Posts Tagged ‘Dweezil’

Pedals :: TWA Triskelion

Between my recent purchase of the BB Preamp, and the NAMM 2012 show yielding a deluge of YouTube clips of new and wonderful gear, I’ve fallen into a pedal craze. Over the past couple of weeks I’ve spent hours and hours on YouTube binges, checking out some cool and crazy stuff. And it was on one of these binges that I discovered the TWA Triskelion, which I am now absolutely dying to try out.

Last time I was shopping in Denmark Street, I asked the staff in a exclusively-FX store about a semi-mythical piece of kit from ’70s which was a favourite of FZ – the Systech Harmonic Energizer. (Also, the pedal with the coolest name ever.) The guy in the store hadn’t heard of it, sadly. I wasn’t surprised particularly – the odds of him having heard of it were pretty slim, and the odds of him having one in stock were way slimmer still. But hey, it’s always worth asking, right?

So, as you might imagine, when I discovered the TWA Triskelion I was pretty excited. This is a 21st-century, full-fat, beefed-up take on the original Systech designs from the ’70s – a crazy, sweepable parametric EQ with global- and frequency-boost controls. As it transpires, Dweezil runs three (!!!) of these pedals in his rig, specifically for Po-jama People, but also for adding some honk to other solos. Well, it retails for $350 and isn’t exactly the most versatile…or should I say broadly applicable of pedals, but this is what I’ve been cocking a Cry Baby to emulate since forever.

Firmly on the shopping list. Although I hate the LEDs.

Here’s some clips from YouTube of the Triskelion in action. The first couple demo some the pedal on its own and with an expression pedal, and the third features the Dweez talking about and playing the pedal.




Frank Zappa Curses Ronald Reagan on MTV

Fast forward to 6:30 for Frank hexing Ron with a Mojo Doodad.

Frank Zappa Online

The Internet is a Great Place to be a Zappa Fan

I originally intended yesterday’s post to be a collection of a few Zappa web links, but instead ended up writing about Frank’s lifelong commitment to technology and great business practice. As promised, here’s the list I originally promised!

i: The Official Channels is the official source of Zappa news, new releases and home of the Barfko-Swill online store. The best part of the site is probably the ‘GZ Sez’ page, where Gail responds to fan questions, which are invariably of the ‘when is XYZ being released from the vault?’ variety.

Dweezil is right at the centre of the Zappaverse these days, leading as he does the incomparably brilliant Zappa Plays Zappa tour. His own website, Dweezil Zappa World, has a regularly updated blog and info about the Dweez’s various projects. He also uses it to give guitar lessons and sell old gear occasionally as well.

ii: Encyclopaedia Zappa

Frank’s fans are very dedicated and curious by nature, and there are many great resources online covering even the most excruciating minutiae – AKA the most interesting bits. Saint Alphonzo’s Pancake Homepage and Wiki/Jawaka are my favourite of the online Zappapedias.

iii: …the Paraphernalia of it All

If the nearly 100 official Zappa catalog releases aren’t enough to satisfy your appetite for FZ content, you’re not alone. The Zappa bootleg community was one of the most dedicated and comprehensive unofficial organisations during Frank’s touring years, and its embrace of the internet has made it even stronger and more accessible.

There is a massive collection (50+) of concert bootlegs available for download at QualityBootz, however my favourite Zappa file sharing community is definitely Zappateers, who’s members have made available some of the most unusual (mid-1980s Norwegian local press conference-unusual) material for download.

(If you join Zappateers, please seed, seed, seed – it’s a fantastic resource.)

iv: Instant Extraterrestrial Gratification

YouTube has a couple of great pages available dedicated to vintage/rare/hilarious/brilliant Zappa material. The ‘reldditmot‘ and ‘YourArf‘ channels are packed with good stuff, with all the convenience of YouTube and 0% skateboarding dog-content.

Cry Baby

Cry Baby: The Pedal That Rocks The World from Joey Tosi on Vimeo.

An absolutely wonderful way to spend an hour. Paul Gilbert, Larry LaLonde and, of course, Dweezil Zappa are my highlights. My first effects pedal and just about the only thing other than a Telecaster which has stayed permanently in my rig.

Zappa at the Roundhouse

A few snippets of the Roundhouse concerts and events have reared their mean and ugly heads over the last couple of days.

Sky Arts have posted an eight minute ‘behind the scenes’ look at the festival presented by Bob Harris. I’m not sure if this is an excerpt or preview of a larger broadcast, but it’s entertaining for sure.

Sky Arts

Also, the wonderful YouTube brings us the full Q&A with Dweezil, Gail, Joe, Jeff and Scott in no less than eleven parts, courtesy of Captain Bootleg and his Amazing Shakey Handicam.

Part one of eleven can be found here

Because it wouldn’t be Zappa without bootlegs, right? Anyhow, really nice to have the festival committed to disk for posterity, it really was a great event.