The Bass Geek - Words about Music, Circuitry, and New Orleans
The Bass Geek
18Jan/081

This Weekend In Fountain Square Music

Radio Radio features a huge show in conjunction with My Old Kentucky Blog and Monolith festival - the lineup features Cameron McGill, David Moore, Everything, Now!, and Grampall Jookabox. Show kicks off at 9 or thereabouts, and it's $5.

Sam's Saloon is hosting The Peggy Sues, King Duece and J.J. Pearson tonight, and 19Clark25 and The Tomkats tomorrow. Cover is unknown to me, and I'd show up around 9 or 10 if I were you.

17Jan/082

New Podcast Is Up

Feel free to check it out at IMN's Flash player or download it directly.

One of my co-authors is having some trouble finding the book in stores near him, although the good folks in Maine seem to be covered. I didn't find any copies in the new Barnes and Noble on campus, but I get the feeling that their selection is minimal because they also have to act as a school bookstore. It's a geeky little thrill to see them there, though - I took a picture when I found the bass book in a Borders near me.

16Jan/081

Video of the “Box Bass” in action

Sounds passable at least, and the price is hard to beat, at least for novelty's sake.

I forgot to mention that we tried watching "Nightwatch" this weekend, and the power went out during the viewing. The movie hadn't been making sense up to that point anyway, though, so we didn't feel bad for the interruption.

If you're otherwise disengaged and in Fountain Square this evening, there's a free show from British singer/songwriter Newton Faulkner at Radio Radio. As it's free and sponsored by a local radio station, I'd expect it to be packed soon, so arrive early if interested.

15Jan/080

Quick iTunes Note

Alright, so I refreshed my browser a couple of times during the MacWorld keynote speech to see what Apple was coming out with.  I'm not concerned so much with the new laptop or iPhone stuff - it was the improvements to the AppleTV unit and iTunes that interested me.  Apple getting into video-on-demand is interesting, as are the capabilities of the new AppleTV unit (for those of you with digital cable boxes, it's pretty much like the on-demand services you have right now - one step forward towards a la carte cable viewing as opposed to subscription?).  It's also cool that some hi-def DVDs are going to include iTunes-ready digital files on the disc.  This fulfills a pet peeve of mine - being able to get a digital backup of your media.  With this, you can have a copy on your computer and your disc at the same time without technically violating the DMCA (even though I'd regard copying that media as well within your rights).  The only drawback is the DRM on the iTunes files.  Even if it's less restrictive than other DRM, it's still there.  Baby steps?

It's also telling to me that iTunes skipped right over music this time around.  Except for mentioning that it's offered wirelessly through AppleTV and such, there were no new announcements.  Given that record companies are making the move towards Amazon (at least the majors), I'm curious to see if more music offerings at better bitrates and without DRM are in the cards.  And don't forget, there's always Tunecore and CD Baby to get your music on these services.

14Jan/080

Just one weekend? Really?

My wife brought home the movie "Once" this weekend for viewing, based on her listening to a copy of the film's soundtrack. Great songs on that, so I wanted to like the movie.

And I did, until about halfway through the film. And that's when my suspension of disbelief went right out the window. They want me to believe that a pair of musicians who'd only just met could recruit another three musicians they'd never worked with, pair up with an initially disinterested engineer and an expensive recording studio they'd never worked in before, and somehow manage to produce a bunch of great songs?

I should have probably just relaxed and enjoyed the show more (I did like the way they worked in the songs without it becoming overtly a "musical" in the traditional sense), but the tech geek in me just wouldn't let it go. Feh.

11Jan/080

“The Orphanage” and This Weekend in Fountain Square

I managed to catch a preview of "The Orphanage" last night - it was a beautiful mix of Brothers Grimm-style fairy tale and a parent's worst nightmare. A couple of the plot points were telegraphed way in advance, and I thought Del Toro Juan Antonio Bayona strung along some of the suspense strictly for a "GOTCHA!" moment near the end, but it was otherwise magnificently filmed and rendered. Highly recommend.

