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new site: brokenheadstock.com March 8, 2008

Posted by Phillip in Uncategorized.
4 comments

Alright, the new site is up and running. I decided to go with brokenheadstock.com.

Check it out here.

I’ve got a review of last night’s Wilco show on there, and I’ll be updating it pretty regularly with other stuff. This will probably be my last new post on the worshipguitarist blog, so please update your links.

See you there.

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Hydroplaning March 7, 2008

Posted by Phillip in random.
2 comments

I almost died yesterday.

I was driving home in the rain, and I hydroplaned. My tires left the road, and I spun clockwise about 200 degrees and slid off the road backwards into a pretty deep ditch.

It was the craziest sensation, like being on a roller coaster, except without the “I know that I’m going to eventually get off the ride and be able to move my legs” sensation.

I’m fine, and my car is fine. It turns out that my brother’s father-in-law happened to be driving home at the same time as I was. I don’t know if he just saw my shiny head or what. He stopped and called a friend of his who had a 4-wheel drive truck and tow cables. They pulled my car out and I drove home.

I was either extremely lucky or blessed – however you choose to look at it. Regardless, I’m just glad to be walking around and breathing today.

I’m also glad that I’m not dead so that I can go see Wilco tonight. 🙂

Worship on Sunday, etc. March 5, 2008

Posted by Phillip in Church, Guitar, Music, Worship.
15 comments

Sunday was interesting.

Rewind to last Thursday. Rehearsal was pretty rough. We had to play without our main rhythm guitarist (recovering from Lasik surgery) and our bassist was unfamiliar with several of the songs. Our worship area is in the middle of renovation (our stage is being entirely rebuilt), so we had to set everything up on the fly and try to get some rehearsing in. The rehearsal went pretty badly, in my opinion. The sound was bad, mostly due to the new construction. The drums were bouncing off of the new drywall and throwing everyone off. There were issues.

Our lead pastor decided that he wanted to rewrite the words and sing that Hank Williams Jr. “all my rowdy friends” song to go along with his message, so we had to learn a country song. Let me just say that I am not a fan of country, unless it’s of alt-country variety, and even that is a bit of a stretch, depending on the band.

Suffice it to say that it was a long rehearsal, and I was not very happy with where the music was when we were finished.

Fast forward back to Sunday morning. When we played through everything, it was a totally different experience from rehearsal. I was prepared for a train wreck, but it was actually a really good time, even though I broke the B string on my Les Paul in the first service and had to use my strat for the rest of the day since I didn’t have an extra set of strings in my case.

It’s weird how that happens sometimes.

In other news, I’ll be making the move to in-ear monitors this weekend. In an effort to reduce stage volume, the rhythm guitarist and I will be ditching the wedge monitors and plugging Shure SCL3s in our ears. That should make a huge difference, since we place a close second to the drums in terms of overall volume.

I also ordered some new patch cables for my pedalboard from Lava Cable. I’ve been using generic junk from Radio Shack, and felt like it was time for a little upgrade.

Wilco on Friday March 4, 2008

Posted by Phillip in concerts, Music.
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Wilco is playing a sold-out show at the Verizon Wireless Theater in Houston on Friday, and I’ve got tickets. I’ve seen and heard live recordings, and they are really, really good in concert.

I just had to rub it in.

Did I mention that I’m also going to see Radiohead in May? 

There Will Be Blood March 4, 2008

Posted by Phillip in Movies, Music.
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I’m not going to review it here, but I watched There Will Be Blood over the weekend. Daniel Day-Lewis is a freaking force of nature. He may have been over the top, but that’s what the role called for.

It’s totally unjust that Jonny Greenwood’s score was disqualified from contention. The music was amazing – totally unlike any film score that I have ever heard. It sounded more like Penderecki than John Williams (which is a good thing).

If I understand it correctly, think that the score was disqualified because of the inclusion of Arvo Pärt’s Fratres. Regardless, I was glad to hear it. Fratres was a favorite composition of mine when I was studying music in college, and it was nice to be reminded of it.

new iPod February 28, 2008

Posted by Phillip in Apple, iPod, Music.
2 comments

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I bought a new iPod this week – a Nano with 4 GB of storage.

My music library is much larger than that, and I’m used to carrying around my entire collection with me, so this requires me to change some things. I’m a shuffle listener, and it seemed like I was skipping 4-5 songs for every song that I actually listened to on my old iPod.

