new Challenge thread at MetaTalk

August 28, 2010 6:05 PM

Folks, this thread is not really for commenting in, it's simply a heads up for those of you here at MeFiMu who don't ordinarly visit MetaTalk. MeFi Music stalwart snsranch has posted a Music Challenge-related thread there, and I urge you to drop in and get your two-cents-and-an-eighth-note in on the discussion. As for this thread right here, if you wanna post something, hey, just tell us some good musician jokes, even though we'll probably have heard them all.
posted by flapjax at midnite (58 comments total)

I've got a great knock-knock joke. You start.
posted by man vs sun at 6:52 PM on August 28, 2010

(oh God....). Who's there?
posted by MajorDundee at 1:09 PM on August 29, 2010

posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:20 PM on August 29, 2010

Orange you glad I didn't say Necremnus again?
posted by man vs sun at 8:56 PM on August 29, 2010

no........lost me there. Think we missed a crucial stage out. The bit when, presumably, you say "Orange". But I am a bit dim and, clearly therefore, not Ivy League material either. As my smartarse cousins (one Oxford, another Cambridge) will undoubtedly attest to.
posted by MajorDundee at 2:17 AM on August 30, 2010

Q: How do you know when it's a drummer at the door?
A: The knocking speeds up

Q: How do you know when it's a guitarist at the door?
A: He's delivering your pizza

Q: How do you know when it's a singer at the door?
A: He never knows when to come in

Q: How do you know when it's a keyboard player at the door?
A: Who cares?
posted by unSane at 5:33 AM on August 30, 2010

A cop is walking his beat when he sees a guy on the sidewalk with a bass guitar slung over his back shaking a youngster by the shoulders and shouting.

The cop runs up to the man and says, "Hey! What's going on here?"

Bassman: "I was in this bar rehearsing with my band for tonight's show, and this kid came in and twisted one of my tuning pegs!"

Cop: "OK, that's a pretty mean thing to do, but I don't think that's bad enough to get THIS upset?"

Bassman (incredulous): "But he won't tell me which one!"
posted by planetkyoto at 6:54 AM on August 30, 2010 [1 favorite]

What's the last thing a drummer says before you kick him out of the band?

"Guys, I've written a song"
posted by unSane at 10:49 AM on August 30, 2010

Hear about the bass player who locked his keys in the car?

Took him forever to get the drummer out.
posted by bonefish at 10:50 AM on August 30, 2010

@Major Dundee, you start...
posted by unSane at 10:50 AM on August 30, 2010

@Major Dundee, you start who?
posted by cortex at 12:49 PM on August 30, 2010

@Major Dundee, you start... not quite there with this....

I can never remember jokes, but one of the few musical ones I do know (and it's a golden oldie) is:

Q. What's the difference between a bull and the James Last orchestra?

A. The bull has the horns at the front and the asshole at the back.
posted by MajorDundee at 2:12 PM on August 30, 2010 [1 favorite]

If you start me up
If you start me up I'll never stop
If you start me up
If you start me up I'll never stop
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:07 AM on August 31, 2010

You've made a grown man cry, Flapjax.....
posted by MajorDundee at 7:43 AM on August 31, 2010

Another oldie, but I like it:

Q. What do you call a guy who hangs out with musicians?
A. A bass player

The beauty of this one is that you can substitute anything in the answer. Except "lead guitarist" of course. I simply won't stand for that.
posted by MajorDundee at 11:27 AM on August 31, 2010

So Dad buys Junior a bass for his birthday, and a series of lessons.

After the first week, he asks Junior what he learned. "The notes on the E string", repliies junior.

After the second week, he asks Junior what he learned. "The notes on the A string", says Junior.

But the third week, he finds Junior sitting playing Nintendo. "Hey", says Dad, "I thought you had a lesson."

"Yeah, I did", says Junior. "But I blew it off. I've got a gig."
posted by unSane at 12:27 PM on August 31, 2010

And especially for Major Dundee:

Q: How many lead guitarists does it take to cover a Stevie Ray Vaughan tune

A: All of them, apparently
posted by unSane at 12:32 PM on August 31, 2010 [2 favorites]

One of the advantages of being an insufferably arrogant bastard (there are surprisingly few) is that I never consciously listen to other guitarists. Haven't done since I was about 18. That's a loooooong time ago. Quite deliberate. Not interested. So, hand on heart, I've never heard Stevie Ray Vaughan. Or at least if I have, I didn't know it was him. If I want inspiration for soloing it's sax players pretty much all the way - Wayne Shorter, Paul Desmond, Coltrane (the less head-fucky stuff), Bird, Tubby Hayes, Jackie McLean, Cannonball Adderley, Dexter Gordon, Sonny Rollins and others besides.
posted by MajorDundee at 2:50 PM on August 31, 2010

Oh you insufferable arrogant bastard...wanna hear the worst joke ever? (Save this one for when the groupie chicks won't leave you'll make them flee en masse.)

