Sunday, July 31, 2005

Howie Day Video

This is video from the Howie Day concert. The sound quality isn't that great (big surprise) but I really wanted to post this because I've been meaning to put together a little Flash Player that would make it easy to post other video.

So here it is. As I said, not the greatest sound, but you get the idea...

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Howie Day in Boston

Saw Howie Day at The Bank of Boston Pavilion last Saturday [July 24]. It's the second time I've seen Howie live; the last time was at the Orpheum. That show was solo, but this show he had a band. Personally, I think Howie is best solo. He's okay with a band too, but if I had a preference I'd rather see him solo.

The show was still great, and the Pavilion is an interesting place; it's like a huge tent, and it's right on the harbor, and if the weather is nice (as it was this day) it really adds to the whole experience. I'd much rather see an act at this location than the Tweeter Center or the Fleet Center (or whatever it's called now.)

Not a whole lot to say about the show; I'm terrible at writing reviews of these things anyway. But the highlight for me was the one song he did solo; She Says which was the first song of the encore. He didn't do Madrigals, which is another favorite, but you can't have everything. I hear he did a cover of Don't Dream It's Over at the 7/29 show; I would have liked to have seen that.

He worked hard and sounded great. Not a whole lot of between song chat, but some people like that.

Monday, July 25, 2005


You can read about NAMM news at Harmony-Central. Not a whole lot so far has caught my attention. Taylor has a set of Fall Limiteds with some interesting woods.

Martin has announced (drum roll please) the George Martin, Martin. A guitar for the 5th Beatle. Now George Martin is a wonderfully talented, yet modest person, but while he's pretty good with the piano, he's hardly known for his guitar playing. In fact, this guitar was - and Martin acknowledges this - not designed by George at all. Rather "George Martin detailed his preferences for a namesake Martin Signature Edition guitar to fellow musician and record producer John Kurgan, his specific goal was to create an instrument uniquely suited to the studio."

It has a funky headstock, with a kind of art-deco feel 'M' on it, that almost has me wanting one ;)

It's a shame that Martin won't be doing a Paul McCartney signature edition (Paul recently did something with Epiphone) so this might be the closest you'll ever get to a 'Beatle' Martin.

Friday, July 22, 2005

The Ever Changing Internet

I love the Internet, but sometimes it can be frustrating. For example, just recently I wrote about the Street Musician website I had stumbled across.

Well, it's suddenly disappeared. Gone. Nada. 404 Error and all that. No idea what happened to it; though the guy mentioned that he'd recently lost his job...I wonder if he lost his Internet Service as well?

Well it's really unfortunate that it's gone, as I thought it had some interesting info.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005


I've never been, but the summer NAMM show runs July 22 - 24, in Indianapolis. NAMM is the show for the music industry, and it's where manufacturers announce new products. Of special interest to me are the announcements from guitar makers such as Martin, Taylor et. al. Both companies historically announce new products at this show.

I wonder what might be coming?....

NAMM happens just before Nazfest (part of the scheduling of Nazfest has to do with avoiding the run up to NAMM at Martin), so an exciting time is ahead..


The Harman Kardon Drive + Play is an iPod docking system that can be hard wired in an automobile. It consists of three components:
  • A backlit LCD pivoting display, which is designed to be mounted where the driver can easily see the screen while keeping their eyes on the road;

  • a five-button navigation control unit – the navigation wheel is similar to BMW’s iDrive wheel, but mimics the iPods controls;

  • a unit that connects everything together.

Looks pretty cool, as the screen is large; anyone who has tried working with their iPod while driving know's how dangerous trying to read the iPod screen can be. On the other hand, it's $199, which is a good chunk of change.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Concert Prices Down

...that's what they just said on the local news. Concert attendence is down 12% this year, and prices are down 6%.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Ring Tones!

This article; "Insight Out: Album sales tell partial story" covers the 7% downturn in album sales, but also looks at new forms of revenue for the music industry. It projects $104 million will be made by the labels from the download of singles in 2005. That's not a trivial number, but what shocked me was this:

The U.S. ringtone market was $300 million in 2004. Labels split the revenues with cellular carriers pretty much down the middle. That’s roughly $150 million in ringtone revenues.

So more money is being made from ringtones than from downloads?! Wow!

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Wish You Were Here

Jammed with David last night. When we get organized we can accomplish quite a bit!

We decided it was time to murder Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd. I’ve always liked the song, though I have never bought any of their albums, and I don’t exactly know the song by heart.

I was having trouble with a couple of lines in the chorus,

Running over the same old ground,
what have we found - the same old fears?

I was messing it up badly, and then I remembered that I’d bought the song a while ago through iTunes, and I had it on my iPod. Hasty scramble to get speakers out of the office so we can play it, which worked okay, though something’s up with the cable I was using to connect to the iPod as I had to jiggle it a little to get the sound right.

So played that, and did a bit better, but have to work some more at it.

Meanwhile, David had learned the Guitar 1 riff and I was just strumming along, and he suggested I learn the Guitar 2 riff. But then (lucky me!) he decided that he should play the Guitar 2 part, and I should do the Guitar 1 part, so that’s my homework for the week!


Monday, July 11, 2005

DMB at Tweeter Center

I made my annual pilgrimage to the Tweeter Center to see Dave Matthews Band. I think I am getting beyond jaded. Not that it was a bad show, but having been nine rows from the front a couple of years ago (see picture) everything since just hasn’t measured up!

