this must be the place....goin strong , yeah baby!!!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

BECK !! Live @ Austin City Limits TV taping 4-28-14

hey this episode is gonna air in October, I hope I make it !! I love you all

This was a great show, they played a 19 song set list, and then they came back to redo about 5 songs for TV that they like missed a lyric or a note on or something.  I was on the front row for the whole show until the end i let this drunk girl in a hat be on the very front.  She approached me before the show to try and tell me Im tall* (*uuh, yeah i know this happens every time im at a show) and that she should be in front of me, but I shut her down and then started harmlessly flirting with her so she could be in a good mood.  I learned a valuable lesson thats kinda more a girls perspective thing, because there was definitely a moment where I should have dropped the "yeah my girlfriend blah blah blah" because instead like a gesture or 2 later she like tried to rub up against me and i just backed away so therefore it was awkward after that (i say girls perspective because id be willing to bet 98 times out of 100 this line is the "yeah my boyfriend" line, and hey the cool thing is now i understand it, yay for me.)  If only life didnt have to be so deftly navigated.  I forget how uptight your average person cant we just talk to each other and be random strangers who arent trying to bang each other ?  but its not that easy, that's not how it works, and anyways I digress because this post is about the show... the BECK show.

Ok, one thing you gotta know about Beck and one thing I learned about pro music as a commercial artform is that Beck is the Boss (like Springsteen, or Wayne Coyne) and its not about the band, its about the Man, thats what people are watching.  Just cause Im watching the other musicians thinking "the keyboard seems like a cool guy and reminds me of my friend Matt in L.A." doesn't mean that's "Where Its At" (<----beck .....="" 0-60="" 80="" a="" able="" actually="" also="" and="" are="" as="" ask="" aspect="" at="" band="" be="" because="" beck="" best="" between="" big="" buddys="" but="" can="" confounding="" could="" couple="" didnt="" diehard="" difference="" different="" do="" ediocrity.="" energy="" essentially="" ever="" experience="" experiences="" f="" fans="" far="" for="" freaked="" getting="" go="" gonna="" gonnna="" great="" have="" hes="" hey="" holy="" hose="" house="" i-love-rock-and-roll="" i="" im="" in="" into="" is="" it="" its="" just="" kinda="" know="" known="" let="" life="" like="" little="" ll="" me="" milwaukee="" mushrooms="" nbsp="" nd="" night="" nights="" not="" of="" oh="" ok="" on="" one="" or="" out="" p="" people="" play="" point.="" probably="" question:="" question="" really="" refined="" rock="" rockstar="" same="" say="" saying="" share="" shit="" show="" similar.="" small="" some="" something="" songtitle="" splat="" star="" strangers="" tell="" that="" thats="" the="" them="" then="" time="" to="" totally="" tour....="" tuesday="" up="" wake="" way="" went="" what="" whatever.="" why="" will="" with="" would="" you="" your="" yourself="">
But contrast that to playing a venue a standard deviation or 3 larger.  The crowd is gonna be made up of regular people.  Theyre not all musicians, or musicians girlfriends who are also musicians, or college radio djs or whatever.  They just like the music !!  So when Beck is playing with his band (they were a 6 piece), the other 5 guys are like the pinnicle of hired guns.  They are guys with a gig and they are getting paid and they are getting to express themselves fully in terms of their capabilities, but they are not writing music as a band, so they lack that sense of ownership, but they are all prob super chill dudes.  From watching their show I felt like I could get into a conversation with 3 of the guys in the band and feel like i had met someone super cool and that that feeling was recipricated, because I felt like I was sharing energy with them.  Why?  Well its a pretty intimate venue and I was on the front row, but besides that the main factor is that out of everyone on the front row I was probably the only musician, and I like to listen to music in a way where I am playing along with the music even tho its not my show cause of course a guy like me would imagine that.  Thats what musicians all feel when they first see a Jimi Hendrix video when they are 13 or whatever, so it would be only natural for those guys on stage to catch my vibe out of the corner of their eye, and since unlike in Milwaukee where everyone is on the same page, everyone else is having a good time but is basically a layperson, there is gonna naturally be a focus on the only dude who is a musician's vibe.   And that is quite dangerous because if they dose out and get into it with me, we might get lucky (totally random) on some changes, but I dont know the music so I am probably going to give them a number of bad cues and fuck them up.  So thats kinda ironic isnt it?  