Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Tomiko Dixon Keeping Alive Grandfather Willie Dixon’s Legacy

Tomiko Dixon, blues singer and granddaughter of late blues great Willie Dixon with R&B legends Marshall Thompson (left) and Gene Chandler. | James Foster/For the Sun-Times

It was a day after Marie Dixon, widow of blues great Willie Dixon, died, and several legends were gathered in a downtown hotel in support of a granddaughter, Tomiko Dixon.

There was R&B legend Gene “Duke of Earl” Chandler, who is Tomiko Dixon’s amore, and her godfather, Marshall Thompson, founder of the legendary Chi-Lites, credited with birthing a generation of R&B vocal groups.

New Album Art For Billy Don Burns - Graveyard In Montgomery

New Album Art For Billy Don Burns - Graveyard In Montgomery

Would like to say thank you to everyone who has really dug this illustration for Billy Don Burns new album cover, Graveyard In Montgomery and all the shares. We thought on it and realized that maybe we should give away the original art for the album as a way to say thank you to the fans for sticking by him through thick and thin. So this Friday, once we announce the pre-sale, every physical album order sold through our webstore will be entered into a drawing to win the original pen and ink sketch. Sure you can wait to stream it for free on Youtube or Spotify, but if you want something to live on past your next Appleoid Omega malfunction, purchase the album and maybe this art along with BD's story about his travels to that infamous graveyard and much more can potentially hang on your wall and reverberate from your speakers for years to come.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Most Hyped Music Gear of 2016

All of the press and hype surrounding the music gear industry follows a similar pattern every year. New products get announced at NAMM in January, unleashing a wave of buzz that ripples through forums and YouTube channels, and ultimately into shopping carts of websites like

Smaller brands often release gear later in the year to less initial fanfare, building their reputations on merit rather than marketing. You see this a lot with boutique pedals and guitars where an off-the-cuff artist endorsement or a single demo video can do as much for a product's popularity as any trade show press release.

Here is a look back at both the big releases and sleeper hits that generated the most buzz in the music gear industry in 2016.

Korg Minilogue

The Korg Minilogue was easily the most talked-about synth at NAMM this year, and a steady stream of praise has followed since. Analog synths are as en vogue as ever, and this portable keyboard strikes a perfect target zone in the broader market. It's analog, but not too expensive. Highly tweakable, yet extremely approachable.

Korg understands the blossoming affordable analog market better than anyone and brings a unified vision of how to lower the barrier to entry for these machines. While it may not sound as juicy as vintage Juno or any modern Moog, the Minilogue represents a major step forward for Korg and claims a definite spot as the new entry point into the realm of analog synths. As a testament to how well the Minilogue is doing, Korg has a already announced a smaller follow-up – dubbed the Monologue – set for release next year.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

'A Fat Wreck,' Documentary Of Punk Label, Set To Come Out On VOD & Blu-Ray/DVD!

Fat Wreck Chords... The influential music label proud to say they've spent the past 25 years "ruining punk rock". A Fat Wreck tells the story of founders Fat Mike (of the legendary punk band NOFX) and his ex-wife Erin Kelly-Burkett, spanning the birth, growth, struggles, and survival of the Fat Wreck Chords label. 

Half inspirational story of chosen family and community, half debauchery and occasionally involuntary drug use...  A Fat Wreck blazes exciting new ground in the cinematic genre of puppet-driven punk rock music documentary filmmaking. If you only see one film featuring a dominatrix spanking a puppet in your lifetime... Make it A Fat Wreck!

