My Head is Dying

Ever have those weeks, where so much is going on, that you can no longer differentiate between the things you’ve done, and the things you’ve thought about doing? I’ll email someone and they’ll say ‘You just emailed me that.’ And then I’ll say ‘Really’ and then completely shut down for three hours while watching ‘Heat.’ Nothing like hearing Michael Brook playing over the landscape of LA, while Pacino kicks a television out of his car. Beautiful. The other way to deal with stress is to buy pedals. Done.

So, all that to say, please do not be offended during this time if I haven’t responded to your questions. Some days, between this blog, facebook, email, youtube, phone, Gear Page, and a little thing called real life, there are upwards of 40+ gear-related questions I need to respond to. (And a few saying, ‘I bought the $500 pedal you suggested and it would be impossible for you to have been more wrong. I hate you.’) And inevitably I miss some. So I’m really sorry if I’ve missed yours. I adore talking about gear, so just send it to me again, or post it here, or send me an email. I promise you that I love talking gear so much, that after a few conversations you’ll be the one not responding to me. :) I was hoping it’d never get to the point where I had to mention that, but it’s at the place now where I know I must be forgetting to respond to at least some of them, and I do apologize. Please be patient with me.

So anyway, here’s the end result of my head dying this week. Well, and of watching Heat with my laptop open buying pedals.

  • It’s about fullness. 98% of people hear the sound, not your guitar.
  • Got a PS3 in. (The pedal, not the video game unit deal. I am the worst video game player ever. I’ve never made it past the 2nd screen of the original Mario Brothers. Jumping is hard.) Unfortunately, it does everything I don’t need quite well. And the one thing I do need…not so much. However, a full demo is on the way.
  • I’m running all pads from a laptop now…into an eq…into a volume pedal, and then an amp. And I am looking for a Murf and another delay for them too. I do not understand why my way of dealing with stress is to complicate things. And anyone want to buy a Fostex MR8 recorder with pads already recorded on it?
  • Play a chord every once in a while. Ya, I know they’re boring, but it’s amazing how good those things sound.
  • George Clooney looks way better than me. And he’s 46. I hate him.
  • I’m learning more and more that music, and especially worship music, is about communicating…not ‘to’, but ‘with’ your audience.
  • Finally saw ‘It Might Get Loud.’ Absolutely lovely. Page is fantastic, I have a ton of respect for White, but Edge just comes from some other place altogether. In the best way possible. And if you disagree, then you’re wrong. ;)
  • My wife and I are starting week 2 of gluten-free, source, veganism. I would love to put 18-year-old-Tourniquet-listening-Jack-in-the-Box-ultimate-bacon-cheeseburger-loving-real-guitarists-play-bar-chords-Steve-Vai-hair-I-have-it-all-figured-out Karl into a cage match with 25-year-old-U2-adoring-source-eating-capo-using-balding-but-maybe-I-can-look-like-Jason-Statham-I’ve-failed-too-much-to-even-consider-thinking-I’ve-got-it-figured-out Karl, and see who would win. Probably the metalhead one. And this actually took place in my mind. Carl Weathers was the referee for some reason. ‘Ding, ding.’ Name that movie. Wow.
  • Bought a John Fromel pedal on looks alone. And I am not ashamed to admit that. Those things are gorgeous.
  • There’s this older gentleman at my church. Every time I talk with him, I’m blown away by the simple, concise wisdom. Very, very cool.
  • It’s probably time to change the tubes in my Timeline’s. Mmmm……tubes.
  • It’s incredible how much tone you can get when you stop listening for how your tone sounds, and start listening to how your hands and gear are interacting, and start feeling tone. A hot-glowing tube amp doesn’t hurt, either.
  • I think sometimes we get a result in our minds of how God moving will look, and then we pursue that result when He’s actually moving somewhere completely different.
  • Shocked my lips on the mic yesterday. I eventually fixed the ground problem, but you know…that pain stays in your mind! I backed off from the mic a ton, and didn’t really realize until then how much I devour that thing when I sing. So if any of you ever want to come to my church to guest lead, just be careful of which mic you’re singing into. We don’t want to kiss.
  • Buy more delay.
  • Music and tone and sound and melody just put thoughts and pictures into my mind that I can’t explain and wish I could. I love them so much. And ‘Heat.’
  • Recording technologies are getting out of hand. I should buy stock in compression. I think we could all do with a good dose of some old Beatles recordings, and remember how it sounds to get a great source sound, and to not let the recording get in the way of that.
  • School of Seven Bells. Do it.
  • I bought a pedal I’ve already had. I’ve done this like, 17 times. What is wrong with me? Or, what is very, very right with me. Gear is the best. Tone is better. And delay trumps them all. This makes sense to me.