One very dark and scary night a creepy old pedo/serial killer was pulling a small child into the deep dark woods.

The child spoke up and said, "Mister, it's pretty dark out here and I'm getting scared."

The creepy old man replied, "You think YOU'RE scared? I have to walk out of here all by myself!"

That's a bad one, please forgive me!
posted by snsranch at 4:19 PM on August 31, 2010

My friend John used to play me SRV but my eyes glazed over and he stopped.

The only guitarists I can hand-on-heart say I've tried to emulate are J Mascis, Tom Verlaine and Robert Quine.

I did try to learn to play blues a couple of years ago (and technically I got OK) but I soon realized that virtuosity is the fucking antithesis of the blues, and also it really wasn't my music, and stopped.

If there was a jazz player I'd try to emulate it would be Lee Morgan but he's so far beyond me it isn't even funny.
posted by unSane at 5:37 PM on August 31, 2010

David Gilmour definitely had a strong influence on me as a budding guitar player, but I was so goddam lazy and slow about getting to the point of playing decent lead that whatever of that influence actually manifested itself in actual playing is hard to perceive. He was definitely the first guitarist that I wanted to play like, anyway.

I used to think SRV was just sort of wanky, but eventually it started to click for me. I think it's still kind of wanky just because of genre convention, but man could he light a guitar up as far as blueswank goes.
posted by cortex at 5:57 PM on August 31, 2010

I'm gonna open up a guitar lounge and call it BlueSwank.
posted by man vs sun at 6:00 PM on August 31, 2010

Fretwank was our nom-de-choix for solos in my last band.
posted by unSane at 6:10 PM on August 31, 2010

As a confirmed I.A.B I sometimes wonder whether these accusations of guitar wankery are rooted more in envy than genuine criticism. In my experience there aren't that many people who can actually play a solo that stands up as a musical statement rather than just....oh, here's the obligatory mindless guitar solo. Jealousy aside, most soloing you do hear is simply strings of blues-based cliches that are recycled ad infinitum. And that is wank. And deeply boring. The last thing I put on here had solos that were full of that kind of rubbish - played with an ironically raised eyebrow. Anyhow - this is why, if I'm seeking inspiration, I turn to jazzers. They tend more to have an aesthetic that frowns upon repetition and prizes innovation above showboating. Not that they're immune to their own form of wankery. It's just a better class of wankery...
posted by MajorDundee at 1:34 AM on September 1, 2010

I'm totally down with solos so long as they're interesting. There are lots of definitions of interesting, which of course we won't agree on, but for me they do tend to involve the idea of struggle, of breaking boundaries, of bringing something fresh to the table. I thought Eric Clapton did actually do that in Crossroads-era Cream, and in a different way in Layla-era Derek & the Dominoes, in the sense that his soloing kicked the song up into another place it would never have reached on its own. But these days he seems to play entirely within his comfort zone.

Because I'm technically just not that good, my own solos are always intended to bring in a new melodic, rhythmic, harmonic or stylistic idea. Whether they do or not is open to question. I agree with you completely about jazzers -- I'm just not proficient enough to emulate that kind of thing.

For me, music is about the song, and most solos don't do a thing for the song. We don't expect an 8-bar drum solo in every song, or an 8-bar keyboard solo, so why guitarists (and I am one) think they should be treated any different? What I mean is that solos have to earn their place in the song, and most don't.

Of the three guitarists I mentioned, I love J Mascis because his best stuff -- both rhythm and lead -- is always teetering on the edge of collapsing completely in on itself. Like Clapton he's gotten less interesting as he's gotten more proficient, but he's still capable of walking the plank now and then. Tom Verlaine (and Richard LLoyd) introduced a (to me) completely new way of approaching the guitar to rock music -- not obviously based on power chords or blues or folk. Verlaine has said his soloing was inspired by saxophonists (and I remember the same thing being said by the Byrds about the 12-string solo in 8 Miles High).

Quine I think was just incapable of playing something boring. So many times I've listened to a record and thought 'my God, I wonder who played THAT?' only to find out later it was Quine. The interesting thing was that he fit just fine into a pop setting despite playing such a fractured, discordant style.