That, of course, leaves the weekend free for music. And there's quite a bit happening in Fountain Square, if I do toot my neighborhood's horn a bit. Big Car Gallery hosts Lovely Houses, Brooks Ritter and Jascha for $5 from 7 to 9pm tonight (BRING THE KIDS!), and Sam's Saloon has Will Stockwell and Deacon Sean and the Bar Brawlers. Tomorrow, Sam's features Mike Milligan and Steam Shovel. Also, I believe tonight is Cognizant Coffee's open mic night, but don't blame me if you show up and they want you to put your darn-fool guitar away 'cause I got the date wrong. Enjoy!

10Jan/080

New Podcast Up

Feel free to download the latest podcast-y goodness or listen to it at the site's new flash player.

I also recently received my copy of the "Second Life For Dummies" (which looks fantastic, BTW - full color!) just in time to hear about the ban on Second Life Banking. Wisely, the authors stayed out of this and hence, their work remains utterly current and relevant. Well played. It's terribly difficult to publish a book (a large, unwieldy depository of knowledge) about all things digital and Internet-related (things of a zippy nature that tend to make large, unwieldy depositories cower in fear of advanced obsolescence), and I think they did a wonderful job of sticking to the foundation of SL and offering helpful advice without getting into areas that could change at a moment's notice.

9Jan/081

Bass Porn For Today

Conklin BassI have no idea how this bass would sound - the only Conklins I've ever played have been the production 4-string and the monstrous 11-string (allegedly played in one of the official armed services ensembles - they practice overwhelming force even in their music groups!). It's just an amazing piece of bass art.

Also, my iPod just jumped from a podcast about the rise and fall of jingles in American commercials straight to a Betty Davis track. Now that most advertisers eschew jingles for tracks from already established acts, I think I'm going to spend the rest of the afternoon trying to figure out what product this music would sell.

8Jan/082

Usually, sounding “boxy” is bad . . .

Bogdon Box BassIn this case, I think it's what the designers had in mind. I suppose the Bogdon Box Bass looks fun enough, and the reviews I've read seem to think it's good for what it is. You even get to build it yourself, like a kit car or a sea monkey kingdom. It's the "Bogdon On Tour" link on their website that scares me a bit. I'd think I'd need four or five kits along with me on any travel just in case of catastrophe, i.e. the thing comes in contact with an errant drink, a light rain shower, or an overly humid room. Eeeep.

7Jan/087

Good Idea, Poor Execution

So Wired magazine details in this article a plan to highlight in the CES Intel keynote a virtual jam (with some members onstage and some at a safer location, one would imagine) with the good folks of Smash Mouth. The idea is to highlight the ability to collaborate over a network and involve the use of avatars and virtual spaces.

Which is cool, in theory. Bands with massive creative aspirations should be thrilled at the potential to make new and fantastic performance pieces, tying in their brilliant music with virtual worlds where everything from costumes to physics itself can be modified to fit their visions.

The problem is that the demo we're getting for this strange new world is a recreation of the garage where Smash Mouth got together, and these boys are gonna jam on "Walkin' On The Sun."

Are you as thrilled as I am to relive this moment in musical history?

I wanna see massive stages falling out of the sky as the musicians thrash about on their instruments. I want to see crowds cheer in wonder and terror as they balance their need to hear the genius pouring forth from the stage with their intense desire to outrun the lava quickly approaching their positions. I want to thrill to new heights of performance while trying to keep my mind from going insane at the sheer lunacy before me, echoing with dark messages from another time and place.

Ooops, that's a Metalocalypse episode.

The point is that there is so much to be done here and so much potential that this might not be the best way to demonstrate it. Musicians have been collaborating from great distances either in near-real time via ethernet networks (given, there is a little latency involved there) or by posting files on FTP sites (not real-time, but it does conquer the distance issue). It's the virtual avatars and enviroments that make this interesting, but a variant on this has existed in Second Life for quite a few months now. And the last time I dropped by the Hummingbird Cafe, this marvel of technology presented me with . . . a solo acoustic player slogging his way through "Cheeseburger in Paradise."

Ouch.

One of the first things I was taught about computers (after "10 PRINT 'BUTT!!!' > 20 GOTO > RUN") was GIGO - Garbage In, Garbage Out. No matter how cool it is, it's still going to be that song. I'm sure there are going to be other, much more impressive demonstrations, but seriously . . . Intel can't pull better than Smash Mouth? Second Life is still giving me "Cheeseburger In Paradise?"