Ten-Foot Tall Gibson to Drop on New Years Eve 2014

Hard Rock's "New Year's Eve Guitar Drop" tonight in Niagara Falls !!!

Get ready to rock n’ ring in the New Year! On Tuesday, Hard Rock Cafe Niagara Falls, USA will host the city’s fifth annual New Year’s Eve Guitar Drop...

Events at the Hard Rock and nearby Old Falls Street begin at 8 p.m. leading up to the count down to 2014, as a 10-foot Gibson guitar, painted by local artist Rob Lynch and illuminated by Ken-Ton Electronics, is lowered off the Giacomo Hotel at midnight.

As part of the New Year’s celebration, Hard Rock Cafe Niagara Falls, USA will host a free outdoor concert headlined by Living Colour.

Formed in 1983 Living Colour is a rock band from New York City, The band's music is a creative fusion influenced by free jazz, funk, hip hop, hard rock, and heavy metal. Living Colour rose to fame with their debut album Vivid in 1988. They are best remembered for their signature song "Cult of Personality," which won a Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance in 1990. Living Colour was also named Best New Artist at the 1989 MTV Video Music Awards. For more details, visit www.livingcolour.com.

In addition, attendees can enjoy food and beverage concessions along with a special fireworks display at midnight.

A portion of the proceeds from the event benefit the Niagara Falls Firefighters Christmas Toy Fund, an organization that helps the community meet the needs of the less fortunate in Niagara Falls by providing new winter clothes and Christmas gifts for impoverished children and a festive meal for local senior citizens during the holiday season.

PRESENTING: The Han Solo Guitar

Carbonite Copy: The Travis Stevens Han Solo Guitar

When friends of Evanescence guitarist Ben Moody, (a Star Wars fanatic), were looking for a special present for him, they didn’t want to get him an ordinary guitar. Instead, they commissioned Travis Stevens to build a one-of-a-kind 'Han Solo in Carbonite' guitar for him.

Ben’s friends heard about my Millennium Falcon guitar and searched the internet to find me,” Stevens says.

They wanted something Star Wars–related, and I came up with the Han Solo idea shortly after finishing the Falcon guitar. The rectangular shape worked well as it’s similar to the Bo Diddley signature Gretsch ‘Twang Machine,’ and Han in Carbonite is one of the most iconic images from the Star Wars movies.”

Stevens downloaded all the images of that scene he could find (including a photo of Moody at the Skywalker Ranch posing with the original prop) and collected reproduction toys for reference to help him as he carved the likeness of Han entirely by hand.

The semihollow body consists of a maple top and back, mahogany sides, and a mahogany center block attached to a bolt-on maple neck. Bare Knuckle custom-configured the Aftermath humbucking pickup covers and pole pieces to match the Carbonite colors. Controls are side mounted to preserve visual aesthetics, and a multicolor LED illuminates Han’s color-changing “life-support system,” also located on the side.

Although Stevens makes his living as a music teacher in Pennsylvania, he offers his guitar customization services to anyone with an unusual idea. “Prices are dependent on parts,” he explains.

A guitar like the Han Solo would sell for $2,000 to $3,000, but I just renovated a Pearl Harbor–motif guitar and a Boba Fett–themed Strat that each sold for $1,200.”

More details about Travis Stevens’ Han Solo guitar and other designs can be found at TravisStevensNerdCrafts.com.

click image for larger photo

Photos: Angela Boatwright

Fender rolls out the Vaporizer!

Fender rolls out the Vaporizer
New retro-styled 12-watter for 2014

After a hugely positive response to their limited-run roll out (back in early 2013), of the  Excelsior, Fender has announced a 2014 production run of their newest line of retro 12 watt amplifiers, the Vaporizer!

Revealed ahead of NAMM 2014 (January 23–26, in Anaheim, California USA), the Vaporizer is a retro-styled, all-valve, single channel amplifier with an eye-catching 'Atom age' design.

- 2 x 10" {16-Ohm} special design Vaporizer Speaker
- two instrument inputs
- a 1/4" speaker output
- a tidy 17" in overall height
- stripped down controls (similar to the Excelsior)
- built-in reverb
- Fender's special, 'Vaporizer Mode', (which bypasses volume and tone controls for 'unfettered access to the raw tube amp'. circuit).

The 2014 production run will be available in both Slate Blue, Surf Green, and Rocket Red, with a retail list-price of just $399 US. [$430. CND / £245. GBP].

