Mutant Beauty Pageant: Enter and “Win!”

It’s time for another contest!

I hereby announce the first Tonefiend Mutant Beauty Pageant.

I know many deadbeats with too much time on their hands musicians, and most of them have a thing for weird gear. I’m talking real freak-show stuff, the items that make anyone who walks into your music room shriek, “What the hell is that thing?”

Here’s the idea: You post your oddities, and the coolest/weirdest item wins. They can be anything music-related: guitars, basses, amps, effects, CDs or vinyl, music industry swag, some crazy DIY project—anything goes! The winner will receive—well, let’s just say something as weird and cool as the stuff being posted.

As always, the rules are simple: Post a photo of your mutant item to the comments using your fave photo-sharing site, or email it to me, and I’ll post it for you. Yes, you may submit more than one item, with the only limit being my patience. Adding audio and/or video is even better. The finalists will be chosen by popular vote—in other words, by you, dear readers. Entires must be received by Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving.

Fine print: In the unlikely event that we receive a ridiculously huge number of contestants, I reserve the right to choose a subset of finalists. The exact voting mechanism is TBD, but will be reasonably democratic. Audio and video aren’t required, though I suspect multimedia submissions will have more impact. And the item must be yours—you can’t just go to a website like this one and swipe an image.

I’ll get the ball rolling with a recently acquired mutant: A 1930s Cathedranola guitar, made by the Slingerland drum company (note the gaudy drum-shell material on the fingerboard). I’d never even heard of the brand before I spotted this at my local cool guitar shop. If you Google “Cathedranola,” you’ll find a bunch of items stating a) how cool it looks, and b) how crappy it sounds. It’s not a true resophonic guitar (I guess Dobro had that patent sewn up), just a metal plate suspended above a cheap plywood body, which makes it a full-on mutant!

It’s quiet and plinky-sounding, and rather difficult to fret, but it almost plays in tune, and I like its homely, humble tone. It’s not valuable, but it’s, cool and weird. Here’s how it sounds in a mix with drums and stuff, both plucked and played with an EBow.

Bleak Street

No prize for me, of course—the whole point is to get rid of some weird crap I have sitting around showcase your curiosities. Surely you’ve got something strange you’re thankful for. Time to share your weird with the world!

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