New & Outgoing Gear

I’ve been upgrading my gear a bit lately.  It started with the idea of converting my rack tom into a snare (which ended up not happening), and has gone from there:

  • My drum kit, a ’60s vintage Slingerland, gold sparkle wrap, didn’t come with a matching snare when I got it.  The first idea for how to gin one up was to convert the 13″ rack tom to a snare, and use the floor tom (mounted up in the rack space!).  Before actually doing that, I started watching eBay for gold sparkle snares and marching snares, and found out that marching snare shells and whole drums can sometimes be picked up for a reasonable price.  I picked up a good matching shell (14″), and then a regular snare to strip the hardware from, and then, won an auction on a whole drum (15″, from 1958, to boot)!  So I’ve been playing with the 15″, and am still putting together the 14″; just waiting for the tension rods to come in.  Not sure which one I’ll use, or if I’ll send one on its merry way via Matt or craigslist once I’ve compared them.
  • I’ve needed a little powered PA for solo gigs for a while, and with the wedding coming up, it’s probably time to do it.  The KC area craigslist hasn’t yielded any results yet, and in case I need to go new, I think the Alto TS series (10″, 12″, and 15″ – 12″ linked here) looks good.  If you have any experience with these, please leave a comment!
  • In the course of searching for PAs, I happened on a Sunn Concert Bass amp for sale, cheap.  It matches my 2×15″ Sunn cabinet, looks cool, sounds great, and I got a deal due to a broken distortion channel (I hope it’s just a matter of a quick solder or new pot).  I will definitely be unloading my Peavey bass amp – tube pre, lots of power – so if you’re interested, get in touch, before it goes on craigslist.
  • I picked up an EV RE320 mic in preparation for the Ventura drum sessions.  Similar to a Shure SM-7, it’s a broadcast vocal mic that also works well for kick drum and acoustic instruments, and with a slightly better frequency response, reputation for point-and-shoot application (vs. the SM-7’s fussiness re; positioning), and lower price tag, I’m pretty excited about it as a workhorse mic.  It’s still in the box, though; I’m hoping to set up drums this coming weekend for recording.
  • CA’s buying me a guitar for an engagement present – I’ve still never had a new electric, almost 10 years after plugging howie&scott in! – and Saturday I spent a long time with an Epiphone Sheraton, the closest thing the store had to what I think I want, an Epi ES 345.  It felt great; I’m about two inches from ordering one.

Vinyl Collector Study

Re-posted on behalf of Casey

As some of you may already know, I am a record collector. I am currently seeking out other record collectors to participate in a research study concerning the reasons why they choose to collect vinyl records. The study will consist of 15 to 20 interview questions regarding your personal experience with record collecting. Dependent upon your responses, the interviews may last at least an hour. This is a voluntary opportunity and I cannot provide you any compensation for your participation. Because record collecting is a domestic activity, I intend to conduct these interviews in either my home or the homes of those that are interested. Essentially, I would like to talk about records while listening to records. None of your personal information will be shared publicly. For your participation, this study requires you to be a Nebraska resident who is between the ages of 19 and 70 years old. This study also requires that you identify yourself as someone who collects records. However, this study does not require that you own a certain amount of records. If you agree to the criteria and meet the qualifications or if you have any questions related to this study please contact me via email at clcrawford -at-
Thanks for reading,
Casey Crawford
Graduate Student
UNO Department of Communication


Due to the large number of bots registering, I’m turning off new user registration until I can update the WP an BP cores. That might be a couple of weeks. Thanks for your patience.

“Style is a Product of Your Limitations”

That’s Loretta Lynn, speaking with Tavis Smiley last fall.  It’s a brilliant, clear insight, and true to my experience.

I’m afraid to diminish the impact of the quote with too much commentary, but briefly, I think the process unfolds as follows.  As we create – write, sing, record, film, whatever – we naturally discover our limitations; some may be easily overcome with practice or learning new techniques, others are more deep-seated.  We strive to realize our vision in the face of these limitations, and in working creatively with them, maybe by learning something that lets us dissolve them, or avoiding them, or approaching them from a fresh angle, style (or what I sometimes have called “aesthetic voice”) emerges.

I like limitations.  They don’t need to be simply accepted; I like them because, in discovering and working creatively with them, they provide direction, which is simultaneously productive and a buffer against the paralysis and terror of aesthetic freedom.