down the road we went together.

you thought the random toronto video i made was random? well, you were right. but this is even more random.

i missed some of the more exciting moments, and didn’t end up getting any footage at all at folkway, mostly because of the bag of douche who kept wailing on an electric guitar in a very loud and masturbatory fashion until shortly before we left to grab a bite to eat. he must have gone on for something like 45 minutes, pretty much nonstop. no one else in the store could hear anything they tried to play. at all. talk about having no respect for other customers who are actually there to buy something (this guy didn’t leave with a guitar, or an amp, or anything that i could see). there were a few moments where travis and i looked at one another while holding guitars we couldn’t hope to get any impression of no matter how fervently we plucked or strummed, and we both had facial expressions that said, “are you frakkin’ kidding me?” we don’t need to speak, you see, because we employ that mind-speakin’ thing. luckily we had just enough in the way of moments of peace to get a bit of playing in and make a few informed decisions. mark nobly told the bag of douche to quiet it down for the people who drove all the way from windsor (he was back at it again a few minutes later, but the talking-to eventually paid off), and it’s always good to see him and rich and the rest of the folkway gang.

all in all, though the video is as random as it gets (and most of the cheesy fade effects i implemented don’t seem to have taken, while the clip of everyone’s food looks all distorted like it’s on drugs…what’s the deal with that?), it was a fun day. normally it’s just me and johnny smith, but this time travis came along and we met up with my partner in smoo once we hit guelph. it was kind of an adventure. travis and i both ended up leaving with new guitars, which was kind of inevitable. we were both on the fence, until we fell off. believe me, i know the last thing i need any more of at this point is guitars. but sometimes an instrument just speaks to you. and it says, “whoa. i’m wooden. buy me.”

we’ll disregard the fact that keanu reeves often says the same thing.

i was able to justify grabbing this guitar because (a) i wanted a guitar i could dedicate to open c and/or standard tuning (every guitar that once lived in standard tuning over here has drifted elsewhere, and i’m not sure which guitars of mine would work well in open c), (b) it’s a 1932 washburn 5200, slightly cheaper than the last one of its kind i saw at folkway, which i liked a lot and probably would have bought if it had been a few hundred dollars less, (c) it looks quite a bit like the guitar nick drake is sometimes seen holding in pictures, and (d) dirty marshmallow. you wouldn’t believe it based on their modern output, but once upon a time washburn actually made some really nice guitars, particularly during the lyon & healy and tonk bros. eras. a nice side effect of washburn’s current output being complete crap (relatively speaking) is that most people don’t know that they ever made any acoustic guitars that can be considered anything other than “beginner instruments”, and you can grab a vintage washburn that’s comparable to gibson or martin guitars from the period in terms of tone and feel, but for much less money…at least until people catch on and realize that the vintage washburns are a world away from the laminated shitboxes made in factories these days, and the prices rise accordingly.

this guitar sounds ridiculously good in open c tuning. what’s kind of funny is that travis might have considered buying this guitar, if not for the fact that it’s a 12-fretter, making some of the higher frets difficult to access. and i might have considered buying the 1956 national 1150 that travis ended up getting, if it didn’t look so much like the old kay acoustic i already have (the tone and feel are completely different in spite of the similar-looking-but-slightly-smaller kay-built body) and if i didn’t already have my eye on that washburn. maybe it was fate. they’re both really nice axes, and i think we both would have been pretty happy with either one of them, but we went there with certain feelings in our guts, soulful stomach growling ensued, and we both emerged victorious. i’ll post some video of that washburn as soon as i get around to filming something that looks decent enough to put up here. i’m going to tell myself that i’m officially done buying acoustic guitars for now…i think i’ve got all my bases and tunings pretty much covered. we’ll see how that goes, though.

this is the guitar travis got:

and this is the guitar i got:

thanks to travis and meryl for being a part of the adventure, johnny smith for driving and coughing with the conviction of a young denzel washington, rich and mark at folkway, the makers of food at with the grain, the random guy who tried to prove to us how large his penis was through needlessly loud and flashy electric guitar-playing, and elliott for tagging along as always.

3 comments

  1. I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who takes videos of people during trips like this, complete with descriptions of what I’m filming as it’s being filmed, though lately I’ve turned to voice memos during trips…which confuses people even more!

    that food looks DELICIOUS

  2. dirty marshmallow! i’m glad you and travis were able to be bad influences on each other and buy smooful guitars. also, i’m at work and can’t get audio, but from what i can tell of that video, my camera skills need work (as fascinating as the backs of the people sitting at the other table of the cafe were) and car rides look fun filmed upside down. among other things. WTG.

  3. the food was quite spiffy indeed, even with my fx making it look like it was on drugs. i’m still not sure how they were able to write their initials in meryl’s soup. and your camera skills are fine…everyone knows the most interesting elements in a shot aren’t the people who are talking, but rather the backsides of people sitting somewhere else. that’s right! i said backsides!

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