JSBX Freedom

I have seen this band a lot over the years. And they area always best live.

JSBX - Seattle 2015 first

I was first introduced to them when a coworker at my crappy college job putting price tags on candy bars loaned me the Orange album. Bellbottoms blew my mind!

This year, and I guess part of last year, they have been working on an album and performing all over New York.

As always, they played their trusty guitars.

JSBX - Seattle 2015 second

Jon Spencer played his Zimgar something or other guitar and it looked like he ran it through a smaller Peavey amp, but the amp may have been for his harmonica or theramin. Judah Bauer played through two teles that ran through what looked like a Fender Deluxe and Fender Twin. Premier Guitar did an interview here for their last album (Meat and Bones, which I also saw them perform) and Judah Bauer rig rundown. I can’t compete with that, so check it out!

Forgive or just forget?

Forgive me, Internet, for I have sinned. It has been over two months since my last confession. I am still here. I am still alive. I’ve seen Jon Spencer Blues Explosion (again), attended the Tacoma Guitar Show, sold some equipment, purchased some equipment, almost purchased and sold more equipment, and dabbled with the guitar in that time.

  • Have I joined a band? No.
  • Have I learned a song? Almost.
  • Have I lived life to the fullest? Trying.
  • Am I back? Probably.

I haven’t written anything, but I have some pictures from the past few months that will hopefully turn into blog posts. I also don’t know if I have a lot to say right now, but am willing to try. I do have a certain gift for blathering on about guitars. I do have a new work schedule that has me taking on more child care duties. That has been a blast! My kids are awesome and, while I am by no means a perfect Dad, I can freely admit I would rather be engaged with them than playing guitar. But I do take some time to play while they make up songs, which is the best of both worlds. Perhaps I’ll post some of their diddies here in the coming months.

If you have any topics or gear you would like to see on Guitar Wanna Be, let me know. I’ll see what I can do!

Dealing with G.A.S.

I have mentioned, discussed, shared, and complained about Gear Acquisition Syndrome (GAS) many times on this blog. Tone Reports recent article exploring what GAS is with such a healthy recognition that it exists and discussion of how to address it is probably one of the best and most timely messages for me.

Having recently paired down my gear significantly, I was feeling pretty good about myself. Then I started to see gear I wanted. And instead of being able to sell stuff I already owned so I could buy the new stuff, I just wanted to buy the new stuff. I deserved it. I now had the space for it. I even had a little cash left from past sales that could go toward each piece of gear I saw.

This became exceptionally apparent when a group of friends started talking about starting a garage band. In the past, I had everything necessary for us to plug in and play. That is no longer the case. I no longer own a microphone, let alone bass, bass amp,PA, etc. I can play guitar and someone can play drums, but that is about it. I sure hope it is an instrumental guitar/drum duet!

I have continued to go back to why I sold my “excess” gear and how much happier I am with where that money went. It isn’t easy. But this article helped a lot by reminding me that I can figure out alternatives (see the part about “re-researching your own gear”). I can explore what gear I have already. My daughter has a practice amp. I have a POG2 for low octave stuff. I have friends with gear I can borrow.

Maybe someday I’ll have all the gear (even though they keep making more). But learning to live within limitations is the reality all of us live with, and we need to learn how to do so happily!


How have I missed Reignwolf? He’s even relocated the Great Northwest of the USA…Seattle!


I understand he sometimes plays with a backing band, but I am loving his performances with just his voice, Gibson ES-335, and bass drum. Awesome!

Makes me want to dig out my homemade acoustic stompbox. Oh, and learn to play and sing at the same time. Minor issue.

Making Music

One of the things I picked up from my local library was the documentary Sound City produced by Dave Grohl. As a music fan it was great to watch. As a wanna be guitarist it was great to watch. As a fan of the human condition, it was great to watch.
And I just found out it is on rotation at VH1.

What I also really liked was seeing how music was made. Or at least what they showed. They really focused on the interaction between people as they create something together. That was inspiring!

My Bloody Valentine

While I thought about saving this post for Valentine’s Day, but I don’t have the patience.

I became aware of My Bloody Valentine in the mid-90’s when I went to a short film “festival” in a small, upstairs conference room in my local town hall. One of the films was a collection of chemically “treated” Super 8 film shown to the album Loveless. It was grainy images with blotches of color and streaks and the soundtrack fit it so well that I can’t hear Loveless without those images coming to me. And that album was already 5 or 6 years old.

Now, 23 years later, My Bloody Valentine has a new album: mbv. It pretty much left off where Loveless ended. mbv doesn’t have the place in my head that Loveless does, but it does feel like an old friend already. Some people will probably complain that mbv doesn’t show any huge changes or leaps in music that one would expect after 23 years.

But that doesn’t matter to me. What matters to me is the fact that I listen to the new album and wonder how they got all that sound. How did they layer it? How did they do all that? Can I do it? How would I do it? What would I need that I don’t have now? How could I jury rig what I have now so I can get similar sounds? What matters to me is that when I listen to both Loveless and mbv, I am inspired to create something myself. That is the sign of a good album.


I know it is a month old, but while watching this on the dvr I keep wanting to play the guitar. At least, that’s what I felt while Bruce Springsteen was playing. When Roger Waters got up there, I felt the urge even stronger.

Adam Sandler was cool because when his guitar didn’t work, he just performed without it. I liked that. He was able to just roll with what was going on. But it didn’t distract me from wanting to play the guitar. Bon Jovi has some great songs, but I should’ve gotten off my couch.

Then Eric Clapton got on stage and I wanted to watch. I wanted to watch his hands. I wanted to hear him play. I wanted to absorb what he was doing and playing.

After that I just made my way through the rest of the performances. They were fun to watch, but it took me a couple days to get through them all.

And, as always, Pinball Wizard got me to actually play the guitar.