Back in high school, I remember my mind being completely blown by “Cliffs of Dover”, which went on to become one of the all time classics of instrumental rock. Eric Johnson is one of the best guitar players (electric or otherwise) on the face of the earth.
Today, August 17, 2010, is the 56th birthday of the national (guitar) hero of Texas. I’m taking a break from drawing to watch his 2006 Anaheim concert video on DVD.
The song The Sparrow from the album Terra Guitarra: The Mother Night by the American folk guitar band Patchouli (Julie Patchouli, Bruce Hecksel, Willy Crow Mojo). Patchouli just won the 2010 Songwriter Award at the Unvarnished Music Festival in Minnesota.
I’m seeing the light at the end of the tunnel here. Today is the deadline of the school project from hell, and I gladly submitted it last night after it destroyed over 60 hours of my life over the last three weeks. To someone spoiled by Visual Studio, writing C code in Emacs and debugging it in GDB makes me want to throw chairs through windows. Also, my schedule at work seems to be loosening up. Having 20 hours of homework and being asked to come to the office on the weekend is highly stressful, and only a constant internal chant of “it’s better than being unemployed; it’s better than being deported” kept me from losing my mind. The quarter isn’t done, but the worst is over.
One could argue that Satriani composed these songs in the 80s and 90s, way before Cirno made her debut in The Embodiment of Scarlet Devil. But keep in mind that Satriani, like Eric Johnson, Steve Vai, and Paul Gilbert, is a space alien whose powers could very well include time travel. It’s not uncommon for musicians to journey far and wide in search of inspiration.
It’s been four months since the last guitar post. I even forgot to hold my 2009 annual Eric Johnson Day celebration in August because I was drawing some picture with Cirno in it. I’ve been too busy drawing and playing Toho to record anything.
I don’t know who drew this, but he’s way too good to be me.
I was going to write about how Azusa’s true value was in the interactions she enabled with the other cast members, and how she filled a role that was missing in K-On all this time. The fact that she is a guitar-playing loli catgirl is nice, but doesn’t have that much to do with why I like her character so much. I mean, have I ever done anything to suggest I am biased in any way toward lolis, catgirls, or guitar players?
Samu-kun helped me realize that I was lying to myself, and I have stopped saying that my primary reason for liking Azusa is her part in the story. The truth is, I have been squarely targeted and hit by the Azusa Beam of shameless pandering from Kakifly and Kyo-Ani that has disintegrated my anti-moe defenses in the blink of an eye.
The loli catgirl is one of the golden standards of moe – just ask Kito. And guitar-playing loli catgirl takes it one step further. What’s next, guitar-playing tsundere loli catgirl with glasses? K-On might actually make it happen.
I got myself some new gear for recording: an M-Audio Fast Track USB interface (which came with a sound recording and mixing program, Ableton Live Lite 6), and a microphone (with stand).
Now here is an instructional video with the acoustic guitar legend from Australia, Tommy Emmanuel. Here he talks about training the thumb to act independently of the other fingers, playing the bass in parallel with the other fingers’ melody.
I would like to demonstrate such a technique, but 1) no way on earth am I going to play even the beginner’s exercise of that without years of training and 2) this is an anime blog, so we have to find an anime song that has that kind of technique, and preferably one within my ability. I actually don’t know the title of this, but if you’ve seen Aria, you’ve heard this track.
You know how most of the characters in Aria the Animation have names that begin with the letter A? You have the main characters Akari, Alice, and Aika, their mentors Alicia, Athena, and Akira, the boys Akatsuki, Woody (Ayanokouji), and Albert, not to mention Ai, Ayano, and more. When I was learning this song, I was like, “Hey, this song is in the key of A. What a coincidence.”
Take the K-On! light music band: bassist, castanet player guitarist, keyboardist, and drummer.
Replace all the moeblobs with 40-year-old Big Texans from Outer Space. (This video, from G3 1996, is over 10 years old, and Eric Johnson is almost 55 years old as of this writing.)
You know how Ritsu said that when it comes to guitarists, there’s Jeff Beck and there’s everyone else? While it’s true that Jeff Beck is an influential pioneer and virtuoso in a class of his own, he isn’t the only such virtuoso on earth.
Eric Johnson’s unmatched guitar skills blow the mind in a way that moe can’t. And his band is every kind of elite. Even after Yui and company get good, they won’t be this good. Hell, Krauser isn’t this good. Even Yuki Nagato isn’t this good, and she’s already cheating.