The Bass Geek - Words about Music, Circuitry, and New Orleans
The Bass Geek
31Aug/100

Mystikos Quintet, The Broad Ripple Music Festival, and Cabaret Poe

Hey, remember when I mentioned that I was doing a little work with downtempo soul stylists Mystikos Quintet and some live work was in the offing?

Well, all that is finally happening. To be precise, it's happening at the Jazz Kitchen during the Broad Ripple Music Festival on October 16th. We're going through their catalog and working out the numbers, and I'm truly happy to be playing a part in their first-ever live band show. Plus, Broad Ripple will be alive with a ton of live music that Friday and Saturday night - a host of rare spectacles not to be missed!

Mystikos has been doing a ton of remix and studio work - check out all of the news here, follow them on Facebook and Twitter, and we'll see you on October 16th!

I should also note that this date is one of the few nights in October I won't be playing for the Irvington-based production of Cabaret Poe, a wonderful Halloween-themed production from Q Artistry. So see the show there, then see the Mystikos Quintet, then go back for more Cabaret Poe. It's the right thing to do, really.

27Aug/101

Fountain Square Music This Weekend

How busy is Radio Radio this weekend? Three nights of busy! The Battle of the Media Bands take place on Friday, and Jascha, Kate Lamont, and Everything, Now! Play Saturday. Sunday wraps up with The Dollyrots, The Cliks, and Hunter Valentine.

The Vollrath features Leo/Virgo night with DJ Linny McSkinny and The Bear Foote Jackson tonight. Float, float on. Tomorrow, check out the Laarks and Veseria.

The Indianapolis Jazz Orchestra plays Swing Night at the Fountain Square Theater tonight, and there's live jazz at Maria's Pizza tonight as well. Finally, check out the lounge music at the Brass Ring. Enjoy!

26Aug/100

New IMN Podcast and Some Quick Music Reviews

The new IMN podcast is up - download it or listen at the site or on WFYI HD2, Thursdays at 4pm and 10pm.

Picked up some new recordings over the past week through the magic of eMusic and the CD store. The notable standouts include Julie Slick's self-titled debut and the Stanley Clarke Band's latest release. Slick melds the brawny, muscular tone she displayed at the Adrian Belew show at Radio Radio some months back with intriguing, well-composed tracks featured a ton of guest artists. This one comes highly recommended. As for Clarke's disc, I actually heard the first track via WWOZ without knowing who it was and was intrigued by the modern rock elements the song incorporated within the jazz framework. But pair Clarke with pianist Hiromi and the other great musicians on the disc, and that kind of ingenuity makes sense. Good stuff all around. Finally, I'm just getting into the new Trombone Shorty disc - it doesn't quite capture the fiery presence Troy Andrews has live, but it still communicates what you can expect from his outfit. Pick it up, but I'd definitely be looking for the next live show.

Back to playing with the new Propellerheads software - the new drum and loop tools are great, and Record sports an auto-tune function now. Use with discretion, please.

23Aug/100

Where Do We Go with Sheet Music?

NPR tackles the plight of those who write music for a living and distribute it via sheet music. File sharing doesn't apply just to audio recordings - something that's drilled in to me every time I get a Google new alert detailing all the sites torrenting my assorted books. Same thing happens with sheet music, and the NPR story considers how new technology makes the traditional publishing process obsolete. Who needs the publishing companies when you can take Sibelius or Finale (preferably Sibelius, for my money) and sell it via any number of online marketplaces. You don't even have to pay for studio time. The piracy may still exist, but at least you're getting the money directly instead of filtering it through middlemen.

But that also just accounts for the actual sheet music, and not the performance rights. Currently, when I perform in the pit for a musical, the director or theater buys the rights for the performance and awaits the delivery of well-worn paper scores and parts. These things have been abused, and most of the time they're just photocopies of hand-written sheet music (or some crappy handwriting-like font). Then I end up using Sibelius to copy and transpose some of the numbers for the sake of the singers, toss together the whole conglomeration, and hope for the best. Since the performance costs are for the rights to the show and not the books themselves, why not distribute them digitally via computers or other devices (like Kindles, iPads, or other eReaders). The backlit screens mean we could even dispatch with the stand lights!

But wait, it gets better. Since these are digitally distributed, why couldn't they also go into a program that automatically transposes the songs according to the needs of the performers? Or remove measures or sections as needed as well (another common occurrence, at least in the theaters I've worked in)? Even the iPhone can already do the transposition for lead sheets in the Real Book, although I don't think it can handle written parts and the removal of measures. The initial buy-in for the eReaders of choice might be a little much, but paper copies could also be printed from the computer. Remember, the money is for the performance rights, not the books themselves.

