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

Yes, Another Pedal . . .

I picked up the Electro-Harmonix Steel Leather pedal more on a whim (with available store credit) than anything else. Bassists usually emphasize compression (making the notes more level overall volume-wise) over expansion (making louder notes louder), and I'm not needing to cut through any metal-crazed mixes any time soon (the advertised reason for the pedal's existence). I'm finding that a little of the pedal (9 o'clock on both knobs) brings out a nice presence with tapping, though - just a little extra shine. And it's tiny - my gig bag is getting a little too packed at this point. Good stuff.


Fountain Square Music This Weekend

Does Radio Radio take this weekend off? No, they do not. Tonight they host a sold-out show featuring the Lumineers and Bears of Blue River. Tomorrow, cellist Ben Sollee drops by.

Holy crap, look at the huge show at White Rabbit Cabaret this Saturday! Alejandro Escovedo with Jesse Malin! That's huge!

Indy's Jukebox presents Sub X, The Grinning Man, Black Lions, and Dudemagnets tonight.

The Hoosier Dome features The Void Above, Haruspex, When All Hope Fails, and Biorhythm tonight. Tomorrow, they put on a huge show with the Punks Don't Give A Fest.

And there's always live jazz and lounge music at the Brass Ring and Maria's Pizza all weekend long. Except Monday. That's a holiday. And it'll be too frickin' hot anyway. Enjoy.


Retro-Geek Bass Porn

Commodore 64 BassPlease tell me why we don't have a sample for this instrument yet. I'm intensely curious as to the tonal properties of early-80s-era injection-molded plastic casing.

Also, since there are no tuning knobs on the bridge, I'm guessing it has a regular headstock. Which is a shame. Given the vintage of this instrument, it should feature a headless design. And be used to play synth-based pop. At all times.


Fountain Square Music This Weekend

Radio Radio presents Memoryhouse tonight and Fort Frances and Fjola tomorrow night.

The White Rabbit Cabaret brings in Sallie Ford & the Outside Sound with Coyotes (two separate acts, Sallie Ford is NOT bringing in wild coyotes or anything) tonight. Tomorrow, the Accidental Circus 2012 Apocalypse Tour takes the stage.

Indy's Jukebox has 50/Six Feet and Tension Head tonight, for those who like metal and such.

The Hoosier Dome provides maximum dollar value with COLD WORLD, Backtrack, Expire, Dead End Path, Written Off, and Foul Mind tonight. Tomorrow, take in White Rock Scratch and Speaker for the Dead.

And there's live jazz and lounge music at Maria's Pizza and the Brass Ring all weekend long. Enjoy!


Bass On The Broadband

Truth be told, I was a little ready to dismiss this streaming radio station as a great idea, just not my kind of thing. Acclaimed bassist Brian Bromberg started the channel as a showcase for bass-oriented music, and it does address that, to be sure. It's just that the first couple times I tuned in, the music was rather . . . smooth. The songs all featured famous bassists quite prominently, but there wasn't anything I felt particularly attached to. The third time I tuned in, though, I joined right in the middle of Willie Weeks' solo in Donny Hathaway's "Voices Inside (Everything is Everything). And it went from there into a great Esperanza Spalding track. So the station redeemed itself there, and I've been tuning in every so often since then with (for the most part) good results.

The franchise names are there, to be sure:

  • Marcus Miller
  • Ron Carter
  • Victor Wooten
  • Stanley Clarke
  • Bootsy Collins

But there's been plenty of stalwarts you wouldn't hear on a . . . smooth station as well.

  • Damien Erskine
  • Adam Nitti
  • Yves Carbonne

And they've got a Bryan Beller track playing right now, in fact. No real shows to speak of, just wall-to-wall music with a Sunday feature on classical bassists (just like terrestrial radio putting their "public service" programming on Sunday?). So I'm happy to call this a decent resource (especially in the jazz and fusion genres, where bassists liked by bassists tend to live, I suppose). I'm not sure how much exposure this will give the artists on the channel to non-bassists, but for those of us who tend to be a little obsessive, it's great. Just remember that this is a stream, so there's no rewinding or downloads or anything like that. That said, no commercials, either.

