Writing every day is about taking the time to write. Today my choice of words are going to be related to something I worked on today. This week a package arrived with some Power-Grip Pedalboard Mounting Tape. It seems to be better than velcro, but sort of does the same thing. My new Boss BCB-60 pedal board has been great. Pedals have been put in place. They have power that does not come from 9-volt batteries. It is very easy to pack them up now and put them away when necessary. Getting all the pedals setup was pretty easy. It took me a bit to try different orders and combinations. I found one that works. That pretty much set up the possibility of using the mounting take to position all the pedals in a more permanent way.
Getting things set up was fun. Each pedal needed to be checked to ensure the battery leads were not touching metal. I watched a video on YouTube the other day where somebody wrapped the leads in electrical tape to prevent shorting or noise in the pedal chain. That was pretty easy to do with each of my pedals. Every cable connection was checked and every power cable connection was examined. Pretty much the entire pedalboard chain from guitar to amplifier was checked out for any potential issues. All of this effort did reduce the howl in the chain, but it did not completely get rid of it. My current guitar amplifier does not have an effects loop. That means the pedal chain between the guitar and amp needs to be clean enough to be playable. Sometimes a bad configuration or a bad pedal will create such a howl that it is off putting. Thankfully that was not the case this time around. Things worked and that is great news.
It should have been harder to give up using my Pandora streaming music service. Years had been spent clicking up and down training stations to play a perfected collection of sonic awesomeness. Seamlessly the Amazon Music Unlimited service has replaced my usage of Pandora music streaming. It happened without any real fanfare or celebration. Access to unlimited music seems to be my prefered listening experience.
I have been eyeing an Ibanez JS140 guitar online. It seems the advertising tracking algorithms have noticed my interest and are splashing up guitar sales on every website. That is not something that I mind to see from website to website, but it is rather interesting. This is probably the most focused advertising campaign I have seen since watching a few videos on the Casper mattress.
A few minutes today will be devoted to the incredibly important act of cleaning up the papers on my desk. The pile of papers has gotten a little out of control over the weekend. You may recall a few weeks back I cancelled my Pandora streaming service in favor of trying out the Amazon Music Unlimited service. It is an interesting experience to have access to pretty much anything you want to listen to anytime you have an internet connection.
Renting access to digital music is probably not the best way to support independent artists. I make a conscious choice to actually buy vinyl albums. I buy albums that I really like and for the most part they sit on my shelf. It is much easier to play streaming music throughout the day. I do listen to them, but not every minute of every day. Consider for a moment the sheer daunting weight of the music based choice when you stand before your Amazon Echo and ask Alexa to play any album. Literally, you could just listen to the top ten albums of all time and call it a day. You could ask Alexa to play anything.
Overall, the Amazon Music Unlimited service is very powerful. If you like to switch it up and listen to a wide variety of music, then the service is probably a good fit. Most of the time I switch between listening to an artist inspired station (Pandora is great at that) and listening to albums from start to finish. My preference usually is to listen to albums.
Supporting independent artists to make music is generally rewarding. Last night I spent an hour watching a live stream concert. My Audioengine A5+ speakers were more than capable of delivering streaming concert audio. It sounded great through the DAC. Between the video feed and the streaming audio It was an interesting experience. The feed was not 4k resolution. It was a pretty decent 1080 multi camera feed. It did not take me back to my concert experiences circa 1998. It did make me want to pick up my guitar. That always turns out well. Playing guitar is always a great stress reducer. Kickstarter and other methods of supporting artists have changed the way people can contribute to the creation of art. I have supported the efforts of singer Free Dominguez on several projects over the years. This year that support extended to a Kidneythieves released album titled “The Mend”. It is hard to believe that band started in 1998. A lot of things have changed since that band formed. It has been amazing time to be alive.
I’m about to try these d’Addario nickel wound EXL110 strings today. Changing guitar string brands is a major decision for a guitarist. I mostly play hard rock, blues, and fusion guitar. Does anybody have a different recommendation?
Transcendent, or so it goes… my writing career opened over a decade ago without fear. It happened one page at a time. It really just happened organically. We have to transcend our fears. They tug at the parts of life that slow us down. We obfuscate the path forward with illusions of outstanding obstacles. Rarely are we mindful enough to accept the moment. This very moment defines the next step. We make a conscious choice to take our next step. That is the true and unheralded tipping point.
Without getting in my own way I would write about the things that come to mine in the order in which they appear. My base nature is to experience a singular stream of consciousness and rework along the way. You could easily reduce that thought to a mantra of rinse and repeat until done. Or perhaps more eloquently it could be stated as search, research, and rethink. Exploratory inquiry is more about what is outside the door than describing that first step across the threshold.
My two shots of espresso seemed extra bitter this morning. That happens from time to time. I may have let them sit longer than they should have. They were consumed while listening to The Lumineers new album Cleopatra via the Amazon streaming service. My vinyl record collection includes the 2011 album The Lumineers. It sits on the shelf right next to my collection of vintage Warren Zevon vinyl records. My consumption of music includes three modes. First, at home I listen to streaming services like Pandora and Amazon Music. Second, my home audio setup also includes a record player. I have a small, but ever growing collection of vinyl records. That collection started with eBay purchases of vintage Clapton and Zevon albums. Third, some of my favorite albums are downloaded on my phone for offline listening.
For a number of years, I have not purchased music on a compact disc format. I still have one of those portfolios that holds 96 discs, but nothing has been added to it in years. I do purchase digital copies of albums or rarely specific songs for offline listening. That happens in part because my playlist for airline flights is ever changing. An album has to really catch my attention to join my collection of vinyl records.
It has been one of those weeks. It really has. My Pandora account now has a Pink Floyd station. That happened this week. I ended up moving away from listening to my go to Warren Zevon station this week. The musical stylings of Pink Floyd better matched my mood this week.
During a flight from Tampa to Denver, I ended up reading part of a Warren Zevon biography via the Amazon Kindle application. The writing was disjointed and otherwise intolerable. However, the content was very interesting. The author adopted an odd delivery mechanism where interviews with a number of people were shared in succession related to the same subject. It was interesting to read account after account, but it made the narrative disjointed. The reader was being held responsible to thread the needle. Maybe that was the intended effect. The content was very engaging.