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More awful news of rocker deaths: Tom Petty has died at 66. Here’s a quote from New York Daily News, citing TMZ (who actually have a pretty good track record on such matters:

(Petty) was found unconscious and not breathing in his Malibu home, and was subsequently taken to the UCLA Santa Monica Hospital, where he ‘had no brain activity.’

Take a look at NYDN’s profile.

Right here.

And check out this classic SNL clip as introduced by Howard Hesseman.

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Care to take a look at the Yasuki Strato-whatever or the Ovation Breadwinner? Click away, friends.

Glen Campbell’s health troubles have been well documented and his ultimate passing at 81 was not unexpected, but it stings nevertheless. Here are a couple of thoughts from The New Yorker:

He sang in a clear voice that was particularly well-suited to songs of compromise—anything that betrayed all the strange negotiations we allow in order to move deeper into the lives we want. His dexterity with a guitar—he is an agile, artful picker—never seemed to wane.

Dexterity is definitely one way to put it. Check out this compilation of often blistering, always tasteful solos:

Read more from the Times right here.

No, not tiny aircraft, though … those might make a nice accompantiment too.

“Of all harmonic devices, it [a drone] is not only the simplest, but probably also the most fertile,” says musicologist Peter van der Merwe. I don’t know much about him, but the sentiment goes right along with this clip. Here I’m making it up on the fly against the backdrop of a single C# note. Chord progressions can spark ideas for improvisation: Not only does a series of chords indicate a key, it gives you something to react to. With a drone, it’s all on you.

If you saw our recent Steve Vai post, then you may already be hip to Make Weird Music. But check it out: MWM auteur Anthony Garone himself … makes weird music. Badass weird music with ripping guitar, as a matter of fact. Click below to check out the track “Three Legged Dog” that also features drummer Morgan Ågren, bassist John Landy and fellow guitarist Jan Zehrfeld. (Need more incentive? Mr. Vai himself said, “That track is insane. It certainly stands true to the title of the site.”) (Also, don’t miss the righteous Magma poster behind Morgan Ågren.)

John Abercrombie and Ralph Towner take us on a 13 minute improvised trip.

Will you just check out the sound of these three guys? Oops, sorry―that’s just Ian Ethan Case playing both necks of his Ovation. This is absolutely bewitching stuff.

Learn more about this innovator at his own site.

Right here.

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