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Thursday, November 28, 2013

Rickenbacker and Hammond/Leslie sounds

I love Rickenbacker guitars.  They were part of the 60's rock sound (along with Hammond Organs), and that jangle and chime sound is unique to the guitar.  It's an electric semi-hollow body with single coil pickups, and it really shreds in the treble range.

I have been pretty sure for a LONG time that the opening guitar riff to this song was performed on a Rick, just by the sound.  However I only found the video today and verified it :)

The Byrds - a classic Rick band. Roger McGuinn is playing the Rickenbacker at the right. This was the first successful band to fuse folk music with rock music.

Another 1960's band.  What's that John has in his hands?  A Rickenbacker!

And now for the sound of a Hammond B3 or C3 organ, coupled with a Leslie phase shifting speaker.  Think Deep Purple, Booker T. and Keith Emerson (Emerson, Lake, and Palmer)

First of all, the guts of the Leslie speaker:  Below is a video of someone playing an organ into a Leslie 122.  The top part of the cabinet contains a tweeter/midrange speaker and a rotating horn.  Only one side of the horn is hollow and allows sound from the tweeter to escape.  The other is a dummy and just there for rotational balance.  You get the vibrato sound as the opening moves toward you and away from you. 

The same is true of the bottom woofer, but in this case, a rotating cylinder is used, with a port cut in it.  Again, the vibrato sound is created as the opening rotates toward and away from the listener. 

The speaker has a small vacuum tube amplifier inside, and a two speed motor.  The sound is awesome!!

Next up, the Hammond B3/C3 Organ coupled to a Leslie, in the hands of a skilled musician.

These organs have a characteristic growl that is unmistakeable.  Here is Jon Lord doing "Smoke On The Water".  You can easily tell when the Hammond joins the chorus with the guitar :)  Awesome sound!  Solo starts at about 3:00.

Here is Three Dog Night performing a Hammond-y "Out in the Country"  The organ solo starts at about the 2:15 mark.

Here is another classic 60's/70s band that used a Hammond/Leslie rig.  The Greg Allman organ solo starts at 3:45, but the entire song is pretty cool, and has a lovely Hammond-filled sound, as well as that awesome dual-guitar sound that the Allman Brothers pioneered. 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

What type of music don't I like?

On a more eccentric note, I have been having a blast watching forgotten old music videos.  There are a raft of music videos that everyone has seen.  Then there are those eclectic videos that are nearly forgotten, those are the ones I've been enjoying watching and listening to.

I love pretty much all music.  Classical, Big Band, Punk, Blues, etc etc.  This is just a hodge-podge of fun videos that I wanted to stick up here for the moment.

New Wave!  Devo - one of their less well-known cover songs.  Blows the Rolling Stones away!  "Can't Get me no..." Love the robotic movements!

Punk.  The Dead Kennedys.  Holiday in Cambodia.  The lyrics to this song crack me up :)

More Punk.  Bad Religion.

Roman Holliday - A little early-1980's swing.

Oingo Boingo.  Yep that's Danny Elfman, the acclaimed movie soundtrack producer, back when he was frontman for an offbeat little band.

Billy Preston.  I grew up listening to this awesome musician on Top 40 AM radio.   I miss funk music!!!

More funk.  The Commodores.   That's Lionel Ritchie on the keyboard :)

Blues.  IMHO, Foghat does the best-ever version of "Sweet Home Chicago".  The studio version is absolutely awesome, but this live version comes pretty close!  I am a huge fan of slide guitar...

Below is Elmore James doing "Dust my Broom".  You can hear the riffs that Foghat used in "Sweet Home Chicago", above. 

Another awesome slide guitar video.  Roy Rogers.

Spanish Guitar also works!  Paco de Lucia and Al DiMeola.

Booker T. and the MG's.  Time is tight.  Just offstage you can see the members of Creedence Clearwater Revival rocking out :)  A couple of these guys were in the Blues Brothers movie.

Dave Brubeck.  Early Modern Jazz

Joe Satriani. 

Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac soloing Big Love. Awesome accoustic guitar work.

Miserlou, the classic version

Miserlou, the surf-rock version

Happy (almost) Thanksgiving

...and I'm working, of course.  Haven't had a major holiday off in a couple of years now.  It's not that easy being the newest guy at a facility.  Reminds me of when I was in the Navy, and all the married guys would get cut loose over the holidays.  All the single guys would get stuck babysitting the ship.

A couple of things have come up since my last post.  I read an amazing blog post by a lady who describes the hopelessness of being poor.  Day after day, year after year.  She is highly intelligent and self-aware, and happily, her post has gone viral.  She is hoping to write a book soon, and I would certainly want to read and buy it.

Here is her post.  Go read it now.  She is trying to do good things with her 15 minutes of internet fame.  Awesome lady.

Let's also be thankful for what we have.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Viola Organista

The Viola Organista was an invention dreamed up by Leonardo da Vinci.  In 1993 and 2004 a couple of these were made.  Now we have some great video of a man who built one and performed a concert.  Below is the original drawing that Leonardo made over 500 years ago.

A Polish master instrument maker used the drawing as a basis for making the third ever Viola Organista.  It uses rotating drums, wrapped with horse hair, as sort of an endless violin bow.  The strings are pressed down onto the rotating drum when the key is pressed. 

The thing sounds like the entire string section of an orchestra!  It's really neat. 

Music starts at about 4:00, and English subtitles are available by clicking "CC" at the bottom right, if you are interested in the interview part.

Below, the first time this instrument was ever heard in public.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Belated Veteran's Day Post

My daughter's school once again held a Veteran's Day assembly, where any veteran they knew was invited to attend, and honored.  Again, it was nice to have the service of country be acknowledged.

The transition from military to civilian can be pretty easy, or it can be difficult.  Coming out of the submarine service, I had a little bit of difficulty.  I missed the intensity of running casualty drills, of the camraderie, and also with the return from isolation from the public.

My own service was not what I wanted to post about for Veteran's Day though.  This guy is.

Friday, November 08, 2013

The Northern Garage

A family member recently moved nearby, and I promised that we would insulate and drywall the garage for them, if they would pay for the materials.  The garage was quite cold and drafty, as the eaves are vented into the attic space on three of the walls.

I bought and installed a new garage door opener as a gift.  I also purchased (but have not yet installed) a couple of fluorescent fixtures to replace the bare 100W bulbs.

Having now completed the work, I can state with authority that I would rather be unemployed and hungry than be a drywall installer.

Below are two pictures taken of the garage before we started the work.

Below are pictures I took of our handiwork afterwards.  Fortunately it was "just a garage", so the finished look wasn't too much of an issue.

I added an access hatch to the garage attic, although I wasn't sure that it was necessary.

 The garage door opener is a belt-drive type.  It is unbelievably quiet!

 Below is a video comparing chain and belt drives.  I think I will be installing these in my own garage pretty soon :)