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April 2012 Staff Picks: PG Gets Pumped

Music has an amazing ability set the mood for magic. This month Premier Guitar editors, along with Machine Head’s Robb Flynn, share the songs they spin to psych themselves out and get the adrenaline flowing before a performance.

PG Gets Pumped
Music has an amazing ability set the mood for magic. This month Premier Guitar editors,
along with Machine Head’s Robb Flynn, share the songs they spin to psych themselves out
and get the adrenaline flowing before a performance.

Rebecca Dirks -- Web Content Editor
What am I listening to?
I’ve been going Spotify-crazy lately, building playlists of music I’ve been into from childhood till now. It jumps from the Shins to the Kinks, Fun., Ben Folds Five, Silverchair, Nada Surf, Smashing Pumpkins, Simon & Garfunkel, Common, Kanye West, and everything in between.
What song pumps you up before a gig?
Before an interview I usually jam on the band’s tunes to get in the zone. Generally, it’s upbeat stuff, like Joe Strummer & the Mescaleros’ “Johnny Appleseed.”


Andy Ellis -- Senior Editor
What am I listening to?
Bryan Clark & the New Lyceum Players, Southern Intermission. Panned left and right, Clark and Adam Fluhrer weave wicked dual-guitar parts throughout this collection of vibey Clark originals.
What song pumps you up before a gig?
My sonic trifecta: Muddy’s “Rollin’ and Tumblin’,” Jimi’s “Castles Made of Sand,” and the Stones’ “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking.” Everything I need is in there.


Shawn Hammond -- Editor in Chief
What am I listening to?
Mumiy Troll, Vladivostok. The latest from Russia’s biggest band has luscious guitar tones (“Lucky Bride”), great production (“Fantastica”), and a vocalist who sounds like Bela Lugosi beamed into Bob Dylan’s body.
What song pumps you up before a gig?
Killswitch Engage’s “This Is Absolution.” It boasts defibrillator-like riffs and blastbeats, but the dynamic arrangement breathes organically and the aggressive-but-melodic vocals make you feel invincible.


Tessa Jeffers -- Managing Editor
What am I listening to?
Tom Waits’ Bad as Me is spitting in the face of my “everything samesame” doldrums, and that was before I knew Keith Richards, Will Bernard, David Hidalgo, Charlie Musselwhite, Flea, and Les Claypool (among others) play on it.
What song pumps you up before a gig?
The Dead Weather’s “Hang You from the Heavens” possesses that reckless, animalistic, balls-out rawk core that recalls Zeppelin and drives me to want to grab someone by the hair and drag them to the devil, as they say.


Chris Kies -- Associate Editor
What am I listening to?
Every Time I Die, Ex Lives. The Buffalo rockers’ sixth studio album is like dating American Psycho’s protagonist Patrick Bateman: You’re lured in with cleverly charming, tongue-in-cheek lyrics before being bushwhacked with head-splitting riffs.
What song pumps you up before a gig?
Anything with some power and groove— it’s always changing, but Pantera’s “Walk,” Mastodon’s “Blood and Thunder,” or Soundgarden’s “4th of July” have never failed me.


Rich Osweiler -- Associate Editor
What am I listening to?
Hush Arbors and Arbouretum, Aureola. This split LP was recorded prior to their European tour together. Showcasing the different but complimentary guitar work of both groups—be it fuzzy, jangly, or acoustic—each band’s contribution to this record has a nice taste of psychedelic lushness.
What song pumps you up before a gig?
If it’s right before a gig, it will most likely be whatever song(s) I’m certain I’ll forget a part on that evening!


Robb Flynn, Machine Head -- Guest Picker
What am I listening to?
Ghost, Opus Eponymous. It’s like Mercyful Fate meets Blue Oyster Cult— great stuff.
What song pumps you up before a gig?
Changes show to show, but at the moment Steel Panther’s “Asian Hooker” is the preshow rager!


Charles Saufley -- Gear Editor
What am I listening to?
Dirty Three, Toward the Low Sun. I've been loving music that messes with time. This one from Warren Ellis and company floats and meanders like candle smoke, and the interplay between yearning strings, skittering drums, and tangled-vine guitars is the perfect antidote for the 4/4 blues.
What song pumps you up before a gig?
A good, homemade, heavy-’60s soul cassette and the sound of cracking a beer usually gets me in the right mood.


Jason Shadrick -- Associate Editor
What am I listening to?
Bill Frisell, Floratone II. As jazz guitar’s resident mad genius, Frisell can get out there and experimental. He and drummer Matt Chamberlain create soundscapes that land somewhere between a dinner party on Mars and a dive bar in downtown NYC.
What song pumps you up before a gig?
Usually something totally different from what I’m playing. It ranges anywhere from Pantera’s “I’m Broken,” to Pat Metheny’s “Question and Answer” or even some Adele.

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Traveling with a collection of spare essentials—from guitar and mic cables to extension cords, capos, tuners, and maybe even a mini-amp—can be the difference between a show and a night of no-go.

Anyone who’s seen a spy flick or caper movie knows about go bags—the always-packed-and-ready duffles or attachés filled with passports, a few weapons, and cash that’s ready to grab and run with when the hellhounds are on your trail. As guitar players, we also need go bags, but their contents are less dramatic, unless, maybe, you’re playing a Corleone-family wedding.

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An old catchphrase among vintage dealers used to run: “All Gretsches are transition models.” While their near-constant evolution was considered confusing, today their development history is better understood. This guitar however is a true transition model, built just as the Jet line was undergoing major changes in late 1961.

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Music City is always swirling with top-notch musicians performing anywhere they can, so Takamine and Fishman challenged PG's John Bohlinger to take his talents downtown to—gig on the street—where he ran into YouTube sensation DØVYDAS and hands over his gear to rising star Tera Lynne Fister.

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