Just the gift for neo-con trolls! A Snark Tuner!

March 18, 2013

Well, actually it’s a Snark-brand tuner.  But when I saw the name, my mind just reeled with possibilities.

A Snark Tuner!  A Snark Tuner.

Your snark is not quite up to snuff?  Tune it up!

From a notice I got from Hello Music!

Snark tuners! Alas, it’s for the benefit of guitar players, not to sharpen the snark of internet trolls, nor for other snarky commenters.

Snark tuners! Alas, it’s for the benefit of guitar players, not to sharpen the snark of internet trolls, nor for other snarky commenters. Suggested originally by the late, lamented Hello Music.

It’s actually a good buy, for a guitar player.  But if you were looking to snarken up your snark, you’re out of luck — unless your snark comes in whole tones . . .

Close-up of the Snark SN-1tuner. Close-up of the Snark Tuner – -50 to +50, you know if your snark is spot on! I mean, you know if your guitar is in tune.

Close-up of the Snark SN-1tuner. Close-up of the Snark Tuner – -50 to +50, you know if your snark is spot on! I mean, you know if your guitar is in tune.

Close-up of the Snark SN-1tuner. Close-up of the Snark Tuner – -50 to +50, you know if your snark is spot on! I mean, you know if your guitar is in tune.

Technical specifications:

Overview
What It Is: This is the Snark SN-1 Clip On Tuner in Blue. The SN-1 has a Full Color Display that rotates 360 degrees, and a clip that stays put when you clip it on. You can transpose keys, calibrate pitch, and there’s even a tap tempo metronome. This Snark tuner has a High Sensitivity Vibration Sensor, and it can be used on front or back of headstock.

Why this is a great opportunity: Clip on Vibration sensitive tuners are great for tuning in a loud environment, especially with acoustic guitars. This one has a large colorful display that’s easy to read, but the real kicker is the built in metronome. Win.

Hello Music SKU: HMSNA3140

Specifications Features:
– Full Color Display
– Display Rotates 360 Degrees
– Stay Put Clip
– Fast and Deadly Accurate
– Tap Tempo Metronome
– Pitch Calibration 415-466 Hz
– Transpose Feature

Woulda been useful when I was performing.  Would Lewis Carroll have used one, do you think?

May get one yet, even though it won’t help with the internet.  How times change.

Even though it’s not what I imagined, like telling the difference between a burro and a burrow, I know several people who need to have this recommended to them — how about you?

“Fast and Deadly Accurate.”  I like that.

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August 14, 1951: Leo Fender’s Telecaster guitar patent issued

August 16, 2012

August 14 carries a lot of weight in history, doesn’t it?  Just learned of this August 14, 1951 event:

Patent drawins for Clarence L. Fender's new guitar , later named "Telecaster"

Most guitar aficionados recognize this icon of rock and roll — the Fender Telecaster. In these drawings on the August 14, 1951, patent grant, it was just a “guitar.”

Leo Fender‘s first name was Clarence?  Who knew?

Take a look at page 2 of the patent:  Gretsch?  What other names do you recognize?

One of my ex-brothers-in-law was Fender’s tax guy, but years later.  I was never successful in dropping the hint that Fender’s tax attorney’s brother-in-law might be real grateful if, you know, a sample or a second might find its way to the tax attorney’s office, and then to the brother-in-law’s home and amplifier . . .

Tip of the old scrub brush to Premier Guitar’s Facebook page.

More, Related Material:

"Road worn" Fender Telecaster - photo by Fender

“Road worn” Fender Telecaster – photo by Fender


Robert Johnson’s centennial, May 8: Memorial to the blues

May 8, 2011

May 8, 2011, is the 100th anniversary of the birth of bluesman Robert Johnson.

