Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Political Way

The Political Way
By Keith Birmingham

Well, a woman talked me
On a cold, cold winter day
Of how a man with this big smile
Would wipe her cares away.

She said he had a major plan
Of how great her life should be
And, he was gonna take a stand
He was gonna set her free.

He said I’ll mail a monthly check
For you to buy the things you need.
You don’t need to do a thing.
Just be sure to vote for me.

This man was chosen by the mass.
And, he went of to D.C.
He said he’d never let them down.
Said he'd take care of you and me.

Now time has come, and time has gone,
And, life is tougher than before,
But, he just smiles and makes believe
The wolves ain’t howling at our door.

But, that same woman said to me,
On one cold, cold winter day,
That if he ever showed his face,
There was something she would say.

She’d say, “Sir you lied to me,
And, I don’t trust you anymore.
You are not the man I need,
You’re a money grubbing whore.”

I saw that man the other day.
He was standing on her lawn,
Telling her to keep the faith,
It’s always dark before the dawn.

She wrote and handed him a check
He smiled and walked away,
She turned and smiled and said to me,
"That bank of mine will never pay."

Thursday, July 5, 2012

A Busker's Roland Amp


 Top photo: Roland Micro Cube amp + Fender CD-140 guitar.
Bottom photo: Roland Micro Cube amp.
Busking as a musician takes some special tools of your trade. I hope to soon try my hand as a singer/guitar player. I still need to purchase a microphone, but first I have to figure out which one to buy. Yesterday I purchased the amplifier you see here. Yep, it is a tiny amp, but I need something light-weight and easy to carry, but big enough to play for the small crowds that I hope to attract.

The Roland Micro Cube puts out a whopping 2 watts of power from a 5” speaker.  It has AC power, or battery power supplied by six AA batteries.  I purchased the amp at Guitar Center in Oklahoma City. I was not confident that this was the amp that I need, but they let me have a 30 day try-out period.

The amp comes equipped  with a digital “Tuning Fork” with 3 normal tuning key options, and can be used for heavy bottom tunings. Well, ok, I have no idea what they are talking about there, but I am used to tuning my guitar with a digital eNote tuner. The Micro Cube offers six different COSM amp types: Acoustic/JC Clean/Black Panel/Brit Combo/Classic Stack/R-Fier Stack. And, of course, I am too new at this stuff to know what the heck I have just written. But, after about an hour of turning knobs to try different sounds I started getting sounds that I like. So far I have not learned to adjust the acoustic setting to get the acoustic sound I want, but JC Clean, Black Panel and Brit Combo gave me some good sounds for the kind of music I play. And, I have another 29 days to figure this little power pack out. Although I do not know what this will sound like when I have both a guitar and microphone plugged in I have reasoned that if it don’t sound that good I will simply buy another one, possibly a small Vox or Fender amp. I plan to mount them on one of those 2 wheel grocery carts ( I have no idea what they are called.) made something like a suitcase with wheels.

And, it’s packed with more goodies: It accepts a microphone, and 4 types of EFX including chorus, flanger, phaser and tremolo, and a separate “Delay and Reverb” effect in addition to the EFX. Also included is a REC OUT jack for recording and for use as a headphone out. The Micro Cube also offers ¼” jacks and a mini-jack for external input. And, there is a strap for easy and greater portability.

I have spent today running personal errands and buying rechargeable batteries and a battery charger. That made my wallet bite me, but it will pay off in the end. I was tired of shelling out Pepsi money on  AA and 9 Volt batteries.

Although I have only used the amp for less than two hours I think I will like it, and I will probably buy another one, a Vox, Fender or Marchall (if they make one) as soon as possible. However, I do have another 29 days to make up my mind.

Total cost: Roland Micro Cube amp = less than $109.00.
                  Batteries and charger = less than $100.00