D’Andrea Guitar Care Kit Standard

I know, I know, cleaning your guitar isn’t the most glamorous of ways to pass one’s time, but I’ve received these kits as Christmas presents every few years since I was in my early teens and they’re always very useful. So unless the guitarist you’re buying it for is an utter jerk, this is a gift that will be greatly appreciated. Just make sure you’re not in the room if they use the string cleaner and polishing cloth, cos you risk being exposed to the dreaded fingers-on-the-blackboard sound. Urk.

NEWS: This week’s new releases

Lindsay Buckingham – Gift of Screws
New solo album from the Fleetwood Macdaddy, with appearances by FleeMac cohorts Mick Fleetwood and John McVie. The word is that there is some pretty scorching guitar playing on this one, along with an altogether darker blues rock edge compared to his previous release, Under The Skin. Buckingham has always been hugely underrated but his tone and note choice are, to quote Cookie Monster, nomnomnomnom.

Buckcherry – Black Butterfly
Personally I was never really sold on Buckcherry. However, they do have some nice guitar tones and a cool sleaze-rock vibe, and early reviews proclaim this the best album of their career, so it may be worth a listen for those of us who never really gave them enough of a chance.

The Cure – Hypnagogic States
This EP consists of a few songs from the forthcoming full length album by the gloomy heroes of yesteryear, all remixed by the gloomy heroes of today, including members of My Chemical Romance, Fall Out Boy, AFI, 30 Seconds to Mars, and 65 Days of Static. All royalties from the EP will be donated to the International Red Cross.

David Gilmour – Live in Gdansk
2 CD/2 DVD set by former Pink Floyd guitarist, playing solo tracks as well as Pink Floyd classics. Not a lot of surprises in the setlist, but any chance to watch Gilmour’s tastefully restrained playing close-up should be seized upon and ravaged like a zebra with a trick knee.

Marc Ford & The Neptune Blues Club – self titled
Former Black Crowes guitarist Ford stakes out his claim to the same guitar hero territory prowled by the likes of Jimi Hendrix and Jeff Beck, with an album of original blues rock.