Friday, October 11, 2013

Turn That Damn Guitar Down!

Well, from 3 jams to play at a week, I'm down to 1. First the Sunday 4-8 jam at Paulie's Toasted Barrel got shut down for football season. That was a nice room, great big stage, nice house PA system and a house keyboard. There were usually more musicians than customers.

Then, I decided to make Tuesday Night Rock n Roll Party @ Henry Clay's Public House #21 the last one. Again, usually more musicians than customers. And the band (me, another guitarist, bass player and drummer) was getting paid 10% of the bar. We did best our 1st night, $40 ($10/each). Several nights we made $12 ($3 each), ha ha. It was fun, but some of the house band members got tired of playing for so little. I did get to play with some different musicians. I particularly enjoyed Logan Lay on bass, Keith Halladay on drums, and Jeff Adams on guitar and slide. Also got to do some different, non-bluesy songs: "Bobby in Phoenix" by Gorillaz was fun, as was "Where Are We Now" off of the latest David Bowie album.

So I am back to just the Wednesday Night Blues Jam. But there is also an Open Mic at SEC sports bar, which is out Harrodsburg Rd. near me, on Tuesday night. I may give that a try.

On new music in, I seem to be having more and more trouble keeping up. But I like so much of the new stuff I've found over the last 10 years, it seems like I should keep up my acquisition habits. Holy crap, haven't done this since June! Here we go:

  • "Fevers & Mirrors", by Bright Eyes (2000). Recommended by my son-in-law Ian. Angsty alternative rock. A couple of tracks are bogus -- a kid reading a book and a radio interview. Nice tunes, 3 stars.
  • "Veneer", by Jose Gonzalez (2003). Also from Ian. Very nice classical sounding guitar with vocals. 4 stars.
  • "Inner Speaker" (2011) and "Lonerism" (2012), by Tame Impala. Also from Ian. They are a modern psychedelic band whose melodies recall the Beatles or ELO. All reverb, all the time, and more flanger, phaser, and chorus effect pedals than you can shake a stick at. 4 stars for both albums.
  • "Trouble Will Find Me", by The National. Their 1st album was in the CD player of my car for months, I got to know that album pretty well and like it. This one is more of the same. 3 stars.
  • "Half of Where You Live", by Gold Panda. I think I saw online where my daughter Erica was listening to this. Electronica/Dance without vocals. I like it surprisingly much. 3 stars.
  • "Kveikur", by Sigur Ros. This didn't do much for me. A bit punkish in places. Lyrics in Icelandic. 3 stars
  • "Time Out", by The Dave Brubeck Quartet (1959). Amazon had a special on this, and it also came with 8 bonus live tracks. My older brother Steve listened to jazz in high school and college in the mid 60s, so I absorbed a lot of this then. The album is well known for "Take Five", in 5/4 time, and "Blue Rondo A La Turk", in 7/4. 3 stars.
  • "Circus Money", by Walter Becker (2008). As much as I loved Becker's 1st solo album "11 Tracks of Whack", I don't know how this one, his 2nd solo album, slipped by me. I don't think the tunes are as tight and nasty as the 1st album, but still, new Walter Becker tunes! 4 stars.
  • Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, eponymous. I've seen these guys on Letterman a couple of times somehow. I kind of like their crazy hippy cult troupe approach, and the male & female lead vocalists. Good tunes, 3 stars.
  • "Fondo" (2009) and "Mon Pays", by Vieux Farka TourĂ©. Gifted by my daughter Erica after she saw him (in Brooklyn of course). He's from Mali, so this is African/World music. Very easy to listen to. He does some pulls on the guitar that I have not heard before. I may try and steal them. 3 stars.
  • "Made Up Mind", by The Tedeschi Trucks Band. If this isn't the best blues/rock band in the world, I don't know who is. I particularly like the last track, "The Storm". 4 stars.
  • "Paradise Valley", by John Mayer. Kind of a weak effort. Tunes are OK I guess. A cover of J.J. Cale's "They Call Me The Breeze". Since Cale's death last month, I've done his tunes "Crazy Mama", "After Midnight", and "Cocaine" at the jams several times. 3 stars.
  • "EP", by Lucius. 4 tracks. Actually pointed at them by economist Paul Krugman's blog. He has a music link every Friday, this is the first one I've liked. I love the vocals in the first track "Go Home". Odd tho on the downloaded version there doesn't seem to be the 3rd vocal part added by one of the men in the band that there is in the video. Another Brooklyn band, definitely hipsters. 4 stars.
That brings us up to August 23. 9 albums acquired since then still unrated. Still seems like too many.

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