The other guy who I've tried to emulate is Johnny Marr, I guess, but I don't think he ever played a solo in the conventional sense.
posted by unSane at 6:30 AM on September 1, 2010

Because I'm technically just not that good, my own solos are always intended to bring in a new melodic, rhythmic, harmonic or stylistic idea. Whether they do or not is open to question.

Amen. Though my standards are even a bit lower: my solos in most of what I record, since I rarely take the time to sit down and really develop an arrangement out that fully before putting it on tape, are largely intended to give the arrangement a little breathing room and hopefully play around a little bit with the harmonic structure in a way that keeps the song from sounding like a flat series of verses. Even if the solo is more or less a straight rip of the sung melody, there's enough of a difference from vox to guitar and from lyrics to no-lyrics that it provides a bit of a release and sense of dynamic change. At least ideally.

Even the solos on my album this year were not really written in a proper sense, though I did spend more time on them and did several takes to try and let an idea gel somewhat. I think I got a better sense of movement from some of those than from my usual one- or two-shot improvisations on most tracks.

Playing lead in a band a few years back was a pretty educational thing on this front and I credit my ability to play functional rather than pretty much awful lead lines to that experience, as bumpy as it was in its own ways. I was forced to not-wank some, and to really think about the role of solos in a composition, and it put my head in a place where I started to think carefully about those things instead of just having it be the internal mental equivalent of playing air guitar.

That's probably the only time I've ever really developed out solos down to the point of being largely static rote things—my bandmates were (probably rightly) disinclined to be satisfied with Don't Worry, I'll Wing It as the standing answer to solo breaks and so it became a semi-democratic process where I'd play something and if they didn't like it they'd say so and if they did like it they eventually learned to say so immediately, because with me it's in one ear and out the other on improv and I'd mostly forget what I played because I was just in the zone. It's like a stroke advert: Time Lost Is Solo Lost.
posted by cortex at 7:27 AM on September 1, 2010

Developing into an interesting thread this one....

unSane - agree with a lot of that. Verlaine is woefully underrated and is a good example of an inventive and imaginative player who avoids cliches. He's a better guitarist (by my standards) than a lot of those heavy metal plank slappers that are lauded. Johnny Marr - nope. He's a strummer. Which is fair enough, but he's no big deal in my book. He'd have struggled without multitracking. what, just my opinion. Also agree that most solos don't do much for a song - but disagree re conclusion. There is a place for good solos that say something. This will sound arrogant (oh really...?) - I can play to a fairly high standard technically, but I now have enough experience to not showboat and just solo "because I can". The song is more important. I will solo if I think it's called for. Otherwise - leave it out. Anyway, no-one wants guitar solos much these days (wwwaaaaahhhh....).

Interesting, cortex, in how you're talking about composed or pre-written solos. I guess from a purist jazzer point of view written solos aren't.....solos. They're parts. I always find that the best solos are improv and first take. After that it's diminishing returns. And once you start thinking consciously about what you're playing - curtains. Sometimes you do end up effectively writing the solo because you've taken so many takes to get something worthwhile and have pieced something together. Not usually so good. That said, I don't personally have a bug up my ass about improvised v written solos. I prefer if it comes in one quick hit - but whatever works, works. Again - it's the overall song that counts.
posted by MajorDundee at 11:18 AM on September 1, 2010

I guess from a purist jazzer point of view written solos aren't.....solos. They're parts.

I don't totally disagree, but in the language of structural arrangement, and in the popular lay-listener conception of song flow, a guitar solo is fundamentally just the part of the song where the guitarist is playing lead lines out front. Whether he does it different every time or the same-ish every time or nails it down to the bend is kind of immaterial from both those perspectives:

- in structural terms, if I'm arranging a song or trying to convey an existing arrangement to another person, I care about the solo only as a figurative thing, a chunk of performance in time and space in the abstract conception of a the shape of the song. What actually gets played isn't part of the core discussion.

- in pop music terms, if people know a solo to a song, they expect in general to hear that solo, more or less. On a recording, it's always the same solo, period; in concert, it's probably going to move around a bit more but that'll vary from guitarist to guitarist and will in any case probably still stake out familiar territory. Gilmour reportedly put together the album cut of the solos on Comfortably Numb by doing a bunch of improv takes and then comping the bits he liked together, but after that those are the CN solos—fans memorize them, guitarists learn them, and Gilmour playing out would be a madman not to at pay lots of homage to the album versions (at least and especially in the first bits of each solo) regardless of whether he mixed it up much over the arc of the solo.