So thats my question to Beck, who is The Boss, because he did some professional shit by asserting his dominance in a weird way that would to a layman seem like a rock star and to a lower level musician seem like an ego trip like the classic "oh why does this guy....etcetc" but I wonder what a rockstar acts like, because how cool is it to fuck up your buddy's show, or to not make it about him, when the making it about him is what ties it together.  And ultimately when you have musicians that good (def including Beck, who wrote the shit, and his new material is great btw, even tho its slower tempo) its mega worth checking out what they come up with even if its mainly one guys shit and the other guys are just guys getting paid (((as opposed to a band where the band members are contributing more equally, or maybe not that so much, as that they are more vested in the compositional process  <---main 150="" a="" able="" about.="" actually="" all="" and="" at="" band="" be="" been="" biggest="" combine="" crowd="" doesnt="" escapes="" even="" exist="" for="" get="" grail="" had="" has="" have="" holy="" huge="" i="" im="" in="" is="" ive="" level="" like="" max="" megaparentheticals="" more="" musicians="" nbsp="" of="" on="" p="" point="" ppl="" pretty="" quite="" rock="" roll="" seen="" shit="" show="" shy="" situation="" so="" sure="" talking="" than="" that="" the="" think="" those="" to="" ultimately="" ut="" was="" we="" what="" where="" which="" with="" you="">
OK THIS HAS BEEN A SWEET RAMBLE !!  I have nothing to say about the show, watch the video when it comes out, seriously its fucking sick.  Becks material is sick, I love seeing such an advanced musician.  Actually, OK, I have critiques....i guess i should spill the beans while I remember the show.  The bass player was super sick and doing some sick ass shit.  I liked where the chord went from major to minor on the same chord and he played the root--5th and then root an octave higher.  He was doing some really incredible shit just getting around the neck, it was very smooth, never harsh.  I thought his Gibson bass (some weird super rare 70s model) sounded the best thru his amps, but for playability I noticed when he was playing the more light blue surfer one, I think it was actually a Jaguar bass.  I couldnt figure out if the amps were daisy chained, or if one was a backup amp, he had an Ampeg and an Acoustic Rig.  I laughed to myself because he could have gotten the sound I wanted him to have out of my bass rig HAHAHAHA (Sunn 2000S thru 2x15).  The EQing could have been a little better IMO, that room sounds incredible, gotta give The Black Angels credit for how they actually sounded sonically for their set there, the only other show ive seen there) so it still sounded good, but I would have liked to have a good ol fashioned tweak at it.  Beck should have used his Fuzz Pedal more, he used it like 2 times the whole show, and that was really an energy and volume that I thought was essential and underplayed and should have been more tapped into.  It sounded like Cherry Glazarr.  The guy on the bolo tie is pure gold.  I feel like there should have been a pedal steel in the show, with all the other shit they had going on.  The Hohner Clavichord should have had more high end, and "Where Its At" (the encore) IMHO should have been played faster.  It seemed that they had the slower tempo of the other material in their head, which I totally understand.  I also feel like they didnt peak out on that song like they should have because of the showbusiness aspect where the show had to be about Beck, because that show starts with the Keyboard, but the keyboard player wasnt allowed to get funky with it in a way that would attract attention to him.  Commercial Concerns IMO.  Maybe Beck should have gotten up there and played the riff to start the song or something, and then come down later and done the part where he is just straight up rapping.  Oh yeah, there were hints of Neil Young, serious ones, but also pretty subtle.  The boom boom -chick beat on the one with the banjo, and on that "never never never never never never blah blah" song there is a sweet Em7 chord.  Not saying Neil Young owns that chord but I did lean over to the guy next to me after that and say "Sweet Neil Young chord," so there is that.  Thats all the really pertinent stuff I can remember.  It would have been cool to have a little more faster was cool the way they were pimping the new was definitely a promotional show in that regard, and everything they played off that album was super sick (the one where they play in 3 for a while and then go back, I really loved how that worked, there is like a dropped measure in there, but I really felt like one could follow the music, like if you focused on the melody it would all make sense and the momentum wasn't harsh at all, therefore since it was so weird, it was really awesome).  but at  one point Beck was like "were getting the slower material out of the way now" but then they went on still really fucking long with that, like most the show was slow material it felt like.

