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Nov 27, 2013 Listen to all 2 tracks:
Minor Alps, "I Don't Know What To Do With My Hands"
Minor Alps, "Maxon"
When Matthew Caws visited The Current's studio with The Minor Alps, we asked him about his guitar. Here's what he had to say.
What kind of guitar is this?
It's a Gibson J-200, which I guess is the Gibson Jumbo, and I got it in 1996 at Chelsea Guitars on 23rd Street in New York City.
I was able to afford it because the neck had already been broken, which is common on a lot of Gibsons because of the tilt of the headstock they're kind of fragile. So it was half of what it should have cost, and if it had been full price, it would have been way out of my range. Gibsons that have been broken and repaired are a great bargain.
I've played it ever since. It's been dropped a few times; it's been repaired a lot. I like that it's got a really big, warm sound.
What else can you say about its sound?
Being the only guitar player in Nada Surf for a long time now we also have Doug Gillard from Guided by Voices and many other bands playing with us but if we were starting out now as a quartet, I might not be as focused on "fatness," but I had been. That's why I also play Les Pauls live because they have such a deep tone. And this guitar by extension is kind of the Les Paul of acoustic guitars because it's got a really deep, fat sound. It's not, apparently, the best for finger-picking because the midrange is a little soft, but the super bottoms are great.
Pete Townshend would play one, so it's very good for rhythm guitar. And Elvis Presley would play one I don't know why! (laughs)
Do you write on this ?
I do, I do, absolutely. Pretty much all the time.
Did it inform The Minor Alps' album?
Yeah! Because it's forever been my "sit-around-the-house-and-play" guitar. It's got an encouraging tone.
That's a funny thing: If you pick up a guitar in a store and it feels like you're about to write a song on it, that's always a good moment to try and buy it.
Is that how you felt about it when you first tried it in Chelsea Guitars?
Yes, I did, absolutely. It sounded warm and very encouraging.
- Minor Alps perform live in The Current's studios Shortly after landing at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, Minor Alps Juliana Hatfield and Matthew Caws stopped in to The Current's studio to chat with host Mark Wheat and to play some songs off their album, Get There.
- Theft of the Dial: Nada Surf Nada Surf has performed in The Current studio several times, but the alt-rock band brought their record collections instead of their instruments as they hijack the airwaves to share their hand-picked playlist.
- Album Review: Nada Surf - The Stars Are Indifferent to Astronomy When I think of Nada Surf, I can't help but think of the word "earnest." not only in terms of their heartfelt lyrics, but their striving. This is a band that will always try. If this band were a student, they'd be that moderately-bright kid who consistently delivers B-grade essays, but just isn't cut out for AP.
- Nada Surf Perform in The Current Studios Nada Surf has visited the Current many times in their 20-year career. They have a new album out, "The Stars are Indifferent to Astronomy," that has them taking stock of the past and looking towards the future.
- Nada Surf perform in The Current studios "High/Low" was a major breakthrough for Nada Surf, mainly because of their infectious hit song "Popular." After their initial breakthrough the band toured in both the USA and most of Europe continuing to expand their fan base.
- Nada Surf perform in studio Frontman Matthew Caws of Nada Surf joined Danny Sigelmann in the Current studios to perform acoustic versions from the New York trio's latest album.
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