So now we have the electronic sheet music available either in printable form (which, admittedly, is available right now at several different online locations) or to eReaders with additional abilities for modification. Money is saved in the transport and return of the books, and those responsible for the creation of the music still get paid for the performance rights as well. The tools are there, we just have to make it work, write the software, and use the new tools available to us.

20Aug/100

Fountain Square Music This Weekend

Radio Radio has a trio of indie rock goodness on Saturday - Elsinore, Jookabox, and Slothpop. Have at it.

The Vollrath brings in Hollis Brown, Castles, Veseria, The Yesway, and Govener tonight. Get there early and settle in for a long show, I guess. Tomorrow is slightly less crowded, with The Last Good Year, Modoc, Pictures of Then, and Canby.

The White Rabbit Cabaret and MOKB presents Ferraby Lionheart, Works Cited, and Justin Branam tonight. Saturday finds them hosting the Schlapentickle Family Burlesque & Revue. Thankfully, no slide shows.

And there's live jazz at Maria's Pizza in addition to lounge music at the Brass Ring. Enjoy, won't you?

19Aug/100

New IMN Podcast and Steelers Bass!

The new IMN podcast is up - download it or listen at the site or on WFYI HD2, Thursdays at 4pm and 10pm (DOUBLE SHOT!).

Also, there's only one thing I really find appealing about the picture to the left, and it fits in with the occurrences taking place over the next few weeks. Yes, the NFL preseason continues, and I choose to focus on the initial winning ways of the Steelers than the ongoing drama horror that is the career of Brett Favre. And by career, I mean season-ending interceptions.

So take a look at this bass, if you will. Black, black, black, black and gold, with the tastefully placed Steelers logo and the not-so-tastefully placed nickname. But it's his bass, so I suppose the nickname belongs. Other than that, it looks ready to go. So, indeed, here we go, Steelers, here we go!

13Aug/100

Fountain Square Music This Weekend

Radio Radio has but one show this weekend - the eclectic Toro Y Moi on Sunday.

Big Car Gallery hosts a huge night of music (a Decadent Music Party, as it were) with Jon Autry, ROOMS and Fair Fjola tonight. This will be a good night. I encourage you to go to this.

The White Rabbit Cabaret and My Old Kentucky Blog presents Jeremy Messersmith w/Noah East this evening. Drink it in, and drink it deep.

The Twilight Nites Big Band takes the stage at the Fountain Square Theater for Swing Night. For smaller-scale jazz, head over to Maria's Pizza. And, for lounge music, there's the Brass Ring. Enjoy!

P.S. The Steelers kick off their preseason this Saturday night. It's the most wonderful time of the year . . .

12Aug/100

New IMN Podcast and the iRig

The new IMN podcast is up - download it here or listen at the site or on WFYI HD2, Thursdays at 4pm and 10pm.

Macworld reviewed some new guitar amp and effect simulations for the iPhone and iPad - the only thing it seems to be missing is a connection to a PA or amp (headphone jacks do NOT count). I'm just wondering what happens when you get a phone call during the gig.

11Aug/100

“Scott Pilgrim Wins” – Onscreen Bass Battle!

Not only did the movie manage to include a bass guitar in their promotional materials, but this interview reveals a monumental scene that no doubt represents the climactic height of the movie:

Brandon Routh: And I had to learn to play bass -- both Michael Cera and I had to for our bass battle. I had to find out what looks cool when you're playing the bass guitar.

The answer, Brandon, is that the mere act of playing bass guitar represents the coolest thing you can do.

Especially in a bass battle.

Without a doubt.

6Aug/100

Fountain Square Music This Weekend

Ah, GenCon. Would that we had something gaming-related to offer for you musically this weekend. As it is, Radio Radio offers you Phosphorescent tonight and Bigger Than Elvis tomorrow.

The Vollrath presents Stand and Deliver,XXX Smut and Money Shot tonight. Tomorrow, take in Will Phalen, Fairview, and Headless Thompson Gunners.

Big Car Gallery displays a bunch of art and hosts performance from Sea Krowns, Christian Taylor and Homeschool, Accordions, and others.

But does it stop there? MAID NON, MONSIEURS ET MADAMES! White Rabbit Cabaret throws the Burlesque Bingo Bango show tonight and Big Band night tomorrow.

And there's jazz at Maria's Pizza tonight, lounge music at the Brass Ring, and Dwight Edwards at the Smokehouse!

Too much, First Friday! Too much!

Enjoy all, and may all of your 20s be natural, GenConners.