Monday, July 12, 2010

Pedal boards: Life in the awesome

If I were any sort of normal person, I would be asleep right now. However, since we all know that I’m really not, I am sitting in my room watching Super Troopers for the second time tonight. Actually, that’s a half-truth. I am sitting in my room unsuccessfully trying to steal internet access from my neighbors who think that setting up a Comcast account was (or is, rather) an excellent idea. As a result of their recent foray into the world of hell Comcast, using their internet signal is increasingly difficult as I can’t seem to get around the Comcast firewall login page thingy. I’m very good with these sorts of technical terms.

So, in my frustration to read about which In N Out Burger is the closest to LAX as I will be in that area in a mere two months and change and everyone keeps telling me “Oh, you have to go to In N Out Burger!” since I’ve never been… I decided to check out twitter [Follow me: @peanutisawesome] one last time for the evening on my iPhone (translation: I’m better than you because I have an awesome phone) before falling asleep with my television on for the seventh night out of the last eight. Birthday night doesn’t count. I don’t remember it. Someone told me today that I poked myself in the eyeball inadvertently with a straw on multiple attempts to drink water. Either I had a really good time or I’ve turned into Superman. Hell, it might even be both. Anyway… back to twitter.

My friend Nick [Follow him: @nickbaumhardt] has successfully parlayed his ability to play and record music into a career. He’s played with such bands as The Class of 98 and Thousand Foot Krutch… Currently, he’s recording and producing and playing for some lady that until recent Googling (you call it “stalking”, I call it “researching”), I had never heard of. Suffice it to say, the dude can play. Also, most of you who know me know that I may be the very worst guitar player in Nashville to trick people into thinking that I can actually play guitar. Seriously, if you just learn how to throw your guitar, stand on a bass drum from time to time, and get into the occasional scuffle before a show, people in this town will respect your on-stage abilities, as non-existent as they may be. As a couple of added bonuses, they will also come to respect your ability to use the hyphen and apparently chicks will dig you more… or so I’m told about the last part.

Nick also writes a blog that he updates on a relatively regular basis that gets a good amount of web traffic. He doesn’t have to rely on funny stories of adventures gone wrong to get people to go to his site because he’s actually making a go of it in the real world and offers advice and insight on the musical world, whereas I just write about how Justin Beiber sucks and how Kelly Clarkson comes into A Village of Flowers on a relatively regular basis these days. We think she’s stalking real-life Googling one of the designers. Wait a second… Strikethrough? Link to a website? Recalling two earlier jokes from the same blog entry? Hot damn! That’s talent! But back to it…

In Nick’s latest blog entry, he writes at length about pedal boards. You know those little metal and plastic boxes that guitar players kick with their feet (What the hell else are they gonna kick it with? Their ass?) that change the sound of their guitar… Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about. It’s a good read. But, since he called me out personally in his entry (it’s near the end, trust me) asking for a response, I figured I better do it. And since I’m still wide awake and watching the “Car RamRod” scene was funny the first time and much less so the second, I figured I better own up to it.

In my years of pissing people off (let’s face it, it’s kind of a hobby of mine), when I built my first and only pedal board some four and a half years ago, I decided to have a little fun with it. Sure, I have rubber feet on it, and handles, and carpet… but I bet I’m the only person in Nashville that can play with Matchbox cars next to his tuning pedal while navigating a cityscape. You know, for the life of me, I can’t figure out why I don’t have a record deal.

I don’t know what Nick will have to say about the psychology of my pedal board but it will probably be met with some sort shocked look and then an, “Oh, man!” I get that a lot here in Nashville.

I have however managed to make my guitars sound like the end of the world. I just turn everything up really loudly and play. If anyone wants that on an upcoming record, let me know. I’ve got the time… as long as it doesn’t interfere with what has become an apparent obsession with Super Troopers.

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