Archive for the ‘What the Fuck is Sparx?’ Category

Alright kiddies, everyone seems to have their own idea of getting that sweet surf sound, but I’m gonna write what I believe is the CORRECT approach to riding the glass, mannnn.

While some people can make a guitar with a humbucker work in their favor, I am personally 100% against humbuckers. They’re too thick, and much too clean and sparkly. For a good gritty surf sound, you need a single-coil. I personally prefer those single coils to be Fender single coils.

While we’re on Fender single-coils, lets talk about what is considered by many to be THE company for surf guitars, Fender. Fender is legendary for that snap-twang sound it’s guitars make, and that Fender twang goes fantastic with a good surf sound, over Gibson’s glossy jazzier tones. Fender guitars have enough twang that even if you get one with a humbucker in it, the twang will still come through (IE James from Ba Babes with his Fender Fat Strat), so something to consider if you just HAVE to have a humbucker.

But which Fender is the right Fender to get the job done? Really it’s personal preference, but I find Telecasters to be a bit to country for surf. Stratocasters are one of the most common choices, and any surf fan knows Dick Dale is one of the most legendary Strat players alive today. Personally, I’m rather picky when it comes to Stratocasters. I think a majority of the modern ones sound too generic and bland, with very few exceptions. But even Fender boasts, there’s a Strat out there for everybody, so if you wanna go this route, take your time, and try them all!

Of course, nothing beats the sound of a vintage Fender. The buzzing single coil pick-ups from a time period before fruity noiseless pickups was even a concept, and a roar that you really just can’t get from a modern guitar. “Hey Ivan, not everyone’s got that kind of money! Aren’t vintage Strats like more than a car?!” They sure are. But I’m not talking about that. I’m talking of dipping into some budget vintage: The Mustang Family

The Mustang family is relatively cheap and accessible, with a real surfy look.  This consists of the Mustang (derp), the Musicmaster (I and II), the Duo-Sonic (I and II), and the Bronco (not the truck). I, myself, am the proud owner of a 1965 Fender Musicmaster II that was modified to be a Duo-Sonic (MM only has one pickup, DS has two, hence the name Duo), that I bought from a guitar show for $544. It’s rather rough looking, and I had to throw out the pickup that was added because the hippy who did the job originally must have been tripping on LSD and fucked it up. The body kinda looks like it fell in a bonfire at Woodstock. But hey, man, this thing is VICIOUS! What a snarling grizzly bite! This guitar doesn’t do clean, ever. It’s a mean mother fucking junkyard dog and it knows it. And this wasn’t just me getting lucky, the whole family is relatively cheap. Why spend $1000 on a generic Fender American Strat (boooorinnnggg), when you can pick up a real vintage Fender for around the same price? I see them all the time in Guitar Centers for stupid cheap. And they’re absolutely worth every penny.

Finally, there’s the ultimate surf guitars. The twins themselves, the Fender Jaguar and Jazzmaster. Let’s talk about the latter, since I’m sure you’re confused by the name. Long story short, aimed at jazz musicians who were still rocking big jazz box hollowbody guitars, but they fucking hated it. But before Fender could eliminate the line, surf guitarists fell in love with the big goofy shaped guitar. It had a gentle mellow sound eminating from the soap bar single coil pickups that came out like a nice easy wave on a breezy summer day at the beach. Then came the Jaguar, a similar shaped guitar wth about a hundred million switches and toggles, chrome plate pieces, and specially designed single coils that had the sharpest, brightest, twangiest yap you’d ever hear. While vintage ones will cost you a pint of blood and your soul, you can easily obtain either model in either the “’62 Vintage Re-Issue” editions (made in the USA), which are fairly expensive brand new, but not as bad if you find a nicely set up used one like I did. And then there’s the Mexican series. I have not sat with a Mexican Jaguar (aside from the atrocity that is the HH model), but I did sit with a Mexican Jazzmaster. Let me tell you, thing had the creamiest, mellowist tones I have ever heard. The neck on these guitars are so smooth, you can surf straight down the fret board with ease. The fret spacing is fantastic too. So don’t knock it for being Mexican.

