Archive for the 'Gear' Category

Thanks Luna

02/29/2008 – Three years ago last night, one of my favorite bands of all time played their final show. I wasn’t there.

I first discovered the band Luna while I was working at Spec’s Music in Gateway Mall in St. Petersburg, Florida. Musically it was the middle of the grunge rock revolution and every song that played through the store’s speakers blasted out with abandon and wildness except one.There was this one CD in the 6-disc changer that was so low in volume that I always had to check to see if it was still working. It was. It was Luna’s first CD, simply entitled Lunapark. It was the copy where the name of the band had a numeral “2” after the “Luna.” I figured there must have been another band named Luna at the time and this was the way the fine folks at Elektra records dealt with it while the other “Luna” was offered money to change their name.

OK, that’s not really true at all, I just thought it was weird. After a few weeks of everyone in the store enduring that one quiet CD, the manager of the store plucked it out of the player and said “you want it?” I took the CD home, and from that time forward that CD has been on or near the top of the stack. I fell in love with every song. My old band Lie covered “I Can’t Wait.” If a girl liked Luna I took that as a sign we should get married.

The first time I saw them was at a place in north Tampa called The Stone Lounge. It was a great punk rock club run by a friend, and it served as a local band hang out for a few years. I’ve been told the name Stone is a reference to Stone Gossard from Pearl Jam. I have no reason to doubt for a second.

Low opened the show. They were fantastic. Luna played next and lifted the room a foot off the ground despite Sean’s busted amp and some drunk frat boys from USF screaming the entire time.I picked up every CD they put out from that point forward. Every little EP I could find. Every shitty mp3 I could track down on the web. They were one of those bands.

And so, as I played last night at Flicker Bar and Theater with The Good Graces, the Jazzmaster seemed to play itself. I snuck in a few Luna licks. Nobody seemed to mind. We had a great time. We ate free popcorn.

(Photos from the show)

Three nights previous, Liz and I saw an amazing set by Luna’s singer and bass player Dean and Britta at Eddie’s Attic. And despite the drunk couple standing up directly in front of the stage groping each other and making out, they lifted the room a foot off the ground again, like they always do. They played a dozen tunes from Galaxy 500, Luna, and their own Dean and Britta catalog. At the end of their set the band sat out in the main room, smoked cigarettes, talked with fans and relaxed. I was going to say hello, but I didn’t.

I guess I should have. I just wanted to say thanks.

Happy New Year!

12/31/2007 – So this is the end of the year, and I always tell myself I’m going to post a list of favorite songs, or CDs, as if anyone buys CDs anymore. Well, here’s a quick and dirty list of things that made me smile this year. I’m sure I missed some things and some people. My bad.

Super Deluxe goes live and I still have a job

Jeff Tweedy @ the Tabernacle

– Playing with The Good Graces, Mary O. Harrison and The Yum Yum Tree! Great people, every one of them!

– The Atlanta music scene

SXSW 2007! A million great shows in one town.

BAAMO

WMNF

Dean & Britta at the Variety Playhouse

ISP Space (R.I.P.)

The EARL

Smith’s Olde Bar

– Hanging with Ava in Delaware

500 Songs for Kids

See-through Souls

– Working with the CNN.com folks on Funny Lunch

Ben Gibbard at Center Stage

Sloan at the 40 Watt

AthFest

Bright Eyes at The Fox Theater

– Memorial Day weekend with my Florida friends

Corndogorama!

– The Star Bar photo booth

– “Marry Me” by St. Vincent (answer “yes”)

Java Monkey

– The Atlanta Songwriters shows

Lenny’s Bar

Rufus Wainwright, Neko Case @ the Tabernacle

– My second annual Wisconsin holiday

Milwaukee Art Museum

The Other Sound Festival

11:11 Teahouse

– The Drunken Unicorn

KEXP & KCRW podcasts

2007 Grant Park Summer Shade Festival

– Playing Kelly’s Pub in Tampa with Lance, Rebekah & Rob and Ted

Rebekah & Rob in Atlanta

– Kent and everyone at Legend’s Guitars

Midtown Music

Eskimo Kiss and Eskimo Bliss

The Preakness

Club Awesome‘s pool party

Parade

– Thunderbox rehearsal space

GutterPop

– Sandra and Raleigh

– All my Super Deluxe co-workers

– Jeff Wood (R.I.P.)

