I know that I don't normally make two posts in one day, but hey, I'm unemployed. Also, I thought that this small bit of history should not pass unnoticed:
Robert Moog, creator of the Moog keyboard, and largely credited with the invention of modern day synthesizers as we know them, has passed away. A lot of rock musicians have kind of a love/hate relationship with synthesizers, but they're definitely here to stay, and the synthesizer has come a long way since suffering through the growing pains of the 1980's when a large number of musicians were impressed with the technology of the synthesizer, but clearly didn't know what to do with it.
Today's synthesizers produce sounds that are frequently indistinguishable from "real world" instruments or sounds, and in addition, synthesizers allow today's musicians to modify or blend existing sounds in order to create new tones which couldn't be born without digital experimentation.
As one of my old friends, Frank Birchak, from my college band, The Stray Toasters, once said, most musical innovation occurs when new instruments are designed and developed (I think Frank was referring to the Chapman Stick at the time that he said this). Robert Moog helped to develop in instrument which forever changed the face of music, and in the hands of people like Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea, it has been used to do some pretty amazing things. Kudos to Moog. Hopefully there are more people like him out there who are waiting to change the face of music.