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

Fountain Square Music This Weekend

Is tomorrow the first Saturday of the month?  Then Bigger Than Elvis must be at Radio Radio!

Mudkid, Birdman of Alcatraz, and DJ Rusty Redenbacher (that's all one guy) host the Sam's Saloon Halloween Party this evening - it's a perfect setting for the holiday.  Tomorrow, the venue features Undefeated Music (I'm not sure what weight class they're in, though).

As for the rest of Fountain Square, it's Halloween, so watch out for trick-or-treating kids, cider and candy at Scare On The Square.  This is one of the best times to see my fair district, so stop on by between 4 and 6 this afternoon.

My costume?  I'm going as a Playboy Psychonaut - 7:30 this evening at the new IndyFringe HQ!


New IMN Podcast

The new episode of the IMN podcast is up and running - download it here or listen via or WFYI.

I spent a little time today tidying up the feeds in a few podcast services for the show.  We unfortunately had to change our RSS feed location mid-stream about 50+ episodes ago, and I just wanted to be sure that the redirection had taken.  Little late?  Maybe, but it was just a passing thought that took root and demanded satisfaction.  Looks like we're good, and that makes me happy.

Also, anybody with an HD radio is more than welcome to drop comments on how the show is going on WFYI.  It sounds fine to me on the stream (especially now that we're servicing WAV files to the station), and I'm just curious.  Thanks!

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Must Be The Fezzes . . .

Bands, take note: want some gigs during the Halloween season?  Wear silly hats.  The Playboy Psychonauts are doing three gigs in a two-day span:

  • Halloween Night, we're at the IndyFringe HQ.
  • Saturday afternoon, we're playing a Fountain Square block party.
  • Saturday evening, we're booking it to Lafayette for the Knickerbocker's Hoot Night.

Silly hats = gigs.  Works every time.


Another KISS product? You don’t say!

There's a new Gene Simmons model bass controller for Guitar Hero. While I'm all for more basses in the public hands (even if they are just for video games), I'm not sure I'd want to use one than makes a show of playing while letting someone else actually record the albums.

Or something like that.


New Orleans Wrap-Up

The last day and night were kind of a blur, mostly because we were three days into a big festival and were probably achey and a bit dehydrated. So this is more of a list of memorable moments more than a full recap:

  • The Blind Boys of Alabama were one of the most moving performances I'd ever seen. Even on well-worn songs, they managed to wring out so much soul and emotion.
  • Ozomatli and Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, while stylistically different, were forces of nature with remarkably similar impacts. Not a single audience member standing still.
  • Did Trombone Shorty make a Juvenile guest appearance both entertaining and enjoyable? Indeed, he did. Nice work.
  • Some of the most memorable occasions were getting ambushed by random musical events, whether it was a robot, a bull-shaped music cart, or a marching band (even though I think one of the cheerleaders molested my wife)
  • The bass was on full display, moreso than any other festival I think I've seen (setting up stage plots on the fly is terrible and thankless work). Whether it was Wil-Dog Abers from Ozomatli, Norwood from Fishbone, or Erykah Badu's set, every bass note was clear, distinct and well-mixed. Kudos to the players and the sound techs.

We ended our stay with a quick stop at a pizza joint near our hotel. No sooner had we sat down than a Latin-tinged dance band was playing and the dance floor was filled with salsa aficionados. Great way to end the weekend.


New Orleans, nights 2&3

It's testament to the size of Voodoo festival that it's almost impossible to get a cell signal from the show due to the overloaded cell towers. I've been trying to keep up with the show via Twitter, and it's been tricky. I think I'v gotten most of it up there, though. Overall, the quality of the music has been outstanding (with one notable exception being the band preceding Fishbone), whether it was older acts like Fishbone or Shudder To Think, bigger names like Erykah Badu, TV On The Radio and Thievery Corporation, or locals like "Wolfman" Washington or Marva Wright. The festival is superbly organized and maintained, and it never feels too crowded despite the number of folks. One more night to go; highlights include Ozomatli, Sharon Jones, Irma Thomas, R.E.M. and more.


New Orleans, Night 1

Even in late October, the humidity clings down here as soon as you get off the plane. And it stuck around through an amazing Italian dinner, coffee and ramd musical happenings. Somebody in a bright pink beehive treated Frenchman St. to some free jazz-funk, and the group met all my standards for excellence:

1. Stellar bass (via tuba).
2. Horns supporting the song when not soloing or playing the head.

Tomorrow should bring vintage guitar hunting and the first day of Voodoo. And more humidity. But the former should make the latter bearable.


A Quick Summary of Music and Podcasts

Radio Radio has Pete Francis (Dispatch) Friday night and Hillbilly Casino Saturday.  The former is jammy, the latter is rockabilly.

Sam's Saloon features Holding Mercury and Deep Cricket Night (both from Chicago) Friday night and DJ HaBlack O’Bama (from Other People’s Money) Saturday.

Deano's Vino hosts New Augusta Friday night and the John Harden Project on Saturday.  Also, it's Swing Night at the Fountain Square Theater.

The new IMN podcast can be downloaded here or heard at the site or at WFYI HD2 Thursdays at 4pm.

I'll be in New Orleans for a long weekend for the Voodoo Music Festival, and I'll most likely be blogging or Twittering from there.  Keep the place together while I'm gone.


Yeah, It’s My Fault, But . . .

Depending on your preferred playing style or tone, bass strings are either something you change near-daily (for the working pros) or leave on for ages (thumpy dub, country, or just plain forgotten instruments).  In any case, when the time comes to change them, most folks seem to have a ritual.  They have the tools they need, they have the strings they prefer, and they repeat the process that works for them (in my case, start with the A, work up, and then do the E string last, with all strings cut after about four inches after a bend and each winding on the string going below the previous one).  Simple, takes just a few minutes, stretch and tune, and I'm good.

This is, of course, assuming that all of the strings come in a handy package.  Most bass guitars have four strings, so four is the normal package size.  You end up with 5- and 6-string packages as well, but there aren't as many options there.  And one string company (one that I prefer for my 5-string) offers only 4-string sets with optional add-ons for the 5th string.  Which is great for those who want to customize the width of their low B string, but it's a little annoying where you're trying to keep everything together.

Or when you accidentally order the ACOUSTIC BASS GUITAR version of the B string you wanted.  Which is now totally useless to me, as I long ago took a vow never to own such a monstrosity.  So, lessons learned:

  • It's good to stupid-proof packaging whenever possible (manufacturers, take note)
  • It's also good to read the fine print when it comes to purchasing (me, I'm talking to you)
  • Acoustic bass guitars still inflict evil wherever they can, even on those who won't use them



That Time Of Year . . .

  • Last book purchased?  World War Z.
  • Last album purchased?  Goblin's original motion picture soundtrack for Suspiria.
  • Last musical viewed?  Evil Dead: The Musical (the last part is what tipped me off that it was a musical).
  • Next big vacation?  Voodoo Music Festival in New Orleans.
  • Last sporting event watched?  Steelers vs. Bengals.  Pretty sure someone from Cincinnati lost their soul on one of those hits.

And the giant spiders have once again taken roost on the Fountain Square building.  I'm awaiting the return of the Swamp Thing and assorted gargoyles that littered the neighborhood last year.