This will likely be just the tip of the, "retro-style, boutique-y," iceberg at the Jan. 2014 NAMM this year. Retro styling is seriously big-time popular right now, and you can certainly expect to see plenty more of this sort of thing at the Anaheim, CA. show in just a few short weeks.

For more information on the Vaporizer, visit Amazon's sales page.

Detailed Specs:

Video: 11-Yr-Old Guitarist Plays "Eruption" and "You Really Got Me"

Below, check out a video of 11-year-old guitarist Aidan Fisher performing "Eruption" while onstage with Steel Panther during their December 19, 2013 show at the Midland Theater in Kansas City, Missouri.

As expected, Fisher follows "Eruption" with "You Really Got Me," and the whole band, minus Steel Panther guitarist Satchel, joins in.

Apparently, Fisher challenged Satchel to a guitar duel at some point before the show, which led to his being invited on stage with the band.

At the very end of the clip, you can read Satchel's verdict on who won the shoot-out.

As always, (since Steel Panther is involved), the video below is uncensored. It features foul language - in the presence of an 11-year-old yet!

Jeff Beck Releasing New Album in Spring 2014

Guitar legend Jeff Beck recently announced fresh details regarding his new studio record, confirming plans for a tentative spring release...

As his official website reads, Beck took a short break after his tour with Brian Wilson and is already busy in the studio with his new band, consisting of Rhonda Smith on bass, guitarist Nicholas Meier, drummer Jonathan Joseph and Lizzie Ball on violin.

"After taking a very short well earned break post his recent tour with Brian Wilson, Jeff has been spending most of his time with his new band (Rhonda Smith – Bass, Nicholas Meier – Guitar, Jonathan Joseph – Drums and Lizzie Ball – Violin) in the studio," the announcement kicks off. "We won't say too much at present. Suffice to say - watch this space - it will be epic!"

Apart from the new record, Jeff is reportedly also involved with Wilson's upcoming effort. Beck's latest album, "Emotion and Commotion," dropped in March 2010 via ATCO Records as the guitarist's tenth studio release.

VIDEO: Guitar Maker in Malawi Refugee Camp

This is an amazing video... apparently the name of this guitar maker is Patron...

He uses whatever materials that he can source in his southeast Africa Malawi Refugee Camp. He uses any kind of woods available to build his acoustic and electric guitars. Patron has a only a few simple tools, but yet still manages to build guitars that look absolutely great. I wish there was more information, but at the moment all I can do is share this video!

Justin Bieber: 'I'm Quitting Music' HOAX

Kiddie-pop sensation Justin Bieber dropped a shocker during a recent Power 106 radio chat announcing retirement plans saying... "I'm Gonna Quit Music."

During the interview, Justin confirmed his plans to quit the world of music after the release of his new album..... "After the new album ... I'm actually retiring man," he said. "I'm just gonna take some time - I think - I'm probably just gonna quit music."

Justin found himself in the limelight of the rock world after recently jamming out an improvised cover of Metallica's "Fade to Black" and naming a few other rock greats such as Led Zeppelin, Korn, and Guns N' Roses among his personal favorites. With these particular artists and this style of music being very far removed from his own brand of elementary school-girl kiddie-pop, it's no doubt Justin said he decided to quit.

"I like Guns N' Roses and Metallica," Justin told Q magazine. "The Beatles. I like Metallica's 'Fade to Black' and 'One.' It's edgy and emotional with those instruments and electric guitars and stuff."

In related news, Justin's ticket sales are plunging. His concert ticket sales are reportedly on a constant decline with ticket sales dropping show after show. Most experts are attributing the dwindle to Bieber's recent ridiculous attempt at having a, "bad boy image."

The news of him throwing the towel spread across the globe in a matter of seconds, but was he serious? Unfortunately, the answer to that is NO.

The truth is he thought it’d be hilarious to say that he’s retiring after the next album. Okay... Whatever. I guess somewhere there’s a 13 year old who thinks that’s funny. Meanwhile the rest of us are wondering when (please - for real) ...when will he truly do us all a favor and QUIT.


2013 Guitar Players Holiday Shopping Guide...

The holiday shopping season is upon us, and this means many of you will be out shopping for the guitar player on your list, (probably yourself included). 2013 music gear shopping has no shortage of awesome guitars and accessories that are sure to keep both yourself and your favorite guitarist jamming all year long.

