I Been Thinkin' About My Doorbell…

I don’t have a doorbell. I live in an apartment. I chose gear instead of a house. I figure, I have plenty of time to get a house. But that original version Damage Control Timeline (I’m pretty sure there’s only one version, but if you say ‘original version’, you’re technically not wrong, and it sounds way cooler); now the auction for that was ending in like, two days. You do the math. Gear. So then, why is this post called something about a doorbell? Well, my wife was just listening to that White Stripes song, and it’s like the catchiest ever, and this is a post about what I’ve been thinking lately. It is very difficult to sift through my head sometimes. And as difficulty tends to not be easy, and I tend to like easy things, I just don’t sift. But then I had the problem of having no title for this post. So then I listened to the appalling catchiness coming from my wife’s computer speakers, and hence, ‘I Been Thinkin’ About My Doorbell.’ Not much sense to be had, I get it. But then again, let’s be honest; do you actually come to this blog because I ever make sense? Ya. Guessing no on that one. So here’s what I’ve been thinking:

  • Strymon is coming out with a new delay. I do not need another delay. I want it.
  • Edge is about six hours away from me at this very moment. Mmmmm. (I apologize if the ‘mmmmm’ frightens you, but, it’s kind of the only sound the human body is capable of making when lathered in the lovely droves of delay, Edge’s melodic mind, and about 7 amps, including 2 1960′s AC30′s. So, my apologies, but……mmmmmmmm.)
  • Jack White is really good!
  • The other night I was old. Some kids wanted to sell me something at the ‘insane’ hour of about 8:30 PM (I know), and I wished I had a doorbell, because they were pounding on our apartment door. I griped for a while. And then another while (what in the world is a ‘while’?). And then I realized that at 25, I have become old. What happens when I’m 85?
  • Meg White? Ya…not so much. (That’s probably horrible to say, and I’m sure you’re a lovely person…but those drums…)
  • I went outside tonight to see if I could hear Edge’s guitar from Phoenix. I have this theory that his tone is so real, integral, and uncompromised, that it will actually be able to travel from Phoenix to here, because the sound waves are so steady, and ringing at the exact right frequency, so as to cut through the ‘mix of life.’ (I’ve put my whole theory on this into documentation, complete with the mathematical equations, algorithms, and of course accounting for the amount of delay on his guitar; except without the equations, algorithms, or documentation. But I did account for the delay!) I am almost positive that I could hear his tone. It was a little hard to tell, though, if it was his tone from Phoenix, or his tone from my ipod dock playing U2. (Hey, ‘Breathe’ was playing, and I couldn’t turn it off right before the solo! Psshh. Come on! ……Hmmm, ‘psshh’ doesn’t seem to work right when written. Or maybe even said.)
  • I wish I was John Williams.
  • Fedex is the worst.
  • I’ve fallen into the habit of subtly ‘promoting myself’ in general conversation. You know, steering the conversation towards things I’ve done, and towards my self-inflated and quite actually non-existent pedigree. Nasty and gross habit.
  • I love bass players. I’ve said it before, but us electric guitar players cannot do anything without you guys anchoring the harmonic structure.
  • Okay, this is not a joke. As I’m writing this, my wife is watching a youtube clip of Judy Garland as a little girl in some movie, singing to a picture of her ‘hero’, Clark Gable, ‘You Made Me Love You.’ And my wife just leaned over to me and said, ‘Is that how you sing to your picture of Edge, when I’m not around? ‘You made me love you!” This happened about 19 seconds ago. That is not made up.
  • There is a lot to do in this world. And I waste a lot of time.
  • Change your tubes.
  • Is it bad when you find yourself not paying attention to the message, because you’re gazing past the pastor, lovingly at the lights on your amp on stage, and then you can’t remember for how long that’s been going on?
  • I used to sing a song in Sunday School that just said, ‘Read your Bible, pray every day.’ And for all the ‘deep spiritual concepts’ and ‘contextual-Biblical-armenian-free-will-determinism-leadership-what-not’ that I feel I’ve learned about, it’s almost always the simple stuff I learned in Sunday school that makes the most real world difference.
  • I can’t imagine life without music.
  • When people comment on how big my pedalboard is, I usually pass it off with some joke about how most of the pedals are not even plugged in, but I just keep them on the board to look cool. I just looked at my pedalboard while typing this (and yes…there was all the tenderness in that look that you’re afraid there was), and realized that I actually do have a pedal on my board that has not been plugged in for about a month. But it does look really, really cool right there!

Splendid.
Karl.

20 thoughts on “I Been Thinkin' About My Doorbell…

  1. “Is it bad when you find yourself not paying attention to the message, because you’re gazing past the pastor, lovingly at the lights on your amp on stage, and then you can’t remember for how long that’s been going on?”

    Matchless. Yes. Guilty? Oh yes.

