So, I like to think of myself as a pretty hip cat when it comes to staying up with the times. But sometimes, I just can’t lie to myself any more. I am currently absolutely loving a few things that others have been loving for a few years. Sometimes you can be so focused on which voltage your overdrives sound best at, that you forget to take your head out of your pedalboard and enjoy the Electro-Harmonix LPB-1′s all around you. ;)

  • First two-year-old thing I just discovered. Apparently, Coldplay has been giving away a live album the last couple years for the price of an email address. Very lovely. I love U2, but they could take some pointers from these guys’ business strategies…Coldplay ‘Left Right Left…a lot of times’
  • Second thing…if you have not gone to Guitar Center yet and picked up the $40 Electro-Harmonix LPB-1 Linear Boost yet, please do so. I picked it up in a pinch last Friday, as I needed another boost that night and a Gear Page folk was like 2 weeks late in sending me a pedal, so I thought I’d see what all the fuss has been about over this little guy. To be honest, I just hoped it would be passable and unnoticeable as cheap while the whole band was playing. Turns out, that thing is really, really good. Hugely fat, and a ton of boost on hand (no, I will not say ‘on tap’…just like I will never say ‘kills’, ‘nails’, ‘hands down’, ‘tone for days’, or ‘delivered to your door’…gross). Here’s a little tip, too…turn it sideways and replace the knob with a bigger one, and you can work the boost knob with your foot like a volume pedal…might be all the boost you ever need.
  • That being said however, I did accidentally buy a Shadow Amps Double Fat Boost off of ebay for insanely cheap, as it was listed in a funny category and I just happened to find it in a search. It’s supposed to be heaven, so we’ll see. It definitely looks cool, and you can’t buy it at Guitar Center, so it must be cool. ;)
  • Electro-Harmonix is like Fulltone. They still sound amazing and put out some incredible products, but killed their cool factor by allowing themselves to be sold at Guitar Center. I mean come on…everyone knows tone comes from waiting lists and builders you can call by their first name.
  • Thom Yorke just continues to impress me. The beginning is pretty funny, too:
  • Again, again, again, again…I started searching for new amps and guitars in lieu of changing my strings. When I changed them, I loved my gear and tone again. I have come to the conclusion that I will never learn this lesson, and that sometime in the future I will just have piles of wonderful gear because I thought my tone sucked because of old strings and bought new gear to compensate. And…I’m okay with that.
  • I may be done with custom-ordering. Had a horrible experience with a road case company who gave the appearance of being all informal and kind about my requests, but then sent me something totally different than my order, and basically said, ‘Too bad, it wasn’t in writing.’ And of course took double the time they quoted. Then I had a pedal from a respected builder take 500% longer than the quoted time. When I emailed him or her, it turned out it hadn’t even been started and they had forgotten about it. Same thing with a current company…quoted 4-6 weeks, I email and call at 7 weeks, nothing. Finally send a strongly worded email at 8 weeks, and turns out they haven’t even started. I’m probably just too nice to begin with. But it does seem like these builders have super over-the-top email-every-day customer service until you actually hand over your money. Then absolutely nothing. I’d even be cool with a longer time estimate to begin with, or even a quick ‘running late’ text when the quoted time had elapsed. Guess not.
  • Last night, as I was playing somewhere, turned my volume pedal loop off, and then tried to use the volume pedal. When it didn’t work, I tried again. And again. Without switching the loop on. I’m not sure what exactly I was expecting to happen.
  • I think I’ve slipped into being too comfortable, and perhaps forgotten what it’s like to do anything out of the ordinary that’s actually a bit of a sacrifice for someone else. Because I accidentally did this, and it was pretty awesome. And I realized how far back I’ve actually retreated.
  • People think I have a 65 Amps London or Marquee all the time, because they mistake my 65 Amps cabinet for it. Which is why I almost bought a Two Rock cabinet the other day.
  • 24 is on Netflix instant. I finally get all the Jack Bauer love. I’m very ashamed that I made fun of tv dramas for so many years. I do tend to have a habit of making fun of things I’ve never experienced. But you gotta admit…who ever thought one of the Young Guns could play that role so well? Can you imagine Charlie or Emilio as Jack Bauer?
  • Also…I heard this the other day. “The reason people think Chuck Norris was immaculately conceived is because Jack Bauer is too ashamed of his wussy son.”
  • Okay, one more…”Terrorists dread the day in October that Daylight Savings Time ends. Jack Bauer gets 25 hours in which to kill them.”
  • It’s really cool to hang out with nice people. Like, actual nice people. Not the ‘trained Christian nice’ that evidences itself with the ‘How are you?’ / ‘Fine!’ / ‘No, how are you really doing?’ junk. I’m talking about just…plain…nice. I think C.S. Lewis describes this by saying that the most humble person you will ever meet will be the person you don’t recognize as being humble. Rather, they will just seem genuinely interested in what you’re saying, and you’ll leave thinking, ‘What a nice chap!’ (his words…and awesome British ones at that) without ever realizing their love and humility. They just plain weren’t thinking of themselves at all.
  • Anyone else ever turn on a pedal for a chorus just so you can tell yourself you really do need all those pedals? ;)