Posts Tagged ‘Metallica’

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Today would have been Cliff Burton’s 51st birthday. He was, in my opinion, one of the best bass players who has ever lived. One night while I was still in high school, I was hanging out with my band’s drummer watching

    Cliff ‘Em All

. We started talking about how good he was and how we wished we could meet him. Our living room had a table lamp that had a touch sensitive dimmer pad connected to it. There was no slide or button. You simply touched it and slid your finger up or down to change the brightness. Right after we stated our desire to have been able to meet Cliff the lamp got brighter and brighter and then went off, and then got brighter and went off. It did this 3 or 4 times before I felt the need to touch the dimmer pad to see if I could make it stop.
Now, I want to be clear. I do not believe in ghosts or spirits, but I love this story and at the time I definitely felt like Cliff had reached out and said hello.

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I was watching a documentary on the making of the first Doors album recently. Perry Farrell was talking about how it’s one of the albums he’ll hand to his kids to listen to. That got me thinking about what I would want the two smallest Muffins to be exposed to. The criteria for me is really “What albums touched me or made me appreciate music differently?” This is not a “Best Of” or “The Top Albums to…” list. This is very personal, and as I see it there are no wrong answers. So here we go…

The Beatles-Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band: Too obvious? Whatever. It’s a great album with great songs and it stands as a hallmark to what musicians can do without radio-friendly constraints. The older Muffin already owns The Beatles 1 CD and loves it. The younger muffin is digging it too.

Led Zeppelin-Led Zeppelin IV: Yes another obvious one. I don’t think I can properly explain what this album did to my 6th grade brain when I first listened to the whole thing. Amazing highs and great mellow bits. Great musicianship all around. And did I mention iconic?

Psychotic Waltz-Into The Everflow: A little known, but almost huge, progressive metal band out of San Diego, CA. I believe this is there strongest and most well structured album. The guitar alone is worth it, but there are soaring vocals and complicated drum beats melded well with a solid bass sound.

Metallica-Master Of Puppets: Another seminal album. Metallica has done a lot of good, but none shine like this bad boy. Plus it’s the last album with Cliff Burton, who will always be the best metal bass player ever. Ever.

Teenage Fanclub-Bandwagonesque: I didn’t get hip to this one till quite a few years after it came out. It is a perfect album from start to finish and shows what great songwriting should be. The tonal structures of the guitar parts are awe inspiring.

Ben Folds-Ben Folds Live: This is our man on his own pounding the keys and singing his heart out. The best part? Hearing the harmonies Ben gets out of his audience. And the lyrics to his songs are some of the best you could ever hope to emmulate.

The Streets-Original Pirate Material: Not familiar with Grime? UK hip hop. This is one of those that changed me when I first heard it. The beats, the loops, the very personal lyrics, and placement in a specific time and location are just brilliant.

Well, I think that’s good for now. But this is definitely a list I will revisit. Look for future entries.

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That’s right. I won a contest. Every month for the past 3 years I have entered Carvin’s online contest to win a gift certificate and I finally won. I didn’t believe it at first when I saw the email in my inbox, but sure enough after reading it 18 times and checking the originating email address I was convinced. I had more doubt and stress after that. You see they had to mail, yes MAIL, me the gift certificate. I then had to call them up and place my order and then mail, yes MAIL, them the gift certificate back. I was convinced it wouldn’t work out and that something would get lost somewhere. I was wrong! I received my order this past Tuesday. I ordered some strings and mic cables and an amp stand and a mic stand and a Carvin SX100 1×12 combo amp, in red tolex of course.

I am very excited. I’ve played it a bit and I really like the sound. It has emulator tech in it, but instead of Carvin trying to make it sound like another specific amp (i.e. making a Carvin sound like a Mesa Boogie Rectifier) they tried to make a solid state amp sound like a tube amp. An amp with 12AX7 tubes in it to be precise. What I love about Carvin is that their amps have a meatier, beefier,  sound to them. I dig Marshalls, but they can be too tinny for me sometimes.  The clean on this is reminiscent of a Roland Jazz Chorus minus the chorus. It has chorus, just not that Roland chorus.  The gain channel can do light to pretty saturated distortion. While it may not work for some death metal it is great for classic rock AC-DC style and even Metallica type sounds. There is also a blues button that switches the gain sound to, well, a blues sound. Additionally, it has Reverb, Chorus, Flange and Echo. Though you can only choose one effect at a time (I’m sticking with reverb for now) it is great to have options while recording. Which I hope to do so I can give you some samples.

One last bit that is exciting: extension speaker out. In my dream world I would get the Vintage 1×12 speaker cab to go with.

Carvin 1×12 Vintage Series Extension Speaker

So there you have it. This was meant to be a simple post about my good fortune, but, apparently, there was a ton I wanted to write. Thank you for taking the time to read a somewhat lengthy post (if you did) and thank you for just looking even if you didn’t read this (which means you didn’t read that).

And because I still don’t feel this post is long enough, here are the specs of my new amp from Carvin’s website:


– Active tone circuits for individual contour and extreme range
– Each channel features custom tailored Bass, Mid-range and Treble controls
– SmartEffects™ – Reverb, Chorus, Flange and Echo with 2 parameter controls for 256 total variations
– One Carvin British Series BR12 12 inch speaker
– Sealed controls
– Classic black knobs
– Classic red jewel lamp


– Strong poplar plywood enclosure – not particleboard!
– Covered in black tolex (they actually have many choices for the tolex)
– Premium components and solid design for years of reliable performance
– 100W Output
– Carvin British Series BR12 12 inch speaker
– CH1 EQ @ 80, 700 & 11.5k Hz
– CH2 EQ @ 50, 500 & 11.5k Hz
– Cabinet Voiced Line Out, Headphone Jack, External Speaker Jack
– AC Power: 90V to 255V, 50-60 Hz
– Dimensions: 19.5 inches wide X 10.25 inches deep X 17.75 inches high
– Weight: 37 lbs.
– Made in San Diego, California

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So apparently this happened this past Saturday. I remember when I used to keep better track of tese things. Anyway, here is a link to Gibson’s website with a nice synopsis and some cool vids: http://www.gibson.com/en-us/Lifestyle/News/Rock-and-Roll-Hall-of-Fame-406/


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Why 7? Because this is filler. Plus, haven’t lists rounded to the nearest 5 or 10 been overdone? In the meantime, if you want a top 10 list, post a comment with 3 more movies to round this list out and you will get my eternal gratitude and a cookie!


Wonderful movie about the mutual admiration of The Dandy Warhols and The Brian Jonestown Massacre and how it all goes wrong, for one band. Best line in a movie EVER, “You fucking broke my sitar, mother fucker!”

The Flaming Lips: Fearless Freaks

Made me really appreciate what they’e about by learning more about their process. It’s all about the process.

Metallica: Some Kind Of Monster

Band loses bass player, band finds bass player, band loses bass player, band loses singer, singer comes back, band finds bass player, and Bob Rock is adorable. I should know. I watch this movie 40 times a year.

Les Paul: Chasing Sound

Just amazing. See why every recording artist, regardless of genre, owes this man just about everything.

Shut Up & Sing

Or Why Country Music Fans Hate America No Matter How Patriotic They Sound. In all seriousness this is a must see. The Dixie Chicks kick ass.

History of Rock ‘N’ Roll

Want to learn how every major genre of rock music started and be entertained? No? Oh. Well watch this anyway.

LoudQUIETloud: A Film About The Pixies

Find out that indie cred doesn’t make you cool in real life. Oh, and Frank Black’s man boobs!

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