Monthly Archives: July 2011

Stacked

First of all, I tried a new cardio jam class at the Y the other night and the former army drill instructor nice lady fitness teacher tried to kill me, I think. I am still sore. It hurts to type. But if I keep this up through the summer by Labor Day I will be like the title of this post says. {haha…mabye}

But that’s a whole other topic that probably doesn’t belong on this blog. Let me instead turn your attention to these stacks…

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Yeah that’s more like it! Last summer the guys were collecting these. Yes in addition to drums and guitars, we also had a collection of amps and cabinets going on. Are we music hoarders? Is there a show for that? Anyway they aspired to the arrangement above but only made it to this:

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It was a noble attempt.

 (Again I apologize for the fuzzy picture- it’s not your eyes! Just another blurry cell phone pic…Note to self: Use real camera from now on…)

This summer, the bottom cabinet a JCM 1936 (2 x 12) is still in our possession but the top 2 micro stacks went on to new homes to make funding and room for this:

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A Marshall JCM900 50 watt tube head

If you thought this house was loud before you should hear it now…! {Gotta love living in the country and having older neighbors who don’t care probably ’cause they can’t hear the ruckus anyway!}

But you know with us enough is never enough! While the amp and cabinet we have now is great for the guitar we’re still looking for a good deal for a decent power amp and speakers for amplifying our SPD-20 electronic percussion pad. The guys currently use it as a drum module to sample sounds but can only hear the result through headphones. And if we had a power amp we could set that up with our triggers again….

What’s a trigger you ask? Well, besides being Roy Rogers horse, it’s also a device that clips on the drum and makes your acoustic kit sound like an electric kit.

Here’s a pic of the kind of triggers we have:

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{Not our drums, but you get a better idea of what they are and how they mount to the hoop.}

Triggers get you get a tighter ‘bigger’ sound ala Tommy Lee, Frank Beard and Joey Jordison and when hooked into a drum module you can even assign different sounds and patches to play when you hit certain drums. So your rock DW kit equipped with triggers could sound like a tympani or steel drums with the right patch. It’s a very cool setup that gives you endless ways to play and annoy your pets and neighbors!

And that is my rambling story about working out, amps, triggers and drums for today. I’m off to pick up the boy from camp {yay!} and apologize to the neighbors that can hear ’cause it’s about to get loud again.


Strings vs. Snares

There’s a battle shaping up out here Casa de drum. The snares came out strong in the first and second round and were holding their own at 5 but recently the guitars added to their numbers and now weigh in at 6! (and as many as 8 if you count the guitar hero guitars…) Check out what the boy came home with the other week {for FREE! Good work son! & please excuse his blurry cell phone pics}

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It’s a 12 string guitar that was in need of a little love. {which probably explains why it was FREE…!} When he got it was really only an 11 string guitar…and soon after a tuning session we were down to 10. The saddle was a little chewed up and cracked and the whole thing needed a little cleaning. He’s already declared it his new favorite instrument. (I think it made his dad a little nervous to see him favor a guitar over the drums! haha! I just may successfully pull him over to the dark side after all! ha!)

After I had a go-around with trying to buy strings and a saddle at that center that sells guitars and that somethin’ or other ash place… (sidenote: we REALLY need to open a music store by the way….anybody got any retail space they wanna donate to us??) I finally came out with a pack of Martins for a 12 string (not 6 as the sales dude at that first store tried to hand me even after I said 12 twice….) and no saddle.

Since the boy was leaving for music camp soon, as in the morning after the night we were trying to do all this, and he really wanted to take his new stringed friend along with his snare (so he could be his own one man band?) we stole borrowed the saddle out of my Epiphone to try to resuscitate this thing. (I figured I’d still have the Yamaha in working order to play while he’s away with my saddle….and my capo…note to self: buy another capo) But back to the matter at hand.

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When the carpel tunnel subsided {did I mention there were 12 strings on this thing to wind? by hand? ’cause the little winding tool thingy I have for the tuning heads would fit on these?} we had a newly stringed instrument with a saddle that still wasn’t quite right… this is what drummers and drafters get for trying to be guitar techs! But we soldiered on. 

