Sunday, March 22, 2009

Not To Beat a Dead Horse....

As my Friday waned to a close the other day, it had been basically any other Friday. I had a surgery in the morning and had worked in the undergraduate dental clinic in the afternoon. At 4:30, I had a post-op with a patient to remove sutures from a surgery 2 weeks ago. He's kind of a quasi-retired Mr. Everything for his trade, but he also is a musician and actor in local theater. We always talk about 1960's music and guitars. He has about 15 or so guitars from what I remember? I've told him ad-nauseum about my Fender Strats and my Fender Jaguar. To complete my set, I always say there is one more Fender guitar in particular I'll get someday....

In the fall of 1964, Fender Musical Instruments introduced a new student model guitar reminiscent of their student models, the Duo-Sonic and Musicmaster, but made for the more advanced player. It was the Fender Mustang. While never the glory of the Stratocaster or Telecaster, the Mustang with its short-scale neck ideal for players with smaller hands received a mild renaissance in the 1990's as a staple amongst the Grunge revolution and Generation X movement. Kurt Cobain can be seen playing a Mustang in the video for "Smells Like Teen Spirit".

As my patient came back to my operatory Friday, I noticed a backpack he was carrying. He sat it down and said, "I've got something for you". He opened his bag and pulled out the body and neck of a guitar and a ziplock bag full of screws, bolts and parts. My eyes lit up. He said,

"This has been sitting in my garage for 15 years. Someone gave it to me to put together, because they knew I liked working on guitars. I've never done anything with it. You always told me that you would someday buy a vintage Fender Mustang. This is an original 1964 Mustang. You, like me, like to work with your hands and things. So, I figured you'd get more out of this than me....".
(I do. Have I ever mentioned that since we've been in Boston I've replaced the LCD in my phone 3 times along with the vibration component all on my own via parts I got from Taiwan?)

Regardless, I nearly threw up on the guy. I am still speechless as I type this....This guitar is worth between $1500-$2000. Granted, this one is not in mint condition. The original baby blue paint has been sanded off along with the decal on the headstock, but the stamped date from the factory, "8 NOV 64 A", is still intact along with most of the wiring. With a long weekend with a sander, wood staining, flux, solder, and a soldering gun, I should be in business. Oh, the wonders of the internet. I've been able to find a full wiring schematic of the 1960's Mustang along with a step by step "how to" from some dude's blog. I am so excited and will never be able to thank this man enough.
Thank you, sir. So, so much...

Here are some photos of it...

Here it is all put together

Someday, I hope it will look like this...

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Vampire Week NIGHT

The boys of Vampire Weekend were on Jimmy Fallon last night with quite the entourage performing a not so new but new song (they've been playing it live for over a year).
Here they are doing "White Sky".
I don't like seeing Ezra without a guitar....
Man, the sound on Fallon - SUCKS!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

American Idolatry

So, does anyone still watch this garbage? I do. After taking a trial separation for Fantasia through Taylor, I came back around for Jordin, David, and now this season. It keeps getting worse and worse. I will say, there are a few winners this season, and by winners I mean the one 16 year-old girl from Cali that sings as good if not better than most people in the business today. Gone is the Later Day Saints drivel of David Archuletta and his overbearing father - arriving is the band of weirdos of Season 8. Let me recall what I can: 1 piano playing blind guy, 1 tatted up single mom hippie weirdo, 2 young moms from Memphis, 1 dueling piano bar player, the 16 yo fireball, 1 Mr. Niceguy from Arkansas, 1 oil riggin' family man, 1 gay theatre/emo kid from SF, 1 Indian college student from UNC, and 1 widower youth group leader. It's a rag tag group not seen since the Little Rascals, and that's just who's left. Our money is on the young one, Alison Iraheta, or Danny Gokey, the youth group leader, who is a combo of Michael McDonald fronting the Barenaked Ladies....

If anyone watched last night, you saw Johnny Cash roll over in his grave (or maybe felt it as the earth shifted underfoot). Adam Lambert, the former Wicked castmember and My Chemical Romance/Cure/Pet Wentz emo kid, took "Ring of Fire" to places I never imagined. With an Indian/Persian arrangement full of sitars etc, the June Carter penned tune was twisted into one of the scariest things I've ever seen. As flames filled the background, Lambert caressed the mic and himself while purring through the song channeling Grace Slick of Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit" and Jim Morrison with "The End" or "Spanish Caravan". Either way, terrifying and cocky. Basically, he said on Grand Old Opry night, I'm better that this - here goes! I would be no more shocked if I was being sung to by the hookah smoking caterpillar himself from Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Somebody's getting the axe tonight. I hope it's not Anoop (the Indian kid from UNC). In this time of Slumdog madness, how can you not pull for the kid? I want to say bye birdie to the rockin robin tatooed, horrible-quirky dancefest that is Megan Joy. Peace!

No shame in this game - I'm watching.
It's better than Dancing with the Stars any day!
Just watch this madness before it gets taken down

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Weather Report !!!!