I’d talk about my ’62 RI Jaguar, but I could spend a whole article (which I just might) on the damn thing. It’s fucking AWESOME and totally SURFTASTIC!

Anyways, that’s it for tonight. Next week, little surfers, we’ll get into the right amps and effects to pair your surf guitar with! GNARLLLLYYYY!

Prime Example of Fender Jaguars In Surf Music

-Ivan

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To start things off, in this series of posts, id like to say… I’d like to see things end.

Id like to see a purer music industry, I’d like to see a purer means of music appreciation, a purer means of experience. I feel there are  a series of major issues in the punk rock world… an innate and so far unavoidable set of issues that have doomed the autonomy of the movement, as well as many other musical movements. One of these major issues is the commodity music has become. A commodity that removes music as an art and develops it as a business venture, this as a means to allow the powerful elite to engrain their influence into the very trains of thought that desire to defy them.

I want to key in on certain philosophies and critical theories that focus on this phenomenon of commoditization. To do that I would like to start with a conversation I’ve had before with a freind:

Him: “People that enjoy that kind of music [bubble gum pop] don’t really like “music”. They like songs. And shitty songs at that, but the point is that they don’t enjoy music as music, just the 3 minutes of catchy crap. ”

Me: “I recently read an article by the writer and critic Theodore Adorno…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theodor_W._Adorno

“specifically look at the 2nd chapter of this article, Musical theory, and even more specifically the first paragraph of that chapter and the exerpt on Marxist theory. It pretty much expresses entirely what you are saying, only it was conceived and foreseen at the advent of recorded music.
Marxists are always attempt to be so prophetic, at least some times they hit their mark.”

“(The music industry) seems every year to make more and more cultural artifacts of less and less quality that are consumed with some disgust by their “fans”. – (an alteration of a quote from the wikipedia article previously linked)

“Music specifically is more and more commoditized every year. Music is no longer an art but an industry. it is no longer artistry but business.

“Adorno said this stating (as a Marxist would) that the consumer is quietly aware of the dying credibility of the commodity of arts. But they continue to purchase because it is what is available. He believed eventually however that the consumer would become frustrated with this (among other innate oppressions)  to the point of revolution.

“But the Situationist International member Guy Debord (also a Marxist in a sense) sees the consumer’s accept of the commoditized recordings with oblivious glorification. and theorizes that the Music industry exists as a commodity provider to create an illusion of art and satisfaction in the consumer, when really it provides very little intellectual stimulation or value as an art. This commodity is thus keeping the consumer from thinking too deeply about their station within the capitalist system, and within the spectacle of the system’s commodities and media.

“Just trying to affirm your feelings towards pop music with solidly respected theorists. Though the two of them would probably still distain even the most obscure and challenging bands you listen to as still contributing to this commoditization. ”

Him: “Thank you for clarifying that.
This is all too true.
But you will always find artists who play not just for money and fame.
So it’s all good.”

Me: “Its not so much who plays music for money and who plays for the sake of the art. Its who says what with their music. Because a lot of “indie bands” are still just pop bands. And a lot of no name bands are just artless believers in failed revolutionary ideals.(ie punk, metal, grunge, rave, rock and roll, definitely the modern indie scene) thus only diverting the consumer from a true revolutionary consciousness. Again they are firm believers in serious Marxism so everything comes down to setting the stage for the global proletarian revolution.

“Not to mention it’s not even so much what the music is saying or how sincere or timely it is to modern culture and the revolutionary spirit. It’s that commodity of music itself has (although made music as an art only experienced by the elite now available to the masses) become less an art and more a system due to the process of recording. Something that can’t be experienced without paying a great deal of money, which is a shame, since music is probably the most approachable and emotionally investing for the experience of all fine art. and now we have to pay to experience it.