Ultimately it was really fucking badass.  Im the tall dude on the front row in the Sleep Good shirt, which is a hammerhead shark with some diamonds on it, V neck style.  Hope i make TV, hi mom and dad!

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Party Plants // Shiny Voyage // Jagerbumps (first show) @ Scoot Inn 4-9-14


I have to skip a lot of the drama that went on with this show, because i want to follow my own rule of "rock and roll cool" which is that the cool thing to do is to cover someone elses faux pas so that we can all have a good time.  There was some things that happened at this show that made me feel really low.  To speak in vague generalities, I will only say that when ppl play shows, if they are doing it right, what happens is they are bearing their soul.  George Harrison slyly said it best, i dont think i could find the interview, but basically he pointed out that people aren't their corporeal beings, which is what its standard to mistake them for, what people really are are souls.  Everyone gets pent up from, well you know how it is, you're a human who ever is reading this, going to work, monotony, responsibilities, running out of money, trying to sign up for health care, etc.  Getting caught under the gears of life.  Whenever I play a show, especially whenever the band I'm playing in is good, which is def the case with Party Plants right now, by the end of the show i am very exposed emotionally.  Its just naturally what happens.  And I am a very emotional person, and Ive been accused in the past of always being in a hurry, or being uptight, and you know what, theres some time in my past where I was super uptight, and to the point where I couldn't even have regular interactions with other people, so if anyone is reading this that feels the same way or ever has, solidare!  The release of emotion that happens to me at a show is kinda sacred, or at the least, essential to my being, and I dont think Im alone in that, I think thats universal for anyone who gets seriously involved in doing music or art or really any creative pursuit i guess, the whole having an outlet thing.  At the end of a night when I have played a show, its like being in a wave in the ocean like I am forced to accept not being in control, and thats also a solid metaphor for life, because, really if we end up in a WWIII scenario or something, or theres an earthquake, I mean, its worth taking a cue from Alcoholics Anonymous that there is a higher power than us.  Shit happens way outside of our control.  And that's why I'm comfortable putting myself thru a itinerary (playing a show) where the end result is I'm not going to be completely in control, because that's more true to life than thinking you can control everything.  So that's what my rant has crystallized into, I think it obliquely captures the essence of why I think its important not to harsh anyones mellow, especially right after they played a show --- because it isnt a corporeal thing you are fucking with, its a soul.

