Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I'm baaack!!!

Well, I'm back from my holiday vacation and (mostly) week-long exile from the guitar. However, I was able to get around to most of the good CD and guitar stores in Portland during my visit. I was sorely tempted to buy a used Les Paul Supreme I found at Old Town Music, but I resisted. The Supreme is a heavily chambered Les Paul with lots of bling that sounds great doing warm, crunchy fusion stuff. However, my Heritage H-555 semi-hollow also sounds great doing warm, crunchy fusion stuff, and is already paid for!! Apart from that Supreme, I didn't find any other guitars that inspired thoughts of emptying my wallet.

On the CD front, I bought a ton of good music. Portland, Oregon has a bunch of great music stores, which are a vanishing breed most other places. Music Millennium and Everyday Music are fun places to hang out and browse. Here's what I got:

Alex Machacek: [Sic]
Miles Davis: Black Beauty: Miles Davis at Fillmore West
Zappa/Captain Beefheart: Bongo Fury
Zappa: Wazoo
Ornette Coleman: Sound Museum - Hidden Man
Ornette Coleman: Tone Dialing
John Coltrane: Dear Old Stockholm
John Coltrane: Meditations
Science Faxtion: Living on Another Frequency
Sam Rivers: Dimensions & Extensions (2008 Remaster)
James Brown: Make It Funky - The Big Payback: 1971-1975

Lots of good listening to be done, and I'm sure I'll be writing soon about some of this music.

I also had the chance to do a lot of reading on the plane. I reread "The Real Frank Zappa Book" for about the 10th time, and I also read Bill Milkowski's biography of Jaco Pastorius and am in the process of finishing Ben Ratliff's "Coltrane - The Story of a Sound." Immersing myself in the lives of Zappa, Jaco and Coltrane has me quite inspired to get going musically now that I'm back in proximity to my stable of guitars.

My first order of business is to finish up a track I've been sitting on for awhile, called "Funkoverture." All it needs is a proper drum performance, and this is a good opportunity for me to sharpen my skills on the Korg padKontrol MIDI drum pad. I prefer to play rather than program the percussion, but it takes practice to do it well. No time like the present...

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