Tuesday, October 17, 2006 ... 10:30 AM

Neko Case DVD review bonus rant

On her new Live From Austin TX DVD, Neko plugs in her four-string tenor acoustic guitar, rather than mic'ing it. It's a tiny, tinny sound, and centered in the mix, it saps depth from the arrangements. I imagine that, mic'd, this Gibson guitar has a scrappy Delta edge to it. Come on in my kitchen, that sort of thing. Plugged in, it sounds like a comb flicked with an acrylic nail. Electricity shrinky-dinks it.

I cannot be convinced that electro-acoustic guitars sound anything like musical. If your act doesn't require splits backflips handstands, you have no good excuse not to mic your acoustic. I can rant on this for days, how a piezo pickup makes a Guild sound like an aquarium filter, but here I'll just beg all you troubadours touring with your vintage Hummingbirds -- ditch the plugs. An SM57 microphone costs eighty-nine bucks at Guitar Center. It fits in a tube sock, and you can kick it three blocks down the sidewalk without giving it a headache. Point it at the 12th fret. It sounds good.

Check out my new Neko review at HickoryWind.org!



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Making Notes: Music of the Carolinas
(Novello Festival Press, April 2008)
includes my essay, "Link Wray"


Flop Eared Mule
The Celestial Monochord
Dig and Be Dug in Return
Modern Acoustic Magazine / Blog
The Old, Weird America
Honey, Where You Been So Long?

The Greensboro Review
Mixed Animal
Night Train
Fried Chicken and Coffee
Mungo (This was the blog of my friend, the late Cami Park. Miss you, Cami.)
Staccato Fiction
PANK Magazine

Cat and Girl
Film Freak Central