UMM....ok so the show itself.  Jagerbumps played first, they went on at 10:20, and holy shit, i did a headcount there were EIGHTY PEOPLE there.  For a 3 band local bill on a fucking Wednesday night.  Chris Smith brought out a shit ton of people.  I was too scared to be up front for their set because I thought I would in some way get pancaked, or something would happen.  Jager bumps is a 6 piece --- 3 guitars, 2 members of Basketball Shorts, playing instruments they dont play in that band,  Casey on bass and Ben on drums, and then Chris singing and just generally being a badass frontman.  I liked some of the genre fills Ben was doing, it gave the band the right flavor.  I didnt realize hes a badass drummer, he had a beat like he has a kit set up in his house he can practice on or something.  Yeah so 3 guitars, super loud, and .  My favorite part was the alternating guitar intro on the last song ("who you gonna fuck tonight? / nobody! nobody!")  Chris Smith had good menace and just a good loosing your shit look and was a great frontman.  He knows how to rock out from his Dark Meat days, probably before that, but as a guy whose seen a lot of bands, I definitely felt like I was watching a guy with pro level experience, thats a good vibe for their band.  Him and me were kinda going at it during the Party Plants set, I tried to lock him in the bathroom by dragging a big ass monitor or subwoofer or something in front of the door.  Oh yeah, the soundguy was a super chill dude, he totally thought it was funny and just put the thing back where it went and I went back on stage, and Chris didnt ever see any of it happen, b/c he was in the bathroom, and then I talked a little shit from on stage and hopefully he knew it was a joke too and I wasnt trying to hurt his feelings because he's one of my FUCKIN BESTIES.

The Shiny Voyage set in the middle was cool, they have new songs.  A lot of their set was instrumental, which I didn't remember from the last show we did with them at Willard's house.  They had some songs that utilized the very highest part of the guitar neck, and also they are doing a thing with an octaver pedal because they play 2 guitars (and a drum kit) but sometimes they make one of the guitars play a bass line.  Someone remarked that they raised their game ---  personally I remember them being really fucking good at Willard's too, that's why we wanted to do this show with them, but this show was tight as well.  They are a hard band to compare to anyone...they had a couple songs that used acoustic guitar that was cool.  I was talking with Tessa from that band about Broken Water, I'll bet thats a band they would like, also a 3 piece, but not really that similar in sound to what they are doing.  I was just saying I feel like the grunge sound is coming back in vogue or something (even tho Broken Water has been around for a while).

Our set was good.  We didnt need to play all of our songs, I think we went on around 12:20, 12:30.  Its cool just the different vibe of the 3 band bill, I think people appreciate going to such a show, just to mix it up.  I actually like that all the shows at Trailer Space are 3 band bills (mostly, I think).  If it had been a 4 band bill I would have felt like the urge to rush the other bands, but for a show that "starts at 10" if people are still showing up, and the bands set is 25 minutes, whats wrong with not starting until 10:20?  Some bars will be adamant that you start by 10:10 at the very latest.  But just in terms of how the night goes....

More on our set that I can remember, not much in particular, i remember really rocking out, viscerally, physically convulsing while playing the bass.  I thought of P-Bo, aka Patrick Boseman the bass player from Quiet Hooves.  Something about the bass, i think its cause its less technical in the sense that you only have to play 1 note, but it really lends itself to going nuts with your entire body.  I did some singing too which I normally don't do.  We didn't play Electric Bill, which was nice, actually I dont like to sing on that one anymore because i think it slows the beat down, takes the other singers out of the moment.  I think i sang harmonies on songs that it was like brand new harmonies.  Chris was upping his pedal usage pretty significantly.  I rolled off a lot of the high end from the bass on the EQ on the amp after playing a few shows with Naked Pictures over sxsw (Louis uses a J-Bass, mine is a P-bass style, thats what most ppl play on IMO), but I think i found a spot where I added back just a little of high end in a particular place, and it was doing good.  Finding that sound tweaking it.  I think we sounded EXCELLENT at the Chain Drive show, we had a show the night before that was fun, but as far as playing in top form, it was cool the way it was a warm up show for the Chain Drive show.  Also I got a girl now, and I met her at that show, thats tight.  She didnt actually see us play, she got there right after.....wished she could have been at the show tonight, prob would have made it a lot more fun of a show for me (not that it wasnt already hella fun), but the audience people are like a seed bank buried deep underground, they are really the holders of the vibe keeping everything cool.

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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Austin Pickers

I love you all



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