Friday, March 26, 2010

Night Ranger @ The Palladium, Dallas, TX - 3/25/2010

Want to know if late 80's guitar rock is alive and well in America today? Well then, go catch Night Ranger. I went in joking about it, and 2 seconds into the show knew I had been mistaken. These guys kicked serious ass. The fella on the left (Mark Hammond) throws one of the best "Metal face" looks I have ever seen (including the late Randy Rhodes), and Brad Gillis(sp?) on the right just hammers that axe. The set is a 'best of' from a decade of Night Ranger and 5 or 6 years of Damn Yankees. Regardless of the era, the songs were dealt with ferocity. I had a blast. The best part, the vendor rep bought the beers all night AND I scammed a N.R. t-shirt from him as well. Unbelievable. Rock!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Realead in 1995, this album was brought to my attention by good-buddy Dave who was at the Univ. of Wisco at Madison at the time. I ran into a copy up at school, and was blown away at the time. 15 years later, I finally downloaded the thing from yesterday. The original release was on 2 compact discs, Transitive Axis, and Mirror Ashes. This thing blows Infrared Roses out of the water. More on the album below repopsted from David Dodd's "Annoted Grateful Dead Lyrics" website.

Not exactly a cover, not exactly a recording by the Dead, are John Oswald's Grayfolded CD's. Here's a review of them by Rob Meador:

Here's the lowdown on Grayfolded:

John Oswald has been experimenting with a process he calls 'plunderphonics' for some years now. He takes music, and plays with it by transforming the various elements-- slowing things down, speeding them up, layering strange things on top of one another, etc. His several CDs (never for sale and skirting the edge of liable) have been avidly collected by people like Gans, who turned Lesh onto it. In Oswald's own words-- "Plunderphonics is the taking of familiar music and making it strage, or, in another word, new."

Lesh and Gans convinced the rest of the band to let Oswald into the vaults to plunderphonicize the Dead (then they convinced Oswald to do it-- he was reluctant at first). At first, he wanted to work with Dark Star and The Other One, but as the project went on, he realized that Dark Star was a handful, and he concentrated on that. Oswald again: "As I mentioned earlier, plunderphonics usually entails taking what seems to be normal music and making it strange. But with Dark Star, since it often is strange to begin with, the task is inevitably different. Because I've so often heard that the experience of a Dead concert has never been translated to record in a satisfying way, I decided to attempt to make that translation."

He took digital copies of about 51 Dark Stars from 1968 to 1992 (including an acoustic version!), and used them as his material. Two CDs are the result-- one 59 minutes, the other 46 minutes long. In his own words again: "With Dark Star I felt like orchestrating the Dead-- having multiple verions of the band superimposed in vertical layers, so you'd have the Grateful Dead Orchestra for the nebulous sections of the song, which would be interspersed with smaller ensembles." (The above facts and quotes taken from the CD booklet)

The result of all this is stunning. You have multiple Jerry's, sometimes playing at the same time, and sometimes in the same lead. For example, you might hear a line start with what is obviously a 1969 Jerry, and end with an obvious 1989 Jerry. The same with the rest of the band. He really captures the nuances of Dark Stars in general, and there are wondrous, surprising, and very funny things going on. I love Dark Star, and I was leery lest this be awful, but it's not. It really holds the spirit of Dark Star, and is a wonderful testament to the originality and depth of the Dead's music through the years. Highly recommended!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Shall we go?


spinning a set the stars through which the tattered tales of axis roll about the waxen wind of never set to motion in the unbecoming round about the reason hardly matters nor the wise through which the stars were set in spin

...and sing me a song of my own...

El Tigre
Black muddy river
Roll on forever
I don't care how deep or wide
If you got another side
Roll muddy river
Roll muddy river
Black muddy river roll

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Fostex 206E Mk II comes to life!

After two years (two freaking years!!) of talking about this ML TL cabinet design for the Fostex 206E driver, my monster has come to life! The design and correction circuit is heavily based on the plans outlined by Martin J King on his Quarter-Wavelength Website. I have been building speakers based on this guy's designs since Alaska, and the sound on these units is phenomenal. If you have never heard a high quality full-range driver in a proper enclosure, you are missing out; the clarity and definition are unmatched. The bass response tends to be the Achilles heel, but by utilizing some clever properties of, well, physics, the world, and magick (of course), proper bass response is assured, paired with a bourbon-mellow mid-range and crisp clear highs.

LinkI cut the sections from 3/4" birch plywood and laminated them together. The bright sections are from 12 ply segments that I had from an earlier attempt. The rest are 5 ply segments that were in stock at Homie-D's. I thought the racing stripe offset color was pretty cool. The finish is red-mahogany stain covered in matte clear coat poly.

Update 11.21.2011 - The general dimensions of the cabinet and a description can be found here with a detailed set of plans located here.

'Mexico Slim' becomes richest man in world

Yeah - no shit - Telecommunication magnate (read scum-sucking corrupt monopolistic despot) 'Mexico Slim' beats out the weaselly Bill Gates by a fraction of a Bil to become the worlds richest man. Aye Yie Yieeee! Check it here.