Music Is Like…!


Chris lives in Austin, TX, where he once shook Willie Nelson's hand.

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41 Responses

  1. Maribou says:

    It’s not all *that* disturbing.
    Or maybe I’m just cutting you a lot of slack because I’m STILL listening to Radio Citizen’s The Hop several times a week.

    Here’s another song I listened to a lot of times this week. It’s kind of a safe song? Except I swear these guys are *constantly* pushing themselves to the point where they’re just about to play wrong notes or lose their vocal pitch completely… while almost never doing so. So they doesn’t feel very safe to *me*, as a musician who spent a lot of time struggling to let go enough to risk those kinds of imperfections.

    • Maribou in reply to Maribou says:

      PS I *like* Yeezus.Report

      • Maribou in reply to Maribou says:

        PPS I think I like that Mike Relm song but it’s hard to tell because the video is really annoying. Either way, it did remind me I’ve been meaning to listen to more Deltron 3030. (Both Kid Koala and Dan the Automator are each enough all on his own to get me to listen to just about anything, leading to such conversations as “Marianne, why do YOU have a whole CD of basketball rap anthems?” “BECAUSE IT IS AWESOME.”)

        here’s some Deltron 3030 live:

    • Chris in reply to Maribou says:

      Ooooh, that’s nice. Really nice. I’m on my third listen now.

      Glad you’re still digging “The Hop.” If you haven’t noticed it yet, I threw in some Bajka (with Protassov, a DJ/Producer about whom I know next to nothing), in the second to last video. It’s a nice reggae groove.

      You know, I like that Relm video, but it might be because I know the other song on that album that’s sort of a response, or the flip side, to that one. It’s about muuuuurda. (with Mr Lif doing the rapping instead of Del), You Break. Mr Lif is also really cool, though kind of the polar opposite of Del’s bombasticness. Is that a word?

      And Yeezus is awesome, but someone here prefers the maximalism of My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.Report

  2. Maribou says:

    Also, looking INTO Dan the Automator always turns up something ridiculously fun by association. Like this laid-back party song from Galactic, the Dirty Dozen, and Juvenile.

  3. Jaybird says:

    I just discovered Spotlight Kid the other day and, on the strength of their song Budge Up, I bought their Disaster Tourist album. (Argh! It’s being shipped from the UK!)

    Anyway, the song is awesome:

    Shoegaze at its best.

    Of course, after I purchased the album, I realized that Budge Up isn’t on it.


    Anyway, I look forward to listening to the album anyway. I love me my shoegaze.Report

  4. Jaybird says:

    And, for other various reasons related to the post, I also found this:


    • Chris in reply to Jaybird says:

      That is one of my favorite videos ever. If ya think about it, it’s sort of a metaphor for civilized life. You’ve gotta hit the prespecified note on the ones, and the space in between is where you do what you feel.Report

      • J@m3z Aitch in reply to Chris says:

        Has anyone done a funk music post for MD?

        And if not, why not and when?Report

      • Will H. in reply to Chris says:

        cified note on the ones, and the space in between is where you do what you feel.
        I remember this guy saying very much the same thing in an interview back in ’80.

        Keyboardists (and, ironically, to a lesser extent, bass players) see an important distinction between an “A seventh chord” and an “A on G;” always assumed the chord root is the note the bass has to play.
        My concept of chord theory is much more extensive.

        But where guitar works from chords, bass works from arpeggios (a chord played one note at a time). With guitar, arpeggiated figures are more of solo work. A fine example is the riff from “Purple Haze.” After the octave stuff in the intro, the next notes are: (ascending) B D G, then (lower) A. There are so many cool things about this, it’s hard to remember them all.
        The B D G is a straight G major chord. Adding the A without a chord makes it a G9, implying the unvoiced 7th of F. But this is all played over an E (and coming out of an E diminished*). It’s all E minor pentatonic. So, the G ninth (III9) becomes a B minor seventh (V7). Very cool.

