Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Midnight Daydream 10 Year Tribute

I have received many interesting comments and emails since beginning this blog such as one from Billy James; aka ANT-BEE regarding an article I posted about Bruce Cameron and his album Midnight Daydream.

The gist of the post is that an unknown guitar player debuted his first album with the help of guest artists such as Jack Bruce, Buddy Miles, Billy Cox, and Mitch Mitchell of Cream, Band of Gypsys, and the Jimi Hendrix Experience and then died shortly thereafter. Billy James was the coordinator as well as one of the guest artists on the project. Here is his comment in line:


I was the coordinator for the Bruce Cameron project and also a guest artist (ANT-BEE). I will be doing a radio tribute to my friend (who committed suicide for the record). My show will be aired on Sunday, Sept. 6, 2009 at 12:00 pm EST. I will also play some rare extras like the commercial I hired Mitch Mitchell to do the voice over for. The website to access the show is:

Bruce was a dear friend of mine and sadly missed. Next month will be the 10th anniversary of the CD release.


So, take a moment to connect to the show on the 6th but listen to the album here beforehand.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Is the Vintage Sound We Grew to Know and Love Due in Part to Poor Voltage Quality?

One outlet on the power strip/surge protector servicing my entertainment center had turned black and was actually melting. Bad news is it proves I should replace these more often than once in 20 years, good news is I had a valid excuse to determine whether the hype around power conditioners is valid.

The main difference between my old surge protector and a power conditioner (other than $200) is a variety of electronic filters to improve the quality of the voltage in addition to protecting against voltage spikes. The filters help your gear operate like the designers intended while surge protection helps it live to fight another day in the event you get hit with a voltage spike; say a nearby lightning strike or nearby Zion hovercraft activating its EMP to disable a Sentinel.

I hooked up my new Panamax power conditioner after a trip to the local big box retailer and sure enough, I immediately saw blacker blacks in home theater speak. Quite a stunning transformation actually. Hmm, what would this do for guitar gear? A quick connect of my DSL 401 and pedal board through the Panamax conditioner showed a similar improvement, especially in noise reduction. Effects pedals seemed to also be more controlled, even my temperamental Dunlop Fuzz Face; almost too controlled..., like the Matrix vs. the "real" world.

One example of the real world devoid of voltage quality would be the 1967 BBC Sessions with the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Take a listen and you will know there was not a power conditioner in sight. It sounds rough, gritty… and great.

I wonder how much of the 60s and 70s music we grew to know and love was created in part due to poor voltage quality?

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Age Made Golf History at Turnberry, What Age Makes Music History?

I was on the edge of my seat rooting for Tom Watkins to make golf history by winning the British Open. Alas, one putt short...or one too many I guess. Still, it would have been great to be there. This got me to thinking about what age boundary would constitute music history.

Could history in the world of music be made by the oldest guitar player to tour 270 days in a row, with the occasional bar fight thrown in? Maybe the oldest person who can play as fast as Al Di Meola? None of these measures seem as clear cut as that Sunday at Turnberry. How about that old faithful, money?

I looked up tour receipts for 2008 and it turns out Madonna’s Sticky & Sweet tour was the highest grossing North American tour of the year at $105.3M. Bruce Springsteen, Neil Diamond, and Tina Turner were all in the top 10 and well into Tom Watkins’ territory (talking age now rather than money) and beyond. It seems the music world has not yet come upon its Turnberry moment when acts like this can be in the top 10 with little fanfare about age boundaries.

Hmm, looks like Bruce Springsteen is coming to town; I didn’t make it to Turnberry, but maybe I can attend this little slice of history.