I was thumbing through the Summer 2006 issue of The FretBoard Journal
(Number 2), a gorgeous magazine for stringed instrument players, collectors, and builders, and came across this short piece about "tone balls." These are the "nebulous balls formed from the bits of lint, dust, hair and insect husks that fall into the soundholes of guitars and mandolins."
Steve Olson, who repairs guitars at Elderly Instruments in Michigan has been collecting tone balls for years and has "catalogued dozens of examples by make, model and year of the host instrument." He says his favorite tone balls are the "densely compressed, perfect spheres formed by rolling around under the cone of old National guitars (top left)."
The Fretboard Journal Number 2 is sold out at the publisher's website, but is available at Elderly Instruments' website for $9.95 (the same issue contains an article I wrote about a ukuele strumming robot used to break in newly-made ukuleles).
Pussy Riot’s video for “Straight Outta Vagina” frames the poppy, danceable song with visuals calculated to enrage the Kremlin, with LA’s Ace Hotel standing in for church where various genderbent dancers receive communion while singing the praises of vaginas. Given that the last iteration of this theme landed the musicians in a hard labor gulag […]
Pete Burns, fabulous freak singer of 1980s dance-pop group Dead or Alive, died yesterday of cardiac arrest. He was 57. From The Guardian: Burns rose to fame in the 1980s with the band’s hit so ng You Spin Me Round (Like a Record). He also appeared on Celebrity Big Brother in 2006, coming fifth in […]
Are you jonesing for a dose of optimism and possibility? In the mood to contemplate the cosmos? Want to experience a musical message for extraterrestrials the way it was meant to be played? The Voyager Golden Record: 40th Anniversary Edition, a project I launched with Timothy Daly and Lawrence Azerrad, is a lavish vinyl box […]
I’ve never really felt the need to purchase a smartwatch because a lot of them aren’t very functional, but at just shy of $30, the Martian Notifier Smartwatch was worth checking out. For that low of a price, it actually does feature an impressive amount of functionality, and comes in handy when you don’t want to be carrying around your […]
Geek Fuel is a subscription delivery service that caters to those of us that love comics, gaming, and general geek culture. Every month, Geek Fuel will assemble a box of goodies with a value of $50 or over. The specific items are a mystery, but you’ll always get an exclusive t-shirt not found anywhere else, a full […]
If you like to DIY and you like helicopters, you’re going to really love the Flexbot Hexacopter Kit. This copter blows traditional models out of the water: it includes everything you need to actually build your own hexacopter, and then pilot it like a pro, too.The construction is complicated enough to give you a challenge, […]