Robert Johnson, hat and guitar

Robert Johnson -- one of two known photographs of the Delta blues legend

In a fitting tribute to Johnson and an important coming-of-age coming-to-senses moment, First Presbyterian Church in downtown Dallas announced plans to save the old Brunswick Records Building at 508 Park Avenue, a site where Johnson recorded songs in 1937 that changed the blues, changed recording, and left us a legacy of Johnson to study from his short life.

(On at least one day of those 1937 recordings, Johnson could have brushed shoulders with the Light Crust Doughboys, the Texas Swing legends, who were recording in the same building.  The Doughboys set their own pace and gave birth to Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys.  Two of Texas’s greatest music legends, in the same building on the same day, both just stepping on the platform of the train to immortality.)

Saving 508 Park Avenue vexed Dallas for a couple of decades.  First, blues is not the music of Dallas cognescenti, though the world class musicians in town including Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s Jaap van Zweden tend to support the eclectic music scence and honoring musicians of all genres (and Texas is loaded with different music genres).  Second, while Park Avenue may have been a bustling business district adjunct once, Dallas’s city center suffered 50 years of decline after school desegregation.  Parts of downtown and Uptown begin to look prosperous again, but the southern peninsula of the city, away from the now-packed-with-performance venues Arts District, a freeway and ten blocks away from Uptown, with its back up against another freeway, part of Interstate 30 and the famous Dallas Mixmaster.

508 Park Avenue, Dallas, Robert Johnson's early recording site, photo by Justin Terveen for the Dallas Observer

508 Park Avenue, Dallas, Robert Johnson's early recording site, photo by Justin Terveen for the Dallas Observer

Plus, the building is directly across the street from the Stewpot, a kitchen operated by First Presbyterian Church to serve Dallas large and unfortunately thriving homeless population.

Who wants to renovate an abandoned building that has homeless people as scenery for the better part of the day?

Big news this week:  508 Park Avenue was sold to First Presbyterian, who have plans to save the building (and recording studio!), add a performance amphitheatre at one end of the block, and a park at the other.  This is people-friendly development well ahead of its time — there is not a resident population in that part of the city to support such a venue — yet.

Last summer, it was the neighbors, First Presbyterian Church of Dallas, who made an offer to buy 508 Park Avenue and the adjacent building and empty lot. But the deal was contingent on the city allowing the church, which also operates the Stewpot, to tear down an unrelated building next door, at 1900 Young, and replace it with an outdoor amphitheater for church socials and concerts. The Landmark Commission went into last Monday’s meeting with angels on one shoulder and devils on the other: The commission’s task force suggested approval; city staff, denial. The latter would have sent 508 Park Avenue back into purgatory.

But Landmark OK’d the plan, and the church says it will restore 508 Park Avenue to its former glory, inside and out—including the construction of a real recording studio where Johnson once sat and played “Hell Hound on My Trail.”

The church promises: It has musicians lined up to participate, but it can’t yet reveal who. The church promises: 508 Park Avenue will be resurrected.

One hell of a birthday gift for a man who supposedly sold his soul to the Devil.

The second authenticated photo of blues legend Robert Johnson

The second authenticated photo of blues legend Robert Johnson

So, on Robert Johnson’s 100th birthday (assuming he wasn’t really born in 1912 . . . another mystery for another time, perhaps), the news is that the legendary bluesman who burned out like a shooting star helped save one of the few examples of art deco building decoration in Dallas, when a group of Christians who help the homeless, decided to step in an update their downtown Dallas campus.

Every step of the way, it’s an unlikely story.  Truth is, in this case, much, much stranger than fiction.

Ovation Music released to YouTube the video of Eric Clapton playing and singing “Me and the Devil,” at 508 Park Avenue, in the same room where Robert Johnson sang for a record early on.  Johnson recorded the song at that same location on Sunday, June 20, 1937.

508 Park Avenue, Dallas, is already a memorial to Robert Johnson, to the blues, and to the city where these early blues hits were made.  The struggle remains to make the memorial accessible, and not threatened with destruction.

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