The Bass Geek - Words about Music, Circuitry, and New Orleans
The Bass Geek
10Jun/082

“Band” on iPhone

The idea of a phone-based sequencer is nothing new - an old Sony Ericsson phone of mine had a simple program that allowed you to move "blocks" of music around to make your own MIDI songs or ringtones.  Pair it with the touch-screen on the iPhone, though (and put it front and center at an Apple product debut), and suddenly the whole things takes life.  There's video of Band already posted at their homepage, and the controls look simple enough.  I doubt it'll be much help to high-power sequencers, but I also thought the same thing about Garageband when it first came out (and it evolved into a nicely usable program).

The thing that disturbs me is the Blues screen.  You can automatically generate your own 12-bar blues song, picking just the right key and structure for your blooze tune.

On one hand, does an iPhone have any business playing the blues?  On the other hand, is it any less deserving than "The Blues King," subject of a story from a sax-playing friend of mine?  Said "Blues King" (identified as such by the embroidery on his leather guitar strap ) showed up at an open-jam night, resplendent in his SRV-inspired finery.  Cowboy hat with feather?  Check.  Fringe-laden leather jacket?  Of course.  Turquoise belt buckle and fine cowboy boots?  Indeed.  And, of course, he wanted to play some SRV tune or another.  Once called to the stage for his scintillating performance, he promptly pulled out a music stand.  And some guitar tab.  And butchered whatever song he intended like it was the finest veal ever.

This isn't Kasparov vs. Deep Blue, here.  I'm just wondering which one hurts just a little bit more.

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  1. I’ve always questioned whether or not SRV should even be included in the blues pantheon since nobody has done more to halt the evolution of a musical form than he–so I’m going to ahead and say that any butchering of his songs, while undeserved, hurts more and more deeply because of the inherent tragedy in the attempt.

    Angst is relative and there’s the chance that some suburbanite with a G3 iPhone in the future age of the G4 iPhones will need an outlet for his itching melancholia.

  2. And, of course, there’s the inevitable try at SRV on the iPhone. That and the Hadon supercollider could represent two very grave dangers to the human race.

    Do we really need to hear about iPhone angst?


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