Archive | November, 2004

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First Avenue reopens

Posted on 29 November 2004 by D' MacKinnon

When I heard the news back in the beginning of November that First Avenue had shut it doors it broke my heart.
For a long time I have had a fascination with all things Purple Rain and it had been a secret ambition of mine to play at that venue. Those hopes seemed dashed by the news of their closure but today I read that First Avenue has miraculously reopened with new owners.
It seems that the former managers and landlords of the space purchased the venue back during the bankruptcy hearing and are working on bringing it back. Currently, it’s reopened but not fully booked.
So…the dream lives on. You just won’t see me traveling to Minneapolis in the winter if I can help it.

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Order from Chaos

Posted on 17 November 2004 by D' MacKinnon

A cluttered studio makes for a cluttered mind.
I need to finish cleaning it out and throwing away all the junk I no longer need. I’ve noticed it’s a lot harder to meet those composition deadlines when you stepping over CD cases to get to your mixer.

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Multiple Guitars..why do we do it?


Multiple Guitars..why do we do it?

Posted on 16 November 2004 by D' MacKinnon

“You already have four guitars, why do you need another?”
I’ve noticed that non-guitarists are mystified by our incessant need to collect more and different guitars.
There are a lot of reasons, some arguably more justifiable than others. For instance, I regularly write songs in different tunings (standard tuning is soooo 20th century) and if I perform those songs live, you don’t want to retune between songs. Sometimes you can’t retune if you wanted to, like if the song was written with a baritone guitar.
Also, different guitars give different tones. For the non-guitarist, let me break it down simply: there are many components that give a guitar it’s sound, from the wood the body is made of, the design of the guitar, the strings, the pickups, the tuning. A guitar good for blues may not necessarily give you the beefy tone you need for a metal song.
For instance, I recorded a song this past weekend for a movie that contained multiple guitar parts. I originally tried to record the lead guitar part on this old Charvel that I own but the tone sounded a bit thin. Same for when I tried to use my Yamaha for the lead. I finally settled on using my Les Paul, which is what I use for most of my leads because the tone is just so much denser, most likely because the thing weighs like 20 pounds.
There is always the “bad” reason to want new guitars too, the cool factor of owning the latest thing. There are a few guitars out there that I wouldn’t mind owning just because they purportedly kick so much ass. Of course, I don’t have a few grand sitting around to spend on it when there are a dozen other items on my list to buy for my studio.
Are we guitarists really just in love with collecting guitars? Probably. Perhaps secretly we all want that room of guitars that Nigel has in Spinal Tap.

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Free Music

Posted on 11 November 2004 by D' MacKinnon

A friend of mine wrote about his problems with labels releasing music for free, that people will lose respect for the music if it’s free.
I respect what’s good.
But I agree that music not getting paid for lowers the overall quality of music available to people.
Hence major labels trying to churn out one-hit wonders instead of nurturing an artist to have a career. One-hit wonders make for a quick profit but it’s hurting the industry in the long run.
If you look at the sales of albums today, the largest amount of music sold comes from the early 70’s…does that mean that music has peaked since then? Not necessarily. I definitely think there are excellent genres and artists who have spawned since then but the industry itself has changed and unknowingly created an atmosphere where people think of today’s artist’s as any other commodity. Use it for awhile, and then throw it away when the next fresh thing comes out.
If the music industry wants their sales to get back up, they need to stop looking at the quarterly bottom line and focus on the long-term…creating artists with staying power. Invest a little bit, let the artist hit their stride…it may take a few albums. Shit, David Bowie spent 10 years making records that were failures and he was dirt poor, now he’s the most successful musician of all time.
Unfortunately, the record labels are run by CEOs who on the most part could give two shits and is there to make the company profitable for few years and then jump to the next corporation.

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Old songs

Posted on 09 November 2004 by D' MacKinnon

The feeling I sometimes get when I listen to songs I wrote years ago is like a college student looking back at writings and drawings one did in elementary school.
I can see the line of musical progress moving upward as the years pass, the farther back I go the less I recognize the songs as a part of my being and the more they seem slip into a hazy chimerical existance that I know is my past but I can no longer identify with.
I wonder how many other musicians get annoyed when listening to their old work.
“If I only had time to go back and redo them I would change….”
No time for the past. The future is more interesting.

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A little song and dance

Posted on 09 November 2004 by D' MacKinnon

1. I hate mimes.
2. New musical project is gonna rock. Yes. Musical.

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Nice work

Posted on 05 November 2004 by D' MacKinnon

Saw local band Devotchka open up for Marilyn Manson earlier this week.
Every show of theirs I’ve seen has impressed the audience. I have a feeling they are going to go places.

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