12 avril 2022

Going backwards, by Depeche Mode

This song is sadly relevant : war in Ukraine, and far-right rising in Europe, specially in France


We are not there yet
We have not evolved
We have no respect
We have lost control
We're going backwards
Ignoring the realities
Going backwards
Are you counting all the casualties?

We are not there yet
Where we need to be
We are still in debt
To our insanities
We're going backwards
Turning back our history
Going backwards
Piling on the misery

We can track it all with satellites
See it all in plain sight
Watch men die in real time
But we have nothing inside
We feel nothing inside

We are not there yet
We have lost our soul
The course has been set
We're digging our own hole
We're going backwards
Armed with new technology
Going backwards
To a caveman mentality

We can emulate on consoles
Killings we can control
With senses that have been dulled
Because there's nothing inside
We feel nothing inside

We feel nothing inside
(We feel nothing, nothing inside)
We feel nothing inside
(We feel nothing, nothing inside)
We feel nothing inside
(We feel nothing, nothing inside)
We feel nothing inside
(We feel nothing, nothing inside)
We feel nothing inside
(We feel nothing, nothing inside)
Because there's nothing inside
Because there's nothing inside

Lady Blue with a Seymour Duncan Hot Rails and a kill switch


Close up of the recent modifications

Lady Blue is my main guitar. A 1992 stratocaster (a former Hohner ST-59) which has been deeply, deeply modified over the years. I already posted some of the schematics of the strange pickups routing, inspired by the Brian May's Red Special. At that time, pickups were wired in series. I recently put them back in parallel.

True story : this the very first guitar that I have ever owned. It is a gift from my father. We went in a guitar shop of Orleans (were I was born), and he bought me this guitar on Friday, September 18th, 1992.

Since, here is the list of what has been replaced of added:

  • Shaller locking tuners
  • Birdseye maple neck with ebony fingerboard
  • TUSQ graphite nut
  • Frets in stainless steel
  • Wilkinson floating VS100C bridge (discontinued) which locks as a fixed bridge when the whammy bar is pointing down
  • Master tone for the 3 pickups
  • EMG SPC adapted for passive pickups (the black knob) giving uo to +6dB boost in the mid frequencies (9V battery needed, placed between springs in the back). See schematics below.
  • 3 ON-OFF-ON switches allowing all pickups combination + phase inversion. Pickups are now wired in parallel and no longer in series
  • A Kinman Woodstock Regular Set
  • A kill switch (the same used on my Punkaster)
  • A treble bleed on the 500k volume control (a 1nF capacitor in parallel). It provides some vintage sounds when rolling down the volume, less bassy, more crispy.
TODAY, I soldered a Seymour Duncan Hot Rails SHR1-B at the bridge position. Its dedicated switch provides: Split(one coil)/OFF/Humbucker instead of ON in phase/OFF/ON out of phase as for the other pickups.

Schematics provided by EMG that is compatible with passive pickups

Here is the new version of the complete wiring diagram of Lady Blue. Note the Creative Commons logo. You can use and share it as you like as long as you mention that I did it. But don't use it for commercial purposes.

Lady Blue wiring diagram

11 avril 2022

Just Kids, by Patti Smith - an essential journey


Note : this article is the English translation of this one.

I have just finished reading Just Kids by Patti Smith. It recounts her early life, including her decisive and life-saving meeting with Robert Mapplethorpe. This two birds loved and admired each other, broke up yet never stopped loving each other, and they drew a lot from their relationship for their respective art. Their paths will ultimately be radically different, but their souls will be forever bound.

Patti Smith takes us on a journey of initiation, with the help of dense, rich prose that wanders with pleasure into poetry at times. This journey through time allows us to meet a whole gallery of colourful characters, some of whom are quite famous, such as William Burroughs, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Sam Shepard, Tom Verlaine... 

But one of the central characters is New York, the teeming city of the 60's and 70's, where drugs are particularly devastating, where art is of an unprecedented freedom, and, at the very heart of this incredible life, the Chelsea Hotel.

As a fan of the 70's and more specifically of the music that was produced during this period, Just Kids really touched me. I don't know if I would have wanted to live in that era. I simply thank Patti Smith for taking us on a journey with her undeniable talent as a storyteller.

6 avril 2022

Nothing Lasts, Nothing's Lost, de Jakub Zytecki

Je partage ici cet album que j'ai découvert il y a quelques années et pour lequel j'ai écrit une chronique pour le webzine Clair & Obscur.

C'est une merveille de virtuosité guitaristique au service de la musicalité. C'est un plaisir de le réécouter !

Jakub Zytecki a une technique de l'autre monde et dont je suis totalement admiratif.

5 avril 2022

A-HA - The Sun Always Shines On TV (MTV Unplugged)

Une version merveilleuse de ma chanson préférée de A-HA

A-HA - The Sun Always Shines On TV (MTV Unplugged) ft. Ingrid Helene Håvik

4 avril 2022

Vieux souvenirs...


Etiquette retrouvée à l'arrière d'un pédalier que je n'utilise plus depuis des années...

Elle évoque les souvenirs de l'époque JeF

Les musiques sont à écouter ici : www.lemondedejef.com

30 mars 2022

Just kids, de Parti Smith : un voyage essentiel

Je viens d'achever la lecture de Just Kids, de Patti Smith. Elle retrace ses débuts, avec notamment sa rencontre déterminante et salvatrice avec Robert Mapplethorpe. Eux deux vont s'aimer, s'admirer, se séparer sans jamais cesser de s'aimer, et puiseront beaucoup dans leur relation pour leur art respectif. Leurs chemins au final seront radicalement différents, mais leurs âmes comme à jamais liées.

Patti Smith nous emmène dans un voyage initiatique, à l'aide d'une prose dense, riche et s'égarant avec plaisir dans la poésie par moments. Ce voyage dans le temps nous permet de croiser toute une galerie de personnages très hauts en couleurs, dont certains assez illustres comme William Burroughs, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Sam Shepard, Tom Verlaine... 

Mais l'un des personnages centraux est bien New York, la ville foisonnante et grouillante des années 60-70, où la drogue fait surtout des ravages, où l'art est d'une liberté inouïe, et, au coeur de cette vie incroyable, le Chelsea Hotel.

Vous l'aurez compris, en fan des années 70 et en particulier de la musique qui a été produite à cette époque, Just Kids m'a beaucoup touché. Je ne sais pas si j'aurais voulu vivre à cette époque. Je remercie simplement Patti Smith de nous faire voyager avec elle par son talent indéniable de conteuse.