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Kick Drums and SM58s

For the first time in a while, I “experienced” a live sound-reinforced show last Friday night. At Red Wing’s Sheldon Theater, to be specific. I’d volunteered to monitor one of the Big Turn Music Festival venue’s gate and had occasional moments to wander the theater to hear the three acts from that evening. I’m sureContinue reading “Kick Drums and SM58s”

The Stuff We Collect

A good friend died near the end of this past August. He had been a hobby guitarist for most of his 76 years, but got “serious” about the collecting part about 20 years ago. When he retired as a waterfowl habitat Project Engineer from the federal Interior Department, he gave himself a couple of options:Continue reading “The Stuff We Collect”

Tinnitus and Us

Survey’s indicate about 5% of all American adults admit to experiencing tinnitus. I use that qualifier in my first sentence because many people do not admit to having unintentionally damaged their hearing; especially musicians and audio “professionals” (using the term very tightly tied to the monetary definition of “professional”). Using that conservative number, at leastContinue reading “Tinnitus and Us”

A Declining Market or Just Laziness?

At the suggestion (to put it mildly) of a couple of friends, I finally visited Dave’s Guitar Shop in La Crosse, Wisconsin this past week. Weirdly, this small town near the border of Iowa and just across the Mississippi River from Minnesota is known as a “guitar mecca” to lots of guitar collectors. The storeContinue reading “A Declining Market or Just Laziness?”

Talent, Technique, and Tone: How to Hide Them All

Back in the mid-70s (as an old friend would say, “When the sun was little-tiny and the moon wasn’t born yet.”), I was a wannabe rock lead guitarist with a lot more confidence than talent and had just moved from rural Nebraska to a city within easy striking and gigging distance from the “Big City”:Continue reading “Talent, Technique, and Tone: How to Hide Them All”

“You Can’t Hear What I’m Hearing”

This scene in the movie “Crazy Heart” is probably my favorite music business scene in any movie ever, including documentaries. Bear, the deaf-and-dumb front-of-house goober, tries to tell Jeff Bridges’ character, Bad, that he can’t believe his lyin’ ears and should trust someone who probably never critically or competently listened to a record in hisContinue reading ““You Can’t Hear What I’m Hearing””

How to Host an Open Mic/Jam Session

Sadly and like most everything else I’ve ever learned and experienced, the “rules” I’m going to list here could be flipped into a “how not to” list. Most everything I’ve learned in my life came the hard way, from doing or experiencing it wrong first. And “open mic” is often a misnomer. Often, it’s justContinue reading “How to Host an Open Mic/Jam Session”