“You see though, the reality is desperate and impossible. guy Debord killed himself when he came to the realization of this. the realization that the depth of commodity in not only music culture but all culture, global culture. the reality that the situation is completely irreversible. it is essential to our modern world entirely. that is how well commodity has been burned into human consciousness. that we all, all, have been mind controlled to an inconceivable depth.”

Our self concept of autonomy is a sham because of it… and any movement that finds itself expressed in music, in art, in literature suddenly becomes sucked into a catastrophic self-evolving deception. A deception that makes all too clear that we creatures have very little real autonomy if any at all.

Heidegger tells us that in fact that we as humans have no real autonomy… that we are historical and social creatures with personalities based on experience nurture, and environment. This environment being manipulate-able, makes us manipulate-able. –(A quick summary of Martin Heidegger’s philosophies on the subject from “Letter on Humanism.”)
However I disagree there, its not completely irreversible. i think that the only means of reversing this however would require the complete destruction of modern culture. Or at least the complete destruction of modern culture within the individual. If real autonomy does not exsit… if the idea of humanity does not exist thusly, that these things in their never truely present state, in there entirely metaphysical state do not have any real physical foundation, then this alone allows the evils we experience against us. Truth is not a physical pressence, thus it can be twisted, justice can be subverted, rights can be ignored, and humanity thus can be deceived and damaged.

However we are not left at the whims of powerful men, but with the same metaphyiscs, the same concepts, the same empty promises that allow for evil, may also be salvations. But the question then becomes how does one fight that which has made them what they are?

[to be continued]

What It Aims For

Posted: November 8, 2010 by jungleboots in What a world what a world..., What the Fuck is Sparx?
 My cross hairs land on beautiful things.
Lovely and beautiful are two very very different words; Similar but not the same, definitely not interchangeable. This is because they both have a sensitivity to connotation that separates them. By this i mean; technically, traditionally, according to most thesauruses these words are absolutely synonyms. However individually these two words mean different things.
Lovely is a stimulation of our senses and our mind, a stimulation of delight.
Beauty is a stimulation of our senses and our mind, but is a stimulation of awe, and wonder. 

(Cloaca, Aka: The Shit Machine, is a machine created by artist; Wim Delvoye that takes food and mechanically and chemically brakes it down producing shit on a rotating disc similar to a human digestive system)

(image probably of the inside of the Pakard Plant Detroit, MI)

To me lovely seems more like a whimsy, fluttery, pretty thing, ethereal maybe. But more so i compare it to beauty like I compare food to bubble gum.
Lovely, pretty, even gorgeous are bubble gum words. Wonderfully tasting, savory, mouth-watering, and delicious. However bubble gum flavoring is artificial, and it offers no true sustenance, no true value.
 
Beauty is like food, it may not always taste as brilliant and deliciously as bubble gum, but it offers sustenance in a way that bubble gum cannot; beauty has a fuel that keeps us running.
This becomes a difference between delight, and wonder. Delight is a quick, impermanent thing, quick to gain quick to lose. Something that may make one happy, ecstatic even, however it does not continue very far into the future. It is only delightful, entertaining. Wonder is a questioning, and understanding. ”I wonder”; it is seeing something we cannot explain, so we must ask ourselves about it, perhaps obsess ourselves over it.  We must then figure out how we will deal with it, how we will live with it, this beautiful thing we experience. It stimulates an abstract of our mind that delight comes no where close to.
 
This questioning is how it fuels us… it’s essence is not spent quickly as entertainment and delight’s essence does. It brings us carefully, slowly to understandings, and those understandings stay with us, fueling more questioning, more wonder.

("The Young Family" by Patricia Piccinini

The beauty of Beauty, as a thing that makes wonder, does not have to be just beauty in the traditional sense. Like art, beauty can be grotesque, it can be shocking, it can be harsh and critical and mean. Beauty yet becomes great to us because it can be all of those things. While lovely remains simply lovely.
This may be superficial on my part, frivolous to compare. But I hold beauty to be important, and i aim to seek it out, and knowing the difference keeps me focused.