Friday, October 20, 2017

Appreciation


Unbelievable. It's now beyond 2.75mil hits. OK, some of those were from me as I continue to review   posts during bus rides to/from work. But I sure didn't re-visit this blog 2mil times just to make the numbers! Nevertheless, I'm grateful for the readership (which took some personal turns along the way) & look forward to your continued support. Just coming by to read the stuff here means a great deal to me & I value your interest. Once again- thank you for making this happen!

PS: Give-away coming soon 🎸

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Cracked purple


The Ibanez Iceman cometh but it's a Paul Stanley (PS2CM) version with the much celebrated cracked mirror finish. So now it's offered in a purple manifestation with Seymour Duncan pickups: '59/C5

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The pretenders


Had some playing time this morning as it's a public holiday 🎉

Let's not kid ourselves in seeing something original here. Bacchus & Aria Pro are clearly riding on Fender's shadows. What's the point of spending good money on such copies? My take:
  1. Budget alternatives. There are now countless copies out there, even boutique names are taking pride in doing so. The funny thing is, some of us drown ourselves in snob appeal with our boutique copies but we are quick to judge if our peers strum the budget versions. There are players out there who had the Fender experience (played one in store, borrowed a friend's, etc.) & wouldn't want to spend too much on the brand name. They just want that bolt-on chemistry plus some passable twanging moments & can live with other concessions. As the general audience out there simply can't tell the tonal difference between a Fender & its countless imitators, why the heck not. Ditto recording moments- is the whole world there to witness you record your musical glory with a Fender? They are too busy, too lost in their own moments to care.
  2. Back-up. Especially for those of us who are playing a Fender as our No.1, having a reliable back-up will save us from tripping into the pits of hellish embarrassment. It might even prevent us from getting fired. These days, there are above-average Strat/Tele-type models to choose from. You need not tread the Squier path if you think they are not up to it for you. Take some time to browse the stores, disregard the brand name & be objective. I'd personally recommend the LTD models.
  3. Inspiration. A little ironic but we sometimes get inspired by the stuff we overlook. I sometimes make it a point to have these imitators on standby when I play my Fenders just to have a moment of difference. We are at times blinded by arrogance in acknowledging the fact that our lesser brand names are the ones that share our intimate moments & perpetuate inspiration rather than that over-priced excess. 
Whatever the case may be, these budget alternatives have their place in the grand scheme of things, we tend to dismiss them prematurely before knowing what's unfolding next. 

Guitars in pic: Bacchus BST-1/ Aria 615 Frontier

Deepavali 2017


Midweek break- a deserving breather for the hectic week. There are a few more days to go till the weekend, anticipating a frenzied week ahead. In the mean time, here's wishing those celebrating Deepavali a worthy triumph of light over darkness. For the rest of us, have a good break, do wind down with family & friends. 

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Into another


Stacking or cascading, whatever you call it, it's the employment of two pedals in clipping your signals. In this instance, I'm putting the harsher distortion first (immediately after the guitar) followed by the overdrive. The effect of leading the harsher pedal into the milder unit is that of smoothening. It brings grizzly responses down to a more acceptable territory in terms of presentation. Tones become more acceptable to non-guitar audience for that matter. Which pedal setting should be marked higher is up to your liking. The clear outcome here is that you cannot resign in saying the overdrive subdued your overall intensity because this is exactly the intention. Do note the increase in background noise/ hissing when employing two or more pedal simultaneously which will be compounded by your single coil pickups' humming. The cure- noise gate, which will be mentioned in a later episode.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Another 3


Here're 3 more for my listening pleasure. Actually, there are more than 3 here; Ride & Teenage Fanclub are compilations while Blondie is a greatest hits + new album package. 

RIDE
I used to have Going Blank Again & Tarantula in cassette tape format. The clear favourite is GBA, of course. The band was at the level best in terms of composition with varied song structures in the album, even a semi-instrumental take- not bad at all. 

TEENAGE FANCLUB
Similarly, Bandwagonesque, Thirteen & Grand Prix were in cassette tapes. I didn't buy Songs From Northern Britain & Howdy! but managed to borrow them from friends. I returned them all in good order (unlike some people).

BLONDIE
I grew up with Blondie playing on the radio. It was mostly on BBC back then, a fuzzy reception which blurred the lyrics mostly. As much as the catchy songs on offer, the guitars were played from a different approach. Chris Stein wasn't into technical impressions & there's a little more going on in terms of accompaniment & melodic fills. This Greatest Hits to me, at this day & age, is important. I'm not reliving the past but making sure the songs I like back then are now more accessible & readily available for my listening pleasure.