Posts Tagged ‘YouTube’

Internet Addiction :: Offline Weekends

After my awakening as an Internet Addict, I decided to start experimenting with my relationship to the Web. Following after my inspiration and taking a year off isn’t exactly compatible with my role as a Technologist at an internet company, but while my hands are tied during the week, the weekends are still mine to toy with. As such, I have decided to spend my weekends offline for a while to see what lessons I might learn, and with a bit of luck curb the problematic ‘Internet reflex’ I’ve developed. I’ll be transcribing any relevant scribblings and thoughts here after each offline weekend.

(As one caveat to my ‘offline’ experience, I’m permitting myself access to my iTunes Match account — although it’s an online service, it’s more like just having a massive iPod, and I don’t really think it’s relevant or restrictive to what I’m trying to achieve anyway. So there!)

Music :: This is My Jam


I’ve always been a fan of music-centric social networks, and although is really the only one that’s stuck around, it’s always fun to give a new one a go (new to me, at least – apparently This is My Jam has been around since late 2011, but I’m just getting round to joining now).

Anyway, I just posted my first ‘Jam’ on my freshly minted profile page.

As an aside, Cougar in the Workplace isn’t actually my current ‘Jam’, but the first test of any of these services is whether they support weird music that people don’t like very much, which they passed. My actual jam right now is the latest (2012) Com Truise album, specifically its opening track:


Zappa on the Business of Music

This comes via Andrew Greenaway on the Twitter and is the work of Carl King & others on YouTube.

Certainly a wonderful and very creative tribute, and the audio captures Frank at his best; I don’t think there’s any way you would contest a solid block of argument like this. Really fantastic visuals (and a great score).

The Aristocrats Album Preview

Before even listening to the audio from the clip above, just consider this paragraph from the Aristocrats website:

The music turned out to be a melting pot of their respective influences, ranging from the seminal ’70s jazz-rock fusion of Return To Forever and Mahavishnu Orchestra, to the progressive rock of King Crimson and UK, to guitar heroes like Steve Vai and Joe Satriani, to the absurdly complex and satirical music of Frank Zappa and Mike Keneally, and even to ’90s groove metal like Rage Against The Machine. But this strange brew is peppered with memorable melodies, myriad shifts in dynamics, and sensitive treatment of musical timbres that explore the limits of what the electric guitar, electric bass and drums in a power trio can achieve.

Y’know, I’m more than just mildly excited about this album, which hits on 9/13.

Guthrie’s album ‘Erotic Cakes’ came out in 2006 and has been a permanent fixture on my iPod ever since, still totally blowing my mind 5 years and many dozens of plays later. I still hold it as the best guitar instrumental album I’ve ever heard (not counting the Shut Up ‘N’ Play Yer Guitar and Guitar boxes, which kind of sit in a category all of their own). Knowing what Bryan Beller and Marco Minnemann are capable of laying down behind, around and in front of Mike Keneally, I can’t wait to hear them tear it up at length with Guthrie.

This is a proper, proper supertrio – bring on the album and bring on the tour.

YouTube Picks: John Mayer, Way Huge

A couple of YouTube picks from this week, starting with this amazing look at John Mayer’s guitar rig. There’s some full-frontal Dumble action and 40 (!!) guitars on show, all in kinda-shaky 1080p HD. This is the rig John was touring with when I saw him in London a couple of years ago, and I can vouch for every single one of the considerable quantity of $$$ spent on this setup being absolutely worth it. Great player, great tone.

Sticking with the Way Huge Aqua-Puss theme, I happened across this amazing clip featuring some of the most exotic boutique delays out there. Scientific testing, quality recording and playing – really solid content. I’m very preoccupied with delays after hearing Mike Keneally’s tone on the Bakin’ at the Potato, so this video really hit the spot. The winner, for me, is the Roland SRE-555, but thinking practically I’ve dug the Aqua-Puss for ages now. Then again, the memory man is pretty sweet…this could get expensive.

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.

Nerds 2.0.1 – Archive Google Video

Way back in February, I posted some shows from yesteryear which, thanks to the internet, are still available for geek historians to learn and gain perspective from. My favourite of these shows is probably Robert X. Cringely’s Triumph of the Nerds series, first broadcast on PBS in 1996.

I’ve been watching the (similarly excellent) followup to that show – Nerds 2.0.1 – on Google Video today and it struck me that shows like this one, which are common on GV, probably won’t be transferred to YouTube when Google finally pulls the plug on its first foray into online video.

It’s really important that these programs stay online and available to all, so if you do find anything on Google Video that you enjoy, download it (using my tutorial) before it’s gone.

Nerds 2.0.1 is embedded below – it really is must-watch stuff.


1959 Gibson Les Paul + 1989 Trainwreck Express

As one YouTube commenter put it – ‘Well, where else are you going to see a ’59 Les Paul and a Trainwreck in the same place?’

A great point, and one of my favourite things that YouTube has given the world: access.

Fender Princeton versus Pedals

The Princeton is always a fun amp to come back to – torturing the poor 10″ speaker with a thick Muff fuzz and getting trippy with the Small Stone and the amp’s built-in tremolo…it’s all great stuff. Obviously, as a Fender amp, it’s got a great clean sound, but this one seems particularly fun to dirty up.

1977 Mark I MESA/Boogie

My first new YouTube video in 6 months.

Recently, I’ve been playing the Mark I with a few pedals up front and getting some totally classic sounds – having the all time most classic Boogie overdrive and a Big Muff in the same rig? Purest, most heavenly luxury.

Anyway, these are a few tones that I’ve been playing around with recently in one four minute package for the world to digest. It’s so much fun making videos about stuff you absolutely love, so I’ll try and get on a roll and stay on it….more to come? Hopefully.