  2. most people that i know are frightened when they look at big pedalboards…all it means to them is “uncontrollable volume”…anyway, that was a bipolar post…all over the place…but that is what I expect from most artists…so have a good day!

    lol…

    Robin

  3. Since you mentioned Edge and Jack White in the same post, have you seen It Might Get Loud yet? What did you think? I enjoyed it, but wished they would have gotten even geekier and talked about their gear and set ups more.

  4. Tom–hahaha Thank goodness! I immediately feel better! And yep. It’s the Matchless. :)

    Robin–lol Oh my. Seriously. This may be my worst post ever. I read it over this morning and was like, ‘What?!’ haha Good thing I can blame it on the musician thing, huh? ;)

    David–so awesome! Any tips for me in LA this Sunday? I’m stoked for the gloriousness. :)

    Jonathan M–ah man, I’ve been wanting to so bad, but have just been too busy to get to the movies lately. (Well, I did see Zombieland, but that was with friends; and try as I might, I had a really tough time trying to convince everyone to see ‘that guitar movie.’ hehe But Woody Harrelson was really good in Zombieland.) Maybe this weekend, before the show or something. So they didn’t go into their gear that much?

  5. They talk about some of their guitars such as Edge’s Explorer and Jack’s Kay and Page’s Strat (which is odd because he is more known for LPs and Teles), however they really don’t talk amps or gear that much. There are a couple of scenes with Edge and Dallas messing around with his effects and Edge shows the difference of the opening Elevation riff with and without that whammy effect. Good news is Edge does have a bit about delay. That will make you smile I’m sure. :) All in all I would recommend watching it. Just don’t go into it looking for the Edge to dissect his entire signal flow or anything like that.

    • I thought the movie was wonderful. It wasn’t so much about their gear or guitars as it was how these three utterly different rock & roll electric guitar players from three different generations became who they are and also gave a glimpse of their artistic vision and how they approach music and the guitar. That was far more valuable to me than any talk about gear.

      For me, a paramount moment in the movie is when Jimmy Page mentions why he picked up the guitar in the first place. His family had just moved into a new apartment and the previous tenants had left a guitar behind. That was it.

      I mean, what would have happened if it had been a tuba? Led Zeppelin would have sounded really different…

      • “I mean, what would have happened if it had been a tuba? Led Zeppelin would have sounded really different…”

        That’s funny, I don’t care who ya are!

  6. I can always come here and count on two things. One, an interesting perspective on playing the best instrument ever. Two, horrible taste in music. Although, seeing that you have a slightly awkward love affair with U2 I should not be all that surprised. Somewhere on one of these posts you put Stone Temple Pilots begot Pearl Jam. Other than that being udder nonsense, the time lines do not line up. Then, you start in on Meg White. Jeez, she plays the song, Neal Pert would completely destroy White Stripes songs. For only having 2 instruments, Meg does a great job at not just hitting the snare on the 2 and the kick on the 3 put adds dimension to the songs. There, somebody had to stand up for Meg, probably only me.

    Other than that, my mind runs all over the place as well.

  7. My peppermint fuzz hasn’t been plugged in for like 8 months. I don’t like it but haven’t been motivated to get a new fuzz and I don’t want to take it off for fear of aesthetically unbalancing my board.

  8. Jonathan M–gotcha. Nah, I’m stoked to hear how these three guys have honed their craft, though. Guess I’ll just have to wait until I spot Edge at TrueTone in LA on Saturday, and we sit down to have coffee, to hear about his signal chain. ;) Oops…did I just write down my inner thoughts again?

    Tom–nice. I’m totally looking forward to their artistic visions being described a little more. And Zep with a tuba? hehe I’m sure if we search the internet hard enough, someone’s recorded that. :)

    Scott–+1 :)

    Jonathan–horrible taste in music?! lol What about the ‘Music is Melody’ post a few days ago? Nothing there? No Fleet Foxes, no Tim Erikson, no In Flames, no Debussy? All bad taste? hehe ;) I hear ya. I do have some pretty ‘interesting’ musical tastes at times. So, you’re not a Rush fan, not a U2 fan, but you are a Meg White fan? I love that! That’s a totally different perspective than what I’m used to. Because normally the minimalists that like Meg White, also like U2. Myself personally, I kind of like U2 (hehe), I respect Rush but can’t listen to them for pleasure, and I like White Stripes a lot also. I agree that Neal Pert would probably destroy any of their songs, and I love Meg White’s sense of simplicity on the drums. It’s just that, to my very humble and untrained ears, she always feels like she’s struggling to stay on the beat, and everything sounds really choppy. I prefer just a little more feel with my simplicity. But I love her approach to playing the drums, and it fits great as a support to Jack White’s killer song-writing. :)

    So, with your tastes in music, I think I can probably learn something. I’m very curious as to what bands you listen to. It’s usually pretty rare to find someone who doesn’t like U2 and Rush. Usually they like one, but not the other. Great comment, and cheers!

