Friday, January 28, 2011


Is what we'll be in a few days. We're going into exile. Since last year we've been trying to get this to become a yearly tradition. Monday morning we'll be on our way to our safe haven, a tiny island north of Holland called Schiermonnikoog.

Lighthouses, empty beaches,frozen lakes,warm bars and cold beer.
Going there is like going back in time. People are super friendly and pass there evenings playing pool in local bars or actually talking to each other. We spend most of our time there riding bikes, walking on empty beaches or reading good books over a pint of cider.

For a week we're completely disconnected from everything. No phones,computers,music, nothing.
Just us and our dog soaking up energy and enjoying the peace and quiet.

This song is quite the match for that feeling.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Sons Of Anarchy

I have a new addiction and it is called "Sons of Anarchy". The show is created by Kurt Sutter and he's a total badass for finally making something that stands out between all those vampire stories nowadays.
I know Sons Of Anarchy started before but i just found it so cut me some slack.

The show is about a fictional MC called "The Sons Of Anarchy" who has it's base in the town of Charming. Gotta love the name. Clearly Sutter has done some fine research as to how an MC works.
My interest in them was sparked by my love for those big loud bikes but after reading Hunter S. Thompson's work about the Hell's Angels i was hooked.

Sutter, actually a character in the show, has a fine nose for bringing out the best in these characters.
Props for his casting as well. All that just for seeing that i love this show and that i can't stop looking at it and that is totally fucking badass!

I am as of now also following his blog. Thanks for finding that babe!


Saturday, January 22, 2011

From A Basement On The Hill

Me and the girlfriend went to Antwerp yesterday to try and score some great deals in the last week of this winter's bargain period. In doing so we stumbled upon an awesome record store.
The shop is called Vinyl Records and off course they pack a ton of vinyl, second hand and new.
The prices are right and the people know their store inside out. Which is quite an accomplishment seeing the state of the store. It is literally stocked with records from top to bottom.
Just a couple of days earlier i was talking about how great it would be to have Elliott Smith on vinyl.
Guess what we found, oh yes, a new version of Elliott Smith's "From a Basement on the Hill".

So here's what i think about it:
First off the album itself is such a presence. Inside there are scans of the original handwritten lyrics for all the songs. I admit they are hard to read but it's a pleasant bonus.
The discs are very neat looking with black labels on them.

The LP starts with Coast to Coast that is introduced by a haunting soundscape before the song explodes into the folk pop that Smith is known for.
This album is one of the most melancholic in his whole collection. The album was released a year after his death and the material has been gathered by his friends and family. Producer Rob Schnapf who worked with Smith on this album also played a big part in the song selection.
It is his studio that is the inspiration for this album. Smith was going through some of the darkest periods in his life and felt like Schnapf's studio was a sort of haven. He was becoming more and more paranoid and this shines through in his lyrics.
What always confuses is the way his cathy an cheerful melodies seem to hide the dark lyrics.
As i am writing this i'm thinking especially of "Memory Lane", where he explores the deepest and darkest places one can find in oneself and he covers this pain with such a sugary coating.
His love for the Beatles clearly shines through in this LP. "Shooting Star" is what is called his most Beatlesque song. He personally saw this as one of his biggest work and most complex one at that.

I am just in love with this record and the best thing of all is that my girlfriend gave it to me as a gift.
Just because...

I offered her "The Queen is Dead" by The Smiths. Expect a review of that soon.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Dark Side Of The Moon

So we picked this one up a while back for 10€ in a second hand record shop.
Since it's a classic and seeing the price of CD's nowadays i guess it's a bargain for a mint condition record.
Now i've given it a good listen and i must say i was a bit disappointed. Now before anyone tries to burn me down in flames for saying that, i will try and give an explanation.

As much as i am baffled by the production of this album, the music leaves me a little dissatisfied.
I agree totally that their ideas were groundbreaking and "money" is one of my favorite bass lines to play but for me it missed some punch.

