March 2013 Staff Picks: Hocus Pocus

Alex Cora -- Reader of the Month What am I listening to? Genesis Revisited 2 by Steve Hackett. I can’t believe he went back and did all my old

Alex Cora -- Reader of the Month
What am I listening to?
Genesis Revisited 2 by Steve Hackett. I can’t believe he went back and did all my old favorites with modern gear—some parts sound better than the originals!
You’ve just been granted a dream guitar makeover from the guitar gods. What’ll it be?
The Crystar: a crystal, crescentmoon guitar that amplifies itself by tuning into peoples’ brain frequencies. It’s played through telepathy, adding its own effects/ tone. A sphere of light green aura surrounds the player as sparkles of gold dance around its majestic shape.


Andy Ellis -- Senior Editor
What am I listening to?
George Marinelli, Believe. The new album by Bonnie Raitt’s longtime lead guitarist is packed with great tones and superb songs.
You’ve just been granted a dream guitar makeover from the guitar gods. What’ll it be?
I’d ask to have a TV Jones Magna’Tron installed in the neck position of my beloved ol’ G&L ASAT. Toss in a Hipshot B-Bender—no routing required—and I’d be in honky-tonk heaven.


Shawn Hammond -- Editor in Chief
What am I listening to?
Dick Dale and His Del- Tones, Surfer’s Choice. Tauttoned twang, attitude for miles, riffs that just won’t quit, and glorious, glorious reverb!
You’ve just been granted a dream guitar makeover from the guitar gods. What’ll it be?
See p. 66.


Nick Ireland -- Marketing Manager
What am I listening to?
“The Boys are Back” by Dropkick Murphys. This romper had me stomping my foot so hard at my desk, I’m pretty sure I hyperextended my knee.
You’ve just been granted a dream guitar makeover from the guitar gods. What’ll it be?
I’d love to clean up the wiring on my Squier Affinity Series Tele (from my last mod attempt), install a Fishman Powerbridge with a piezo pickup, new frets, new nut, and have the body refinished in the colors of Ireland’s flag. Signature model!


Chris Kies -- Associate Editor
What am I listening to?
Two new releases from old favorites—Dropkick Murphys’ boisterous, whiskey-swilling Signed and Sealed in Blood and Clutch’s Earth Rocker, featuring some of the band’s heaviest material since Clutch and Pure Rock Fury.
You’ve just been granted a dream guitar makeover from the guitar gods. What’ll it be?
I’d upgrade the pickups in my current rig—either some Duncan Dimebuckers for my Jackson Dinky Pro or a Fralin P-90 Alnico neck model for my Squier Vintage Modified Telecaster Special.


Rich Osweiler -- Associate Editor
What am I listening to?
Darlings, Perfect Trip. With whiffs of Sonic Youth, Joy Division, and Pavement, the ultra-sludgy, lo-fi garage rock of this second full-length effort is full of fun, catchy jams and shenanigans.
You’ve just been granted a dream guitar makeover from the guitar gods. What’ll it be?
My first electric, a ’75 strat-style Epiphone that first belonged to my dad, is all original. But I would happily allow the guitar gods to replace its lifeless humbuckers with a set of Seymour Duncan SH-55s.


Richard Fortus -- Guitarist, Guns N' Roses
What am I listening to?
Ariel Pink, Atlas Sound, the last ZZ Top EP, Fiona Apple’s Idler Wheel, Grizzly Bear, Knife Party, Jim Jones Revue, xx, new Crazy Horse, Imagine Dragons, Tame Impala, Frank Ocean, Japandroids, Yuck, etc.
You’ve just been granted a dream guitar makeover from the guitar gods. What’ll it be?
James Trussart is making me a strattype with a reverse-angle bridge pickup, a left-handed neck, steel top, and ash body. The Arcane pickups are based on a ’60 slab board. I shunned Strats for years and have recently fallen in love all over again.


Charles Saufley -- Gear Editor
What am I listening to?
The new split 7" from Kurt Vile and Meg Baird, Sic Alps by Sic Alps, and demos from the forthcoming Feral Ohms LP.
You’ve just been granted a dream guitar makeover from the guitar gods. What’ll it be?
Definitely a magical little dude that changes the strings on my 12-strings. Other than than, just a nice new neck with a rosewood fretboard for my old Squier Telecaster.


Jason Shadrick -- Associate Editor
What am I listening to?
Jonathan Kreisberg, One. Kreisberg goes it alone and places the focus squarely on the guitar. With some acoustic textures and subtle effects, he creates what could possibly be Virtuoso for a new generation.
You’ve just been granted a dream guitar makeover from the guitar gods. What’ll it be?
I would take my old Mexi-Tele and swap the current pickups out for some Lollars. Then I would go all “Brent Mason” and add a middle pickup with a blend control.

A compact pedal format preamp designed to offer classic, natural bass tone with increased tonal control and extended headroom.

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In their corner, from left to right: Wilco’s Pat Sansone (guitars, keys, and more), drummer Glenn Kotche, Jeff Tweedy, bassist John Stirratt, guitarist Nels Cline, and keyboardist Mikael Jorgensen.

Photo by Annabel Merhen

How Jeff Tweedy, Nels Cline, and Pat Sansone parlayed a songwriting hot streak, collective arrangements, live ensemble recording, and twangy tradition into the band’s new “American music album about America.”

Every artist who’s enjoyed some level of fame has had to deal with the parasocial effect—where audiences feel an overly intimate connection to an artist just from listening to their music. It can lead some listeners to believe they even have a personal relationship with the artist. I asked Jeff Tweedy what it feels like to be on the receiving end of that.

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Luthier Maegen Wells recalls the moment she fell in love with the archtop and how it changed her world.

The archtop guitar is one of the greatest loves of my life, and over time it’s become clear that our tale is perhaps an unlikely one. I showed up late to the archtop party, and it took a while to realize our pairing was atypical. I had no idea that I had fallen head-over-heels in love with everything about what’s commonly perceived as a “jazz guitar.” No clue whatsoever. And, to be honest, I kind of miss those days. But one can only hear the question, “Why do you want to build jazz guitars if you don’t play jazz?” so many times before starting to wonder what the hell everyone’s talking about.

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