        But the pre-specified notes for the downbeats (though somewhat different in a shuffle beat) are the notes from the arpeggio.

        * Any note from a diminished chord can be seen as the chord root; so there’s a lot of ambiguity in leading with a diminished chord.Report

      • Will H. in reply to Chris says:

        One more from James “Blood” Ulmer.
        What I want to point out here is that this came out in ’81, contemporary to the early Minutemen stuff.
        Vocals are a lot different, and the songs are longer, but that’s about it.Report

    • Will H. in reply to Jaybird says:

      I’d always hated Led Zep, and a lot of that had to do with expectations that surely I must know/love/play this-or-that. At the time, I was into a lot heavier stuff.
      But coming to appreciate Zeppelin much later in life, with the whole musician thing filling the walk-in closet for the most part, this remains my favorite Led Zep tune, followed closely by this one. I think that sort of thing is where they’re at their best.
      And I bring that up because of the subject of bass lines.

      This is one of my favorite bass lines of all-time. It’s sort of like a textbook for riffing in minor pentatonic.
      As is the first part of the song in this one (see how all that fits in?). He doesn’t really start grooving until the singing starts, but it’s all there.

      That said, this one is, without doubt, my favorite tune to play on the bass; though, granted, a lot of that my well have to do with my limited attention span these days. (The guy in the video is really bad-ass. I prefer to play with a pick, because experimentation shows that it produces a better tone, though most bassists have a crappy technique with a pick.)

      I remember reading this interview with Geddy Lee years ago, and they were talking about how so much of his stuff has become the big thing that all bass players want to play; and they asked him about what the tune was back in the day when he was first starting out. He said it was some Stones tune that I’d never heard of before, which sort of surprised me. Wish I remembered the name of that one.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Will H. says:

        While out in Annapolis, I turned down an opportunity to play Rocksmith 2014. Last weekend, I got invited to a Rocksmith party and wouldn’t have played anything except…

        Well, they had “Where Is My Mind?”

        I remembered this interview:

        And I said “Yes. I can pedal through a song.”

        I played it on bass.

        I got 60%.Report

      • Glyph in reply to Will H. says:

        60%? Well, I guess you’re notReport

      • Jaybird in reply to Will H. says:

        Straight L7, baby.Report

      • Glyph in reply to Will H. says:

        I’ll Pretend you’re Dead.Report

      • Glyph in reply to Will H. says:

        Also, I have been collecting tracks for a shoegaze post. I thought that mostly staying away from a lot of the best-known bands would cut down on the number of tracks.

        No dice.

        I am remembering why for many, many years I had to keep re-ordering my shoegaze section. I have 23 artists already, and for some I have more than one track.

        This may have to be a multi-parter.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Will H. says:

        If I have any say, I’d say that that demands at least a three-parter.Report

      • Will H. in reply to Will H. says:

        @jaybird :
        A lot of truth to that. It’s a lot easier to play really, really fast than really, really slow. A lot of doom metal is an exercise in discipline.

        But seriously, if those first two links were all you knew about Led Zep, wouldn’t you think of them as a much different band?

        @glyph :
        It always amazes me the number of bands you know.

        A lot of the stuff I know reflects different musicians I’ve worked with. I owned one record by Mountain back when I was in high school, and one cassette by Genesis much later on; but I know an awful lot about both of those bands from working with musicians that were really into them.
        And I’ve come tho the conclusion that you can never tell what a guy is going to play like from what he listens to.Report

      • Chris in reply to Will H. says:

        I’m not sure it would be consistent with the very idea of navel gazing if it wasn’t slow and drawn out over several posts. Just give me time to grow my bangs out so I can feel like I belong ;).Report

      • Glyph in reply to Will H. says:

        I plan to also make them nebulous, ill-defined and repetitive, too!

