Today's Five Cool Things starts with a wild piano Frankenstein.
THING ONE: When the Ukrainian band Brunettes Shoot Blondes came across a vintage broken piano, they decided to transform it into a unique and completely analog hybrid of 20 different instruments that are each connected and controlled by the piano keys. The band prominently featured this wonderful instrument in the music video for their song “Houston”.
THING TWO: The Pianoette - Jeckyl & Hyde's piano! This strange beast is part of my ever growing collection of fretless zithers, instruments that were sold door-to-door by shifty salesmen in the first half of the 20th Century. This instrument features strummed chord strings and a piano area that is actually a takeoff of a bowed psaltry. I hope to be writing much more about these things in the future.
THING THREE: Homemade acoustic guitar - here's a different angle photo of one of the antique homemade guitars from my book Making Poor Man's Guitars. The entire body was cut to shape from slabs of wood. It's only been fretted to the 6th fret.
THING FOUR: Dennis Brooker's unfinished metal lap steel. Instrument inventor and visionary, Dennis Brooker sent me this unfinished project several months back. It's a trapezoid body that was to eventually turn into a resonating lap steel guitar. Unfortunately, he never completed it due to health concerns. I have yet to come up with a plan of completion. Ideas welcomed!
THING FIVE: Snake Oil Medicine Bottle Guitar Slides - $10 each or both for $15. As featured at the Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale, MS, these bottles are perfect for conjuring up some deep, sinister blues.