Which, as you say: that's not purist stuff, that latter point. The earlier point is explicitly agnostic on the subject, and I actually tend to improvise when it comes to turning the abstract "here is a guitar solo" bit into actualy guitarwork on a recording. I love improv, partly because I'm lazy and lack the technical precision to really consistently nail lead lines anyway, but I have no discipline about it and admire folks who can take improv itself and turn it into a carefully refined art.

I like a good solid written solo; I like a good improvised solo. If it's got chops and it serves the song well, good enough, I don't care how it happened.
posted by cortex at 11:50 AM on September 1, 2010

Marr is more a picker than a strummer and lots of his parts are fiendishly difficult to play, all the more impressive because they're often buried in the mix. 'William, it was really nothing', even in Nashville tuning, is a bugger.
posted by unSane at 12:24 PM on September 1, 2010

I suspect Marr's parts are difficult because they comprise multiple overdubs and there'll be all sorts of transients flying around in the mix. Did The Smiths ever release any live albums? If they did (and they're genuinely live) you might get more of an idea of relative complexity. But I wouldn't want to argue about it...

I hear you cortex on all those points. Audience expectations are a bit of a conundrum for guitarists who do like to improvise. I guess it comes down to who you want to please most, yourself or the people paying your wages. That's a no-brainer. I guess if you really want to be an improvising musician, the advice would be steer clear of pop music in its various forms. Find an audience that expects things to be different every time you play. Jazz, in other words. Oh and be prepared to be relatively poor and unappreciated (but perhaps happier for it)!
posted by MajorDundee at 3:04 PM on September 1, 2010

my solos ... are largely intended to give the arrangement a little breathing room and hopefully play around a little bit with the harmonic structure in a way that keeps the song from sounding like a flat series of verses

I used to play in an instrumental surf band (and I've posted quite a lot of instrumental stuff here) and we faced the 'how do you make each verse different' question in every song. If you just play the same backing and let a different person solo over each verse it gets REALLY dull. So we basically switched stuff around every verse. Register, instrumentation, melody... trying to build up to a climax where it all came together.

When I came to demoing 'real' songs again (ie with vocals) I basically took the same approach. So I'll drop instrumentation out for a second verse, or use a different guitar figure, change the drums, something, anything to get rid of the static verses, then try to find a way to bring as much of it as possible back in for the climax of the song.

If you do this it takes some of the weight off the solo because you've already got variety in the arrangement. Quite often I find that there's no room for a solo once I've done this (working on a song like that now).

It really bothers me now to hear a song where the arrangement stays the same for all the verses. And I'm always intrigued by rock/pop CDs where there are no solos (for example, the latest Teenage Fanclub release, which is very very conventional jangle-pop-rock but not a solo to be seen anywhere, courtesy of inventive arrangements).
posted by unSane at 3:09 PM on September 1, 2010

Wait, wait, wait. Have I got it all wrong? I was under the impression that the guitarist took a solo so the singer could go have a quick toot off of one of the road cases.
posted by uncleozzy at 6:47 AM on September 2, 2010

Very good points have been made above on the subject of solos. And I tend to agree with those who say that it is a fine line between musicianship and wankery, and most of the time it ain't worth it. I generally don't like guitar solos in songs, but somehow I have a reverential respect for one-note solos. Perhaps because they are a slap-in-the-face to the wankery in ultra elaborate solos.

Having grown up listening to rock, I always felt the "need" to include that instrumental bit in songs, so even if I hated guitar solos, I kinda felt something like that should be included in the song. I found the solution in Brazilian songs (around 1:30 in that one), where they use the "leitmotif", usually played by a bunch of orchestral instruments where more and more instruments join as the "solo" progresses. By the end of the part it reaches a nice climax that leads naturally to the return of the voice.
posted by micayetoca at 8:10 AM on September 2, 2010

Soooooo.......the general consensus of the Works Committee appears to be that guitar solos should only be allowed out accompanied by an adult. Quite fucking right. Anyone fancy a pint?
posted by MajorDundee at 11:36 AM on September 2, 2010

I was once chastised by bandmates for fancying pints in the middle of songs when I wasn't playing anything. I liked to think of it as a beer solo. I think I should have been in a somewhat less serious band.
posted by cortex at 11:37 AM on September 2, 2010

lol A beer solo is cool (I mean cold). I believe that Rick Wakeman had a propensity to eat take-away curries during live performances of Tales Of Topographic Oceans or Relayer or what have you. Much to the irritation of Jon Anderson. Now........that is real class.
posted by MajorDundee at 11:55 AM on September 2, 2010

The night my brother died (don't worry, he's fine now!), I drank far too much tequila and fell over the mixing desk: unpro.