To order "A Fat Wreck," visit:

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Testament Return to the Heavy Metal Music Scene in Solid Form

When legends release new material, it can be quite disappointing. For instance, when Metallica released Load, most heavy #metal fans were let down immensely. The crunch was gone, the complexity was all but absent, and years of over touring had taken a toll on singer James Hetfield much sooner than his age would suggest. While the mighty Met have managed to redeem themselves since then, thankfully #Testament has yet to release a slab of sub par material, and thankfully their newest, “#Brotherhood of the Snake” keeps that tradition in tact. If anything, with guitarist Eric Peterson at the songwriting helm, they may have just released the most exciting metal album of the year, if not of their career.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Binghamton Musician Ships Cigar-box Guitars Around the World

                             Pinecone Fletcher talks about why he likes cigar-box guitars and what drew him to the craft. Andrew Thayer / Staff Video

Bluesman Pinecone Fletcher finds joy in re-creating instrument for 21st century

Back when cigars were plentiful and money was not — especially during the Civil War, for example, or the Great Depression — some musicians decided to work with what they had close at hand and built their own cigar-box guitars.

The concept was pretty simple: Cobble together a box, a stick and some strings, then tune it up and start playing. The raw, organic sound proved to be much different than what a store-bought instrument would deliver, giving a different twist to blues, country and folk tunes.

As Americana and roots music have undergone a revival in the last 15 years, led by the 2000 film “O Brother Where Are Thou?” and bands like Mumford & Sons, the interest in cigar-box guitars has grown, too. Ambitious do-it-yourselfers still prefer to put together their own, but a few companies have sprung up to fill the need.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Artist Transforms Old Farm Equipment into Incredible Animal Sculptures Like None You’ve Seen

Recreating the wild wild west out of discarded farm equipment, South Dakota-based artist John Lopez’s amazing metal sculptures will blow your mind! Check them out below:

Source: John Lopez Studio
Sculptor John Lopez is a product of a place. His people’s ranches are scattered along the Grand River in northwestern South Dakota—not far from where Sitting Bull was born and died. Not far from where thousands of buffalo were killed during the westward expansion of settlers and gold miners. In the bone yards of Tyrannosaurus rex and grizzly bears. Since farmers and ranchers populated this chunk of reservation land, real cowboys have been roping and branding and sheering and haying and harvesting.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Buzzoven - A West Coast Tour Story, by Kirk Lloyd Fisher

Photo by Chris Boarts Larson

From Buzzoven Kirk's blog on Google...

"So its been right at a week since our west coast tour with the mighty Bongzilla ended. Needless to say, we hit it off very well with the Bongzilla boys.Actually Dixie played on one of their albums and did a tour with them. Me and Michael (Pee Wee) really hit it off and i firmly believe i have a new brother in him for life. Touring with them,renting their back line and all around working together made life on this tour much easier. Bongzilla is still out there touring so get out and see them and buy some merch if you can to support this hard working band.

I have a few individual stories to tell but I'm just typing some thoughts and observations from this recent 8 day jaunt through the west. I want to be sure i tell the stories i have as they actually happened and get permission from all those involved so i don't step on any toes or piss anyone off. I never piss anyone off. HA!! While our first tours back, in 2011,after 10 years of doing nothing proved to be lucrative and full of hype, this recent leg of shows, which by the way was after another 4 year lull proved to be good but only part of the hype previously experienced was present. It's becoming painfully obvious that if we don't stay busy, tour and work harder we will slowly dwindle back to an unknown band of the past. Some musicians i feel get spoiled from certain things being a certain way and expect that every tour or show will be just as lucrative and also bigger venues with a consistent amount of crowd attendance. Which of course is not the reality of being in the music business as things change year to year and even day to day. 

Johnny Rotten opens the Reykjavik Punk Museum

Johnny Lydon, otherwise known as Johnny Rotten. Gylfa
Reykjavik has a new museum, the Iceland Punk Museum and, with a nod to anarchy it's actually located in the former public toilets in Bankastræti in the city centre. Who better to open a punk museum than the world's most famous punk - John Lydon- better known as Johnny Rotten from legendary UK punk band The Sex Pistols.
Lydon is a guest of the Iceland Airwaves festival and took part in the Airwords programme at Harpa where he read excerpts from his books.
The Icelandic Punk Museum offers a fascinating look at the history of punk in Iceland with photographs and objects related to the period around 1980. Iceland's music history is documented from early days to the punk and new wave revolution which in turn served to create some of Iceland's best known artists including Björk, The Sugarcubes and Sigur Rós.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Film Fest Biz Flicks: 'BANG!' is an Analytical, Unflinching Look at Music Industry

(This is part of a series of reviews of movies showing at the Nov. 2-13 Denver Film Festival that examine aspects of business.)

