Sunday, August 30

The Parts-o-caster: Intro

So, I did something crazy a few weeks ago. I've had this Mexi-strat for about two years, but I never really liked it's sound. Maybe it was the wood, or the finish. Maybe it was the humbucker in the bridge position. Maybe it was just the fact that I can't play. That's always a possibility.

And so, foregoing any solution that involved putting actual work into getting better at guitar, I started buying parts to make a new Stratocaster. Now, as a quick aside, I really like a Strat. There's something undeniably cool about a guy playing one; it's iconic. But moreso than that, a Stratocaster signifies a beginning in terms of tone and options. Three uncomplicated single-coil pickups, tone knobs, and volume. Not as simple as, say, the Telecaster, but close. And a hell of a lot sexier.

Billy Corgan (I think it was Billy Corgan, not that I'm a huge 'Pumpkin's fan) said that a Stratocaster lets you be you. Clapton plays one. Mayer plays one. Hendrix played one. It's made inroads into every musical genre, even those traditionally dominated by other kinds of guitars, like country and metal. It's the AK-47 of the guitar world.

So, I figured I needed one. A guitar that would inspire me to play skillfully. A guitar that I could pick up and just feel the blues coursing through it. A guitar that, frankly, was timeless and would always be with me, even 70 years down the road when flying cars are the norm and robots are our overlords.

Sidebar: who's seen Back to the Future lately? I just watched the whole trilogy, holy crap, so much I missed when I was 6. Like how "Twin Pines Mall" becomes "Lone Pine Mall" after Marty runs over one of old man Peabody's pine trees? Brilliant!

So I want to take you on this journey. Come on along!

Saturday, August 29

More introductions: Links

I've got a real post coming up soon, probably even today, but I wanted to point you towards my links section. If something is awesome, I'll post about it, but the links on the right are all blogs or websites I follow with regularity. These are people who, for the most part, haven't succumbed to the dreaded blog cycle and actually do post stuff all the time.

The first section has some of my favorite guitarists, most of whom do the church thing. When I've needed some advice about how to actually be a worship leader or how to somehow fit guitar into a church, or anything like that, I've learned a lot from these people. There's a whole other set of websites that I follow that are more about worship and less about music, but these are a good start. They're all good, but if you can only check out one, check out Karl. He's just so...splendid.

Also, not listed because he definitely fell off the train a while back, but a really good source for a worship guitarist is worshipguitarguy. I keep hoping he'll come back...

Below that is the hall of booze nerds. Again, this is just the highlights. There's so much out there, which is really comforting when I question if I'm just an alcoholic trying desperately to rationalize my addiction...hey, at least I'm not alone! Each of those links are a little different take on how to make the perfect cocktail, which ranges from professional bartenders trying to perfect their craft to nerds like me who just want a good drink. The coolest one over there, called Small Screen Network, is a group of people who put up videos. Definitely recommend Raising the Bar and The Cocktail Spirit.

What I like about all of the sites that I have over there is that they're all like me. When I find something that drives me, I spend an unhealthy amount of time devoted to whatever the addiction du jour happens to be. The sites on the right seem to be very different from one another, but they are all inhabited by passionate people who are consumed by what they love. That's the best description of me that I can come up with.

Friday, August 28

In the beginning...

We all know how blogs go. Like 2,000 posts in the first 3 months, then an abrupt tailing off. It's human nature. Interests wax and wane, lives change and different things get more or less important. I had a blog; it still exists, but I constantly found myself with ideas that just wouldn't fit into it.

So I'm doing it again. This will be about a anything and everything that interests me. Right now, I'm a worship leader at any Catholic parish I can. I am passionate about guitar. And I love booze. Not like a frat boy pounding down his Natty Light or a high school girl enjoying a wine cooler. No, a lot more like Frank Sinatra. James Bond. Ernest Hemmingway. Men who drank alcohol with purpose. And that purpose was not getting drunk.

And so, this blog will probably start out a good mix of cocktails, guitar-related stuff, musings on worship, and really anything else that interests me. I've got a lot to write about right now, so expect the customary 2,000+ posts in the next few weeks. If it tails off, that's life. Just enjoy the ride!