The Howlies

– The Bain Mattox crew, past and present

– James and Ali

– The East Atlanta Strut

– The 88.5 WRAS interview

The Jupiter Watts

Art Bar in Columbia, SC

Two Sheds Records

– Two days in Indianapolis with friends

– The Gardner clan

Broad Ripple Fall Music Festival

Luna Music

Indianapolis Museum of Art

Eisenhower Field Day

Atlanta People With Blogs Who Get Together To Drink

– The Clermont Lounge with Liz! Peach Cobbler!

Little 5 Points Halloween Parade

– Pittsburgh to see The Weakerthans

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater

– The Hushpuppy Gallery

Chomp and Stomp

Kavarna

– A decent car crash

– My new JamMan pedal

– My new Strat

– The 1990s, Art Brut & The Hold Steady show at the Variety

The Swell Season at the Variety

Once

Black Lips at the Variety

Happenstance 2007, “One Great Song!”

Bain Mattox and Shot From Guns at Eddie’s Attic

– The Turner Christmas Party and a busted window

– Liz’s new house and expertly manicured lawn

– All my great new friends in Atlanta.

– Molly my doggie

Have a fun and safe New Year’s Eve everyone. I’ll catch up with everyone in the next few days!

John 

Kavarna, a new pedal, and a wedding

11/13/2007 – I had such a fun time last Saturday night. It was my first time playing with the ATL Songwriters group, and it was my first time at a great new spot in Oakhurst called Kavarna. Jim Combs had already started by the time I arrived, and this was the best set that I’ve caught by him. During one of his spontaneous compositions he played an electric kalimba that sounded amazing!

I was up next so I grabbed my guitar, tuned up, and rocked it. I had a really fun time on stage, the best time I’ve had in a long time. The room sounded fantastic, the crowded listened, chatted, and laughed at my lame attempts to be funny. Some friends made it out too, which is always great and very much appreciated.

Next up was the Melinda Kingsley Band, a fun four/five piece. And finally, closing the night was one of my local faves Lindsey Appel. She’s got a really sweet voice and creative songs, good stuff indeed.

Most of Sunday was spent playing some guitar at home and trying to figure out my new JamMan pedal. It’s a looping pedal. I think I’m the last solo guitarist to get one, but they are pretty damn cool. And finally, Sunday night, a big group of us gathered to celebrate our friend Kim’s marriage vows and rock out to The Preakness. No pictures in this updated unfortunately, you’ll just have to trust me that all this stuff really happened.

Mixing / Legends Music

02/08/2003 – Just in from hanging with Chris while he’s mixing the Sparky’s Nightmare CD, he’s doing a great job and I can’t wait for everyone to hear the results of all his hard work and superlative ears. Also, while I was over at the shed with Chris we picked five of my tunes to start recording, I’ll let you know when we get it all cranked up.

Earlier in the day I stopped by a new guitar store in Tampa called Legends Music run by my old boss at Thoroughbred Music. It’s on West Hillsborough, just east of the airport on the south side of the street in the same shopping plaza as a Sports Authority and AJ’s Drum shop. He’s got an amazing assortment of vintage and custom guitars. I can’t wait to buy something.

Ibanez!?

02/07/2003 – The madness that is the buying of electric guitars by me must stop!! This week I received my first eBay guitar purchase in the mail. A 1995 silver-sparkle Ibanez Talman with a Bigsby tremolo. I know what you’re saying “Ibanez!?!?!” Yeah, well this thing rocks! There I said it. Besides the Iceman this is the coolest thing they have made in ages, and of course, nobody bought one because they didn’t have any points on them anywhere and it’s hard to play metal or to shred with one. OK, I’m officially on a buying freeze. Hope to do some recording this weekend, I’ll post something when I get something done!

Orlando Guitar Show – Luna

02/01/2003 – I’m just in from the Orlando Guitar show and I made a purchase. I 1966 Fender Electric XII that has been stripped and lacquered a not-unattractive butterscotch color. I might just leave it as-is. The price was right and thankfully there was no song or dance involved. Looking forward to getting into the studio tomorrow!

The Luna show last night at the Twilight was amazing, they were so good it was unreal. The played for about 90 minutes and they played every song that I wanted to hear and more. Awesome. The two opening acts, Tampa’s own Beautiful Loser and New York’s Calla were excellent as well.