Monday, September 26, 2011

David Byrne & The Talking Heads

How come nobody ever told be about The Talking Heads?
They're like a secret club that only some people know about!

Strange Facts
David Byrne has a daughter named Valentine Byrne who lives in New York.
Here she is:

David Byrne is a bicycle lover who rides a bike that looks a lot like mine.
It's deep red with a steel basket and low-rise handlebars too.
Here it is:

But I have a better bike because the wire basket is back mounted, I have custom Michelin City Tires, and it's a 21-speed cruiser. It's nice having Total Bicycle Superiority over David Byrne. See what I mean? -

David designed these bike racks seen all over Manhattan, each one is different. 
This is my favorite:

In the Financial District:

They encourage people to have fun using their bikes:

In the Fashion District:

He's written a book about his travels:

And here's the cool poster he made for a speaking tour
he just finished in South America, 
called "Cities, Bicycles, and the Future of Getting Around."

Watch out. You might get what you're after!

"Psycho Killer" was the favorite phrase of a fellow art student
at the Rhode Island School of Design.
She called everything she liked "Psycho Killer."

A typical David Byrne interview:

Finally, here's the original "Take Me To The River" by Al Green.

Here's to Al, David, South America and bicycles!

Friday, September 23, 2011

My Dorm Wall

If anybody's interested, here's my new dorm room wall at UCSD.

Left to right, that's my beloved friends' poster, then Led Zeppelin, The Good The Bad and the Ugly movie poster, Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here, and CLINT. Clever spys will notice my pawn shop guitar on my bed, a new Mac that crashes when I watch too much YouTube, a bag of Sees chocolate on the shelf and a very used copy of Single and Multivariable Calculus 5th Edition at the top.

Here's to UCSD, Posters, and CLINT!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Peg & Sophia

Peggy Lee did the voices and sang "He's A Tramp" for the Disney film "Lady And The Tramp."

She was a songwriter, too, and actually WROTE this song! Here she is, and watch how well Uncle Walt explains exactly how they put this together, WOW!...

And here's the famous "lost footage" of Sophia and the band actually blowing the main fuse at the Mitch's Surf Shop gig, right in the middle of one of our favorite songs:

Sophia picks it right back up....

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Hotrodding My Gibson SG, Part 1

My parents said that the ONLY (!) thing they will be giving me this Christmas is a full Hotrod Redo of my Gibson SG. Andy's Guitar Shop will be doing it, and I'm thinking about exactly what to do and replace.

To see what was finally done, click on:
 Hotrodding My Gibson SG Part 2

It's not exactly a bad guitar right now:

But here's what I'm thinking - it sure would play sweet with a Jerry Garcia-ish 1964 style Bigsby Vibrato, (the modern Bibsby B5 unit nowadays,) plus add chrome pickup covers and the original stock 1/2 size pickguard, all seen below:

Andy at the shop says he'd really like to pop on an archtop style Bigsby and is researching which is the best right now, this does look pretty nice, WOW -

Here's the B7 unit, probably this is the one to go with, but I like the idea of getting rid of the black paint so it's all aluminum/nickel plated:

...and here's the blueprint:

We can also install an original style Gibson Lyre Tailpiece tremolo system, but these are impossible to find and don't work nearly as well as the Bigsby:

And also - I'm really liking these Chrome and black pearl "Top Hat" guitar knobs, they aren't retro-original but they look GREAT;

Monday, September 12, 2011

Kohl's Scholarship for Max

Kohl's says I can finally talk about the Regional Scholarship they gave me for my Varsity Strings work. I wrote an essay about Varsity Strings and our adventures, and won a $1000 Kohl's Cares Scholarship for the University of California, San Diego. I was one of only two winners from the whole San Diego region of California. They also gave me a gift card, which I bought my guitar belt buckle with.
Kohl's is a great place, 
I buy all my clothes from there anyway!

Here I am with the poster that's in all the San Diego County stores, they also gave me a copy of the poster and it's pretty sweet:

The only thing I don't understand is that a lot of the other winners are like 12-15 years old. What are they going to do with the scholarship prizes? (I think I'm one of the only Kohl's Cares winners who is actually going to college this year!)

