Author Archives: MDuffy

Watch the Far West Jam in the Van

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The Far West Jam in the Van

Los Angeles-based alt-country band the Far West recently met up with the people behind Jam in the Van in Torrance, Calif., and performed a quick set inside the vehicle’s intimate confines.

The quintet managed to get their guitars, a drum kit and keyboard inside the van to record a few tracks off 2014′s Any Day Now.

The gritty, twangy “Hudson Valley,” “The Bright Side” and “On the Road” offer a good example of the Far West’s Americana sound, with hints of Waylon Jennings and Wilco threaded throughout.

Watch all three clips below.

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Fall Out Boy Covers Mark Ronson’s ‘Uptown Funk’

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Fall Out Boy Mark Ronson

With a new album called American Beauty/American Psycho coming out this week, Fall Out Boy have been rocking the promotional cycle.

Last week, that tour ran through the BBC Radio 1 studios, where the band talked with host Fearne Cotton and performed a few songs.

One of those tracks was quite a surprise, as Fall Out Boy tackled “Uptown Funk,” the hit single from Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars.

Watch below as Fall Out Boy brings out their inner Stevie Wonder for “Uptown Funk.”

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Gretsch Custom Shop Introduces New Vintage-Correct Cadillac G Tailpieces

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Gretsch Tailpieces

On the left is a vintage-correct Gretsch tailpiece. The one on the right is non-vintage-correct.

The craftsmen in the Gretsch Custom Shop have taken yet another step towards making the most historically accurate Gretsch guitars they can.

After almost a year of research, development and production, new White Penguin and White Falcon guitars coming out of the Custom Shop will feature redesigned vintage correct Cadillac G tailpieces.

Gretsch Master Builder Stephen Stern and his team searched far and wide for an original tailpiece that could serve as a template for the new models.

“I’ve been changing some of our parts to be more vintage correct to elevate our guitars to a higher level,” Stern said. “I’ve been wanting to work on the tailpiece for a long time. The hardest part was finding an original; that took a lot of time.”

Stern thought he had someone willing to let him borrow an original tailpiece in early 2014, but that fell through once the Gretsch enthusiast got nervous about lending the rare part out.

Gretsch '59 Penguin Relic

A Gretsch '59 White Penguin Relic featuring the new vintage-correct non-symmetrical tailpiece.

Luckily, Stern heard from Naoaki Toyofuku of Thrill on the String, a dealer in Japan with an incredible collection of vintage Gretsch guitars.

“He was kind enough to send me a couple tailpieces almost a year ago,” Stern explained. “I had to get them drawn up by our research and development department, and then we got a 3D print of the parts. Then, it was off to the manufacturer.”

What came out of the process is a non-symmetrical long and short version of the tailpiece  that will go on the White Falcons and White Penguins, in addition to a symmetrical long and short version for Falcons and Penguins that are in custom colors. All are vintage correct.

“But if a customer wants to order a White Penguin with a symmetrical tailpiece, for example, we can do it,” Stern was quick to add.

Last year, Stern finished work on new vintage-correct knobs for White Falcons and Penguins, and the prodigious luthier said he is not yet finished in his quest for authenticity.

“The knobs were a pretty big project, and I have something that I’m working on for next year, but we’ll keep that under wraps for the time being,” he said. “We’ve gotta save some surprises!”

Gretsch White Penguin

A closeup of the new vintage-correct non-symmetrical tailpiece on a Gretsch '59 White Penguin Relic.

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Chicago Music Exchange Demos the G6112TCB-JR Center-Block

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Chicago Music Exchange recently put a Gretsch G6112TCB-JR Center-Block through the paces.

The two-tone Jaguar Tan and Copper Metallic beauty elicits great tone as the reviewer performs the Kinks’ “Set Me Free” and Nico’s “These Days.”

Watch the full demo below.

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Watch Interpol Perform ‘My Desire’ on Conan

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Interpol recently stopped by the set of Conan to perform the track “My Desire,” which comes off 2014′s El Pintor.

With a dimly lit set, the Paul Banks-led outfit offered a dark and passionate version of the song, much to the delight of host Conan O’Brien.

Watch Interpol in action below.

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