Film: BANG! The Bert Berns Story

Singer Neil Diamond and songwriters and producers Ellie Greenwich, Bert Berns and Jeff… more

Show times: 4:15 p.m. Thursday, 9 p.m. Saturday and 11:15 a.m. on Nov. 13 at United Artists Denver Pavilions

Industry it spotlights: Music recording

The story: Bert Berns was a 1960s pioneer in the music industry, producing records ranging from “Twist and Shout” to “Hang On Sloopy.” This documentary recalls both Berns’ successes and challenges and focuses on his business dealings with both a cut-throat industry and with the mob.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Heavyweight 8 Ounce Leather Tool Bag For Your Motorcycle, from Rusty Knuckles

Heavyweight 8 Ounce Leather Tool Bag For Your Motorcycle, from Rusty Knuckles
For a long time we had been plotting on our own style of tool bag. We wanted a clean and classic design that could compliment any bike with flowing lines and choice style. Our concept is based on numerous sketches and going through our own tools to find the right dimensions and fork widths. These bags were made to fit wide glide, narrow glide, sissy bars, attached to the frame or a variety of other options due to the flexibility on how they are mounted with heavy duty zip ties.

The leather we use is a shoulder hide that comes in 8 oz weight and the options are currently for Chestnut Brown, Dark Brown, Black and Ox Blood Red. We do have some customization options on these bags, so get in touch with us. The D Rings are a great compliment to the bag as buckles tend to rattle and this is a quick cinch solution to strapping tight and rolling. Each bag is hand cut, riveted and sewn in our shop to insure the highest quality and made right here in North Carolina. If you ever have an issue with our bags ripping or tearing, send it back and we will fix for free as we stand behind our quality. 

Order one of our tool bags today

Custom Studded Denim & Leather Guitar Strap

The guitar strap is made out of 8 oz. leather that is tanned and softened to be an easily worn for hours upon end. The strap has screw holes cut out for a variety of mounting options and adjusts from 46" inches to 65" inches. If you are looking for a specific length, just let us know upon checkout and we can get the strap set up to your exact specs for a perfect right out of the shipping box.

For this guitar strap we use vintage black denim as the fabric, which is then glued and stitched to the heavyweight leather strap.

The guitar strap is 2.5" inches wide at full width and then tapers on both ends.

Check out this strap and more on our Etsy Store

Rusty Knuckles triple row studded Denim & Leather guitar strap

Rusty Knuckles triple row studded Denim & Leather guitar strap

Rusty Knuckles triple row studded Denim & Leather guitar strap

Details on our custom guitar with acid etched aluminum pick guard

Details on our custom guitar with acid etched aluminum pick guard

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Rusty Knuckles Custom Leather Motorcycle Seat

Rusty Knuckles Custom Leather Motorcycle Seat

Creating a custom motorcycle seat is a lot of work and design ideas, but when it all comes together, there is no better feeling. Functional art is what drives us daily and make a seat that will reside on a custom motorcycle is one of our favorite endeavors. 

Want to buy this seat? Hop over to our Etsy page

Research and Racing On The Bonneville Salt Flats

The Bonneville Salt Flats are one of Utah’s most iconic landscapes, covering more than 30,000 acres of BLM-managed land in the Salt Lake Field Office. Since 1914, this majestic landscape has served as the racing grounds for generations of land speed racers from around the world. For decades, these passionate racers have tested themselves, each other, and their vehicles in an ever-escalating contest to go faster than ever before.

