The Bass Monk

Things that didn't sell at the garage sale.

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May 15, 2007

Just finished reading through Maht's writing contest entries. Good stuff. I was a part of the 'jury'.  I read through the twenty-something short stories and picked which ones I liked.  My suggestion?  Head over there and read them for yourself.  Some might not be your thing, but I thought they were all well written.  Enough said.

April 15, 2007

That's right. I'm a slacker. I've been drowning in school for the past few weeks. You'd think I'd need a break from all that. A few minutes to type a few words on the ol' Bass site? I got nothin'. A few weeks ago, someone I work with looked at one of the medical students that wander the hospital and referred to him as "emo boy". I looked at him, and I thought he looked a lot like Elvis Costello. A 20-something version of him. A friend of mine told me a long time ago that the Costello 'look' isn't that easy to do. That's all I remember of the conversation for now. And that's all I have to say for now. My advice for the day? Turn off your TV and go for a walk. End of transmission.

March 18, 2007

Last week, on my way home, I walked along Chicago avenue. About three-fourths of the way home, I cross a bridge across 90/94. As I came up to it last week, an older man was crossing from the other side, weaving between the cars that were making their way in both directions. He was headed straight for me.

It's not that new for me. As I walk to and from work, a steady stream of people come up to me to ask for one thing or another. Actually, almost all of them ask for money. Once in a while, it's a petition. It's starts in different ways. "Excuse me, sir..." Or the more direct, "Can you spare a dollar?". Sometimes there's a story. Sometimes they're angry. Sometimes they're charming. Sometimes I give them the change in my pocket. Sometimes I look them in the eyes and say, "No, not today." It's just part of my gig.

So the older gentleman is working his way across the 4-lane bridge, and gets across a little in front of me. He looks at me, then back across the street. He looks a little nervous, which makes me a little nervous. I keep walking, slowing down a little in case he's going to do something. But I pass him uneventfully. I walk a little more, keeping an eye on him, and then turn and look back. He's crossing the street again. He worked his way through the passing cars, arriving at the other side.

I watched him for a moment. He looked back at the side he had just come from. He had the same nervous look on his face. Discontent. Each time he'd crossed the street, he seemed to wait for it to get busy. And now that there was a lapse in the traffic, he stood his ground. He kept looking at the other side, then up and down the street, then at the other side.

After a few minutes, I left and walked the rest of the way home. Obviously, he's still on my mind. What was he doing? And is it weird for me to want to go and do the same thing right now?

March 13, 2007

I'm surprised at how quickly the last 10 days went by. Last week was a blur of daylight savings updates at work. I think I'm still tired from all the running around. We support about 200 computers, so the four of us that do this sort of support were busy-busy-busy.

Still working on the big bass. Every so often I seem to come to a realization, an enlightenment of sorts, about some aspect of playing. I've struggled for a while with some of the simple recordings I've done in my apartment. They've always sounded a big 'flabby', with too much bass and not much definition. They were EQ-able, but the raw recording wasn't so good to my ears. As with a lot of things musical, trying to record a musical instrument is a multi-faceted thing. There's the quality of the instrument, the skill of the player, the style that's being played, the quality of the microphone / preamp / recording device / room, etc., etc. My moment of enlightenment came when I was comparing my simple recording to some Miles Davis recordings with Paul Chambers. There's a quality of attack that I just didn't have. My bass was going 'womp-womp-womp', where his was more like a soft hammer hitting the strings - 'bum-bum-bum'.

I know, I know - goofy stuff. I'll throw an mp3 of something up soon. May seem kind of subtle to some, but I'm liking what I do more. I still kind of suck on bow, but I'm even getting better at that as time goes by. Definitely need some enlightenment/realizations there, though.

March 3, 2007

I was digging around in the overcrowded garage of my laptop's hard drive, and found some old songs. They're rough, as most of the things on my music page are (maybe I'll throw something pretty up there someday). Anyhow, I threw the antiques up on the music page. Usual disclaimers apply.

I'm gearing up to do do some recording of my big bull fiddle. May be pretty. May be ugly. Hard to control at this point in my learnin'. I'll let you know if I get it on the music page. It'd be the first actual new stuff in a while.

I'm listening to the Wannadies in the background. The song is Happy. That's right, it really is. And now the radio station is playing Death From Above 1979. Some young guy yelling over growly, fuzzy guitars. Good times.

March 1, 2007

Just threw a few more songs up on the Music page (sorry, no actual new stuff). Just a reminder - these are quick demoes, so the quality will vary a lot, and you may need to crank the ol' computer speakers up a bit to hear them. Don't forget to turn back down when you're done!