This trip, I came across Lorenzo Laroc, playing his signature five-string electric violin/viola in the subway station below Manhattan's Grand Central. The cavernous environment added depth and echo to the sound of one man and his music. He was playing samples from his album, Under The Covers. I brought a copy home with me.
The instrument is unusual, made of plexiglass not wood and beautifully shaped; regular violins have four strings; so do violas, with an overlap in musical range. By combining the two, Lorenzo Laroc has one instrument with a stretch range of notes that he uses to play both a wide range of cover songs (50 Cent to Metheny to Led Zepplin) and also his own compositions.
More info on Lorenzo Laroc can be found on his website: http://www.lorenzolaroc.com/
Talking of Slade, I found their smiling faces peeping out from a magazine rack in Barnes and Nobles' yesterday. Cover of Vive Le Rock! magazine, glam rock special. (As usual, we are probably a month behind the UK publication date but it was available in Citrus Heights B&N yesterday.)