The Bass Geek - Words about Music, Circuitry, and New Orleans
The Bass Geek
24Nov/080

Busier Than When I’m At Work

The run-up to Thanksgiving inevitably means a flurry of activity, but today was a record, I think.  Amongst the various and sundry chores that pop up when you take an extra day off of work, I had to make an amp run to Uncle Albert's this morning.  It has nothing to do with the Cursed Venue, but I have a new amp that requires a little work.  Other than a noisy preamp pot and a little associated static, this Trace Elliot 2x10 combo sounds fantastic, and between it and the Ampeg B15N, I think I'm good on amps for a nice, long time.  Here's hoping I get it back soon - I've always liked the sound and compactness of a 2x10 combo, and I want to start using it ASAP.

Especially considering we're in tech week for the ACT's Country Christmas Cabaret, where my old amp will be residing for the next month or so.  Rehearsals have been going fairly easy, as the material isn't that challenging, but there are still the little kicks and endings to hash out.

The holiday podcast is also ready following a rush job - recorded, edited and uploaded (well, uploading at the time of this writing) all in one day (with the appropriate attention to detail and quality, of course).  I've been playing with some of the compression and effects settings to hopefully make the podcast sound even better.  Now that I'm submitting WAV files to the radio station, there's a little more room to enhance the sound quality.

And, just in time for the air travel, my music and tech magazine subscriptions flowed in en masse today.  I am ready for the travel.  Everything's coming up Bass Geek!

21Nov/080

Fountain Square Music This Weekend

Tonic Ball VII is this very evening, spanning the vast distance between Radio Radio and the Fountain Square Theater.  Enjoy songs from Elvis and Queen tonight.  Tomorrow, Mandy Marie and the Cool Hand Lukes play Radio Radio.  Although they're also playing tonight.  Probably just sleeping on Radio Radio's couches tonight.

Sam's Saloon has Ten Foot Blues Band, Chet O’Keefe, Gary Applegate, and Terry Hickman tonight. Save The Radio and the ubiquitous TBA take the stage tomorrow.

Deano's Vino hosts the Shirtless Biddles tonight and the Last Drop Juggers tomorrow.

Off to Tonic Ball, then.  I'm looking forward to seeing how everybody interprets Freddie Mercury.  Maybe Elvis.  Definitely Freddie Mercury as Elvis.

20Nov/080

New Podcast Up, plus “The Point”

Feel free to sample the new Indianapolismusic.net Podcast or listen at the site or WFYI.

Incidentally, WFYI's HD2 channel has officially been branded "The Point," and they've got a full list of programming and social network goodness available here.

Finally, there's a really good article on one of Indy's living legends of jazz courtesy of Nuvo. Dick Dickinson threw a few gigs my way when I first got into town and was more than kind and generous in doing so.  Cheers!

18Nov/085

That’s Diversification

Just a quick thought regarding The Roots. Within the past year, this band has:

In this economy, that's the way to ensure your future career options.
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17Nov/083

Cursed Venue Strikes Again

This time, it was my handheld tuner that died - the battery wires separated from the connecting socket, forcing me to hold the wire in place with one hand while trying to tune with the other.  Time to do some shopping and find a new one.  I have a pedal-based tuner, but I keep it in a pedalboard, so its individual portability is limited.

Otherwise, we finished the first rehearsal for the new ACT show yesterday, and the Playboy Psychonauts recorded basic tracks for three songs in hopes of putting out a vinyl release at some point.  It'll be interesting to see how the basic basement tracks turn out - some external mixing and/or mastering help might be in order, if only for the fresh pair of ears.

14Nov/080

Fountain Square Music This Weekend

Radio Radio has Centro-Matic, One Baptist General and South San Gabriel tonight. Tomorrow bring the Indie Band Collective showcase featuring Amo Joy!, Dorsey, John Kill and the Stereofidelics.

Sam's Saloon has Black Stone Ritual, Pulse 8 and Dead Broke for Metal Night tonight, and they bring in Twin Monster, The Dirty Thirty and Hot Jimmy & The Charred Remains tomorrow.

Deano's Vino welcomes Shogun Attractions tonight and Deep Fryed Acoustiblasters tomorrow. And it's Swing Night at the Fountain Square Theater, featuring the Blue Skies Big Band.