The area gets its name from the prehistoric Lake Bonneville that extended over 19,000 square miles and reached depths of over 1,000 feet. The salt flats are a remnant of this ancient lake – where evaporation left large concentrations of dissolved minerals in the surrounding soils. In the winter, groundwater and regional storms flood the Salt Flats – creating a salty, shallow lake. When temperatures rise in the summer months, the water evaporates, leaving behind the iconic white salt crust – sought after by landspeed racers for the hard and flat surface it forms. The salt is also influenced by changes in weather patterns. For example, mid-summer rains in 2014 and 2015 flooded the salt and forced cancellations of the late-summer land speed racing events.

Beyond these seasonal changes, there are additional and complex dynamics that drive this geological system, of which we have only scratched the surface on scientific understanding. Adding to the challenge is the complexity raised by a changing climate in the Great Basin. To help unravel the system, the BLM has partnered with Dr. Brenda Bowen at the University of Utah on a long-term scientific study.

BLMers, scientists, and landspeed racers are all “gunning” to preserve the Bonneville Salt Flats. These scientific studies will help the BLM in making challenging management decisions and will undoubtedly uncover further questions regarding the dynamics of this unusual geologic system.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Shunned By Radio, Hard Rock Is Still Alive And Well In America

Two hard rock bands, one young and one old, walk into a bar. The bartender asks to see the older band’s ID. “Welcome,” she says. “I loved your music when I was a college student in the 90s.” The younger band hands the bartender its ID. “Sorry,” she says, fiddling with the knob on her FM radio, “you’re far too young to be in here. Go get a few radio hits and come back in a decade or two.”

Ghost BC, a.k.a. Ghost, one of the few metal bands with songs popular at both Pandora and hard rock stations.

Such is the dilemma for young hard rock and metal bands. Radio has all but turned its back on the hard rock and metal stars of tomorrow. It’s a shame. Radio has remained the most common source of music discovery, according to numerous surveys over the years. The old-fashioned format is tied with friends/family at 68 percent, according to Edison Research and Triton Digital. Where do fans of metal and hard rock go for new music? Not commercial radio. Metal, and its umbrella genre, hard rock, has become a format for the middle-aged listener. People wanting to find new, hard music will find what they’re looking for at Pandora.

But hard rock and metal do well at Pandora, a democratic platform that rewards songs for their listeners’ positive reactions, not the decisions of radio program directors. Metal, a sub-genre of the more popular rock category, is tied for 13th in monthly time spent listening and currently gets over 6 million unique listeners per month. Rock, which includes hard rock and other types of rock music, has the most monthly listening hours on Pandora, ranks 2nd in monthly time spent listening and gets 50 million unique listeners each month.

The numbers show the severity of hard rock radio’s problem. According to Nielsen BDS data, only 10.5 percent of hard/active rock stations’ playlists are current tracks while 82.9 percent are legacy/golden tracks and 6.6 percent are recurrents (“active rock” stations have an emphasis on hard rock, “recurrents” are former current songs that still get spins). For comparison, current songs are 85 percent of music played at both pop and rhythmic (a catchall spanning upbeat rhythmic pop, hip hop and upbeat R&B) and 68 percent at country.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Introducing the Artiphon INSTRUMENT 1

Instrument 1 is a MIDI controller, a tool for generating the standard digital music file. But whereas most MIDI controllers are keyboards hooked up to inscrutable boxes, Instrument 1 is shaped like a purposefully vague string instrument.

Typing notes into software can’t capture the totality of writing and performing music. The physical act of hitting a drum or plucking a string or moving yours hands up and down piano keys, on stage or in a tour bus, is crucial to the experience. Instrument 1 wants to replicate that. Pressure sensitive buttons let you strum, press frets, or even hold the device up on your shoulder like a violin. And if you lay it on a surface, the neck acts as a piano/drum kit.

You can learn more on Artiphon’s site