JULY 23, 2022
Rainy day vibes in Melbourne today, which is perfect for the day inside my apartment that I have planned. The cooler months are my favourite because it’s a great time of the year to stay cosy indoors and be productive. There’s a lot of stuff on my ‘to do’ list, including firing up the soldering iron to install some guitar pickups and change the battery in a Yamaha DX7IIFD that I bought off Marketplace some months ago. The synth also needs tactile switches replaced, but that can wait.
Other jobs include testing some effects pedals and other random pieces of gear to list on eBay. Plus there’s a ton of guitar pickups that need to be listed also. Then of course there’s generally house work and hopefully some time opening up Logic to work on some music.
I’ve had to dedicate much of the past month to processing two pallets of stock from Japan, which was mostly entry-mid level electric guitars and basses from brands like Aria Pro II, Epiphone, Fernandes, Greco, Tokai, etc. There were also a few weird ones in there, like a ‘Gibbon’ SG that’s actually pretty cool, a modded Greco Strat and some home-made style basses. I’ll post some photos so you can check them out.
Long days have been spent cleaning things up, testing them and working out the best way to approach the sale of them. Some of these guitars have had pickup upgrades at some point. I extracted a bunch of vintage and modern DiMarzios, Gibson Burstbucker #2, JBE Gatton T-styles, Bill Lawrence L-250/L-500, Seymour Duncans, etc. which will be sold separately. Others have other some nice hardware upgrades and it’s better to part them out than sell these things as complete instruments. Everyone has different taste and customising guitars is very personal.
It’s quite often that something will catch my eye/attention, and this time it was an Aria Pro II Wildcat that I’ve decided to work on. It’s a Matsumoku, Made In Japan guitar and I’m going to put some nice pickups in it and see how it plays. If it’s to my taste, I’ll keep it.
A Casio CZ-1000 arrived in a DHL delivery recently which was tidied up and is now up for auction. Like many of the items that are sent to me, this one had some issues but it’s still working and sounds very good. It hard to not get attached to these things, but I have to make a living so it goes under the hammer.
The keyboard assembly is corroded in places because it’s had dust in it. I’ve seen this before. Dust traps moisture and it rusts the frame of the keyboard. Sometimes the steel case cover on the bottom. I do have steel wool and rust converter paint to attempt to fix it, but it’s a bigger job than I have time for. Apparently Japan has a very humid Summer and it seems that these weather conditions can give instruments a hard time if they aren’t stored correctly, or in this case, have dust accumulated inside from years of living on planet Earth.
After seeing this type of damage often, it feels like my duty to take a peek inside most electronic devices to see what’s happening inside. I don’t like the idea of selling something without being transparent about it’s condition. I also learn a lot from opening stuff. Lately I’ll also take things apart partially to clean them up properly. It takes a little extra time and effort but it makes a big difference and it’s actually easier and faster to clean a face-plate, a guitar headstock or body, etc.
I’m always learning new things with this business. Whilst it can sometimes be taxing to have to research various products and source replacement parts, I do find it to be rewarding despite the headache of Google searches and detective work. I get to play with some cool pieces of gear and learn how they work. Three of my favourite discoveries include the Korg DS-8, Yamaha SY-77 and the Roland S-50 sampling keyboard.
Time in front of Logic Pro has been scarce, but I keep making quick demos and developing tunes when I can. I will post some on the Ved Sengen SoundCloud when they are worth listening to.
I’m keen to write lyrics again lately and enjoying recording vocals to make the work more personal. There’s years worth of life experience to draw from. Listening to a lot of UK grime and some emo Rap has been inspirational. I posted a list of artists that are influencing me to learn how to rap and encouraging me to sing again.
GENERAL LIFE STUFF
I am really busy with work and trying to squeeze in time for making tunes when I can. Otherwise I’m usually fairly exhausted and taking a break to watch TV and relax a bit. Then there’s my apartment to keep tidy, meals to prepare and all the regular adult obligations. You know the deal.
I’ve been single since the middle of 2017 and have slowly settled into that. It took some time for me to grieve some hopes and visions I’d had for an alternate future, but time has it’s way of sorting things out. There’s an up-side to how my life is and I’m grateful for the opportunities that I have. The only thing I really wish for is more free time to work on music, but that will come.
Now as a 50 year old, I don’t really have any interest in going out to gigs or clubs. I think I squeezed every last drop of youth I had when I was living in Copenhagen. The last hurrah as it were. Smoking hash with my mates in the studio, running sound-system parties and going to KEA to study alongside people half my age.
Coming back to Melbourne, I quit smoking, gave up booze and stopped being a part of the live music scene about four years ago. Playing DJ gigs to a handful of people was not a very rewarding experience and often sitting around in half-empty venues was disheartening. I do remember one night out at Sub Club enjoying the vibe there, but waiting at the tram stop at 5am to go home afterwards, I had this feeling that my days of clubbing were drawing to a close.
I haven’t had a girlfriend at all since returning to Australia. I did sign up to some dating apps but didn’t like that experience. It’s probably better suited to people in their 20s and 30s. I think once people hit a certain age they get set in their attitudes, they are fussy about what they want and they are less easy on the eye. It’s hardly a recipe for attraction.
I am happy to do my own thing and keep busy with my never ending list of projects. Maybe that’s just how modern existence is for someone like me. Whatever that is. I am fairly introverted anyway.
Cooking is something I’ve really gotten into and have learned to make a lot of Indian cuisine which suits my mostly vegetarian diet. I also learned to make some of my favourite Thai dishes and a few Italian ones. I really like cooking shows, especially the travel type ones where you learn about the history of the area and the story behind the cuisine.
History is also something I’ve delved into, watching a lot of videos on ancient history through to the modern world, war and music history too. Electronics, music gear and music theory are also topics I’ve explored via YouTube. I’m also into cinema and have watched many films from around the globe in the past years. So many that I sometimes struggle to find new things to watch.
Well, the day is getting on now so I should bid you farewell. I thought it would be appropriate to update this front page with some news since it’s been two months since the last time I was here. Please take a moment to check out my new eBay Store which I upgraded to recently. It’s still a work in progress. I’ve started to run more weekly auctions with all items starting at AUD$1.
Until next time,
NOTABLE VIEWING FROM RECENT TIMES:
• Dr. Gary Linkov: City Facial Plastics (YouTube)
• Mortal Faces (YouTube)
• The Behaviour Panel (YouTube)
• The History Squad (YouTube)
• Love Island UK (Channel 9)
• Runkle Of The Bailey (YouTube)