I've got me a complication and its an only child
The music I did with my friend Patrick. He found a vintage Mesa Boogie tube amp and we messed around with TONE. Tone is what guitarists live for.
Patrick was blown away by the tube amp. We spent part of Saturday buying different replacements tubes. We even got a pair of 12AXA7's to mess around with the 12A7's in the preamp.
Thick, creamy sustain from tubes, a more human sound than the sometimes nasty cutoff and decay of transistors and digital effects.
Taking a break with the music we watched Alan Arkush's “The Temptations”. I worked with Arkush on “Get Crazy” and always felt warmly towards him.
We didn't watch the whole movie, just the musical numbers. Arkush got those dead on. It was exciting to watch.
One thing was I wasn't sure whether the band has no concept of the past or if they think I'm that old. They kept asking me if it was really like that! As this was the late 50's . . . The only answer was, “I hope so.”
It did get us into a discussion about music, about rhythm and the beat, the big beat. I've always held that its the beat that makes you tap your feet but its the rhythm that makes you swing your hips. (So do you want to see a room full of girls tapping their toes or shaking their ass? Its up to you.)
We did end up talking about somethings I hate in music. Mainly LOOOOOOONG songs, especially those that end up featuring formless “jams”.
Jazz and blues have a tradition for exploring musical boxes in those jams, and I don't like them there much, even when I can appreciate the musicality and musicianship. I like songs, loaded potent songs.
Bob Dylan bought long winded poetry into pop music. In places its effective. His “Tangled Up In Blue” and the Saint's “Swing For the Crime” show that the excess verbiage can be used to devastating effect.
But me, I still like verse chorus verse chorus bridge chorus. I like songs under 3 minutes. I like a memorable hook and a great one off burst through line - Tom Petty's “Some where someone must have kicked you around some” is a full on image that brings a dozen women to mind in the time it takes to sing that line.
I dislike “concept” albums. I know that there is a certain mass hysteria proclaiming the “Genius” of writing 12 songs based around one theme . . . but I generally find most song writers might tell great stories within a song but are pretty rotten story tellers when presented with a BIG canvas.
None of them that I can think of tell a story well, and often the power of one great song gets diluted in what seems like rushed laziness. Rock operas may seem cute but I think they are a huge step backwards.
Recording artist used to be the way bands promoted themselves. It was a way of saying I got a record out! It wasn't a proclamation of genius. When the Beatles decided they weren't touring anymore (how rich do you have to be to decide that!) but they would focus on themselves as recording artists . . . that was a pretty dismal day.
Suddenly it wasn't enough to make cool discs. Compare that to the crazed rockabilly cat who drove his truck off a mountain because he was driving at fool speed while standing on the running board, steering with one hand while waving a stack of 45's over his head screaming, “I made a record! I made a record!”
I know which one I take more seriously, but then, I'm from Southern California where spending an hour listening to just one record seemed kind of . . . well, boring.
(The guy who had the bad accident called himself the Phantom. He performed wearing cat clothes and a Lone Ranger mask!! His record was “Love Me” 86 seconds of bone chilling fury that hasn't been topped yet in the drama and emotion stakes.)
My puppy had to go for her annual check up on Thursday. I was so proud of the way she conducted herself. She's big now. I seldom realize how big. They bought in 2 techs to hold her while they drew blood. (I always want an annual blood panel. It provides a baseline if anything goes wrong as well as giving the ability to trace her body chemistry).
They didn't need anyone to hold her. She didn't like being stuck with needles but she tolerated it because she had to and she's a good little girl.
I'm fading in and out myself. Pain comes in spurts, but its been dealable so far. My hands cramping up, locking up from guitar playing concerns me without worrying me too much. Finding a new job is a greater worry!
One thing that bothers me is the way the bones in my face and my teeth seem to be shifting, so that when I relax my face feels different, alien to me.