Monday, July 02, 2007

Complaint and Praise

First off, I hate, loathe, despise, abhor, dislike, and detest rehearsals. I practice my ass off and expect that people who call themselves professionals should have the song lists that they faxed us weeks ago fucking nailed shut. Another thing I hate about rehearsals is that they inhibit improvisation. It's a very human thing to slide into comfortable lines that you know will get you approval. Thing is that gets stale and sounds, well, fucking rehearsed pretty quickly. I'd much rather stretch and take chances. I ain't afraid to suck out there sometimes. It's the price you pay for reaching that high.

That said:

We are doing a cover of floyd's Comfortably Numb it works incredibly well with our front's vocals and style.

I'm using my Line6 Variax on this one and I start it out in drop D tuning and modeling a Ricky 12. I am using a preset on the amp called Memphis Clean, with about 3 points of reverb and a decent dose of chorus effect thrown in. It's a shimmering otherworldly set.

Now for the fun part. At the last of the vocals. I stomp my amp over to another preset that's based on The Thrill is Gone, a piercing blues setting with gobs and gobs of sustain. Then I make two clicks on the guitar which changes it to a vintage SG in an open D tuning, snatch up a pill bottle and commence to wail. The first time I did that the other guitar player was totally frozen. Dude couldn't move, fucking paralyzed. The look on our star's face was priceless, wonder, and approval. When we were finished she said "I think this is our blowoff."



Blogger BadTux said...

So I take it technology isn't always evil, eh? Or if it is, it's evil in a GOOD way :-).

- Badtux the Techie Penguin

9:58 PM  
Blogger Marc said...

Where can I catch the performance?

12:08 AM  
Blogger Rez Dog said...

What little performing I've done--poetry slams --made me realize how amazingly awesome professionals are. I can barely do a short poem without notes yet you guys not only remember words and music but somehow manage to pull together various instruments and voices. As for your tech specs and impact, is that how you keep it from getting too routine?

7:14 AM  
Blogger pogo2 said...

MB, that sounds awesome. This group got a name? Perhaps a youtube clip? I remeber a cut from one of Hendrix's live albums - I think it may have been Band of Gypsies - where in response to an audience request for one of his classic tunes after a long jam he said "This ain't no Juke Box." I loved that about him - get on the edge live, and sometimes you suck - of course he sucked less often than most.

8:13 AM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

we haven't named our group, mainly because we were all hired individually by our singer/songwriter lady. sometimes a group like that will name themselves on the bus or something like that. i've been advised by my agent and other folks in the industry to not give out names of who i'm playing with until far after the fact, and then to try and keep my comments and observations on the positive side. hell, i gotta work you know?

marc, as far as i know our shows have been sold out for a while. we did seattle last night, san francisco tonight, then l.a., palm springs and san diego. then home.

12:28 PM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

as far as keeping things fresh, there are times you simply can't. after all, like jerry jeff knows, those people paid good money for those seats and they've kept you ever having to get a real job, and they are by god expecting you to sing "bojangles" for them. some of the things i do is to change the instruments up, like playing "both sides now" with the harp backing it or doing a rock song bluegrass, or a bluegrass like a rock song. (you should hear queen's "fat bottomed girls" with guitar, gut bucket bass, fiddle, banjo and mandolin or "dark hollow" with full on electrics)

but mostly, what i try to do is to lay off the specific songs of that show once i've got them down. i'll practice with something that is similar, requires the same techniques and skills and leave the real thing for the performance. as far as the improvisational part, i will use a "signal lick" to let everybody else know that i'm going to go another chorus or wrap it up, but i try to keep it fresh, when it's best is when i find out what i'm going to play when everybody else does.

me da always used to say "perfect jazz comes from the top of your head and the bottom of your heart at the same time."

he was right.

12:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And that's why I find jazz beyond, far beyond, whatever meager musical talent I possess.

That & I'm far too lazy to ever get where I'd be worth listening to. (It doesn't help any that I can hear my voice is probably best suited to opera, which I don't really like very much at all.)

- oddjob

12:42 PM  

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