After one more trip to the music store for a saddle and some sanding, we were finally lucky enough to come out with something we could work with saddle wise. Then after some tuning…. and a little more fine tuning… {did I mentions there were 12 strings to tune??} we finally had something in playable order. I really intended to take a picture of it all polished and pretty and restrung, but instead I took a nap!

{Just pretend there’s a purdy picture here!}

So that’s how we spent our night before the big camp send off. Well that and doing laundry and packing a weeks worth of stuff for a teenager to go to camp. Now we’re counting the days until he comes home with a weeks worth of dirty laundry and hopefully with my capo…!

And in case you’re a drummer who also likes guitars and needs some info on 12 stringed versions like we did, here’s a site that was helpful and if you like watching versus reading here’s a video.

And did I mention that my handsome husband also scored some free guitar gear last week? A double guitar stand- which is a good thing considering we were losing the battle with where to put the guitars! Anybody else being crowded out by their drums or guitars like us? We’d love to hear about it!


What Not to Wear Part II and Cadillac Sky

So to continue my stroll through memory lane from last week, today I’m reliving my memories of the all time most awesome “new grass” band Cadillac Sky.  Who else could cover traditional bluegrass songs and Video Killed the Radio Star all in the same show and not be cool? Unfortunately they’ve gone on to pursue other things separately. But they will live on forever in my mind and on YouTube. Fortunately now that it’s been 6 months or so, I can finally talk about them without crying. {just kidding!} 

In case I haven’t mentioned it over here we’re a little bit country and a little bit rock ‘n’ roll. I bring the country part in case y’all hadn’t guessed it yet… blame it on going to an Alabama concert every year from the time I was 7 or 8 until I was 18 with my mama the original groupie. Hi mom! She’s still at it by the way only she had to find a new band. (what is it with our favorite bands disbanding?) but that’s a post for another day!

Back to the C-Sky boys. I first saw them at a bluegrass festival in Winchester, VA during my birthday blowout extravaganza weekend of May ’09 . {Pool playing on Friday night? Amusement park Saturday morning? NASCAR event on Saturday night? 3.5 hour drive from home on Sunday to see some mighty fine pickin’ and a grinnin’ all day long? I’ll take it! When do we sleep? Oh…we don’t…ok I’m in!} But since this isn’t a blog about pool or roller coasters or fast cars, I’ll concentrate on the music!

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They were awesome! No words could describe the energy and mad skills they demonstrated on all their instruments (no drums then but when we saw them in 2010 they had a little kit they played for some songs. So there’s your drum reference for this post!) Nevermind that I thought they were roadies when they first came up on stage to set up their instruments. I.was.in.love. 

The rest of the audience was shocked and awed. Since this was a bluegrass show, we were some of the youngest people there. To top that off, it was a Sunday so it started with some gospel bands and transitioned to your traditional bluegrass bands like Larry Stephenson and IIIrd Tyme Out. But when it came to Cadillac Sky, the uhhmm…more mature folks in the audience weren’t quite sure what to make of them when they started their first set that afternoon! But those folks were troopers and gave it a chance at least until it came time for the 2nd second set! At that point there was a mass exodus and lots of empty seats to be had up front! So like the Jeffersons, we took the opportunity to move it on up!

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And did I mention it was my birthday that weekend and my best friend totally capitalized on that fact and got them to sign my cd and scored me a picture with them? Yeah that’s me in the hat…no the other hat…. which brings me to the what not to wear part of this post.

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I broke my own rule about hats here but in my defense it was a bluegrass show so I wasn’t terribly out-of-place. But the real fantastic fashion faux pax was that even though flip-flops were fine at 6:30 am that warm humid morning that we left home, 3.5 hours northwest into the mountains found the temperature very.much.cooler….and rainy….and did I mention this show was outside under a tent and it was rainy?!? Our only saving grace was that the tent had sides! But even in spite of freezing feet and squishy grounds we had a blast and it was a trip I’ll never forget.

So let us review:

  • always bring proper footwear along on your concert outings
  • Cadillac Sky is awesome

Til next time…

{because you know can’t resist the only blog that combines cats, Crüe, bluegrass, concerts, drums, guitars and fashion….}