Let’s start with musical instruments. Lately I have found myself in the awkward position of having to become good at playing guitar. I’ve been playing for like 20 years but I stopped getting better after the first 6 months. That makes me very good at playing “Wish you were here” but that’s about it. Also, after 2-3 years, I switched to playing drums, so as you can imagine, it only made matters worse. Oh and my only electric guitar got stolen years ago. So imagine my amused surprise when I was asked to be the lead guitarist in a folksy/funky/poppy new band led by an awesome singer chick. I should’ve said no, but instead I thought what the hell, it’s gonna be a fun challenge.
That’s when I realized I needed new gear. So I read the whole Internet about cheap guitars and amps and here are my findings:
1. Chinese Epiphone Casino is an interesting concept, but in reality it’s way too expensive (around $600) and the stock configuration is TOTAL CRAP. I’m still upgrading it to try and get rid of the awful fret buzz and bridge rattle. The pickup selector switch is shittier than the one on my Rock Band controller, that says a lot on the overall build quality.
2. If you’re looking for a cheap new Telecaster, the Squier Classic Vibe 50s Tele is an outstanding guitar for the money (something like $350). No, not just for the money. It could very well become your main guitar, period. I was looking to upgrade the pickups and found out that the stock ones are so good, most people just leave them in. I personally love it.
3. If you’re looking for a Les Paul type guitar, you have GOT to check out the Agile AL-2000, AL-3000 and AL-3100 over at rondomusic. I ordered an AL-3100, got it delivered in 2 days and, including the hard case case, it cost me a total of $500. And the quality and sound on that thing are just monstrous. It’s super heavy though. For a guy my size it’s a good thing, but maybe not as good for smaller players.
4. If you have modest amplification needs, the Blackheart Little Giant is a very very nice sounding tube amp for the price (around $350). It’s only 5 watt but man, it sounds much bigger than what you normally expect from something that “feeble”. Mine came with an added reverb module, and it’s a good thing it was in there. It’s got a nice fat bluesy tone, perfect for recording. Not sure about using it live yet. I’ll keep you posted.
That’s pretty much it for the gear part.
Now let’s talk about… VIDEO GAMES YAAAYY!!
I know some of it is now old stuff but I still wanna talk about it. Tiny reviews start here:
1. Fallout New Vegas. I liked it much better than Fallout 3 but the performance on my (very recent and powerful) gaming machine was awful.
2. From the guys who gave us Fragger on the iPhone, here comes Gravity Guy!! Great great 2D platformer with physics that remind me of Mario Galaxy a bit. Oh and it’s free!
3. I was looking for a good portable Texas Hold’Em game other than Apple’s own Texas Hold’Em (I can’t stand those crappy realistic characters). I didn’t find anything satisfying yet BUT! While searching I stumbled upon High Stakes Vegas for the PS3. Don’t let the shitty looks fool you, this is a solid poker game.
4. Kirby’s Epic Yarn. My favorite Wii game of 2010. It’s very cutesy and childish looking but it’s got great challenge.
5. PuzzleQuest 2. Uglier than it’s predecessor but a lot more fun. I am troubled by it’s crappy performance on the iPhone 4 though.
6. I know it’s been reviewed on this very site before, and I may even have talked about it myself, but since I’m still playing it like crazy, I want to mention Demon’s Souls again. I am completely obsessed with that thing. And I’m sure it’ll keep me playing for months, if not years, to come.
7. Red Dead Undead Nightmare DLC. Rockstar doing what they do best: disturbing, incredibly funny, action packed and amazing to play.
I wanted to talk about an awesome new stir fry recipe but this is getting long. I’ll keep it for a future post.
So that’s it! Until next time.