45 thoughts on “My Head is Dying

  1. rocky for the movie ref, and I think rocky 2

    I saw it might get loud, for as much as it seemed like it went into detail, it really didn’t! there is an outtake where they start a conversation on what kinds of strings they use, I was like, uh now thats what I want. I just thought overall it could have been way more in depth, but was overall about a C+ for me.

  2. Dude, you need a vacation. :-) My head hurts just imagining being in your shoes.

    Since it appears I can add just about anything and have it fit here ( LOL ) :

    1) I wish I had the genes to do Stomp by Kirk Franklin ( without getting run out of my church )

    2) My Pastor seems to want me to use an acoustic ( acoustic-electric) until we get either an acoustic rhythm guitar player or a bass player ( joys of small churches ). But he left the decision to me — was leaning towards my Carvin AE185 hybrid which has a much nicer neck than my $500 Ibanez acoustic. This doesn’t happen often, but God gave me the answer this morning. No audible words, just the impression that ” you can handle the acoustic until I provide a bass player.”

    Kirk Franklin’s Stomp ( I’m at work so can’t tell if this is the one with clear audio )

  3. Kenrick–no way did you just get that reference!! Sweet mercy, props to you, bro! :)

    And I hear ya on the movie. I think it was trying to go for a deep, emotive type of theme rather than nuts and bolts. And it didn’t quite get there either. As a movie, I agree with you. But I’m just a little kid whenever I get to see guitarists talking about their mindsets, philosophies, gear, or what-not. :) Guess I’m a terrible movie critic when it comes to Edge. haha

    Randy–I hear ya on the acoustic. Pretty cool that God gave you a straight answer, though! That’s a tough decision.

    And I wish I had those genes, too! Every Christmas, I want to do Aretha Franklin’s Joy to the World so badly!! And every Christmas, I get so afraid that I’m just going to turn it into Steve Martin on the porch in ‘The Jerk.’ haha

  4. Gotta love the bulleted list. I think it’s the most effective way to communicate mood. Ha!

    I got a good one for you Karl. “Because he Lives” Played like Derek Trucks Band “Sweet Inspiration” I haven’t found a way to fit delay into the song yet, but that doesn’t mean I’m done trying.


  5. is it just me, or does Kirk Franklin sound exactly like MC Hammer?

    cool song, but there’s no way it would go down well in our church.

    Haven’t seen Might Get Loud, but it’s high on my list now with a cast like that!

    and yes, Clooney looks better than us, but he also looks way older than 46… what’s with that?

  6. “sometimes we get a result in our minds of how God moving will look, and then we pursue that result when He’s actually moving somewhere completely different”

    I’m using this quote!!! I hope you don’t mind. And if you do mind, i’ll ask for your forgiveness after I use it;)

    P.S. Thanks for your dedication to this blog… You have saved me time and money. And I’ve been blessed by your insight in being a worship musician.

    • A thug Karl? Sweet! :-)

      Maybe as a joke, the gangsta’s talked FOX Sports into using U2′s “Streets” for their NASCAR

      I’ve seen/heard it twice during the playoff

      I’m numb …

  7. Nate–on my way to go listen to it, now! Thanks, bro. :)

    Justin–was it? haha It’s been so long since I’ve seen those. Which one is he pulling driftwood through the snow?

    Baggas–haha Us either. Oh…MC Hammer. Those crazy ’90′s. ;)

    And It Might Get Loud was pretty cool!

    Corey Ryman–thanks for the kind words, my friend. And you’re more than welcome to use anything on the blog. :)

    Justin Stevens–lol Comment of the day. So…in another 7 years am I gonna be all gangsta and making fun of how I could have ever liked U2? (Yikes, it even sounds lame when I even type ‘gangsta.’)

