p0tat0es: (bass in yr face)
Now, I by no means have perfect pitch, but when I hear a song where an instrument is clearly out of tune, it bugs the crap out of me. Case in point: "Searching For Soul, Pt. 1" by Jake Wade & The Soul Searchers (via Pandora). It's a good song, but it sounds like the bassist didn't tune up before they recorded. Another example: "The Boss" by James Brown. Again, great song, out of tune bass. Maybe it's just old funk and soul records? I have a hypothesis that when they went in to do these sessions (I'm thinking in the 60s, mostly), they couldn't afford to do lots of takes, and since you can't hear bass all that well on a transistor radio, they figured it didn't matter.

But is it really too much to ask to tune your axe before comitting anything to tape?
p0tat0es: (Default)
Oh. My. Fucking. Gosh. Two words:


Wow. Whadda show. Went to the Sit & Spin tonight for a total metal meltdown. I didn't realize that there were still people in this town who were keepin' it real for the metal. One cat came in lookin' like he was halfway through a month-long bender. And he had a snake around his neck. A living, breathing, constricting snake. Zoinks. Geargeads, heshers, indie rock kids - you name it - they were all there puttin' it down for the high speed wheedley-wheedley.

I didn't catch the name of the first band, but they sounded a little like Botch - short, fast songs and unintelligible Cookie Monster vocals. I thought the singer had a bit of a Calvin Johnson thing going on as far as his moves were concerned, but Stacy disagreed.

Then came up Swarming Hordes: when Yngwie Malmsteen or Steve Vai does it, it's sorta cheesy. When these guys do it, all the indie kids pop a collective boner. OMFUG. I can't describe it. Go buy their CD, if you can find it.

Lastly, we had Enemymine. They were good, but sort of killed the momentum 'cuz their songs have lots of slow, quiet breaks in them. Not that that's a bad thing - it's just that after the full-on speed metal barrage we all had just experienced, it didn't totally fit. That, and their drummer looks like a 19-year-old version of Gary Locke. I don't actually know how old he is, but he looked super young.

The drummers in all three bands put in some serious work tonight. Arrgh. Can't describe. Go see them if they play again. I saw my first mosh pit/slam ring in five years tonight. It was small, but good.

OK. I am sooo fucking tired. Ears hurt. Going to bed.
p0tat0es: (Default)
Last night I was deciding what CDs I was going to bring to work with me today. I dug out my old copy of Living Colour's Vivid. I haven't listened to this in a loooong time. I used to have it on a tape, with E.U.'s Livin' Large on the other side. (I think it was called Livin' Large...E.U. was the DC go-go band that did "Doin' The Butt" that was used in Spike Lee's School Daze.) But I digress. Living Colour was the band that inspired me to start playing bass. Seeing the video for "Cult of Personality" was the first time that I noticed that there were guitar players who did solos, and then there was always that other guy. I couldn't figure out why they held their guitar differently than other guys, and why they played it with their fingers instead of a pick. I think one of my sisters told me that is was a bass guitar. I just thought their bass player (Muzz Skillings) looked cool. I decided at that point that I wanted to be a bass player too.

That was when I was in the 8th grade. The only instruments I was familiar with at the time were turntables, drum machines, and samplers. You'd be hard pressed to find any tapes in my collection that weren't hip-hop. (I did buy the Beastie Boys' Polly Wog Stew not realizing that it was a punk record.) It wasn't until late in the 9th grade that I became able to pick out the individual parts of songs and hear how the guitars and bass and drums and vocals all interacted. (This came from joining the marching band.) It changed the way I listened to music drastically. From that point onward I could never listen to a song and not pick it apart. All the music I listened to as a kid reopened to me. I listened to ...And Justice For All and realized you couldn't really hear Jason Newsted anyway.

It was about this time that I also picked up the shitty little Peavy bass that was in my high schools band room and started messing around with it. (I think it was made out of pressboard or something.) I couldn't play anything, so I just tuned the strings to how I thought sounded good and pounded on it. It wasn't until junior year that I actually started playing with any regularity. Fast forward 8 years, and I still can't play like Muzz Skillings. Or Doug Wimbish, the NY session guy who joined after Living Colour parted company with Mr. Skillings. Wimbish is a badass too. And I had just missed seeing Vernon Reid (the guitarist) at the Knitting Factory by one night last time I was in Noo Yawk.

Just thought I'd share.

March 2015



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