Fender Stratocaster and Routemaster bus 60th anniversay collaboration

Routemaster themed Stratocaster

Routemaster themed Stratocaster

Fender and Transport for London are celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Stratocaster guitar and London’s famous Routemaster bus. The two companies are partnering on a bus emblazoned with Stratocaster imagery, which will serve London’s 24 bus route, and 25 limited edition Stratocaster guitars, which incorporate key design features of the iconic double-decker.
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Fender releases ’68 Custom Vibrolux Reverb

Fender '68 Custom Vibrolux Reverb

Fender ’68 Custom Vibrolux Reverb (click for larger image)

Hot on the heels of the popular ’68 Custom Twin Reverb, ’68 Custom Deluxe Reverb and ’68 Custom Princeton Reverb amps, Fender has just announced a new addition to the Vintage Modified Series: a 35-watt, 2×10 Silverface combo –  the ’68 Custom Vibrolux Reverb.
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The Smiths: Hand In Glove

Hand In Glove - front cover

Hand In Glove – front cover (click for larger image)

On 13 May 1983, The Smiths released Hand In Glove on 7″ vinyl – the band’s first record. Only 6000 copies were pressed initially, and they sold out pretty quickly as The Smiths grew in popularity. The purpose of this post is to provide details of the first pressing, known as the Manchester version – because a Manchester contact address was printed on the back of the cover. Later versions published a London contact address, or no contact details at all.
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Suhr Shiba Drive Reloaded: review

Suhr Shiba Drive Reloaded

Suhr Shiba Drive Reloaded (click for larger image)

In 2009, Suhr released the Shiba Drive. My son recently bought the “reloaded” version, which is an update to the original pedal, tweaked to create something more amp-like, with a tighter low-end, focused mids and 50% more gain than the original Shiba Drive. The Reloaded version is a great overdrive pedal for players of Blues, Jazz and Rock.
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Dental Denial by Beth Israel: review

Dental Denial by Beth Israel

Dental Denial by Beth Israel (click for larger image)

Dental Denial, by Beth Israel, oozes darkness and mystery. It is gloriously left field. If you hold disdain for the commonplace, this is for you. If you long to be taken somewhere otherworldly, enjoy.
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Sound It Out: film review

Tom Butchart outside Sound It Out Records

Owner Tom Butchart outside Sound It Out Records (click for larger image). Photograph by Jeanie Finlay.

It’s at this time of year, with Record Store Day only a week away, that my interest in vinyl ramps up a notch or two. In preparation for the big day, I’ve been watching favourites from my collection of music documentaries, including Sound It Out, a film directed by Jeanie Finlay about the last remaining independent record store in Stockton-On-Tees in the North-East of England.
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Offset Mastery Bridge: a must for players of Jazzmaster and Jaguar guitars

Jazzmaster with Offset Bridge by Mastery

Jazzmaster with Offset Bridge by Mastery (click for larger image)

I have long been a fan of the Fender Jazzmaster. I love its quirky circuit switching, offset waist and range of tones. But I don’t own one for the simple reason that the bridge is a bit crap. Its the only weakness in an otherwise stellar guitar. Recently, however, a chance encounter led me to discover the Offset Mastery Bridge, a beautifully engineered replacement for the stock Jazzmaster bridge. All of a sudden, the acquisition of a Jazzmaster makes perfect sense.
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Light Up Gold by Parquet Courts: review

Light Up Gold by Parquet Courts vinyl album

Light Up Gold by Parquet Courts (click for larger image)

I have a little obsession at the moment. It’s called “Light Up Gold” – the debut LP from Parquet Courts. Formed in 2010 and based in New York, Parquet Courts have recorded one of the finest albums I’ve heard in a very long time.
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Good Vibrations: film review

Good Vibrations - film poster

Good Vibrations – film poster

Highly acclaimed independent film Good Vibrations tells the true story of Terri Hooley, the self-styled “Godfather of Ulster Punk”, who opened a record shop on the most bombed street in Belfast during the height of the Troubles in the 1970s.
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Gibson introduces “undercut, fret over binding” for 2014 models

Finally, after all these years, Gibson introduces undercut, fret over binding. This will be available on all 2014 models – except the Les Paul Traditional. I have never been a fan of nibbed frets, which have been a key feature of Gibson’s bound-neck guitars for generations. They present a number of problems.
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