Unfortunately, there's too many killer pieces of gear to list, but since I've received emails requesting info. on looper pedals, beginner electric guitars, mid-level amps and stocking suffers... that's where my short-list here will be focused!  Below are a few items that I believe are not only well made, but are a fair price for your budget!

Digitech JMSXT Jamman Solo XT Stereo Compact Pedal After inventing looping nearly three decades ago, DigiTech’s JamMan Solo XT brings you the definitive stereo looping experience. Build virtually limitless loops... Make seamless transitions between looped phrases, for composing and performing.

Fender Starcaster Strat Electric Guitar Bundle with Amplifier, Gig Bag, Strings, Strap, Stand, Picks, Instructional DVD, and Instrument Cable - 3-Tone Sunburst

Fender Starcaster Strat-Pack delivers a great-sounding, sleek-looking Stratocaster electric guitar paired with a compact guitar amplifier and a host of essential accessories. This Strat Pack includes a; 3-tone sunburst Stratocaster guitar, strings, picks, a strap, Squier SP-10 amp, a 10-foot cable, a tuner, a gig bag, guitar stand, and an instructional DVD. The highly versatile Stratocaster guitar offers legendary Fender tone combined with classic styling, and it's suited for all styles of music. It features a 22-fret fingerboard with dot position inlays, three single-coil pickups with 5-way switching, sealed die-cast tuners for consistent tuning stability, chrome hardware and a three-ply white pickguard.

Pick Punch
The Original and the best guitar pick making tool on the market! The pick punch creates Standard 351 Shape Guitar Picks out of almost any kind of plastic you have kicking around your home. It's great for recycling and is a fantastic gift idea for the guitarist on your list. The Pick Punch will create Guitar Picks out of an endless supply of materials!

String Swing Home Guitar Keeper (Wall Hanger) Black Walnut Hardwood

The String Swing Guitar Keeper has a deep cradle design that prevents the guitar from being improperly placed into its hanger, (which promotes safer handling of your instrument). This unique guitar wall hanger design is also great for guitars that have a headstock with either single or uneven heels. The yoke pivots to cradle the guitars headstock, but is free of mechanical, moving parts that would wear over time (so this product is manufacturer-guaranteed for life).Wood block is made of real hardwood.

Planet Waves Custom Series Instrument Cable, 20 feet

Built for the discerning musician and the most demanding live and studio situations, Planet Waves offers built-to-last durability, while accurately transferring the subtle details of your tone through their exclusive In=Out technology. Cusom Series cables feature ultra-pure twisted pair, oxugen-free conductors with encapsulated soldering points formulated for extremely low capacitance. This ensures pure signal clarity and precise transmission of your instrument's true character. Additionally, two layers of impenetrable noise-rejecting shielding, coupled with unmatchesd strain relief, deliver the ultimate high-performance cable. And, all Planet Waves cables are guaranteed for life!

Peavey Bandit 112 TransTube Amplifier

What do you get when you combine the unique TransTube tube emulation circuitry, a strong 12" Blue Marvel speaker, 80 Watts (rms) into 8 Ohms or 100 Watts (rms) into 4 Ohms (w/external speaker) along with a spring Reverb system and full-eq level control? You get one of the most reliable and solid amps sold on the market. And, at a price-point that won't dent your bank account! 

91-Year-Old Produces Metal Christmas Single!

Legendary actor Christopher Lee has officially unleashed his metal Christmas single titled "A Heavy Metal Christmas Too."

The 91-year-old star of such classic features as "The Lord of the Rings," "Star Wars," "Dracula," "The Wicker Man" and "The Hobbit" is well-known for his affection of metal, so the guitar-heavy Christmas was the most logical way to go.

The single itself features a "Jingle Bells" metal rendition titled "Jingle Hell," along with a Frank Sinatra cover "My Way." You can check out audio samples or purchase the single here.

"I sing another version, it's a bit more naughty," Lee said about the first track. "It's not bad, I mean bad in the sense of unpleasant. It's entertaining, it's certainly different." Discussing the Sinatra cover, the actor added: "I was 84 years old when I sang it and my voice was higher than it is now."

Back in late May, Lee became the oldest metal performer history after releasing "Charlemagne: the Omens of Death" album on his 91st birthday. Make sure to check out the clip below for more details.

WEIRD: Band Fired Because they were "Not Black Enough"

ACLU: College cancelled concert because band members were 'not black enough

"The decision to cancel was based on the band's 'insufficient representation of people of color' according to the ACLU"

Administrators at Hampshire College (Hampshire) cancelled a Halloween concert last month because the lead singer of the band scheduled to perform was "not black enough," the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) alleged in a letter to the school's president.