Those hoping for a new White Stripes album anytime soon - don't hold your breath. Jack has finally moved the offices of his label, Third Man, to Nashville. In conjunction with that, he unveiled his latest side project, The Dead Weather. With the lead singer of the Kills (another great boy/girl duo ala the Stripes), the other guitarist from Queens of the Stone Age and Jack Lawrence, the bass player for the Raconteurs/The Greenhornes, White has assembled another amalgamation of musicians. The album will be out in June, and the offices are open now. It will feature a vinyl store inside, performance space, recording studio and more! If you can track down the debut 7" that I believe was given to the 150 guests at the grand opening event night before last which included Sheryl Crow et al, you will have quite the collector's item. For now, just go download the songs off Hype Machine:

The Dead Weather - "Hang You From the Heavens" (clink Link)
The Dead Weather - "Are Friends Electric?" (click Link)

PS - I'll be in Nashville this weekend for Polly and Forrest's wedding, but I know where I'll be going on Saturday morning - Third Man !!!

****UPDATE**** (3/16)
Third Man is downtown on 7th Avenue! Check!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

When Bananas Go Bad

Stumbled onto this video and I was reminded of my favorite commercial of the past month (only because it is so fun to sing). I'm guessing most of my readers are in the south and maybe don't get Denny's commercials. That banana up top is named: Nanner Puss. He's the star of the Grand Slam serious breakfast campaign. I've driven Whitney crazy singing, "You can call me, Nanner Puss - Nanner Puss! And guess what? I Love Pancakes!". I guess you have to see the commercial. This video below is simply a banana mascot gone wrong harassing the fans. Enjoy!

Oh, and heeeeeeeeeere's Nanner Puss!!!

Noise for Deaf Ears

Here are some more songs for listening enjoyment or not.....

The Strange Boys - "Poem Party"
This Austin, TX garage band has me foaming at the mouth. You know how I love the garage...

Say Hi - "November was White, December was Gray"
Recent Barsuk Records signee, they are on tour with opening act Telekinesis.

Beck - "Leopard Skin Pill-Box Hat"
A Dylan cover for the War Child Heroes compilation

Plushgun - "Just Impolite"
Postal Service-esque song sans the UPS whiteboard

Ra Ra Riot - "Can You Tell"
More goodies from the Rhumb Line

Friendly Fires - "Skeleton Boy"
SO much better than their 1st single. Sounds like poppie Klaxons

Crocodiles - "I Wanna Kill"
Lo-fi art rock that may help your National void (but not likely)

Wavves - "So Bored"
Not really sure what the big deal is? Blogs won't shut up about 'em/him...

Dum Dum Girls - "Baby, Don't Go"
Vivian Girls? Oh, no - I'm sorry....Dum Dum...

Friday, March 6, 2009

Songs From Coast to Coast

We are going bi-coastal with these two newbies and also international to boot.
Ironically, these two bands are singing about the opposite coast....

Wild Light
This New Hampshire outfit has just released their proper debut, Adult Nights. With generally positive reviews, they may achieve some momentum with their debut song, "California On My Mind". The only problem is that there will be NO love from traditional radio with this song as it proceeds to cuss the majority of the state (especially the San Francisco Bay area.....). Regardless of the language, the song is very catchy along with the rest of their Phantomy Planety songs. Check them out as they are my neighbors to the north (not Canada - I'm not that far north. Then again this group does claim a former member of Canada's own, Arcade Fire....). Leland, somewhere I read "for fans of CYHSY". No sure about that, but give 'em a whirl.

Wild Light - "California On My Mind" (Download)

Not so much a group, but a guy that I stumbled upon after he was signed to Merge Records recently. Apparently, he's buddies with Death Cab, so he must be cool (sic). Out of Seattle, Telekinesis is singing about the east coast on "Coast of Carolina"....It is a good song, but I like their song, "Tokyo" better. Just can't find an Mp3 of it for ya......Enjoy

Telekinesis - "Coast of Carolina" (Download)

Found the video for "Tokyo"

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Bring the Payne!!!

Director/Screenwriter Alexander Payne has emerged from his hibernation for the 1st time since 2004. It is about freaking time. My favorite movie of 2004 and one of my favorites of all time, Sideways (please see Trailer here, classic!) brought Payne his 1st Academy Award for best adapted screenplay. As we followed Miles and Jack across wine country for a bachelor weekend, you couldn't help but laugh at all that unfolds. You can't believe Jack's blind ambition to "score" and Miles' consuming inadequacy to function in general. Coupling with Sandra Oh (Payne's then wife) and Virginia Madsen, the story will make you smile, shake your head and even hurt from the raw reality of their lives. If you have never seen this movie, add it to your queue, NOW! Fair warning, it has some pretty crass/racy moments, but if Whitney can look past it and love this movie - anyone can!
Payne has re-united with long-term writing partner, Jim Taylor, to write the script for Downsizing. Much in the vein of Wes Anderson or M. Night Shamylan, Payne has pulled actors from his previous movies to star in this upcoming project. Paul Giamatti is back in the lead role (how can you not cast him? the academy's failure to even nominate him for Sideways after he WON nearly every award in every film critics circle will forever irk me! For another GREAT Giamatti performance check out Cinderella Man), and Reese Witherspoon is on board after carrying Payne's 1999 dark comedy, Election. The plot again is riddled with satire (shocker), and apparently Sacha Baron Cohen has a role playing some foreigner (yikes!). Whatever the end result may be, I am excited. I'm almost as excited as I am about GI Joe: the movie and Jeff Bridges in the upcoming Tron sequel. Whew!