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Mighty Jake at Mitch's Surf Shop

Jake had a blast at our Mitch's Surf Shop benefit gig. He did a great psychedelic set of his own songs mixed with Jimi Hendrix and Donovan.

We open his set with "Little Wing" -

This is a great, catchy song written by Jake; "Feels Like Walking" -

"Hurdy Gurdy Man" with Jake doing his trademark hushed whisper into the mic:

Another Jake song that's becoming one of our classics, "Loves To Get Carried Away" -
how cool is this song?!?!? -

Max on harmonica -

Jake's take no prisoners song, "WOLFMAN!"

And just for good luck, we always end with Jake's favorite song:


Monday, September 5, 2011

Sophia's Set at the Mitch's Surf Shop Benefit

We actually blew a fuse during Sophia's first song, which was a shame because Sophia is such a....

Sophia has an ultra-cool delivery that sounds just like Peggy Lee. The classy 'Peg' was a superstar for decades, basically put Capitol Records in business, and was known for delivering sly, simmering jazz vocals that blended into the instruments around her.
Forget the black and white grainy footage, and watch Peg trade notes and shoot cues at the jazzy electric guitar player here:

Now watch Sophia open this 'Stand By Me' duet with Jake:

See what I mean? Sophia makes us all sound good...

We closed our whole set with this killah version of Boston, which we all got down cold now:


Saturday, September 3, 2011

the Mitch's Surf Shop Benefit was GREAT!!!!

Let's go to...          
                Mitch's Surf Shop!

Setting up -

The Sophia Set -

Here we go -

Curly Max -

Megan on standup bass -

The ever-classy Sophia sings -

The boys -

The Lean & Mean Rhythm Section -

Me on guitar -

Fonzo on drums -

The infamous JAKE SET, we crushed it! -

Jake sings -

We did a huge 2-hour gig, here's our set list:

Warm-up Instrumentals:
Bossa Dorado
Always on the Run
Cissy Strut

Jake Sings:
Little Wing Jake
Feels Like Walking
Hurdy Gurdy Man
Loves to Get Carried Away
House of the Rising Sun

Surf Songs:

Sophia Sings:
Little Lion Man
Hey Soul Sister
Stray Cat Strut
Lean on Me

Stand By Me
Sympathy for the Devil
Paint it Black
Summertime Blues
My Generation

I'll post all of Jake and Sophia's songs next, but here's our jazz-funk-surf acoustic set first. This warmed us up and drove the audience CRAZY!

Notice Fonzo on drums - and Megan playing like crazy to rip out a FANTASTIC bass line, which ain't easy on Curly Max's giant standup that SHE HADN'T EVEN USED BEFORE!!!!

Megan's favorite song, I think she's one of those Beatniks...


Jason Lee said I played this cleaner than him, which is pretty good cause I did this whole set on my trusty but rusty $75 Mexican Strat...

THE RAFFLE!!! I bought tickets and won some sandals and t-shirts!

Megan won the hat she wanted!!!

Micah is manning the Raffle Booth for Fresh Start Surgical Gifts - we made a LOT for them!

Word is that Micah is a 1970's version of an exact duplicate of Ashton Kutcher - what do you think? I think we should ask Ashton Kutcher to run our Raffle Booth next year so Micah can help out customers inside, nobody would notice; he looks just like Micah anyway -

Mitch's Surf Shop was busy all day -


Friday, September 2, 2011

Practice for Mitch's Surf Shop

Here we are at the last practice before our Saturday gig. We'll start playing at Mitch's Surf Shop at 10:30am this Saturday with some Jake originals, surfing songs, and Sophia classics! Free food catered by Whole Foods Market, live entertainment all day, huge raffle drawings for Fresh Start Surgical Gifts...

Mitch's Surf Shop Benefit
363 North Highway 101
Solana Beach, CA
Info: (858) 481-1354

Jake will be doing three Jake The Cannon songs -

Sophia is ready -

Curly Max in a rare pensive moment, what is he thinking about?......

And here's a little present to you viewers for putting up with us -

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Jason Lee's GUITARS!

Jason Lee asked me to be his assistant at a guitar seminar,

An antique White Falcon, he wouldn't let anybody touch it -

Wow, this Danelectro played great!

Here's one of Jason's online tutorials -