        But there has been a setback. I think my computer just died on me. I am performing emergency measures but it doesn’t look good.Report

  5. dhex says:

    this was a great way to get the idea across, bro. it is something like a thrill when you connect something you think someone will like, especially when it’s someone you like. and not necessarily like like.Report

  6. Will H. says:

    re: Keen
    Texas seems to have a lot of performers that are really big there, but not so much anywhere else; Joe “King” Carrasco, Joe Ely, and Dead Horse were big things back in the day.
    Just about everybody I knew had seen JKC at least once.Report

  7. Will H. says:

    I’ve heard this same thing about “Music is like . . .” so many times and from so many, I don’t think it holds much water.
    I’m thinking that music is more like a postcard from some far-distant corner of the realm of possibilities; sometimes it connects, sometimes it doesn’t.
    My tastes change, and sometimes drastically, at least a few times a year. There are always certain things I come back to: classic prog, Spanish guitar, pop punk, big band jazz, anything with varying time signatures, et al. So my collection has plenty of Kansas alongside Norbert Kraft and the Ramones. (and Link Wray’s “Rumble” seems to be of particular interest to me these days.)
    I remember this time I was going through a jazz phase and trying to work with a younger guitarist (a 20-yr old with a poster of Paul Stanley on his wall– cool kid. I bought him the magnum of Chimay blue for his 21st.). I was getting frustrated, because every time I picked up an instrument, about ten minutes later everything I played started sounding like Spanish guitar. It happened again one time, and I expressed my disgust at everything I started playing sounding like Spanish guitar. He look at me and said, “I know. It’s pretty cool.” That made me do a double take. Maybe a lot of the things that I play that I’m thinking don’t come out quite the way I want them to are really the things that people care most to hear.Report

    • J@m3z Aitch in reply to Will H. says:

      I’ve heard this same thing about “Music is like . . .” so many times and from so many, I don’t think it holds much water.

      Music is like a cup….Report

    • J@m3z Aitch in reply to Will H. says:

      By the way, Will, have you eve considered a guest post of some of your music for us?Report

      • Will H. in reply to J@m3z Aitch says:

        I’d been invited to in the wee early days of 2012, and there was a thing I was working on comparing the intro to “Number of the Beast” (it’s in 5/4, btw) to something else (I forget), but cares of the world swept me away.
        There was a guest post I had proposed to Tod about one man succeeding against incalculable odds, and what his actions mean for all of us; and he liked the idea and encouraged it, but I really haven’t had time to work on it much, though I’ve firmed up some of the details of form; switching back-and-forth between the two main characters at various points in time.

        But I think most ideas I would have on a music post would bore the daylights out of most people.

        My original blog, way back in 2005, over time became something mainly about how just about every song by Saga can be made much better by chopping out twelve seconds of it; and I got really explicit about which twelve seconds. Formatting columns of numbers killed that one.
        Blogging was first pitched to me as a form of self-publishing with an interactive aspect, or I wouldn’t have bothered (as opposed to “social networking,” which if I viewed it as such, I would find it abhorrent).

        I don’t have time to read as much as I’d like any more, much less to write so much. Just using a bit of free time to goof off at present. I’ll go on another extended disappearance soon enough.Report

  8. Stillwater says:

    Chris, this post was SO awesome on way too many levels for me to really communicate. Just fucking outstanding.

    Since I know you’re a Texan now, here’s my only contribution to the thread. More Robert Earl.

    And Lyle doing the same song, which he co-wrote with REK back in College Station.

    Viva Texas!Report

    • Stillwater in reply to Stillwater says:


    • Chris in reply to Stillwater says:

      Still, thanks man, that means a lot. And the “Porch Song” may be my favorite song about Texas. At least my favorite song that isn’t about all my exes living here. It’s just damn good. Makes me miss going to those shows.

      (Also, I wouldn’t be the stereotypical southerner that I am if I didn’t point out that I’m not a Texan, I’m a Tennessean, damn it!)Report