Duquette Johnston Review + Giveaway

duquette_title

I’ve not done a record review post in a loooong while. Having no time to sit and relax with an album is one thing, but also I like to wait for interesting and smaller release gems too. Not that I think I’m some record finding wizard – it’s just that with so many reviews out there, who needs to hear another person talking about some big budget crusher, right?

Anyway… My reviews are biased since I only talk about stuff I like, and I feel like a music review is more about finding leads than anything. I’m giving you a lead about this cool fellow named Duquette Johnston and you follow up by listening to some samples and deciding a coolness level for yourself.

Granted, I’ll be honest and say you should take my word without question… Rabbit Runs A Destiny is a standout record. Things start off with a cool, low driving track, Heart Is Breaking. It’s a great start as the album rolls into some heavier songs, like the title track and then meanders back to some slower, more deliberate songs. I typically like the sad stuff, and even though this isn’t a sad record, there’s some real solidly heavy ones… Cherry Blossoms is a favorite.

So another biased angle to this review is a bona fide give-away. I’m buying the record for you, but Duq was gracious enough to send a t-shirt to the winner too. Just comment with a hello or maybe a new album you like and I’ll choose a random number and count out the commenter. Be sure to include your email addr where necessary and I’ll contact you after the drawing end, on January 28th. Open to everyone, I’ll pick up the international shipping too. Good luck!

filed as: , , , , ,   ||   67 Comments

Surplus Style Record Crates

recordcrate_title
You’ll need some tools: You’ll need a few materials:
  • 2'x4' of 7/16" plywood
  • crate hardware: corners and a pull

I’ve been needing some more room for my growing record collection and all the while have been looking for the right sized vintage box. I was hoping for something somewhat military surplus, but never found the right size or condition. If I found something, it was always a one-off and typically poor shape. Here’s the plan to make some for yourself, and they’re easily replicable when your collection floweth-over.

One crate can be made from a 2′x4′ piece of plywood, typically called a project board. If you have the room and the need, you could get 4 crates from a 4′x8′, but boards that big don’t typically fit in hatchbacks. I used 7/16” plywood, some small trim screws, wood glue, crate hardware and paint for this project.

Because thin plywood isn’t good for making sturdy boxes unless you have fancy joints, we’re going to have to use a table saw to cut some channels with a dado. If you don’t have a dado blade, or just lost your dado throat plate in a recent move, you can cut these with a single blade and just move your fence to cover the channel with a few passes. Because I am using 7/16” ply, you’ll need to make your dados 7/16” in from the end and of course 7/16” wide. Dados are indicated on the cut sheet diagram. Information on cutting a dado is here.

1. Cut all pieces according to the cut list with the table saw. You’ll need one with at least a 15inch fence. After pieces are cut, you’ll need to cut dados as specified. They’re all the same, so save time by cutting in an assembly-line fashion.

2. Next, you’ll need to cut clearance out of the front panel to install the hardware pull. Depending on the type you use, you’ll need a different cut, so I won’t detail it here. You could put handles on the sides, create a lid, make them taller and stacking… any option you might want for your particular use.

3. When all pieces are ready, you can start the glue-up. Clamps are necessary to get a solid joint, and I’ve added some small screws for added heft. Use wood glue spread with your finger on both boards to properly assemble and use a damp cloth to clean up any glue that’s squeezed out during the clamping. Let sit for the recommended amount of dry time. Once the main panels are assembled, you can add the side rails, and the triangle pieces to the underside. Triangle pieces ensure that you get a solid structure and a good area to mount the corner hardware pieces.

4. Final step is to sand to your preference and paint. Since I was going for a rough surplus look, I sanded all sharp edges soft and left some mars and chips in the wood. You can make it soft and smooth as you want, but for my purposes, I spend almost no time sanding. Some flat latex paint brushed on, and I’m done.

filed as: , , , , , ,   ||   8 Comments

Basia Bulat Review and Giveaway

basia_title

I don’t really understand the classification of Folk music. There’s so many sub-genres and variations, and the only tie I can usually make is that it might be primarily acoustic? Folk artists of the 60s tend to pop into my mind first, then I think of Eugene Levy’s character in “A Mighty Wind.”

Basia Bulat is largely considered a folk artist. You’ll read that she plays the autoharp. You might also hear that this album was primarily written while touring through the Yukon. All of these details set a certain expectation for some typically sleepy folk music, right? So you put this record on your turntable and sit back expecting something wistful and sleepy and then the first track ‘Go On’ starts with a little strumming and interestingly sweet vocals as you’d expect… then the drumming starts. And the rhythm gets a little feverish. Then the strings come in. Vocals are getting stronger and you find that you’re not just tapping to it, but you’re kind of stomping!

‘Go On’ seems like the greatest way to start this record. It gets you excited, breaks any notion of what you might be expecting, and then lets the rest of the record unfold. From there, you really notice the contrast in each song – some more complicated and large, some so simple and delicate. ‘Sugar and Spice’ politely scales things back a little, only to break away with another dense and feverishly urgent run with ‘Gold Rush’. Each song shows Basia’s diversity, yet they all weave together for wonderfully cohesive album.

There’s a few great videos available to listen on Basia’s website – my favorite being the ‘Heart of My Own’ performance. Have a listen, see what you think, and if you’re really liking it as much as I am, maybe you’d like a chance for some giveaway loot?

Thanks to a fine friend, the Art Counsel, I’ve got some goodies to give away. One lucky reader will win a copy of Basia’s recent album on vinyl, and one lucky LOCAL winner will get 2 passes to see her upcoming show at The Woods on June 2nd. (Where I bet she’ll be playing this new song.)

Just leave a comment below to say hello, or tell me about your latest favorite record, or whatever… and I’ll draw a winner for the record. As for the tickets – indicate whether you’re available to attend the show in your comment, and I’ll choose the winner from those. I’ll announce the winners one week from today, on Monday, May 30. Good luck!

 

filed as: , , , , , , , , ,   ||   41 Comments