Self Care – Great Guitar (and Bass Guitar) Solos: Jeff Beck and Tal Wilkenfeld Play ‘Cause We’ve Ended as Lovers live at the 2007 Crossroads Festival

I’m showing you this for two reasons:

1. Jeff Beck is amazing.

2. Tal Wilkenfeld is a phenomenal bass guitarist that more people need to know.

This one is an instrumental, so it’s mostly Jeff Beck playing an incredible guitar solo. But do not miss Tal Wilkenfeld’s incredible bass guitar solo, starting at 1:34 and ending at 2:27.

If you don’t know about Tal Wilkenfeld, please check her out. She’s incredible. I might actually bend the rules* of my GGS series to show you some of Tal’s solo work, as well. She’s definitely worth it.

*You could definitely argue that bass guitar solos count as guitar solos, and you would not be wrong. And in that case, I wouldn’t be bending the rules at all. In fact, now that I think about it, I never actually established any rules for the series, so… how about this! Any solo on a stringed instrument played with a pick or fingers, a slide, etc counts. This would rule out violin/fiddle solos (for example), but would include sitars, mandolins, banjos, lap steel guitars, and other such instruments. What do you think?

Self Care – My Led Zeppelin Holy Grails

I’m moving another post over from my old blog. I’ve thought about putting this here in the past, so here it is. Also, yet again I’ve got another series of days of just Self Care posts. I’ve decided to stop getting myself stressed over the daily disgusting Agent Orange headlines darkening the news and focus on two posts I’ve been promising for a while now… the policing post and the ableism and slurs post. Both of these have taken me so long because they both require a lot of research, formatting, editing, and so on. I can’t just bang these out in a few minutes and throw them on here. Which, of course, means I’m procrastinating. But not any more. I’m getting them done, whether I want to or not!

But anyways… let’s talk about Led Zeppelin…

As a collector of unofficial Led Zeppelin material, there are so many things I wish to have but don’t. A few rare things are simply because I haven’t been able to find them. Some more are because they’re being horded.

But there’s some material that, as far as most collectors know, simply isn’t being circulated. Indeed, for some of this stuff, whether or not recordings exist is a question hotly debated.

But my interests aren’t limited to unofficial stuff. They extend towards potential official material, as well.

I got in to collecting unofficial Led Zeppelin material on an old, sadly no longer existing forum known as Planet Zeppelin. My very first unofficial recording was known as “The Secret History of Led Zeppelin”, which was a 1-cd compilation putting together some of the material from the BBC sessions that wasn’t officially released. I can’t put in to words how I felt when I listened to it for the first time, but it certainly made me addicted, and I haven’t stopped collecting since.

I’d like to go ahead and list, with short explanations, my top 10 “holy grails” of Led Zeppelin material, both official and unofficial.

[Read more…]

Self Care – 5 Batman Gadgets that are Real! (YouTube Video)

Okay so… YouTube list videos are sort of a guilty pleasure of mine. Here’s one I thought I’d share with y’all, mainly because I absolutely love Batman, and the idea that his gadgets actually exist in the real world excites me. Admittedly, most of them will be used for war, which sucks, and also makes sense considering the fact that Batman is the inspiration. But despite that, these are still pretty cool…

Self Care – How Vinyl Records Are Made

This is a clip from the How It’s Made series… a series I used to love very much.

As for vinyl records; yup, I’m a fan. Initially it was for audiophile reasons. I very much used to believe that analog recordings were better overall than digital recordings. And I’m sure that was true back in the 80s when digital was new and in the 90s when it was upgrading and coming into its own.

Now, though?

Now even downloadable digital files can come in high enough quality that the claim “vinyl records sound better” can, at the very least, be challenged. I do still prefer lossless compression to lossy compression (though, of course, I still use MP3 to carry music with me on my phone), especially for unofficial recordings (like audience recordings of live shows). The reason is because the quality of the recording, especially of a recording of a live show done in the 60s and 70s, is iffy at best (and sometimes quite terrible), and so keeping the audio files as close to the master recording as possible is preferred, as a loss in musical data can easily make an already iffy recording sound utterly horrid. FLAC is the standard lossless format, and my favorite, as well.

That said, though, I do, indeed, listen to vinyl when I can, if for no other reason than I’m the type who likes to sit back and just listen to music, and, mostly for cultural reasons, vinyl is the preferred way of doing that.

So anyways…

[Read more…]

Ivanka Trump as Our First Woman President? Please No.

This is a seriously surreal article over at Ozy magazine. I don’t know how to handle it…

While the world remains distracted by the constant circus surrounding the Trump White House, I sense a different kind of power play, and potential American future, brewing beneath the surface at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue: Ivanka Trump becoming the first female president of the United States.

Whatever you think of the character and presidency of Donald Trump, it’s clear he adores his daughter Ivanka, and cherishes the totemic power of his name. And what better way to ensure his family’s legacy than by setting up his daughter, already installed in the West Wing, to assume the presidency? In our current topsy-turvy political era, stranger things have already happened. Let’s take a look at a few potential Twilight Zone scenarios, which aren’t as unlikely as they once might have seemed.

And we’re already off to perhaps one of the most horrific episodes of The Twilight Zone ever dreamed up…

[Read more…]

Agent Orange Asked Comey to Stop Investigating Flynn

This is looking worse and worse…

From the New York Times

President Trump asked the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, to shut down the federal investigation into Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, in an Oval Office meeting in February, according to a memo Mr. Comey wrote shortly after the meeting.

“I hope you can let this go,” the president told Mr. Comey, according to the memo.

The documentation of Mr. Trump’s request is the clearest evidence that the president has tried to directly influence the Justice Department and F.B.I. investigation into links between Mr. Trump’s associates and Russia. Late Tuesday, Representative Jason Chaffetz, the Republican chairman of the House Oversight Committee, demanded that the F.B.I. turn over all “memoranda, notes, summaries and recordings” of discussions between Mr. Trump and Mr. Comey.

Such documents, Mr. Chaffetz wrote, would “raise questions as to whether the president attempted to influence or impede” the F.B.I.

[Read more…]

Self Care – Astronomy Picture of the Week: Propeller Belts of Saturn

I’m still pulling from Cassini’s Grand Finale mission. Is it at all strange that I’m so sad about this? I don’t want to say I feel like I’ve built some kind of bond or something with Cassini. It’s just that Saturn’s always been my favorite planet, and for as long as I’ve been interested, Cassini’s been our window to it.

And now, Cassini’s incredible life is coming to an end. And I’m sad about that.

But anyways…

Cassini shot this amazing, extremely sharp image of some features in Saturn’s A ring called propeller belts. As always, click on the image for the tiff download…

Also, I’m putting this one below the fold…

[Read more…]