Archive for the ‘Tunes’ Category

I love making things and blues music, so when I heard of a cigar box guitar workshop I had to have a go. The workshop was great, I’ve got a cool looking guitar to hang on the wall, but I still have no musical talent!

The workshop was held by the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre, as part of their National Recycling Week activities. What’s it got to do with recycling? All of the timber was recycled from offcuts from a joinery company in the blue mountains. The workshop was taught by Andrew Rignold of Rignold Guitars, a guy who loves blues, guitars, and sustainability so he was a natural fit.

We started off with a work table full of pieces, like a big jigsaw puzzle. Andrew had already pre-assembled the sides of the guitar body from New Guinean Rosewood. Why not an actual cigar box? With our new tobacco laws they aren’t allowed to sell cigars in the boxes anymore, so they’re not brought in. Rather than import empty boxes of air, Andrew made the call to make boxes from timber offcuts. The Rosewood has just the right resonance which makes it perfect for instrument making. They’re pre-made to save time on the day, because watching glue dry is pretty boring.

Andrew takes time to demonstrate the more involved steps when needed, like marking out the frets on the neck.
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After fixing the attachments to the neck and securing the neck, the next step was to glue the front and back on. After gluing, it was clamped up and everyone grabbed some morning tea.guitar (4)

Here is what it looked like straight after clamping. The next step was a bunch of sanding to get the edges neat and smooth.
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The final steps were attaching a cigar box style logo, and then attaching a guitar string. It’s got a great note and looks fantastic.
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While I’d love to include a video of me playing some great blues, I totally lack any musical abilities so here’s a short video of Andrew playing one of his creations.


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Two of my favourite things in the world – blues and burlesque.

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Inappropriate wedding songs

The thing about planning a wedding is that there are so many traditions and ‘rules’. Things you’re supposed to do. Things you’re not supposed to do. For a fairly progressive and modern society, there’s an awful lot of superstition when it comes to weddings. And rules about good taste. Like not playing any of these songs. Some rules are meant to be broken!



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The Snowdroppers

Sydney based band The Snowdroppers have released their new album ‘Moving Out of Eden’, and it’s another cracker. I’ve had their last album ‘Too Late to Pray’ on high rotation in the daily since I got it for the commute, so I was pretty stoked to hear they were releasing a follow up.

This album sees a slight change in vocals from frontman Johnny Wishbone. He’s now got a cleaner and crisper sound, as opposed to the more gravelly vibe he had on the previous album. If anything he comes across sounding more Aussie, with hints of Chris Cheney at times (which we mean as a compliment). The new album also sees some honking great riffs and harmonica solos too. I’ve got to admit it didn’t quite grab me as quick as their first album did, but after a few rotations it’s got me hooked good and proper. Another album that’s going to see more than it’s fair share of airtime in the daily driver!

Here’s a sample of their latest offerings (the first one is adults only if you’re a bit prudish).

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Op shopping anthem

This a great song for all the op shoppers out there. Sure the yanks call ’em thrift shops, but the vibe (and smell) is the same.


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Black Mustang

Black Mustang are a Brissie based rock band with a nice dirty rock kinda vibe. I’ve only just been put onto them, but I’m digging their sound in a big way.

Of course it doesn’t hurt when they pull off a pretty cool noir inspired film clip, and even better it features a drop dead sexy Mustang (black of course) and the equally dangerous Drea. Check it out below, and if you like what you see check out their facebook page for more info.

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You gotta love a weekend that combines some old car perving, great tunes, vintage shopping, cool house scouting and fine food! We just got back from a weekend that combined all that.

I got word form my brother that The Fumes and The Blackwater Fever were touring together, both of whom I’ve been jonesing to check out in person for a few years now. With my partner’s work schedule, the best gig for us was down at Austinmer, so we thought what the hell and decided to have a short weekend away and stay the night.

Venue for the gig was the Heritage Hotel at Bulli. It’s an old school pub who always seem to have a great calendar of quality gigs coming up. Food was honest good quality pub food. The Blackwater Fever were great, the singer’s husky vocals a perfect match for their haunting guitar and primevil drums. The Fumes were awesome, despite only knowing a handful of their songs the two piece completely blew me away. With a battered guitar held together with tape the lead was the perfect frontman with his awesome handlebar mo and truckers cap and powerful voice. The gig definitely left me a massive fan! If you like blues which is covered in dirt and oil, maybe slept a few rough nights on the street, and has an odour of bourbon you’ll love both the Fever and the Fumes, check em both out. A decent gig review would have pics and a set list, but this isn’t one.

The next morning, this was the view that greated us from our doorstep in Austinmer. With a day like this the road was chockas with bikes and cars fresh from an early morning blast through the Royal.

Brekky was a cool little cafe in Austinmer called the Fireworks Cafe. Hidden off the main drag and located in a historic old butcher shop, it still had the vintage tiles bearing the marks of years of service. The menu is seasonal and updated regularly, so they just write it direct on the tile walls! Despite it getting some hit and miss reviews online, we found it great and will definitely look to check it out again.

After brekky we went for a bit of a cruise and spied some cool cars like this Mustang at one of the beaches and this neat lowlight baywindow kombi.

We took the long way home and headed down the coast and back up through the Kangaroo Valley. If you do a little sniffing around there’s a tight and twisty backroad from Berry to the Valley which is great fun. If you’re in Kangaroo Valley I highly suggest you check out The Nostalgia Factory, they’ve got some awesome vintage items and their prices are pretty reasonable. Check out these old car ads and mens mag.

And a couple of classics we also spied around Kangaroo Valley.

And with that we hit the road and made a beeline home. A top little weekend away!

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