Double V

As in Ventura Vox.  I just finished lead vocals for Ventura about fifteen minutes ago.

That leaves just backing vocals (including some gang vocals; I’ll be recruiting soon if you’re interested), guitar leads, and some shakers and things to do.

Not bad.

VFE Built By AJ

VFEfieryredhorseThere was already a lot to love about VFE pedals.  Peter has developed some truly creative circuits (like the Mobius Strip dual delay with crossover, and Triumvirate multi-band distortion), he’s up-front about the gain structure and clipping of all of his pedals (if you haven’t looked, you’d be surprised how hard it is to find out about the actual clipping that goes on inside of most pedals), and his standard six-control layout offers more flexibility (and often, multiple clipping options!) than most other companies for the same price.

But this week, I found out about the Built by AJ pedal line, which just takes it over the top.

Meet AJ – my neighbor who lives on the next street over from the shop. AJ has multiple diagnosed mental illnesses (out of respect for AJ, I won’t disclose more) … For about a year, I have been teaching AJ how to build pedals. Unfortunately, AJ has reduced fine motor skills, which are absolutely critical to efficiently building VFE Pedals. This means that the pedals AJ builds take more time, and are sometimes not as “pretty” – particularly with the internal components.

AJ is hard-working and dependable, so I have created a system where you can support AJ and get a VFE Pedal at a discounted price. How it works is simple – order a pedal from this page at about 24% off, and AJ will build it for you … They are held to the same high standards when it comes to tone & durability as all other VFE products – and are backed by VFE Pedal’s standard 1-year warranty.

Support AJ by getting B-stock pedals built with A+ heart!

How cool is that?  I have my eye on an AJ-built Triumvirate and/or an Alpha Dog.  Or, maybe AJ will learn to make the Fiery Red Horse…

near and far Sighting in the Wild

I’m doing a house project today, and went to the Ace in Westport for some supplies, which is right next to Half Price Books.  So I fell in there, of course.  And what do I spy in the $2 rack?

near and far


Not autographed, so no one’s in trouble.


I’ll go ahead and imagine someone’s got it ripped to their computer and iPod, backed up off-site, and was just de-cluttering their place.

(This is not the first time this has happened in Missouri.  I found one in Warrensburg the night Shacker played there, which must have been ’03 or ’04.)

The Definition of A

When you tune a note, like a guitar string, to A, you’re tuning to the pitch at 440 Hz, right?

Probably.  But it wasn’t always that way.

Bobby Owsinski, one of my favorite music-related bloggers, wrote recently about how the A=440 Hz standard came to be, and some alternatives.  He says that prior to 1940, A = 432 Hz was the most common standard, and he links to a paper that dives into the history of the definition of A a bit deeper (including some Nazi-related conspiracy theories, which I don’t endorse).  Here’s a video of a snippet of music, one version tune to A=440, the other to A=432:

Watch it and see what you think. I prefer the A=432 version.

The paper also talks about the A=444 standard. While I prefer A=432, I’m also interested in A=444 because both my tuner (Boss TU-2) and Drew’s (TC Electronic Polytune) can be adjusted to tune to A=444, but not A=432. I’m trying to talk him into trying tuning to A=444 for a few weeks, to see what it feels like.

Or, maybe we could approximate A=432 by consistently tuning everything five or 10 cents flat.

Have you ever tuned to anything other than A=440?

Mars Lights & Demos in Lincoln, 11/23

Mars Lights (Howie, Drew, and Matt!), Demos (Cory, Greg, Jarek, and James), and (TBD) descend on the Bourbon Theatre Saturday, November 23rd, for an early show.  Mark it.  Details to follow.

Architects’ free show at the Sandbox was perfect yesterday in KC.  All of the new Border Wars stuff, plus some old favorites.  I love what they do, and it’s never more clear than when the band comes crashing in together after a short pause in a song; it carries weight, it moves air, it’s heavy and it dances and it slugs you in the chest.

Picked up a couple records at Vinyl Renaissance (can’t say no to $1 Sugar) and a little piece of gear at Big Dude’s Oktoberfest, too, and spent the night re-calibrating all of my presets on the TimeFactor to the tune of a Great Divide Hibernation.  Good times.