SEATTLE — Local guitarist Griffin Barens carefully submerged his soaked amplifier into 10,000 pounds of uncooked rice after playing a rainy outdoor show in hopes that it would absorb all the moisture from the interior, sources who underestimated the size of the vat needed to accomplish such a task confirmed.
“It’s an old trick I learned online, and like most internet hacks it almost kind of works like a charm,” said Barens, longtime member of the shoegaze band Emotional Knapsack. “Fortunately, Costco had 10,000-pound bags of rice on sale last week, so it’s a good thing I stocked up beforehand or else I’d be looking like a complete idiot right now. Honestly, I’m not exactly sure how it works, but I think each piece of rice acts as a mini-towel and soaks up excess residue. Sure, you’ll be meticulously picking out small bits of rice for the next several months, but you won’t have to buy a brand new $5,000 full-stack amplifier after every outdoor show that occurs during inclement weather. Surprisingly, buying new amps adds up fast.”
Naysayers attempted to debunk the unorthodox solution.
“Absolutely do not try this at home,” said Lauren Spone, spokesperson for Marshall Amplification. “You have no idea how many calls we get from guitarists who’ve done this exact thing and then asked if rice damage was covered under their warranty. It’s not. In fact, we’ve even had to start putting explicit warnings in our manuals not to immerse the product in any cereal grain-based substances of any kind, and yes, that includes grits. Unfortunately, no one reads manuals, so it still doesn’t deter anyone.”
It’s no secret that musicians have had a tumultuous history of playing outdoor shows in less than ideal conditions.
“No one has quite figured out how to safely play outside in the rain just yet,” said music historian Molly Greenwood. “During Woodstock ‘94, it famously poured the entire time, so organizers had to come up with thousands of pounds of rice at the last minute to prepare for all the wet amplifiers. However, someone screwed up the order and were instead delivered mass quantities of quinoa. As we all know, ancient grains just won’t do the trick. The event was an absolute nightmare as a result.”
At press time, Barens accidentally dropped his amplifier on the concrete sidewalk, but thankfully was still able to use it despite several noticeable cracks on the front of it.