Friday
Jan212005

« Holy Scheisse! »

Holy shit. It bears repeating. Holy Fucking Shit, in fact. Can it be? Is the TAPKAE™ brand musical ice age coming to an end? Did it only take ONE whole George Bush presidency to recover from the ice age that followed my pants-on-fire musical creative spell that went from 1995-2000? Man, with only a few exceptions, for the most part, I did in fact record the last music that I deemed worth keeping (my Hog Heaven Holiday Theme Music of 2000) just as Bush stole the first election—about mid December 2000 was when I was doing that HHHTM project. And here we are, four years later and I finally seem to be getting some ideas again, and some sense that maybe I can get some work done. Hah. I guess I can't wait another four years for Bush to be out of office before I make some music.

Man, I just got out of the studio after twiddling with my new Music Man 4 string bass. I am digging that bass to no end. It has been a few years since I had a 4 string fretted bass (have had the fretless almost as long, but don't use it much), so after years of using the Fender 5 string with its fat landscape to navigate, the 4 string is all nice and fast, and easy to play. And it has the god-tone I've been looking for. So far it has been a delight to record with. I use my Ampeg SVT3 Pro to shape my sound on the way to disk, and fuck me it is godlike. The notes just gurgle out of it and have that delightful midrange punch that I love. No gimmicky EQ—just a two band cutting passive EQ. Full out, it sounds like a Chapman Stick (actually, I think the Stick tailored its tone so sound like the Music Man bass), and anything less, it's always fat and punchy. Yay. The harmonics ring nice and bold too, and I like to employ harmonics from time to time. I'm so glad I bought this bass—the second time.

But then there is this dude named Glenn who contacted me a week ago and offered up his drumming, guitaring, and singing. Finally a week ago, we got together and jammed some themes that have been batting around for me for the last four years or some part thereof. Most of them have been recorded and played by the various combos I've tried to form around my ideas, and some are just too familiar to have played differently, but for whatever reason, that first day with Glenn here, I just tossed aside a lot of the preconceived notions of what had to be in these tunes—they obviously haven't been done as well as they could be, so WTF? I may as well try to mix them up some. I just had a total musical hard on getting the chance to play one on one and explore ideas of alternate arrangements. Then we did this loose jam on new ideas that I had never used with anyone, and we went out of here with a good sense that something could happen, and all we needed to do was show up and try—which is all any of my other band cohorts ever had to do! Grrrrr!. Glenn and I reconvened and took another swipe at that same new track, with me on guitar, and he on drums. It took only a few short attempts to get something that really left us excited. I think we both latched onto it for its serendipitous quality, but the thing has some very cool rocking passages. Since I was playing guitar initially, I'd jump over to bass and lay down a first take wonder that kicked the whole thing up another notch. Man, it was exciting. Then we'd sit there and bask as we played it at waytooloud and thought of all the fun ahead. And, even better, his wife comes by and listens and cheers us on! Damn. She even likes King Crimson. I can't fucking believe it. Glenn and I got together again today and put on some favorite and new King Crimson and bonded. It was cool. Then we took another stab at this piece we were working on, this time with my guitar rig set up and ready to record in isolation mode (to keep it from bleeding like mad into the drum overheads as we play together). I was even happy with the separation I was able to get, so that frees us up to do drum/guitar jams and even hope to keep parts and be able to actually use them. Glenn also brought by a drum machine/groove box and we were fiddling with it. It's been a while since I used any electronics, so it may take a bit of experimenting, but if we carry on as a duo, we might be pretty self contained. Today we even played two guitar parts to the new track, trying to take it up a notch and do some serious Frippoff work.

And, even more insane, this week I've had (get ready for it) lyrical ideas for the first time in God knows how long. I want to write a hit song. It will be a leftist radical Republican bashing country song. I want to beat those fuckers at their own game. I don't really think KSON will play it, but it might be a rousing theme for the next 4 years.

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