"Hampshire’s justification for the cancellation and censorship has morphed over the past two weeks," wrote the ACLU in the letter to Jonathan Lash, the school's president. "The genesis of the decision, as you know rested on the accusation that this afro-funk band had insufficient representation of people of color."

The band, which was to perform at Hampshire, located in Amherst, MA, is called "Shokazoba," and specializes in Afrobeat music style, according to MassLive, a local online publication which recently obtained the ACLU's letter.

The school did pay Shokazoba, which has one African-American band member, despite the fact they were not allowed to perform.

ACLU official William Newman slammed the school's decision to cancel the event in the Nov. 15, letter, saying the decision was clearly race-based.

Comments posted on the event Facebook page, maintained and monitored by the college, stated that the African-American lead singer was not black enough," he wrote.

In the letter, Newman also called on Hampshire officials to apologize for the error, and he offered to consult with college officials on the matter.

Newman told MassLive he is disappointed that the school has not yet responded to the letter.

Elaine Thomas, Hampshire director of communications, told Campus Reform by email on Friday that the school has a different understanding of the situation.

"At issue here are very different understandings of what occurred by the band and by the students who organized the event. Our dean of students, who is the individual working on this, has reached out to the band and asked to meet with them," she said.

What do you think? Should whites not be "Allowed" to perform certain kinds of music?

Read the Complete Article Here...

Spotify Admits to Paying Artists a Meagre $0.006 Per Stream!

Responding to Thom Yorke's recent accusations, Spotify have made their payments public, confirming artists can only earn an average of $0.006 per song stream!

Although some claim the figure supports Yorke's meagre payment comments, however the company stresses the importance of looking at the big picture, noting that on average, a "niche indie album" generates $3,300 per month, while a "global hit album" fetches, $425,000.

Going into more specific figures, the Swedish platform revealed that payments range from $0.006 to $0.0084 per stream. Furthermore, details regarding Daft Punk's "Get Lucky" hit single were unveiled, confirming the tune garnered a total of almost $108 million from 78.6 million streams between June and August. The given amount is split between the label, publishers, collecting societies and the French duo.

According to Independent, Spotify also noted that it's royalties are much higher than the ones offered by YouTube, pointing out that $500 million was paid in royalties during 2013 alone. Since the 2008 launch, the payment figure had crossed the $1 billion mark.

The platform is also promising to increase the monthly indie rock earnings from $3,000 to $17,000 after expanding its subscriber base from 6 million to 40 million. At the moment, Spotify has over 24 million active users.

Accusing the company for trying to become the "gatekeeper" of all music, Thom Yorke described Spotify as "the last desperate fart of a dying corpse." The musician had also quit the service with his band Atoms for Peace.

So now that the figures are public - do you think Spotify can help bring the industry back on it's feet and more importantly, can Spotify help artists earn a decent living from their future work?

Everything You Need to Record Guitar at Home...

Recording rehearsals and performances in schools, churches, and studios gets a lot easier with the PreSonus AudioBox Stereo recording kit! This special all-PreSonus system combines a USB interface with Studio One Artist music-production software, HD7 monitoring headphones, a pair of small-diaphragm condenser microphones, and all necessary cables. It's great for capturing live performances and rehearsals, songwriting, song production, podcasting, and a variety of educational applications.

AudioBox Stereo includes:
AudioBox bus-powered USB audio/MIDI interface with cable Perfect for musicians, students, school music labs, churches, and classrooms, the ultra-mobile 2-channel AudioBox USB boasts high-performance microphone preamplifiers and professional-quality, 24-bit converters. USB bus-powered, it's compact, easy to use, ruggedly built, and designed to work perfectly with Studio One recording software but also works fine with other audio software that supports ASIO or Core Audio.

Studio One Artist recording and production software (DAW) Incredibly easy to learn, Studio One Artist lets you work quickly and stay focused on your inspiration while offering features rarely found in entry-level DAWs.

HD7 studio monitoring headphones PreSonus' high-definition HD7 headphones take advantage of a patented, semi-open sound chamber to deliver exceptionally deep low frequencies with a balanced and yet powerful bass punch.

Pair of small-diaphragm studio condenser microphones Record bands, choirs, rehearsals, school events, and more with this stereo pair of multi-purpose mics.