June 2011 Staff Picks

Joe Coffey -- Editorial Director What am I listening to? Dennis Coffey’s new self-titled album that basically says, “I innovated a lot of this stuff, and can still do it!”

Joe Coffey -- Editorial Director
What am I listening to?
Dennis Coffey’s new self-titled album that basically says, “I innovated a lot of this stuff, and can still do it!” Coffey (no relation) played on countless Motown hits and was instrumental in pioneering ’70s funk, R&B, and soul guitar. Respect the funk pocket!
What band would I like to see reunite?
Appetite-era Guns N’ Roses. Just for one gig. Let’s not forget how amazing those guys were together, despite the drama.



Rebecca Dirks -- Web Content Editor
What am I listening to?
Foo Fighters, Wasting Light. I dig this album in part because of their cool promotion tactics—performing in fans’ garages, streaming it in full before release day—but mostly because it sounds like the Foo Fighters: energetic, non-pretentious American rock.
What band would I like to see reunite?
I was too young to see Pink Floyd when they last toured in the ’90s and would love to hear the songs live, with Waters and Gilmour.



Andy Ellis -- Senior Editor
What am I listening to?
Grant Green, Ain’t It Funky Now!. Great grooves and lines from the godfather of soul-jazz guitar.
What band would I like to see reunite?
Truth-era Jeff Beck Group with Rod Stewart, Ron Wood, and Nicky Hopkins. I saw them at the Boston Tea Party in the late ’60s and have never been the same. Beck with his Les Paul? Too much! Sadly, reuniting is impossible—RIP Nicky Hopkins.



Shawn Hammond -- Editor in Chief
What am I listening to?
Graveyard, Hisingen Blues. Sprawling ’70s-style metal with soul, grit, and classic tones.
What band would I like to see reunite?
The Blood Brothers. Active from 1997- 2007, this post-hardcore outfit somehow made dual Yosemite Sam-on-acid vocalists, funky Rhodes piano, dub bass, spastic drumming, and a discordant Strat blaring through an Orange sound as addictive as the meth one speculates they were on. Sadly, their subsequent factions—Past Lives and Jaguar Love—can’t hold a candle to the BB magic.



Chris Kies -- Associate Editor
What am I listening to?
Foo Fighters,Wasting Light. I’ve never owned a Foo record before, but after hearing some tracks and reading positive reviews, I checked it out. Whether it’s the kamikaze aggression of “White Limo” or the bloody, self-medicating prose of “I Should Have Known,” Wasting Light proves I’ve been wasting time by not giving the Foos their due.
What band would I like to see reunite?
Zep, Operation Ivy, or circa-’77 Misfits.



Rich Osweiler -- Associate Editor
What am I listening to?
The Dodos, No Color. The San Francisco band’s frantic approach to their version of folk rock, while fast-paced and aggressive, is still pretty. Lots of cool guitar and synth layers, with ethereal vocals on top of African-influenced drumbeats, makes it really energizing to listen to. With super-wide levels of varying intensity, “When Will You Go Home” is my favorite tune on this album.
What band would I like to see reunite?
Sleater-Kinney or Trip Shakespeare. Or both.



Glenn Hughes (Black Country Communion, Deep Purple) -- Guest Picker
What am I listening to?
When I was young I listened to music all the time. It was part of my DNA. The only music I consciously listen to is whatever I’m writing.
What band would I like to see reunite?
I believe the reuniting of bands can be bittersweet. Pink Floyd would be one of the last greats to reassemble. Wish I had a dime for every time someone asks me if Deep Purple MK3 are going to get back together.



Charles Saufley -- Gear Editor
What am I listening to?
Michael Chapman, Fully Qualified Survivor. One of Brit-folk’s unsung super-greats, Chapman was gloriously all over the map with this 1969 release, which also marks the studio debut of Mick Ronson in fully realized Zig’-fuzz mode! Rockin’, pastoral, melancholy, funky ... amazing.
What band would I like to see reunite?
No way I can pick one! But if resurrection of the deceased isn’t an issue, today I’m saying the savage, young Moby Grape. Skippy, you are missed!



Jason Shadrick -- Associate Editor
What am I listening to?
Galactic, The Other Side of Midnight. Surprisingly, this is only their second official live release. Powered by groovemeister Stanton Moore, this band creates the soundtrack to the modern NOLA music scene.
What band would I like to see reunite?
The Brother-era lineup of Cry of Love. Audley Freed is one of the most underrated guitarists and songwriters around, and with vocalist Kelly Holland, the band created one of the best guitar-rock albums of the ’90s.

It’s not difficult to replace the wiring in your pickups, but it takes some finesse. Here’s a step-by-step guide.

Hello and welcome back to Mod Garage. After numerous requests, this month we’ll have a closer look at changing wires on a single-coil pickup. As our guinea pig for this, I chose a standard Stratocaster single-coil, but it’s basically the same on all single-coil pickups and easy to transfer. It’s not complicated but it is a delicate task to not destroy your pickup during this process, and there are some things you should keep in mind.

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The emotional wallop of the acoustic guitar sometimes flies under the radar. Even if you mostly play electric, here are some things to consider about unplugging.

I have a love-hate relationship with acoustic guitars. My infatuation with the 6-string really blasted off with the Ventures. That’s the sound I wanted, and the way to get it was powered by electricity. Before I’d even held a guitar, I knew I wanted a Mosrite, which I was sure was made of fiberglass like the surfboards the Beach Boys, Surfaris, and the Challengers rode in their off time. Bristling with space-age switchgear and chrome-plated hardware, those solidbody hotrod guitars were the fighter jets of my musical dreams. I didn’t even know what those old-timey round-hole guitars were called. As the singing cowboys Roy Rogers and Gene Autrey strummed off into the sunset, the pace of technology pushed the look and sound of the electric guitar (and bass) into the limelight and into my heart. Imagine my disappointment when I had to begin my guitar tutelage on a rented Gibson “student” acoustic. At least it sort of looked like the ones the Beatles occasionally played. Even so, I couldn’t wait to trade it in.

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Need an affordable distortion pedal? Look no further.

We live in the golden age of boutique pedals that are loaded with advanced features—many of which were nearly unthinkable a decade or so ago. But there’s something that will always be valuable about a rock-solid dirt box that won’t break your wallet. Here’s a collection of old classics and newly designed stomps that cost less than an average concert ticket.

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