So props to everyone involved in this record but it's just not my cup of tea.
For now i'll be living on my yellow submarine before taking a trip to the dark side of the moon.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011


The stress of the exams has finally caught up with me. Three days left till philosophy.
I'm in dire need of some stress relief. It has become a tradition that every year we pick a song to freak out on in order to blow of some steam.

This year the winner is:

This song is just sick and so obnoxiously loud. AWESOME!

Saturday, January 15, 2011


After a picky selection, this is the Fugazi song i want to bring forward today.
Mostly because it is so fucking intense. The dynamics in their live performance are just amazing.
If Hitchcock would have been a musician, he would be in Fugazi.
Tense is by the way how i've been feeling today. I'm spending so much time on my chair studying that it is literally turning grey because of my pants rubbing on it all day long.
After a stroll in the park by night with my girl and my dog this is exactly what i needed.
I will now be putting this song on my studio monitors to freak out in the studio/bedroom.


Friday, January 14, 2011

Music is my sanity.

Hell yes it is! I'm currently studying for my philosophy exam that is coming up and i do not know why people could bother trying to understand that crap.
Who gives a shit if "universal" is a word or a thing or a term or if it exists. 
They master the art of creating sentences that fill up a whole page so that when you're done reading it you forgot what it started with.

I just want to add that i'm not studying this course in my mother tongue, which is Dutch, but in French.
And during those crazy days there is that one constant who keeps me sane. Music.
Well of course my girlfriend is always there to help me out but besides her greatness there is music.
So that during every break i take i put a song.

Today's favorite is this one : Radiohead doing a cover of The Smiths' song The Headmaster Ritual.
If there was any band allowed to do a Smiths cover i guess it's Radiohead.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


My girlfriend had found her album recently and we had been listening to it on and off.
We were digging some songs but found the majority lacking some punch.
I had seen she was coming to the AB Club and thought we should check it out.
And so we did, in a spur of the moment decision we went to see her.

Boy did we not regret going! I was blown away by her performance. This was one of the best concerts of the year. Her voice is really powerful live and she is backed up by an amazing band. The solos that guy threw out of his guitar were really magical. I listen to the album in a completely different way now.
That is why i love going to concerts, it just shines a whole new light on an artist.

From what i can remember i have rarely been disappointed by a live performance.

Thanks to my babe for taking us out on this great date!

Next concert will be Sleigh Bells, my treat this time and i can't wait!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Kurt Vile

This is Kurt Vile. I discovered him just a few days ago. This song is called Freak Train and i must say it is quite haunting. Ever since i first heard it, i just keep coming back to this.
His spring tour dates will be released soon on Matador Records blog.
Hope he passes by Europe!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Vinyl Mania

This Christmas my girlfriend gave me a record player for Christmas.
I'm super stoked about this because i've been wanting one for ages. It is just perfect! We used to have a second hand one but it broke down on us, leaving us with a bunch of unplayable records and a burning desire to listen to them.
We have some pretty cool records in our collection even if i say so myself.

The record player is an American Audio TTD 2400. She's a beauty and the sound quality is impeccable.
I don't plan on using it for any DJ purpose but it would be suitable. It is a direct drive turntable.
I had forgotten how fun and exciting it is to listen to records.
It's way more interesting then clicking on a song to hear it. I love the whole ritual of putting on a record.
It has a certain presence that MP3 and even cd's lack. 

I've hooked this baby up to my practice amp using the stereo input that is provided.
The quality is actually quite amazing. This record player is quite as a mouse but still provides that subtle grit and crackle when playing an old record on it. The character of the  bass amp also adds some extra warmth and bass presence. 

The record that kind of blew me away is a compilation of The Beatles from the sixties. All the songs  on the record are mono so that's pretty cool to hear. I'm still amazed how they got all that sound without a stereo image.
This record actually got me curious and i will be exploring The Beatles some more from now on.
I never really gave them a chance. What a shame right?
 Anyways thank you darling for yet again the best Christmas gift ever!
We've decided that from now on we will buy a book and an LP each month.
Expect to see a review of each every month!