    Seth–lol I’d totally post that one, but I’m saving the Vertigo version for it’s own post someday. hehehe

  8. Future Karl- I can’t believed I ever liked U2 they’re so soulless urban music is where it’s at!! Brothers praise the lord in the hizzie.

  9. TimH–lol Really? I can think of a few U2 songs that might work for Nascar, but ‘Bad’ doesn’t seem like it’d be one of them. It’s too spacious and ambient. Hey, at least it’s U2! hehe

    Sam–hahaha Oh, I’m so saying that this weekend.

  10. Man that was too personal for me. I like my websurfing superficial with a few heated discussions about XYpedal.

    Kidding of course. You should really take a break, maybe with a webfast for a week. Mmh, think I gonna do this … except I have to check my emails … and if someone from the forum answers my post I gotta react … and I can’t miss all this great bargains on ebay either …
    makes me sad a little

  11. Dear sweet merciful ! I just got my first delay, and suddenly all those weird comments you made that I laughed at, are starting to sound like timeless words of wisdom.

  12. Ben–haha Sorry about that! Life’s just kind of crazy at work, and I know I’m forgetting to respond to people. I just didn’t know any other way to get the word out to a mass group of people that I might not be able to get back to everyone. I’m the same way, too! Every time I think about taking a break, I start to worry about all the deals I’ll be missing. I mean, just this morning, I decided to fix a piece of gear rather than surf Gear Page, and I missed a POG 2 for $170! Come on! haha ;)

    Seth–really?! Congrats, brother! Stoked about that. Isn’t delay amazing? Which one did you get?!

  13. I got the Malekko Ekko 616. I heard some amazing reviews and some not so amazing reviews. I figured it’d be a mainstay on my board, but I’d only use it for church, little did I know it was going to sound AWESOME. Crisp yet dark, and the modulation is so epic! Plus the oscillation with the modulation on? Don’t even get me started! Building your board is much more fun when you actually purchase things instead of just staring at the list you typed.

  14. haha Right on! I’ve yet to try the Malekko, but I’ve heard many good things about it. The 616. That’s the 600 millisecond one, right? That’s a killer pedal, bro. Man, you’re making me want another delay, and I really don’t need one right now. haha

  15. Yes sir, only $150 too! Haha just buy an echolution and all will be solved. :)
    I think you are to delay as I am to fuzz. If I wasn’t still in college, I’d be living in a poor house.

  16. Wow, good price. I’ve actually got my eye on an old KMD analog delay right now for my pad rig. It’s weird…it’s one of those delay pedals that for some reason I’ve wanted for years, just because they’re so rare. Oh, and fuzz can be gorgeous, too! What fuzz pedals do you own? I’ve got the Hartman Germanium right now, and totally love it. :)

  17. Dude, you are so right about “Heat’. I’ve been a cop in a midwestern city for fourteen years and whenever I get into a rut, I watch Heat. Vincent Hanna is my hero, he could mop the floor with Chuck Norris without breaking a sweat.

    Michael Mann films are just the coolest. Three of my top fifteen are his. The soundtracks are always kick@#$$ too.

  18. Haha I know exactly what you mean. The other day I lost an ebay auction for an old colorsound fuzz. Right now, I own a Little Red Rocket by Phoenix Custom Electronics. I’m in a bit of a tonebender phase right now. It was ridiculously hard deciding between the Little Red Rocket and a Lady Stardust. I highly recommend everything Alex makes. Not so much what he believes, but that’s another story.

  19. Scott–really? Wow. Thank you. I have a lot of respect for those of you who put on a bulletproof vest to go into the office. My hat is off to you, sir.

    And I do agree, ‘Heat’ is just fantastic. How realistic is it, from your experience? I read that Pacino based his role off of a real LAPD detective, and that the Las Vegas PD officer in the film is a a real detective, and was a consultant.

    And what are your other Michael Mann favorites? He’s like…one of my top directors! And you’re right…a lot because of the killer music he chooses for his films! My 3 from him are Heat, Insider, and Collateral. I also thought that Maneater was very good, and Public Enemies was very good for a biopic. I’ve yet to see Ali and Last of the Mohicans.