    Mike–score. Best thing I’ve read all day. :)

  9. The Fleet deal was pretty neat, but the rest I would have to check out again to refresh my memory. I used to like the U2, but honestly, and I know this is not very Jesus-like, but sometimes I want to punch Bono. He comes off as very pretentious. Their songs are okay but very played out. Rush is horrid to listen to for me. Sure, they can play but Geddy’s voice is gut wrenching. My musical taste are not that unique I suppose. Pearl Jam, Black Crowes, White Stripes, Raconteurs, Built to Spill, John Mark McMillan (best Christian artist ever), Beatles, Charlie Patton, Muddy Waters, Irish folk, Kings of Leon, Dinosaur, Jr., the Stones. Kind of typical stuff, to me at least. I never when through a shred phase; which probably puts me in the minority of current guitar players. Simple and effective always worked better to me. Hope I did not high jack this. To jump back to what others are saying I wish I could see the movie but the culture-less area I call home does not carry it.

  10. Way cool. I very much enjoy the White Stripes, Beatles, and Stones as well. And especially Irish folk. I love your comment about ‘simple and effective.’ Perfect.

    And as much as I like U2, I do agree that Bono can come off as very pretentious at times. Although, in reading up on them (and I understand that only fans would do this), the pretentiousness is actually a conscious decision by the entire band to try to effect change and mobilize the masses on certain ideas. They’ve in essence said that after 30 years of being in a band, they’ve come to realize that you can’t please everyone, and that no matter what you do, parts of it will always seem pretentious to people. So they’ve decided that there are certain causes they want to highlight, and that unfortunately the way that highlights them the best, is often times perceived as pretentious in the media. But they are are, I suppose, over it. And I have great respect for that. Even during the times when Bono deserves a good beating. :)

    And no worries about hijacking. There wasn’t really a cohesive subject in my original post to begin with! lol

  11. Travis, good point. Especially when they play stuff from the ZooTV and PopMart eras. Those are satires on rock stars and rock ‘n roll consumerism in the ’90′s, but a lot of people dig it for the wrong reasons, and totally miss the satire part. Which I think is saying something all on its own! lol

  12. I have to admit I had a minor freak out when I read a comment that I thought was I wrote and it was criticizing Bono. Then I realized there are 2 “Jonathans” commenting here. :) At the other Jonathan (which by the way is why I added the “M” to my screen name) if you care to know more about Bono (which you probably don’t and that is cool), I really recommend “Conversations with Bono.” Great book and a lot of his spiritual life really comes out in that book.

  13. I definitely get the satire of ZooTV and PopMart. Problem is, honestly, after a while I feel like saying just shut up and play the song. I have the same thing with Pearl Jam. I love that band but the preaching gets a little old after a while. Lifting up causes when you have a crowd, great, grand, good for you. However, let’s not forget why they (insert band name) are up there: for the music.

    I am always up to read about other artists, especially those whose music I do not really like.

    Regardless of the “act” their music just does nothing for me. This will probably get me banned but Edge’s guitar tone is a little too processed for me. They are great songwriters, not denying that but they appeal to me about as much as watching a wall does. But, that is the great thing about music, it inspires different people in many varying ways.

  14. Jonathan M–thanks for the info! Ya, I’ve been asked many times if I think Bono is a Christian. And my response is usually, ‘Well, he curses, drinks, and smokes. But he also feeds the poor with his own hands, and leads 80,000 people in a chorus of Psalm 40 and ‘Yahweh.’ The first three things are Biblical grey areas, and the second two are not.’ :) I will definitely have to check out that book!

    Jonathan–Edge’s tone is processed?! Unforgiveable! hehehe But seriously, like you pointed out, music would cease to be inspirational if everyone liked the same kind. In fact, if everyone liked U2, I suppose music would get really boring, because we’d all realize that their is ‘this one sound’ that engages the entire world, and then every band would sound like that.

    As for the preaching, like I said, I do highly respect the fact that U2 has done more for loving God’s people than I have ever done. But at the same time, I have to admit to skipping his speeches on the dvd’s. ;)

    So feel free to have the right to dissent on this site! haha It’s people like you who bring people like me back down to earth. ‘Oh ya. Jimi Hendrix. Edge didn’t invent fuzz!’ :) I’ve tended to learn the most in my life from people with differing viewpoints and taste than my own. Cheers!

  15. You’ll know you are old, not when you get annoyed by people trying to sell you stuff at 8:30 PM, but when you look forward to people trying to sell you stuff at 8:30 PM….so that you can snidely explain to them the meaning of the word Soliciting, and how, yes, it applies to charities, cable upgrades, and lawn service guys, and not just Girl Scout Cookie sales.

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