D.A. Badger signing off.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Review of the Harley Benton HB1975 Jazz Bass

 Harley Benton Jazz Bass 1975 by D.A. Badger 

Last year's Christmas gift reviewed :

- Construction :

- First, the construction of this bass seems really solid!
It's the typical jazz bass set-up with a sweet maple neck and body.
The neck has block inlays, something i've wanted on a bass for ever.
All the knobs and tuners are solid, nothing wiggly, i don't see this bass breaking down on me anytime soon ! The finish is really great and i love the vintage look of the neck and headstock. All the frets are perfectly in place, nothing sketchy.
- Sound :

-Follow the link to hear some soundsamples of the bass.
I plugged it straight into the soundcard so this is an honest test of the bass' sound no EQ or compression, just the bass.
I go through the different pickups each with finger and pick playing.
I'm really getting addicted to the sound of this baby! Even with the stock strings still on, i can't wait to hear the difference with new ones.
I guess this jazz tone is what i've been looking for all that time.
I also own a VM p-bass and this kicks the crap out of it!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Here is what Behringer sais about it:

The Behringer VINTAGE BASS VB1 effects pedal revives classic guitar effects long forgotten which will sweep you straight off your feet—more than once.
The Behringer VB1 simulates vocal sounds with a classic dual-sweeping filter. Plug your guitar into this magic stomp box and enjoy unique tone colors, crazy sounding effects, psychedelic-style sounds and distortion rich with overtones.
A status LED for effect On/Off and battery check is included, plus there is a true hard-wire bypass for ultimate signal integrity. The Behringer VINTAGE BASS VB1 runs on a 9 V battery or a DC power supply (not included). This stomp box will sweep you right off your feet!
Behringer VINTAGE BASS VB1 main features include:
  • Make your guitar talk and simulate vocal sounds with classic dual-sweeping filters
  • Distortion mode produces rich overtones with great dynamic responsiveness
  • Blue status LED for effect on/off and battery check
  • True hard-wire bypass for ultimate signal integrity

So all of the above is true. I've had my eye on this pedal for a while, looking for some Eagles of Death Metal funkynesss, when out of the blue i found one of these babies wrapped on the bed.
My angel of a girlfriend took a leap of faith and just got me this awesome effect after i had already got the most beautiful gifts for Christmas. I know, i'm the luckiest bastard on earth!

I went straight to testing it on Bass and Guitar with the following results:

Bass: Washburn Active bass -> Vintage Bass -> Bass Amp

This effect is in my own words "like laying a pile of sex on the track". It generates instant funk on a fat bassline.
I prefer using the effect at full sensitivity and with the Distortion switch on. Kind of similar to a Wah effect.
I will try and put up soundclips ASAP.

Guitar: Gretsch Junior Jet -> Vintage Bass -> El Grande Bass Fuzz -> Boss RV5 -> HB GA5 tube amp

As for guitar i prefer to use this effect really subtle without the distortion on. It gives this old-style delta blues sound. This pedal reacts perfectly with my El grande Fuzz. I give it a slight touch of fuzz and it goes all Junior Kimbrough on me! This effect is awesome. I had no idea of how it was gonna sound and i couldn't be more happy with this!

This pedal is really a banger and i see myself using it a LOT in the coming year to spice up those blues licks!
Thank you Babe!
 Behringer VB-1 on guitar by D.A. Badger 

New Year, New Gear, New Man

Yet again it has been a while since i last posted something here.

The new year is the moment for resolutions and stuff.
So one of those resolutions is to keep this blog updated!

The main focus will be music and of course other great things that happen in my life.

A quick status update: I am now attending the ULB, Free University of Brussels, where i am studying cultural management. It is pretty awesome because i can share this experience with my girlfriend, who is studying communication.

I will be updating on my recording experiences and my progress in guitar playing.
Expect also reviews from albums and concert reports!
We plan on going to as much of those as possible.

Rock on people.