I also discovered that I was actually over dressed for the occasion. The weather the last few days has been all over the map, and so I put on a shirt and khaki pants and it was only when I got there that I realized I was basically dressed in business casual. If I’d been wearing shorts or jeans I would have been okay, but I was over dressed – or at least I felt that way. And this from someone who never overdresses for anything!

I made a point of getting there early as I wanted to see Dave introduce the opening act; not that I wanted to see the opening act, I just wanted to see his introduction. I got there about 6:30, read a book in the car for a while, then made my way inside, and was just in time to see Dave make the introduction.

As he had for his Howie Day introduction, Dave alluded to working on a hang over. He also revealed the secret to a good Margarita; cheap Rum. He sounded drunk; which I couldn’t figure out if it was an affectation, or he actually was. When he spoke later – if only briefly – during the concert, he didn’t sound drunk; but then he didn’t say a whole hell of a lot either. Is Dave Matthews the Dean Martin of this generation? Should someone stage an intervention?

The show itself started with Everyday, then moved into their latest single (the one after American Baby) and a mix of their catalog. They did #34, which I’ve never seen them do live before, and they covered Time of the Season, originally performed by The Zombies, which was amazingly faithful to the original.

I did the encore skip and dashed for the car at the end of the set. Got out of the parking lot in about three minutes flat (not counting the time it took to find the car!)

Oh, noticed that Dave did not play the Taylor T5, which is used in the American Baby video. I read that he used that for the video because they were just about to leave on tour and his other guitars had been shipped off to Australia already.

It's the time of the season
When the love runs high
In this time, give it to me easy
And let me try, With pleasured hands
To take you and the sun to
Promised lands
To show you every one
It's the time of the season for loving

Still Waiting

Gotta love the guy at Sweetwater. He just gave me the monthly call to update me on the status of the Samson USB microphone. They should have them in a couple of weeks...

Friday, July 08, 2005

DMB Tomorrow Night

Dave Matthews Band is playing at the Tweeter Center tomorrow night. I hate the Tweeter Center. Getting out of the parking lot is impossible (figure on an hour and a half wait.) About the only way to get out in a reasonable amount of time is to skip the encore. I hate doing that, but I hate waiting in the parking lot for so long too...

Last year I went and I ran (do not walk) to the car after they left the stage (before the encore) and was out of the parking lot in five minutes flat (I timed it!) Not too sure what I'll do tomorrow. The weather is so miserable tonight; if it's like that tomorrow I might even consider not going! Geez! What a kill-joy I'm becoming!

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Nazfest 2005

Nazfest 2003
Originally uploaded by mchgtr.
I finally started to work out some of my summer schedule, and I've decided I'm going to Nazfest 2005.

This is the annual get together of the Unofficial Martin Guitar Forum, and it's basically a big get together of Martin guitar fans and players.

I went in 2003 and had a blast, so I'm looking forward to it this year.


It was a repeat, but Dave Matthews Band was on Letterman last night, and I hadn't seen it, so I stayed up to watch.

I wish I hadn't.

Well, Ray Ramano was pretty funny, but DMB gave a rather lackluster performance. Dave seemed into it, but the rest of the band didn't seem that excited. Maybe they need a longer set to stretch their legs?

It might have been worth it if Letterman had actually interviewed Dave (or anyone!) afterwards, but nope...

On a related note: I have a recording of one of Howie Day's performances opening for DMB. Dave came out and introduced him (I think it's great that Dave comes out and introduces people that open for him; that's pretty classy, and rather rare.)

Anyway, Dave sounds like he's three sheets to the wind. He admits to having a hangover, though it sounds like he's working on one, not trying to get over it. Then he makes some joke about Howie's band being entirely made up of fudge. I have no idea what that is about...

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Denon Does iPod

Denon Electronics has announced the S-301 and S-101 home entertainment systems. Features include: front-panel USB port, integrated DVD and receiver, remote control, dual satellite speakers and subwoofer. A “Connect iPod” cable provides access to the iPod’s menu on the home theater screen. All basic iPod features, including volume control, menu navigation, play, stop and skip, can be operated using the Denon remote control. The cable also charges the iPod.

That's the good news...

The S-301 retails for $1,599, while the S-101 system costs $999. Both systems are expected to ship in August.

Eric Clapton - Acoustic Classics DVD

Just picked up the Eric Clapton - Acoustic Classics DVD

It covers a bunch of songs I'm interested in learning, including Malted Milk and Walkin' Blues. I actually have the tab from the unplugged sessions but it's kind of nice to have the visual reference as well. And there's some interesting tips for bits and pieces that just aren't obvious from the tab.

There's also his version of Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out, which I already know how to play, but the version on the DVD is a lot more complex than the version I know.

So far I'd give the DVD a thumbs up (am I allowed to do that, or is it a copyrighted term?) And it's not that expensive; $19.95, though I got it from Elderly for a little less.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Crooked Still

Crooked Still played Club Passim last night. They play bluegrass traditional I guess you'd say, though they jazz it up a lot. This is the second time I have seen them, and they are really great. Aoife O'Donovan has a wonderful voice, and Rushad Eggleston is a great cellist (cello!) and has a really warped sense of humor. Actually they all seem to have a pretty weird sense of humor and the shows are wonderful musically, as well as entertaining and often hilarious!

Check their site for info, as well as to see a photo with an interesting promotional write-up for them:
Crocked Still CAJUN BAND (from Boston) A fantastic 4 pce band with a complete sound