Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Every now and then Walker sends me something I can't fathom. This is one.

Sure looks happy, doesn't he?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Conan and Stewart in 1994

Wow. This looks like the open mic of the two most important late night talk show hosts. Just look at the nervous energy.

I can't make too much fun, though as this was shot at a time when I was very, very serious about my band.

Monday, May 24, 2010

LOST Finale

Loved it. It was a show I was always interested in, but not in love with. I almost quit during the low of Season 3. But this season pulled me in closer than ever before. And the finale managed to tie everything up in the way the X Files couldn't. I'm buying the series on Blu-Ray.

No,they were NOT dead the entire time. Stop arguing about it.

Friday, May 21, 2010

10 Things I Learned From Gilligan's Island

Amazon had a Gold Box sale on the Complete Gilligan's Island on DVD for $40 last week. I hadn't seen it in 20 years. Renee thought I shouldn't get it but she doesn't think I should get anything. 10 episodes in she admits she was wrong.

When I was a kid the show didn't have any influences or subtext. It was just there. Like Sesame Street or the Adam West Batman. Now as an adult, I see the show differently.

Here are some of the things I learned:

1. Ginger and Maryann: equally hot.
2. The Professor would have figured out what that smoke monster was in 2 minutes.
3. Really? The Howells packed Shakespearean costumes?
4. Jim Backus steals every scene he's in. EVERY scene.
5. The giant spider is not so scary. Not after "Return of the King".
6. Skipper and Gilligan are just doing a syndicated Laurel and Hardy.
7. You can tag any joke by looking into the camera.
8. They had enough time to give everyone their own hut.
9. Anyone else who lands on that island is kind of a dick.
10.Not everyone understood the Beatles.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

History of the Big Muff

Interesting how tastes change.

I used to hate distortion pedals. Had a RAT in the 80's from Walker (hated it). Got a Metal Zone (hated it). Got a BOSS turbo distortion (hated it). Then I quit and went straight to the amp. For the next decade I had to have a channel switching amp. The Marshall JCM 900 was my amp of choice (it would take me 12 years to buy my own). I got what I could afford which was a Marshall Valvestate combo (which I still kinda own though I left it in Eddie Joe's house in NY).

But last year I fell in love with the Vox AC30. It was quirky, traditional but unique and had classic tremolo. But it didn't have a distortion channel. I had to go back to a pedal.

I thought about what I wanted. I didn't want a pedal that would pretend to be an amp. So overdrives, including the classic Tube Screamer, were out. I hated what I had so I wasn't going back to the wide range of pedals I already owned.

Then I thought about the distortion sounds I liked. Monster Magnet. Black Sabbath. Nirvana. Smashing Pumpkins. Weezer. The solo in "Who's That Lady?" The melody line in "Never Met a Girl Like You Before".None of those guys got their drive solely form the amp. They all used fuzz. And most used a Big Muff.

I got one last year before my birthday and it worked well. Except it was so bassy it lost presence in the mix of a band (like most equipment, it sounds completely different when other instruments are playing). But Electro Harmonix solved that for me with the newest version with a "tone wicker". It gave me the option of knocking the tone control out of and keeping me in the mix no matter how many guitars were next to me (and in Walker's band, I never knew). To make a long story short, I love it. And I wnat to know more about it.

Here's a whole history of the Big Muff posted interestingly enough, on a David Gilmour site. Cause if there's one thing that can thicken a strat's tone, it's a Big Muff.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

We're Stars

Dave Wasklewicz and I were talking about the passing of Dio and he sent me this. I have NEVER seen this before. You?

We're Stars

Leave it to 80's heavy metal bands to take a benefit song and make it all about them.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Dio NO!

Ronnie James Dio has passed away.

I did not see this coming. Heaven and Hell had been touring. They just put an album out. And he always seemed so alert and on the ball you couldn't imagine anything wrong with him.

Out of all the Black Sabbath front men, I never expected Ozzy Osbourne to outlive Dio.

He will be missed.

Friday, May 14, 2010

DVD 2 Blu

I am the only person I know with a Blu-ray player (let alone the only person with three). When people ask me (with a tired look in their eyes) if they need to replace all their dvds, I tell them it's not worth it. The increased picture quality and sound is nice, but not necessary for every film (although some like the recent Lord of the Rings trilogy Blu-Ray? Absolutely necessary.)

That said Warners has made it really easy if you want to upgrade some of your existing titles. They started a program at where you can send back your dvd for the upgraded Blu-ray for about 5 bucks. It's such a good deal I might send some I wasn't even planning on upgrading.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Ring modulator

I've been experimenting with the ring modulator setting on my Line 6 pedal. I still don't know what it does but this video comes as close as anything to explaining it.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Iron Man 2

Iron Man 2 makes the same mistake as Spider-Man 3 (which shows me Marvel get greedier with each hit). Too many characters, too many 'b' plots, no clear antagonist, no clear goal for the protagonist.

Nothing bad happens in this film. The action is bigger than the first, with lots of sweeping shots and explosions. There's tons and tons of charming Tony moments. There's a drunken super hero scene which would not work if it was anyone but Tony Stark.

But it's all meaningless. The first movie was about Tony regaining his soul through adversity and innovation. He goes from a coddled wonder boy to a man that can stand on his own. I don't know what this movie was about, other than action set pieces.

The antagonists don't help. Mickey Rourke is a great thug. Sam Rockwell is a terrific toady. But who's the mastermind? If they didn't pump the comedy up so high on Rockwell's character it could have been him. I didn't think I'd miss Jeff Bridges but he grounded that first film.

Iron Man 2 is the first Marvel movie to not be better than the original. The fact that the original is the bets Marvel film ever makes it sting all the more.

Friday, May 07, 2010

The Joke Thief

Ed Murray sent me a video of an open micer ripping off Patton Oswalt word for word (it's not worth the exposure this guy will get to repost it). Now Ed's telling the world through the Huffington Post.

Read it.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Michael Pataki

Michael Pataki has passed away at the age of 72.

Pataki was well known in the 60's and 70's. Howie and I knew him from three places: "Side Hackers" which was our favorite movie on Mystery Science Theater 3000, "The Amazing Spider-man" live action tv show in the 70's where he played a cop that had never appeared in the books, and "The Trouble With Tribbles" episode of the original Star Trek where as a Klingon, he delivered the classic line, "I didn't mean to say the Enterprise should be hauling garbage, I meant to say it should be HAULED AWAY... AS GARBAGE!" Howie and I made sure to learn his name and celebrate his every appearance.

He will be missed.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

More Bilko

File this under none cares but me but The Phil Silvers Show season 1 is finally coming on DVD!

Four years ago we got a 3 disc best of and anyone would have assumed that's all we'd get.

Extras include a Lucy Show guest starring Phil. Here's hoping a later season has his Gilligan's Island as Harold Hecuba. Let's hope there is a later season (I'm looking at you, The Bob Newhart Show).

Tuesday, May 04, 2010


I am in Chicago. Started at Mcgarry/Bowen Chicago which is interesting. I'm meeting a lot of people I'm not technically working with. And working with people online like my entire job is a Facebook status update.

But more importantly, I got this in my house: