The Bass Geek - Words about Music, Circuitry, and New Orleans
The Bass Geek

What’s Wrong?

So I finally got the chance to work on my M-Audio Duo USB interface last night - this was the unit that didn't work at the Vogue, and I wanted to troubleshoot it before I took it out again. I started out reloading the driver (something I'm not used to having to do with a Mac, and kudos to M-Audio for leaving legacy drivers up on their site), which didn't initially work. I also swapped out the USB cable and rechecked a switch on the front (it was recording audio without a problem, but I couldn't get it to take audio from Reason). After this, I rebooted a couple times and . . . poof, it was working again. I played for a bit and then rebooted a couple more times, to see if it was a fluke.

Nope, working now. So now I have a working setup again, but I'm not entirely sure why. And that's extremely frustrating. I'm going to take backup cables with me to all future shows in case I have to go out of the headphone jack again. Grrrrr.


Making the Leap

Not that I haven't bought plenty of music online, but I'm more likely to get the CD of a band I really like, for the sake of completeness. I want the liner notes, the album art, and everything that comes with it. just seems like a fuller experience. The online purchases are usually reserved for difficult-to-get recordings or higher-risk music - things I haven't heard before that fill out my monthly eMusic allotment easily.

The break seems to be the new Roots album, and it's motivated by a few factors:

  • PDF liner notes (and the brevity of those liner notes compared to past releases
  • Bonus track not available on CD or by separate purchase
  • I bought it before the record stores were open

I don't think I'll be going to buy the physical copy now - it's a great album, dark and fierce without being alienating, but I've also already got my copy. I'll give it a few more listens to decide if the appreciation in sound quality is worth it, but the sale was already made. Between this album's liner notes and the lyrics included in the new NIN single file, it seems to me that online purchases are only one step away from replacing most physical sales - higher quality file downloads. Once I can purchase lossless, it's over.

Exception made for great physical packaging, of course. Gimme a box set like the Miles Davis Bitches' Brew or the Sly Stone reissues, and I'm on it.


MySpace Radio Spot Online

If you want to listen to the radio interview I did for, check out this link.

I tried to sound intelligent.


Bootsy tour postponed; Bass Geek desolate

I'm considering a spree (negative in results) of some sort after receiving this MySpace bulletin:

James Brown fans and all true Funkateers, our James Brown tour has been backed up till after our Europe & Japan dates which are in June and July
so I can tell you now that it will be after we get back, so check the website for more currect detains which will be posted starting next week at:

This hurts me as much as it hurts my fans JB's fans everybody, but it was out of our control. We hope you all understand our position and all we can do is funk you extra harder when we do funk.

Instead of one nut you get two.

That's the only way I know to make it up beings that it was not our fault in the first place, everybody was ready to go and they pulled the plug.

So we ain't gonna whimp out about it, we just gone be ready when the horn blow we will Pee-Red-to-Go!
Love & P-funk hugs and thanks for tha prayer's yall!
One Nation, One funk, One love baba!

I was totally geeked up for this show, and my only consolation is that we were waiting for a check to come in to purchase tickets. I want rescheduled dates now. NOW.


Guitar Hero Promotes Real Guitar Playing?

According to this Wired article, the popularity of Guitar Hero is causing some folks to pick up the actual instrument and give it a go.

I'm all for getting into music and learning an instrument, but we've got too many guitarists already. Seriously, the streets are littered with them. From busking folk-singers to metal wannabes to plumed-hat-wearing SRV clones, everybody already picked up a guitar. Guitar Hero wouldn't have been a success if nobody wanted to play guitar already.

There aren't enough bassonists. Time for Bassoon Hero.


As Promised, The Pictures . . .

Wish I had more - I'm truly kicking myself for missing this event.

There was a giant olive as well (not shown)
The aftermath of the On Procession Parade


Finally Finished With This Weekend

Opening weekend for ACT went fine - since we're not playing all the time, I was able to take in the muffled thud from the biergarten next door between numbers.  The Polkaboy-inspired madness Friday night was expected; it was the cover band from Saturday night that surprised me.  Was Eric Clapton's "Forever Man" really a wise choice?  I'm fairly sure there wasn't enough cocaine down there to really make that song sound as good as people seemed to think it was in the 80s.

I managed to miss the On Procession parade due to some scheduling mix-ups.  By the time I was headed back to the neighborhood, the floats were on the way out, Miss Botox was deflating her blow-up dolls, and people were chasing giant olives down the alley after they'd escaped the giant martini glass.  I'll post the meager two pictures I had tomorrow.  I settled for some jazz at Deano's after my show and went from there.

My share of the MySpace book is finished, too, despite their efforts to prolong my writing.  Just as I was getting ready to put it to bed, the MySpace Applications feature went live, and that had to be tossed in.  Still, it's done, and folks can find out more about adding next-gen quizzes to their pages just . . . in . . . time.


Fountain Square Music This Weekend

Radio Radio has Cuba, The Here Now and the Iry tonight. Tomorrow features a Barack Obama benefit (hey, did you hear there's an election coming up?!) with The Philosophy and a reunited Mab Lab.

Sam's Saloon features Punk Rock Jessie’s 1st Annual Aids Life Cycle benefit on Saturday. Unfortunately, Hayes Carll had to cancel tonight's show due to illness.

Big Car Gallery has hot Pecha Kucha slide show action with an appearance by Chambray Blue Jumpsuit. The boys will also be unleashing their sound experiments on the On Procession art parade tomorrow at noon, as brought to you by the Indianapolis Museum of Art.

The Shirtless Biddles are at Deano's Vino tonight, and the John Harden Project plays Saturday. Also, it's Swing Night at the Fountain Square Theater.

Finally, it doesn't have to be this weekend, but I'll be in the band for Victor/Victoria at the American Cabaret Theater through June 1st, so come on out and enjoy the show.


Production Week

Having a straight week of rehearsals has been great for getting me up to speed on the score (the singers have been at it longer than us, but we get to read our parts for the whole show, so we win), but I'll be ready for Saturday night and a little respite. From then on, we'll only be doing show Friday through Sunday, and I can resume a little normal free time then.

Which will no doubt be spent with more writing, but that's okay. There's time for "Battlestar Galactica," too.

Side note: I'm also scheduled to talk to with Marsha Collier and Marc Cohen about "MySpace For Dummies" on wsradio's Computer and Technology Radio show Saturday at 12 noon Eastern (my location)/9am Pacific (their location). I'm glad they're the ones getting up early and not me.

Finally, the new IMN podcast is up. Download it here.


It is what it is . . .

I've been going back through my iPod, trying to catch up on the backlog of albums I've loaded in the past weeks (Nicolay was today, and the new Gnarls Barkley waits patiently).  Right now, I'm making my way through the Nine Inch Nails Ghost collection (purchased, in the interest of full disclosure, at a local record store as part of Independent Record Store Day).

What strikes me most goes beyond the music (which hits me as interesting but not particularly moving soundscapes or tone poems) - it proves both that somebody can make huge money off of a self-produced and distributed release (bonus for the artist!) and that they need a loyal cult following already in place to make it happen (bonus for that one particular artist only!).

It's just impossible for me to separate this work from the established backstory.  It works more as an example than it does a work of music.

Well, maybe that's premature.  Let me get through the second recording and see what I think.  I don't suspect much of a change, though.

EDIT:  No sooner do I write this than there's a new track up at Reznor's website.  The email/track exchange is fairly familiar and common, so let's see how many folks jump on this.