EDIT: Just realized that I'd like to hear more stuff from artists like Matthew Garrison, Thundercat, as well as folks like Steve Lawson. I'm guessing the music is on the way, though, since this just started up.


Fountain Square Music This Weekend . . . and MORE!

Does Radio Radio have a big show this weekend? Radio Radio has a big show this weekend. Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls stops by tonight.

The White Rabbit Cabaret hosts NOISE! pianoke tonight. Tomorrow, there's a dance party. Song and dance acts abound!

Indy's Jukebox starts the metal around 3pm tomorrow so that it might include 10 frickin' bands. Huge bill includes Biorhythm, Fleshsuit, and Kidd Comet.

The Hoosier Dome fields 7 bands of their own tonight, including the return of Of Sight and Sound. Tomorrow brings in the all-ages Punk Rock Prom, featuring Blane Fonda, Green Room Rockers, and three other bands. Clearly, getting value for your money is a theme this weekend.

It's also Swing Night at the Fountain Square Theater tonight, and there's live jazz and lounge music at the Brass Ring and Maria's Pizza all weekend long. Enjoy!

Finally, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the last two shows of Songs in the Key of Blues tonight and tomorrow. Come out and enjoy!


The Aristocrats!

Aside from the fine clinic to be taken in (and it was - great insight into tone and playing as a unit), part of the reason I traveled to Ft. Wayne Monday evening for Bryan Beller's bass clinic was the fact that I knew I'd be missing the Indianapolis stop for his band the Aristocrats. Beller is a fine bassist (from assorted Zappa family members to Steve Vai to Dethklok and more), and his writing and lessons are nothing short of inspiring. Nevertheless, a poorly scheduled business trip takes me to Chicago, a large city that surprisingly has no Aristocrats stop on this leg of the tour.

So, please - go see this show at Birdy's on Monday, May 21st. Not only for the amazing music and great show, but because I'll be kicking myself for not making it. Here's some sound:

Here's the website:

Have at it, and enjoy!


Fountain Square Music This Weekend

Radio Radio presents Bigger Than Elvis for First Friday tonight. Tomorrow night, Bigger Than Elvis returns for a good cause, along with Creepin' Charley and the Boneyard Orchestra and the Rastabilly Rebels - it's a benefit for John Fannon's medical expenses.

The White Rabbit Cabaret hosts Faun Fables and Lord of the Yum Yum tonight. Tomorrow, take in Vacation Club, Learner Dancer and No Coast in a benefit for Brunswick to Baja.

There's 10+ hip-hop acts (including Jimi Inphinity) taking the stage at Indy's Jukebox tonight - click the link for the full list. Tomorrow, The Enders perform.

The Hoosier Dome shows off Conflictions, Rest In Piss, Costanza, Disaffected, and Red Morning Voyage. Tomorrow, they present the finals in the High School Battle of the Bands.

Finally, the Tonic Ball folks reveal tonight that their artists for this year's event include Stevie Wonder, U2, and the Kinks. The Indy Star already blew the story, though, so just come out and enjoy the music beginning at 6pm at the Murphy Building. And there's live jazz and lounge music at the Brass Ring and Maria's Pizza all weekend long. Enjoy!


Wanna Confuse Yourself?

Take the 5-string bass you've been playing for a decade and restring it with a high C instead of a low B. Nothing groundbreaking here - it's good enough for Matthew Garrison, Steve Swallow, and Janek Gwizdala (among others). But man, it's messing with my head. Having the extra high end makes for easier chording and more defined melody lines, but I'm still getting used to the positions. And being a fourth or fifth off at random times is never fun. Still, I like the setup, and it actually seems to be better for my Stingray 5 - a lighter gauge with the higher string agrees more with the action on the bass, and it's much easier to play and maintain.

So I'm going to try using it in the new production Songs in the Key of Blues for Q Artistry, opening tonight in Irvington. Should be fun!