Daily Archives: September 13, 2020

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Protones and Electrones: A Playlist for Earthquaker Devices

(Note: this article and playlist originally appeared on the Earthquaker Devices site, Conan Neutron & the Secret Friends proudly use EQD pedals regularly.)

Conan Neutron & the Secret Friends is a rock band featuring Conan Neutron, Tony Ash and Dale Crover of the Melvins, here is a list of guitar sounds/songs (and a few for bass!) that they find particularly evocative, interesting, or noteworthy.

Conan Neutron:

Stooges – TV Eye: https://open.spotify.com/track/5z79Fpw4FEEkSzt8Lbwr46

Lardo – Pedagogue: https://open.spotify.com/track/7BKU46S8nk4utuk0bqf4ad

Wire – Practice Makes Perfect https://open.spotify.com/track/2vYcX70M5Vx8YMohXFwshw

Wipers – Youth of America https://open.spotify.com/track/2Dj59k8Rar55hTbzwCt2bK

Shellac – My Black Ass https://open.spotify.com/track/0teei1yQyDihoiOGYsr9rp

Thin Lizzy – Emerald https://open.spotify.com/track/6oe6yYpgZWPYUwxKzG3HIL

Drive Like Jehu – Luau https://open.spotify.com/track/0rcBONdvQcvSHARoEVbfSO

The Birthday Party – The Friend Catcher https://open.spotify.com/track/0x1VbnNyHrLeWzQZIPVHqK

DEVO – Mongoloid https://open.spotify.com/track/6sx36Cz7YmbzZzzu1MeRfl

Chavez – The Guard Attacks https://open.spotify.com/track/0SHANxbTIia878Z12YRZM0

Tony Ash:

Rye Coalition – Snow Job: https://open.spotify.com/track/1Hu8AK6NnFL2QXUjU182Ra

Hellacopters – No Angel to Lay Me Away https://open.spotify.com/track/59wU0g8lhWShmq9SjJhrYu

Cheap Trick – Big Eyes https://open.spotify.com/track/55y1iWRf5JBZQIbb69Vr7m

Davie Allan and the Arrows – Blues Theme https://open.spotify.com/track/12hAeEyERydkkb1Wow1xdA

Flipper – Learn to Live https://open.spotify.com/track/2sZ1XkTMc72quA60rLLPXV

The Stranglers – (Get A) Grip (On Yourself). https://open.spotify.com/track/2jrmiji7m0zTG6lmtIlSpo

The Birthday Party – Nick the Stripper https://open.spotify.com/track/5cxs0xQJp5W4V8wMFYpCY7

The Stooges – Gimme Danger https://open.spotify.com/track/74CcP6fDBFdH8Xjo2F6Nb4

Jawbox – Motorist https://open.spotify.com/track/1eaKv3H9d9OJ7ffEoTOM6X

AC/DC – What’s Next to the Moon? https://open.spotify.com/track/2wr9GtUc8xPMhTVZTc191u

Conan Neutron:

1. The Stooges – TV Eye 

Ron Asheton. Full stop. One of my very favorite guitar players. One of the best guitar riffs of all time. Marshall, fuzz face pedal. Nothing too crazy. He used a strat for fun house, so I love hearing about how strats are exclusively the terrain of blues lawyers. I love chiming open notes in riffs, that’s me paying homage to Ron Asheton, who was getting it from Mahavishnu Orchestra or whatever!

There is debate amongst rock nerds over whether Funhouse or Raw Power is better. Asheton Or Williamson on guitar. Both rule, we have a foot in either camp between Tony and I. I’m team Funhouse, and I vote. 

2. Lardo – Pedagogue

Bit commander! Brian Pennington makes his guitar sounds like a broken computer and all is right with the world. Put that crazy guitar over the insane rhythm section and concise and sharp song writing and you have a hell of a band I which more people Listened to. There aren’t many bands that have added anything new to this kind of genre, Lardo has done it. Respect.

3. Wire – Practice Makes Perfect

Rocks like hell but doesn’t roll at all. Kraftwerk style robotics melded with staccato and harsh guitars. Pink flag is swell and all, but chairs missing is the one for me. When I started listening to Wire it really broke down what the ideas of what a song could and should be. Colin Newman plays a Roland JC-120 I think. And unless I’m mistaken, at the time was a music man HD-130? One of my favorite amps ever. A thing I love about Wire is that they are not gear purists. They use Pods, they change gear all the time. Best or weirdest sound wins, and they still come up with super cool stuff. There’s a lesson there.

4. Wipers – Youth of America 

Greg Sage recorded the first classic three records on a 1965 Ampeg Gemini, Low Tremolo with heavy reverb. An MXR distortion plus and an Echoplex rounded it out. Especially on this one! Then again, Greg also built his own preamps. So, who knows? The Wipers are a band of mystery.

This is the first song that made me appreciate delay, echo and that punk rock could also be psych. A stellar composition, every song on those first three records is a classic, but this one… wow! It’s a journey. You can do this kind of stuff with an Avalanche Run or a Catalinbread Belle Epoch now. Which is amazing.

5. Shellac – My Black Ass

There’s a whole industry of gear people trying to reproduce Steve’s sound. Boxidizer, karma sutra, that pedal that does what an IVP does. Tons of people get really hung up on the harmonic percolator. It’s cool, but it isn’t a ticket to Albini town. He uses it sparingly. It’s basically a fender Bassman and an Intersound IVP and he plays through larger full range speakers when possible, I believe.

There is also a great video (https://youtu.be/nahPA-RKEfQ