Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Genre Breakers

[Since I'm clearly losing my momentum with this blog writing thing, I might as well break from my much delayed timeline and write the post I bugged other people about.] [Finally publishing after six months. Hahahah....] 

I went to Warped Tour for the first time ever this year, and it was a feast for the blog making. I went with my main concert going buddies [meaning that they drive me, I manage to ditch them, and met back up when it's time to go home without any hard feelings] but since Warped Tour is not the place to wander aimlessly alone, I stuck with them, and I'm glad I did.

I love my best friend since she'll stop for bands I'd never bat an eyelash at; and she's totally fine with me muttering in her ear about the bass on stage. The first time she did this at Warped Tour was at a this neat little bread trucking looking/not camper thing that was plastered with the brand of guitar strings I buy. This bazaar-o truck had a pop out stage. The cause of my friend's attention what that the band on the stage had horns. The part that made me right a post about it, is the fact that the bassist was playing a sixer like a true metal bassist.
I'm in the obnoxious yellow hat. 

I've only read about six string basses on TB, never have I seen one played live; much less used well [actually using all the strings, and playing it as a bass, not just a large guitar]. So to clear this up, the band had a metal bassist and a horn section, thus a total genre break, which happened to totally work. This is why I love music.

After the show I was so impressed that contacted the band via Twitter, and they were more then willing to answer some questions. [This is were I admit that I'm writing this to appease my guilt for taking six months to write this, yes I'm writing this off a six month old memory.] Two things really stood out to me about my conversation with the bassist: He played one of the cheapest sixers out there, and I [who have seen a few concerts in my day] had no idea. It sounded great, and it's clearly connected to his skill as a bassist. The second item is that he was ashamed that he was playing a low grade instrument, yet as I said before he could rock it like any high end bass.    

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Dog Days

I have a problem [honestly I have several problems with my bass playing] that needs to be addressed: I only bother to write down my riffs when they are inspired by dogs.  

This lovely pup is Fable, and when she comes to greet you she brings so much joy. It seems to be a crime to at least try and capture her movements the best [by best, I mean most fun] way I know how.  

This would normally where I'd end this post, and totally forget about this riff as I move on to whatever gets my attention, but Fable's owner had to go and ask for a recording of the song I was working on. [Okay I called it a song first.] That means I had to rediscover other instruments I own, work with other people, and actually record myself for the first time in ages. It's so annoying having other people making me move forward, when I've clearly plateaued and unintentionally help me without being asked. [I really need to open up and let people in.]    

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

New Artists

For all my stage hopping at Summerfest one band notable piqued by interest. Moonrise Nation was another local-ish [Chicago based] playing relatively early in the day. They'd actually been opening for a band out of upstate New York, so I think that bumped them up the status list.

The band consist of two sisters, a friend, and some dude on drums I didn't get the connection of. Ever the fan of off beat [not the best use of words here] instruments, I found the cello was a lovely touch. Even with the distractions of Summerfest I hung out until the end of the set.

Even when I got home I found myself seeking out their music. After afew listens of their [entire] ep on youtube, I decided to be an honest listener and buy the CD. The problem was there was no CD, the official website told you to get it on itunes [and I don't do itunes]. Instead of saying "oh well, on with the internet piracy" I decided to contact the band. Trying to make an educated guess, I emailed the name under PR. Must of been the right person [makes sense since PR stands for public relations] because I got a email stating that the ep was available on Amazon, and in physical CD!!! Now to rake up $35 wroth of Amazon goods...     

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Jack White

If there's one Youtube rabbit hole I fall down on a consistent basics, It would be Jack White's. The White Stripes, The Dead Weather, The Raconteurs, and his solo career; he's got a resume of a legend, and I've never been a fan.
I was never into The White Stripes because they had no bassist [shocker] and I kept mixing them up with The Plain White Tees. Jack White's solo act has gotten enough buzz online to get my attention [the phrase 'the last of rock and roll' will do that]. He kept my attention: white guy deeply inspired by the blues, from a city known for having it's musical golden days behind it, brilliant mind when it came to using gimmicks, and I'm not gonna lie, I could relate alot to the Catholic background.

