Posts Tagged ‘Portland’

As mentioned before Tarehna and I have a new music project we are working on. Well, we have been interviewed by my good friend Paul for his blog. Pretty excited about it. Have a look: http://sparksandashes.com/2012/01/27/sparking-creativity-idito-the-chicken-and-moonpie-nobot/

For today’s entry in our ongoing “Sparking Creativity” series, we catch up with quirky Portland based creative duo “Idito the Chicken and Moonpie Nobot.” We’ve featured them and their unique brand of lo-fi musical genius before.

Today, Brandon and Tarehna share their thoughts on the benefit of self-imposed goals, and the joys of creating great things with someone you love.

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This looks so good. And unlike It Might Get Loud it will actually play here in Portland.

Throw Down Your Heart follows American banjo virtuoso Béla Fleck on his journey to Africa to explore the little known African roots of the banjo and record an album. Béla’s boundary-breaking musical adventure takes him to Uganda, Tanzania, The Gambia, and Mali, and provides a glimpse of the beauty and complexity of Africa. Using his banjo, Béla transcends barriers of language and culture, finding common ground and forging connections with musicians from very different backgrounds.

The movie was made by Sascha Paladino, Béla Fleck’s half-brother, and is the second the two have made together, the first being the documentary short Obstinato: Making Music for Two. A CD is already available under the title Throw Down Your Heart, Tales from the Acoustic Planet, Vol. 3: Africa Sessions.
Limited screenings start in New York today, April 24th. We in Portland must wait until July 17th.

July 17-23, 2009

Hollywood Theatre

Portland, OR


List of screenings: http://argotpictures.com/throw-down-your-heart.html

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This is pretty exciting: It Might Get Loud

Who hasn’t wanted to be a rock star, join a band or play electric guitar? Music resonates, moves and inspires us. Strummed through the fingers of The Edge, Jimmy Page and Jack White, somehow it does more. Such is the premise of It Might Get Loud, a new documentary conceived by producer Thomas Tull.

It Might Get Loud isn’t like any other rock’n roll documentary. Filmed through the eyes of three virtuosos from three different generations, audiences get up close and personal, discovering how a furniture upholsterer from Detroit, a studio musician and painter from London and a seventeen–year–old Dublin schoolboy, each used the electric guitar to develop their unique sound and rise to the pantheon of superstar. Rare discussions are provoked as we travel with Jimmy Page, The Edge and Jack White to influential locations of their pasts. Born from the experience is intimate access to the creative genesis of each legend, such as Link Wray’s “Rumble’s” searing impression upon Jimmy Page, who surprises audiences with an impromptu air guitar performance. But that’s only the beginning.

It opens in NY and LA Aug 21st and then other theaters after that. If it makes it to Portland I am definitely going to see this in the theater.


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A long time ago, in this very same city, let’s say 1998 and let’s say it was in Portland, I had a Zoom 505 multi-effect pedal. It was awesome. A bank-up pedal, a bank-down pedal, push both for bypass and attach an external expression pedal for wah or fading effects in or out. 24 effects to choose from with up to 9 at a time! So if I wanted an auto-wah fuzz noise-reduced amp simulating phaser doubled with pitch shift and delay I was all over it. In 2005 Zoom updated the pedal and dubbed it the G1 and then followed it with the G2. I got myself the Zoom G2.1U on account of the built in expression pedal and the usb interface.

Obviously the G2 has more processing power than the 505. Also new is the amp modeling technology. If you are unfamiliar with amp modeling it’s when a company analyzes the way a 1969 Marshall Plexi sounds and then puts that sound in a chip and puts that chip in a pedal and sells it to me because I can afford the effects pedal, but not the 1969 Marshall Plexi. The Zoom G2 packs 16 classic amp and stomp box models. Also included are two Zoom original designs the Zoom Extreme Distortion and Zoom Digital Fuzz. If you use it right the Zoom Extreme Distortion can get a decent approximation of Dimebag Darrell’s sound.

Of the amps that Zoom used as models I have only ever owned the Roland Jazz Chorus, and kick myself everyday for selling it. The Roland Jazz Chorus emulation sounds just like a Roland Jazz Chorus emulation. I can tell what they’re going for, but it’s clearly not the real deal. Still, it is a very nice, clean sound. My biggest problem, unfortunately, is all of the amp models. The amp modeling seems like a great idea, right? And it is, kinda. The distortion choices on the 505 we more generic like OD, Rythym, Metal. But my memory is that they were more tweakable and that you could actually get a more original sound. The amp models on the G2 let you adjust them a bit, but it’s mostly less gain or more gain.

That being said, I really do enjoy the G2.1U and would choose it over the 505 due to the built in expression pedal and the fact that all of the other effects (54 this time, still only 9 at once) are really quite good, even the distortions. The interface takes some getting use to, but like anything practice makes perfect. The moment I actually felt I started to understand how the thing works is after visiting a site where people share their custom patches (sounds they came up with using the G2). Have a Zoom G2.1U and want to sound like The Edge or James Hetfield? Do a search and program away. The site is at haax.se, the exact address being: http://www.haax.se/manualsite/index.php?unit=G2

This was meant to be a short entry about the merits of the Zoom G2.1U, but I got a little off track and a little long winded (type-ed?). Anyway, take what you will and feel free to contact me with any questions about either Zoom pedal. There really is just too much to include in one entry.

Zoom 505

Zoom 505

Zoom G2.1U

Zoom G2.1U

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