Sunday, October 05, 2008

I bought Eva an antique desk in back in 1999. I bought it from a Christmas sale at the Spiller furniture building in downtown Tuscaloosa. Im not sure if it was truly an Art Deco peice, but I do know that i have heard people refer to that style of funiture using the term Art Deco. I would guess it was made in the 50s, but I dont know for certain.

Regardless, its too late for me to show you a photo of this desk because I already deconstructed it and turned it into a speaker cabinet, but this photo to the left is very similar to the layout of desk that i am refering to.

The desk ended up in getting moved out to my shop about a year ago. I built Eva and I a dresser/entertainment center for our room and we really didnt need the drawer space anymore. I had the idea to convert the desk into a speaker cabinet one day when i happened to look at it and notice that the joints were coming apart. That made it easy to take apart and reassemble in an afternoon.

The piece, when it was still a desk, had a drawer bank on the left and the right side, and the center section was a sitting area with a drawer above the knee space. A mirror was mounted on rails that locked into the back of the desk. I think this would actually be called a woman's vanity desk that would serve as a place for her to sit and fix her hair and make up.

What you are seeing in these photos is a speaker cabinet that i made using only the parts from the left drawer bank, which leaves me the right side of this desk left to make a matching cabinet to this one. Also, Im thinking that the knee drawer will work perfect as a housing for a guitar chassis. For instance an old silvertone guitar head would look great inside this wooden housing.

Both far ends of this desk were finished and the inside ends were joined into the knee drawer. This means that each inside panel had a dado as well as nail holes in it. I filled all the craters with bondo and laminated the whole thing with some dark gray laminate that I had in the back of the shop. Its not nearly as heavy as it looks.

It doesnt look brand new by any stretch. It looks like an old piece of furniture that has been well used. I reinforced the carcase and it is solid. No rattles even at high volumes and distortion.

I bought a marshal mini amp extension speaker and moved the speaker into the piece of furniture. The grill cloth was the most time consuming part because i couldnt find a fabric that looked right on the cabinet. Eva bought me several different yards of fabric, but what i ended up using was this old JC pennies shirt that i bought at thrift store. I wore it when i was younger.

John has been playing a small peavey combo with a speaker out jack. I plan on making him plug into this next time we are together for Dexateens shows. I imagine that this cabinet will give him a bassier tone due to the fact that the cabinet is very deep.

I’m sure that a boutique amp guy would turn their nose way up over these cabinets that I have put together. They don’t sound bad to me. They work. They are interesting.

The truth is that I have not made enough of these cabinets to discover the science of how to manipulate and determine how the cabinets will sound. I am learning as i go. Having said that, we all know that an amp or speaker only sounds as good as the guitar player that is using it.

This cabinet above is what Patton has been using for his bass speaker.

I found this cabinet at a thrift store for 8 bucks. I think it is a radio extension speaker but I am not sure. The speaker was 130 with tax and wiring installation. Patton has been playing his Ampeg head through it and it sounds cool to me. Seems like Patton said that it seemed a little too deep, so we are going to try porting the cabinet. There is a science to a bass cabinet that might not be an exact science, but is certainly important. As I already said, I am learning as I go.

I am installing track lighting behind the lip above the grill for added effect.

You cant say that these things arent interesting and you cant say that they dont work. Come see us play and hear them with your own damn ears. Shows posted at the dexateens myspace.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

The Dexateens are about to release our 4rth full length record. The title is “Lost and Found”. The initial release will be FREE as a download for a few months and then later in the year, we will release the CD and vinyl.

We are having postcards made that have a condensed version of the liner notes as well as the announcement and location of the download site. We plan on giving these out at shows and using these cards as a promotional tool. The art work for the postcard, download screen, and upcoming CD and vinyl packaging is all based off of this piece below.

The cross eyes painting was done by our friend Mike Egan. I found out about him through Myspace and was completely blown away by his work. I asked him to please be apart of this and he provided stellar images four our project. I cant say enough about his no bull shit approach and the timely manner that he provided these images.

When we were in England this year, John and I went into the London National Gallery. They had an entire wing of altar pieces. I barely remember any of the specifics of this stuff from my time in art history classes at the University of Alabama. John however, majored in art history and has been the chair of the art history department at Antioch College in Ohio for a few years now. That’s right; he does not work a bar or wait tables in a restaurant as he bides his time waiting for his big “break” as a career musician.

This is one example of the altar pieces that we saw that day. This one was painted by Duccio in the 1300s.

These altar pieces were painted on panels by an artist and then a craftsman that was commissioned by the church would provide the frame work to contain the panels. The framework usually gold leafed, served as a key part of the presentation of these altar pieces. These panels were left in churches above or near the altars to serve as inspiration or encouragement for prayer.

When Mike Egan and I talked about this art work, I asked him to provide the letters below. The original plan was to drop these letters on top of the head painting, but when the panel arrived, I felt like it was a work of art almost as much as the “cross eyes” painting. Both panels are painted on what appears to be quarter inch luan plywood and are covered in shellac.

I started toying around with the idea of how to prepare a place for the layout artist to place the text. That’s when I had the idea to prepare a framework that could hold both panels and present them as a pair that belonged together. The altar pieces we saw that day in London made me think it might be nice to present these panels in similar diptych fashion. In addition to that there is a song on “lost and found” called altar blues.

I did all of this without clearing any of it with Mike Egan. I hope he doesn’t feel like I have done his art an injustice. Most folks realize soon after they get involved with the Dexateens on a project that the project usually tends to change shape and morph as time goes on. This is a good thing. This is a bad thing. But that is the way we do whatever it is we do.

The cross section with the folding rule was designed as a place to drop the track listing and the player credits. The exterior wooden bands were put in place for the letters of the band name and the album title.

The folding ruler is made by Stanley and has been a main stay in most carpenters’ tool belts for a long time. It is excellent for getting accurate inside measurements as opposed to using a tape measure. The guitar strap was something that I remember seeing on the rare occasion that my dad would get his guitar out of the case as a child.

The background behind the cross is made out of strips of heart pine. Below is a photo of a legendary snake handling minister. Notice the paneling behind him on the walls.

A few years ago, I read a book called “Salvation on Sand Mountian”. Many of the photos in this book had the front paneling of this church in the background and for some reason the angled tongue and groove paneling stuck with me. It seemed appropriate for this project although rattlers and rednecks did not.

Please go and download our new record. It is free. It will not be free forever. It is very different for us.

Here is where you can dowload it.

new south, new values