    Seth–nice! Been hearing some good stuff about Phoenix lately. And ya…doesn’t the old Colorsound stuff look so cool?!

    Matthew–haha Ya. Well, I’m sure it is…I’m slowly wearing out until God gives me a new one. :)

    And glad you enjoyed them! Or, could make some sense from my ramblings. hehe

  20. Thanks Karl. It’s a great job, for the most part. You do see some pretty disturbing things and I honestly don’t know how some of my brethren are able to function without having God in thier lives. I’m so thankful for my church family. It really helps to maintain balance in my life.

    My department is about the size of a single LAPD precinct so we probably do things a little different, but I would say that Mann’s films are very accurate from a technical standpoint. He always hires top notch technical advisors. You are correct about Ray Verdugo, the LAPD homicide detective who makes an appearance as the Vegas cop. I also saw him once on an episode of “Cops”.

    In “Collateral”, Mark Ruffalo modeled his character’s look after one of the LAPD advisors and two other LAPD uniform cops had cameos.

    My other two favorite Mann films are “Collateral” and “Last of The Mohicans”.

  21. Wow. That’s awesome. We have a couple law enforcement officers at our church too, and it’s great to have them. And I know they, like you said, are grateful for a church body.

    And that’s awesome to hear how realistic they are! Very cool! I mean, I watch the special features, but you never know how accurate those are. And you really know your Michael Mann films! haha That is way awesome. :) Film is a close second to music. And then when you get Michael Mann’s films coupled with his music choices, well…how can you go wrong? hehe

    Man, I’ve got to see Last of the Mohicans. It’s one of those ones people look at me funny when I say I’ve never seen it.

  22. I was reading the NAMM thread on TGP and now I’m looking forward to your NAMM report! Let us know what you find out about the Aqua Puss RI, Strymon Brigadier, and Diamond Memory Lane Jr., and Axe-Fx. :)
    I played a show last week with one of the guys from monocase and couldn’t resist asking him what they are showing at NAMM this week.

  23. Jonathan M–it does…like director’s commentary and stuff. I haven’t had a chance to check them out yet, though. I really want to!

    Dan–man, that Memory Lane Junior looks amazing, huh? Actually I’m not so sure I’m going to NAMM anymore. I was planning to take off from work, but we are slammed right now. I went in 7 days last week, and looks like I may have to do the same this week. Huge bummer. Besides, I’d probably get kicked out anyway once they realized I’m just there with a friend. I hear they’ve gotten real strict on this since the one time I actually got in.

    *Sigh.* Maybe someday I’ll be famous enough to get an invitation. lol Hey, at least I can hope, right?

  24. I’ve always been taught to kiss the mic when singing, especially when I first started out leading worship because I was a very timid singer. 10 years later, I find myself (while worshiping with eyes closed, just oh so focused) bumping into my mic every so often, then comes a jerking back reaction that probably makes me look stupid.

    And I’m a firm believer in having my own mic. Call me a germ-a phoebe but something about having kissing the mic others have touched…

  25. Hey Karl-
    Just thought I’d let you know that my head is dying as well. I got my M9 yesterday finally, and it is REALLY really cool stuff. My head actually is dying because I stayed up really late playing through it.. and I have a neglected quiz in an hour………. awesomeness. But I also got an Xotic AC booster to balance out the digital vs. non warfare going on on my board. Even if I’m jumping on a bandwagon, it’s one good-sounding bandwagon!

  26. Jonathan–lol I do the same thing! Or I bump my teeth on it or something and I think, ‘Did anyone just see that?’ haha

    And I agree about the kissing thing. We yet the youth group do a hardcore concert in our main worship center one time, and that weekend the mics reeked of the worst bad breath you could ever imagine. We like, literally, sterilized them.

    Matthew–no!! I’m losing my brethren one by one!! Oh, okay, okay…the AC Booster makes me feel better.

    hehe But seriously, if it’s helping you to make beautiful music more than any single effects could, then rock on! :)

  27. “But seriously, if it’s helping you to make beautiful music more than any single effects could, then rock on!”

    And there is only one way to find that out ;D

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