On this iPod, I don’t have the luxury of syncing my entire collection. I have to go into iTunes and be selective about the songs that get put on there. I have to actually think about these songs and decide whether I like them enough to put them on there. I’m discovering that there’s a lot of music that I thought that I liked, but I guess I really don’t.

I still need to pare things down a little, but it’s getting to where I don’t want to skip anything when I hit shuffle. Could you limit yourselves to 4 GB of music?

Pedalboard Power Supplies February 27, 2008

Posted by Phillip in Effects, Guitar, Live Sound.
7 comments

Let’s talk about power supplies.

Up until last week, I had been using a Visual Sound 1spot. It’s one of those high power digital switching power supplies that you can hook up a daisy chain to and power 5 pedals with. It worked fine at the time, so I thought, but it went out on me during the first service on Sunday morning.

After the first set, an recurring popping sound started going off during the message. The guy preaching, who also happens to be one of our sound guys (one of the good ones) said something like “Phillip’s heart is beating over here” and unplugged the pedals from the amp.

I did some troubleshooting during the gap between services and discovered that the 1spot was the culprit. I put fresh batteries in my pedals and everything powered up.

During the second service, I could swear that my tone was better. Everything was crisp where it used to be muffled. It sounded like someone took a blanket off of my amp or something.

What’s more is that the noise was gone. Sometimes, when stepping on pedal to engage it, I would get a loud pop. Apparently, that was due to some AC noise that was getting mixed in with my signal.

I did some research and ordered a Voodoo Labs Pedal Power II+. It has 8 isolated outputs so that if you have a noisy (digital) pedal somewhere, then it won’t interfere with your other pedals. It’s supposed to be dead quiet, and I’m looking forward to checking it out. It’s not cheap, but it’s the choice of pros.

Radiohead on tour in US February 13, 2008

Posted by Phillip in concerts, Radiohead.
1 comment so far

Well, Radiohead made their US tour announcement official this week, and here are the stops:

May 5 – West Palm Beach, FL @ Cruzan Amphitheatre
May 6 – Tampa, FL @ Ford Amphitheatre
May 8 – Atlanta, GA @ Lakewood Amphitheatre
May 9 – Charlotte, NC @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
May 11 – Bristow, VA @ Nissan Pavilion at Stone Ridge
May 14 – St Louis, MO @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
May 17 – Houston, TX @ Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
May 18 – Dallas, TX @ Superpages.com Center

SWEET!

8 dates (so far) and one of them is in Houston. Tickets go on sale Saturday morning, and you can bet that I’ll get mine.

Photoshop is fun February 11, 2008

Posted by Phillip in computers, Photoshop.
1 comment so far

My wife is a photographer, and she has been working with Photoshop for quite some time now, but I never really saw the need to do anything with it myself. Until recently, that is.

I have been going through a lot of tutorials and stuff over at psdtuts.com. I am quickly becoming a PS addict. It’s just a fun program to play with – and I haven’t even begun to play with manipulating photos.

I created a new banner for this site based on one of the tutorials at the aforementioned site. Here’s a direct link to the one that I used.

cool harmonic thing. February 8, 2008

Posted by Phillip in GarageBand, Guitar, Guitar Lessons, Music, Worship.
3 comments

We’re playing Hillsong’s Mighty to Save this weekend, and I was looking for a way to make that repeated three note lick a little easier on the fingers. If you don’t know it, there’s a pretty big stretch that gets pretty tiring after a while.

Anyway, I was experimenting with some harmonics and stuff when I remembered this little lick I saw in an Eric Johnson lesson a few years ago.

snapshot-2008-02-08-08-30-33.jpg

I couldn’t really figure out how to notate it properly in Sibelius, but the way you play this is to tap the harmonics 12 frets higher on the A, D, and G strings, causing them to ring an octave higher (the little diamond symbols in the notation indicate harmonics, btw).

I use hybrid picking to play this kind of thing. I pluck the harmonic notes by holding the pick between my thumb and middle finger and touch the string at the 19th fret with my index finger. I pluck the B and E strings with my ring finger. It’s kinda tricky, but it sounds really cool.

The final product sounds like this (pardon the crappy recording on the built-in mic on my MacBook):

Of course, this doesn’t work at all for Mighty to Save, but it’s still a cool little trick.