Music Diary


The Studebaker SB-450 Vinyl Record Cleaning System

I really like vinyl records. And I mean like, a lot. Most of my extra spending money goes to adding to my collection. I’m not typically a very organized person, but I have several spreadsheets cataloging my records, all sorted in different arrangements. I run a vinyl blog where I review every record I have in order. The only thing keeping me from starting a video review blog is all the headaches I expect from getting flagged on YouTube over copyright issues. But for all the talk of vinyl’s superiority as a medium, it has one weakness: dust.



The Zoom MS-70CDR: A Wealth of Effects in a Tiny Package

As far as guitar players go, I’m a bit of a gearhead. My live rig is loaded with stompboxes wired in a labyrinthine tangle of cables and effects loops. When my band plays live, it’s not unusual for a gaggle of audience members to crowd around my pedalboard after our set and ask about my setup.



The Strangest Turntables Ever Made

A turntable is a simple machine. All it really needs is a platter to hold the record, a stylus to pass through the grooves, and some method of amplifying the vibration from the stylus. While most record players keep it pretty simple, a few have stretched the machine to new limits.


Vinyl Care Mistakes You Might Be Making

Vinyl is back. For years, hipsters have ironically foretold the format’s return, but the numbers finally support it. 2017 marked the highest year for vinyl sales since 1991, and it shows no signs of slowing down. But vinyl is a delicate medium. And with so many new people hopping on the vinyl train, many people are inadvertently damaging their records.







The Yamaha DTX400K Electronic Drum Set Really Rocks!

We have many musical instruments at our house, but we have always lacked a drum set. My youngest son has begged to learn how to play, so when I had the chance to review the Yamaha DTX400K electronic drum set (MSRP $799), we jumped all over it. I was not sure what to expect, but this thing has blown us away. 







Levin-Minnemann-Rudess Announce New Album Coming July 15th, Available for Pre-Order Now!

Back in 2013 the power trio of Tony Levin, Marco Minnemann, & Jordan Rudess released a self-titled album that was a joyous romp for shred-loving musicians, but went much further and deeper. Now they are back with a new album called “From the Law Offices of LEVIN MINNEMANN RUDESS”, due out on July 15th and available for pre-order! In my review I described their first album as: “a powerhouse onslaught of uncompromising instrumental joy. Throughout the album there are tastes of prog rock from the 70s, 80s, and 90s as well as fusion, metal and pretty much every other hard-driving…



Follow-Up Recording from Thumbscrew Arrives May 20th!

Two years ago guitarist Mary Halvorson stepped back from her ever-expanding group projects and released an album called Thumbscrew with what I called a ‘trio of equals’. Now the group is back and ready to release their next album in a few weeks, called Convallaria. And from the preview track, it sounds great.