Aug 052013


2013 is the year that my mom (who still has a flip phone and turns it off when she has completed a call) has purchased an iPod. This has proven to me the the iPod’s time of relevance has come to pass. I have used the “mom” rule successfully many times before when it comes to electronics.

I have been interested in “cloud” music for a while. I like the idea that if I ever need to hear “Baby Snakes” or “Girls With Guns” that all I have to do is log onto any computer (not even my own) and I can access MY copy of this song and play it instantly.

I am an iPhone owner, so I only just discovered the Android Market aka Google Play and the Google Play music storage feature.

You can upload 20,000 songs (not a misprint) for free and access them from the homepage of Google or gmail.

I narrowed my digital collection to 20,000 (was 4,000 over) and could not use DRM-protected iTunes files (protected .aac). I think that was maybe 30 songs. It would not accept .wav files either, but you can make them into mp3s and they work.

MOST of the files are not uploaded, they are just “recognized” by Google Play and they match it with their copy. If they can’t match it, THEN they upload it.

You can stream from ANY Android phone or tablet and from any computer, but not iphone or other devices that do not use flash.

You can burn my house down. but you can’t take my music collection!

The Instant Mix feature is pretty decent (unlike iTunes’ Genius which was pretty bad). It makes mixes based on a single song or LP. Kind of like Pandora w/o commercials and ONLY using your music.

I am so impressed by this program and it’s potential to use with BluTooth to shove my music down everyone’s throats.

Jul 032013
Fisher Makes Good Speakers, Right?

Fisher Makes Good Speakers, Right?

I will be spending a good part of the 4th of July weekend on our backyard patio listening to ballgames and my iPod on this old warhorse. It’s a Fisher boom box, circa 1985 — complete with aux/phono input. l got a Fisher because my dad told me when I was a kid that our Fisher speakers at home were really, really good — so that stuck with me for years.

This sits on the patio and under the eaves through rain, sun, and sleet. If there was a jail for boom box abuse, I would be an inmate. The dual cassette deck doesn’t work anymore, but the radio and aux input are all I need anyway. I also have a Jawbox I use outside sometimes, but most of the time, I just use the boombox. We remodeled last summer, and I am starting to wish I would have ponyed up for a modern outside sound system — maybe I will when the Fisher dies.

Have a great weekend  . . . and what is your modus operandi for cranking tunes outside?


Feb 132013
Wah. Wah-wah wah-wah wha. Wah wah-wah-wha wah wah...

Wah. Wah-wah wah-wah wha. Wah wah-wah-wha wah wah…

As 2000 Man wrote in his suggestion to conduct this discussion, “It was cool to talk through your guitar way before it was cool to Auto Tune!”

The Talk Box, I was amazed to learn, is almost as old as your youthful-looking Moderator (“But you don’t look a day over 47!” a colleague recently told me). Pedal-steel guitarist Pete Drake introduced this effects box that does stuff those of you more technically minded will better understand if you read about it for yourself, here. Such effects go back to the ’30s, which you can also read about on the effects’ Wikipedia page. Fascinating stuff that will go on my long list of “Things I Couldn’t Have Invented If I Had a Million Years to Think About Them.”

The Talk Box came into my world—and likely yours—in the 1970s, that glorious decade of extraneous technological developments. There are probably a dozen strong candidates for the Best Use of the Guitar Talk Box that I am forgetting, so you may write-in an “Other” candidate. The nominees and the RTH People’s Poll follow…after the jump!

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Feb 072013

Townspeople, it’s time we determine—once and for allThe Greatest Use of the Electric Sitar in Rock ‘n Roll.

A show of hands for those of you who’ve jeopardized a close friendship by broaching this sensitive topic?

I feel your pain, brothers and sisters.


The selection committee, led by Townsman misterioso, has determined a fierce slate of contenders. This may be the end of some of our friendships, I’m sorry to say, but think of how our eventual determination—once and for all—of The Greatest Use of the Electric Sitar in Rock ‘n Roll will save future friendships and cut down on mistaken hits for that stupid Blue Swede version of “Hooked on a Feeling,” the one lacking the awesome electric sitar.

That’s right, the nominees and the RTH People’s Poll for Rock’s Worst Album-Naming Pattern follow…after the jump!

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Oct 242012

The banjo’s never had much success in rock, has it? I know, if we did a Last Man Standing we could end up listing 138 rock songs featuring a banjo, but beside a Monkees’ song or two featuring a banjo, how many instances immediately spring to mind—and to the point of this discussion, when do you ever think, “You know, this song would really benefit from the inclusion of a banjo!”

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Jul 042012

A friend of mine posted this on his FB page (his band was included!):

I found this to be a highly entertaining trip through the last 40 years. I had a little difficulty with numbers 89-92 or so, but was happy to wear my RTH Badge of Rock Knowledge and was able to recognize and name most of the riffs included.

But I’m a guitar neophyte (still at a very avid Beginner level on Guitar Hero) and can’t really comment on 1. the dude’s skill and 2. whether he played the licks in the keys they were originally written.

What do you think of this of medley of 100 guitar licks? Is it sufficiently inclusive? Are their any that really don’t belong or any songs that unfairly missed the cut?

Previously: Songs You Play in Music Stores…


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