The Bass Geek - Words about Music, Circuitry, and New Orleans
The Bass Geek
31Mar/090

Music and the Stock Market

I've been hearing more and more NPR shows and other sources talking about beat variance in popular music and the stock market.  The theory is that volatile markets cause songs with steady beats to climb the charts, and songs with tempo changes are more appealing when the market is less volatile.  The study is backed up with research using computer analysis of songs and cross-referencing market data.

Still, I can't trust this study for a couple of reasons:

  1. Payola recognizes no market data.
  2. Charts were never that accurate anyway (again, payola).
  3. Now that we have click tracks and beat mapping with digital audio workstations, do we even have tempo variations anymore?

I think some more background research was necessary here.

30Mar/090

Weekend In Review

The Guitar and Bass Summit shows at the Jazz Kitchen turned out pretty well, including the actual performances and the master class  It was nice to see a couple of bassists (Todd Johnson and Scott Pazera) playing and soloing with the fluidity that they did.  My personal highlight was the dual bass version of "Witchcraft."  It sounded quite rich and full, thanks to the 13 strings on stage between the two bassists.  The songs did run long, as all five soloists had to take a few choruses each, but each brought something different to the song.

I also picked up a new MIDI controller (the M-Audio Axiom 25), and I'm really enjoying how easily it interfaces with Reason.  The aftertouch and additional drum pads and knobs are great touches, especially considering the used price point.  I want to bring it out live, even if it does mean playing keyboard bass.

27Mar/090

Fountain Square Music This Weekend

Radio Radio has Luna Halo, The Glass Identity Crisis, and The Kold War tonight. Tomorrow brings in Boston's KID:NAP:KIN, Twin Cats, and Henderson.

Big Car Gallery has the Tonos Triad CD release party tomorrow night.  This should be a good one - enjoy.

Deano's Vino has Acoustic Catfish tonight and New Augusta tomorrow.

And finally, there's live jazz at Maria's Pizza and the Big Swing Band at the Fountain Square Theater tonight.  So there you go - lotsa options!

26Mar/090

New IMN Podcast

It's up - go get it or listen at the site or at WFYI.

Just bought some fuses for the bass amp.  Over the Internet.  Turns out none of the hardware stores, home improvement stores, or electronic specialty stores around here stock 6.3A, 250W time delay fuses.  There's a place that does though, and they're happy to charge  three times as much as the actual product for shipping.  Thankfully, it's all in one package, so I bought a few more to make the whole thing worth it.  Sigh.

24Mar/090

My Words, Coming Back At Me

It was a great lesson that I took from Todd Johnson today, and there's a lot of information for me to work through as a result - thankfully, I took my digital recorder to tape it for reference later.  And while listening, I'll get the chance to relive all the times I got to hear what I tell my students coming back to me.  Using the metronome, practice slowly and build up from there, the whole bit.  Get a little eager, have to slow it back down a bit.  There's always more to learn, and it's great to be reminded of that.

More metronome time, now.  See y'all later.

23Mar/090

Conceptual Bass Porn

Seth Horan's new bassThis bass doesn't actually exist yet - you're looking at an artist rendering of the eventual final product.  Still, given the blog the creator is keeping about the ongoing creation, it looks like it's in more than capable hands.  Note the fanned-fret design, the individual saddles, and the gorgeous finish.  Just beautiful.  Since it doesn't actually exist yet, I'll forgive the lack of sound samples.  But that's the only reason.  Let that be a lesson to others.

20Mar/090

Fountain Square Music This Weekend

Radio Radio has Howie Day and Nick Zuber tonight.  Tomorrow brings Brian McGee and the Hollow Speed with Mandy Marie and the Cool Hand Lukes.

Deano's Vino has Luke Austin Daughtery tonight and the Last Drop Jug Band tomorrow. Get there early - they have to empty the jugs at the bar themselves.

And Maria's Pizza has live jazz Friday night.  Enjoy.

19Mar/090

New IMN Podcast and Last New Battlestar Galactica

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

And now it's time to prepare for the last Battlestar Galactica episode.  Had to catch up on about three weeks, and I still don't care much for the "All Along The Watchtower" connection, but such is life.   At least the little girl could write out the sheet music.  No tablature there.

18Mar/090

Great Interview with Melvin Gibbs

Melvin Gibbs was probably most visible to the general music-listening public back in the Nineties when he backed up Henry Rollins in The Rollins Band (that's him in the "Liar" video), but his incredible career includes work with Ronald Shannon Jackson's Decoding Society, Vernon Reid, and a whole host of jazz legends.  Heck, I still listen to his pop-oriented Eye & I album (hey, it's got DJ Logic, Vernon Reid, and BERNIE WORRELL on it!).  His new album features field recordings of Brazilian music influenced by African religious traditions paired with American players like Blackbyrd McKnight and John Medeski.  He does a much better job of explaining it on this WNYC Soundcheck podcast.  Download, listen and enjoy.

17Mar/090

Brown-Eyed Girl

One of my recent tweets detailed my rule that once the band plays "Brown-Eyed Girl" at any function, I'm out the door.  In this case, said tweet was prompted at a charity event downtown over the weekend.  The band started out tolerably with "What A Wonderful World" and Bruce Springsteen's "Fire," but the third song killed out.  The charity already had our money, so I felt no remorse about calling it a night and heading home.  The band didn't even make the lead singers handle the tune - it was instead turned over to the pony-tailed keyboardist, who probably mastered the tune at a smooth lounge somewhere.  The song was too much of a chore for the regular singers - they had to call in backup.

It seemed to hit a nerve, too.  I got responses uniformly in support of my personal rule, so it made me wonder why the song is still played so frequently.  It's a song so bad, not even a bass solo could save it.  Van Morrison has infinitely better material, so why not go for that?  The only thing I can come up with is:

  1. Instantly recognizable.
  2. Drilled into your head.
  3. Easily identifiable with the majority of the population.
  4. Fast enough to dance to, slow enough to not present a challenge.
  5. Some kind of brainwashing and desensitization at birth.  Probably involving needles.

I'm going to stop thinking about it now.  Sorry for the burden. Just stop playing it, please.  That's all I ask.