13Nov/080

New Podcast Up, plus Richard Lloyd

New podcast is up on IMN - download it here or listen at the site or WFYI.

Spent much of yesterday evening at Radio Radio, taking in Megafaun (a band that couldn't decide whether they wanted to play bluegrass or break it down dub/noise style), Rosebud (fun indie rock that likes '80s synthpop a little) and Richard Lloyd (he of Television fame), who played to a small but enthusiastic crowd. Couldn't help but laugh at his slow, deadpan stage presence, though.He even tossed in "Spanish Castle Magic" as a nod to Mitch Mitchell, who died yesterday. Fun and loud.

12Nov/081

Busted by the Bass Geek

Before I launch into this post, let me preface it with a couple of statements:

  • I'm leaving out the name of the store and the employee for obvious reasons.  There are a few big box music stores in Indianapolis, and I'm not specifying which one.
  • My reaction to this exchange was no doubt influenced by the fact that, during the whole time I was listening to this, I just wanted one set of strings.  I was only there because I needed the strings on short notice, and I'll be stocking up today from my usual outlet.

In any case, the person in front of me at said store was going over his new pawnshop purchase (a Korean-made P-Bass copy) with the clerk and asking for advice.  He'd already made me quite sad by hauling said purchase from his car to the store without a case in the freezing drizzle (NO NO NO - the first thing you should have gotten from the store is a case.  ANY case, dammit), but such is life.  It was the conversation itself that was driving me crazy.

For example, the clerk indicated it was a Jazz bass by pointing at the thumb rest just above the strings.  The thumb rest is nothing but a thumb rest - it does not make a bass any jazzier than another one.  You can play jazz on any kind of bass (Monk Montgomery used a Fender Precision to fine effect), and the traditional Jazz bass is defined by the pickup configuration, the neck style and the body shape.  This was definitely a Precision knockoff, not a Jazz knockoff.  That's Bass Guitar 101 right there.

Furthermore, just because you're using your fingers doesn't make it "jazz."  Steve Swallow, Anthony Jackson and their picks need to have a word with you.

Also, not telling the new bassist that a P-bass knockoff might not be the best funk slapping machine around (which the bassist emphasized he would be trying) might help him avoid buyer's remorse for a bit, but it's just not responsible.  Let him know what's going on and where he might want to go from there (that Jazz bass you were talking about earlier might do the trick).

Then there's the strings.  I realize you've got commission to think of, but you're trying to sell dude some strings that (evidently) cost about the same as what he did for the bass.  Take it easy, sell him the Ernie Balls, and be done with it.  They'll work.

Finally, don't tell me "Yeah, you know what you're talking about.  You're a bassist, you would have corrected me."  Another customer corrected you once during this exchange, and I didn't want to pile on.

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11Nov/087

Two Questions re: “Chinese Democracy”

Best Buy is taking pre-orders for the new Guns & Roses album "Chinese Democracy."  Like AC/DC, The Eagles, and Garth Brooks before it, it will only be sold in a large consumer store (although GnR is going through Best Buy, while the rest watch the prices fall at Wal-Mart).  So that's the EXCLUSIVE location.

EXCEPT that I saw an ad at iTunes offering a pre-sale for the tracks in the iTunes store.  So, now for my questions:

  1. If it's an exclusive, why is the album available at more than one location (yes, I know they're technically two different formats, but the "exclusive" was never qualified)?
  2. Why would you pre-order downloaded files?  I can personally guarantee that the lines will not be too long.

Also, a quick aside - if the AC/DC album is Wal-Mart only, why did a see a new, sealed copy available at a local record store last week?

10Nov/082

Ugh.

27+ hours writing this weekend.  I think.  There were breaks for dinner, and I think I left the house once for some Taco Bell.  Other than that, it was all Google Small Business Solutions All-In-One For Dummies.  All the time.  Even during the stupid, stupid Steelers loss.

Why is it better to write just a few pages a day?  This weekend is ample proof.

The majority of the work gets done before ACT starts rehearsals for the Christmas show this weekend, though, so I'm spared that.  This is going to be a revue-type show, so we're looking at getting approximately 60 songs together for this show.

Starting the day after Thanksgiving.

And the entire time, I can feel the XBox calling me.  Forever calling . . .