All this said, I generally have a love/hate relationship with his music. I hear Punk influence when he talks up the Blues legends, the Whites Strips music just sounds unfinished to me, and every time I listen to him, I get the urge to pick up my bass. This is where I see how this love/hate relationship is totally backwards. I love the fact that his music inspire me to pick up an instrument, and I hate the fact that I can't listen to his music for hours on end.

He's coming to a venue near me, and I am completely torn on whether or not to go see him. [Holy crap, Ian Anderson, flutist of Jethro Tull, is coming to my area!]            

Monday, July 21, 2014

Room Cleaning

I overhauled my room after Milwaukee; I can see my entire floor, and the only things under the bed are my instruments [in their cases]. I found alot of things: sheet music for House of the Rising Son, my original fretboard poster [which suddenly makes sense, thank you dyslexia].

I also found the lost plastic strap lock I posted about ages ago.     

The Skilled Ones

Alice Cooper was technically the special guess of the headliner at Summerfest; and with that said, I just considered Montey Crue another band. It is there last tour [supposedly] but I've never been a huge fan of 80s rock.  

Still I seat through them, and I must say, I was impressed. I honestly didn't think they could follow Alice Cooper, and I was wrong. I knew who Nikki Sixx was because of TB, so I knew I wasn't going to be blown away musically; but the fact that he's the composer on just about every [or maybe it is every] song is awesome.
I also missed the fact that Tommy Lee is the drummer, but after the first few songs it was clear, and it was a hell of a treat. He broke a snare during the second song, [and he apparently broke the kick drum the show before] and this was the second night of the tour. I'd never heard of the Guitarist before, but his skill was phenomenal. I'm pretty sure he was tripping on something since his fretting hand kept going even after he took it off the fret board, but hot damn, that was lightening fast, well honed skill.

There comes a time when you just have to be in awe of the fact that you are in the present of a master of a craft, that is your passion.    

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Alice Cooper

Sixteen years and countless concerts later, I can honestly say I been to the best concert of my life. [For perceptive, the dude in the top hat is like seventy.] The music, the spectacle, the morbidity, I loved it all. As in, I, who wants nothing more then to not copy anyone ever, would be honored to be in an Alice Cooper tribute band.  

No one stopped, ever. There was an act with every song, and the band was so stellar that you didn't even notice when the singer ran off stage to prepare for the next act. 
To put this in another light, I paid $150 for the tickets, and it was worth every penny. I also bought the tickets before seeing Wayne's World, and being the history buff that I am, Alice Cooper's part was the absolute best.  

 [I feel like this post needs more text because I want to use all these images, but I've run out of things to say.]

Friday, July 18, 2014


I started out as a concert goer, and I'll die a concert goer. That's why I traveled eight hundred plus miles to spend the Fourth of July weekend in Milwaukee. Summerfest, do you see those dates? It spans almost two weeks, and has [pardon me while I fact check] damn, twelve stages.
The mornings are all local bands, and Milwaukee has a solid music scene. I didn't see one band that I would classify as a 'garage band' [who need to spend more time woodsheding].

It's in a fair sized park, but with the number of stages, I consonantly found myself being distracted by the band at the next stage over. This was worst during the headliners, when there are a minimum of three bands you want to see at the same time slot. The crowds [in number] were horrendous during the evenings, but [as people] they were the most amazing people ever.

[This is were I say I love you Midwest! If anyone would like to offer me a doctorate program/job/spouse, which would allow me to relocate, please let me know!]

I had my [wheel] chair with me, and running into metal footplates is not fun for anyone involved. The most common response is normally a death glare and a few expletives; here it was a "sorry" or "sorry, hey! Move out of the way!" Even when people didn't bother notice the fact I rammed into their calves, other people apologized for them.

The range of music here was pretty cool as well. I saw Ziggy Marley [Bob Marley's kid] I wasn't too excited about it, but I figured I'd see some respectful slapping for a change. That didn't happen, since there was a amp stack in the way, but it was an experience: On the way to the handicap section [which was the most awesome thing ever, seriously, go Summerfest!] I nailed this stoner with my footplate, and he promptly offered me his joint.

I've listened to Bob Marley's music before and it didn't float my boat, but it was awesome seeing so many people of different ethnic groups, religions, and ages, dancing and having a good time. [I saw an eighty year-old woman dance for an hour.] That was also the first concert I'd been to where the audience was the smoke machine.