The funniest thing I saw was our vocalist heaving on stage - into the sax bowl.

Watching the drippage thereafter was a hoot!
posted by Zenabi at 1:04 PM on September 2, 2010

One of the great bones of contention in all my bands has been how many beers is the correct number to drink before going on stage. I'm fairly certain it's two. However, circumstances alter cases. We did a mini-tour with another surf band one year, alternating who headlined, and the first night despite supporting us, they absolutely blew us off the stage.

We obviously couldn't take this, so the next day we bought a very large bottle of JD for the front man and gave it to him just before he got in the bus to the next gig. We went on first, and blew the roof off, then the other band went on, but the poor guy could hardly walk.

Needless to say the entire set was a disaster, and honour was restored. I don't think he ever realized how deliberately he'd been sabotaged.
posted by unSane at 3:38 PM on September 2, 2010

Two is a good number. Plus or minus a drink for the individual, and a global modifier for the whole band in some situations, but otherwise as a baseline that gets you loosened up but not venturing into shitty. I like to take a new cold beer up on stage, and that'll usually run me the length of a set.

But, yeah, sometimes more. Sometimes a lot more. The last gig I played with my first rock band involved a lot of drinks going down our frontman's throat in the hour or so before we took the stage. We had already broken up, like a week earlier. There was acrimony.

I think we managed to keep our shit together enough to put on an excuse for a rock show, so it wasn't true disaster, but there was a hell of a lot wrong with it. I posted the first track here years ago, but here's the whole set. Starts okay, goes downhill pretty quickly as Brian's vocals go wobbly and his rhythm guitar skills and sense of rhythm and even ability to successfully strike the guitar at all take quick unannounced vacations from verse to verse and song to song. You can't actually hear him stumbling and trying not to lose his balance, but the vision is clear in my mind.

I'd say track 8 there does a nice job of emphasizing how badly he was doing. It's a miracle we were generally as well-rehearsed and solid as a band as we were at the time, I think we got through that gig mostly on momentum. The backyard party we played the week earlier came off much better musically, though the recording quality is a good bit more shit since it's just a camcorder rip without a board recording like that later show has.
posted by cortex at 3:51 PM on September 2, 2010

Wow, I gotta listen to that.
posted by snsranch at 4:07 PM on September 2, 2010

I should say in his defense that none of us were in top form the night of that last show, though again we managed to mostly keep it together.

On track six, "Come and Go", which was our bassist's big number, he managed to not get my guitar on right during the bass-and-guitar swap and so spent much of the song torn between trying to continue performing and trying to fix the guitar, and achieving neither with any real success. For at least fifteen seconds he was stuck in a weird crane-kick pose with the unleashed guitar resting on his raised right knee. Hence his announcement at the start of the next song that "that last song is called The Complete Disaster!"

Somewhere in my recordings from that band I have an mp3 of the worst guitar solo I ever played. I'll have to dig it out at some point. It's a case in point of why the band didn't like me improvising, because the worst case scenario is pretty fucking bad. Though there was a major "I'm not on the fret I think I am" component to that one that shot it through the rough.
posted by cortex at 4:12 PM on September 2, 2010

I've arranged my musical life so that pretty much all the gigs I do are the kind that will allow you to have at least a beer or two before taking the stage. Every now and again a more demanding gig might require limiting it to, um... half a beer.

For singing, I often like to have some scotch handy, for which purpose I often carry a flask to gigs. A belt or two at regular intervals is good for my throat. Wine, on the other hand, though I love a bottle with dinner and whatnot, is a beverage that's absolutely no good for singing. Somehow it seems to constrict things: my chest feels kinda closed up, somehow, on wine.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:17 PM on September 2, 2010

Worst guitar solos... ooh, fortunately I have that one right here... will have to wait to post it as I just posted something though...
posted by unSane at 4:20 PM on September 2, 2010

Oh god I found it. Oh man. So here's the recording; jump to about halfway through for the context if you don't want to sit through the whole thing.

You can hear my distorted electric cut out in the bridge while doing some doublestops, and then the song makes a change back into the verse vamp where it just sort of sits there with nothing happening for a while. So, I had forgotten this until listening again just now, but clearly something went wrong in my signal chain. I don't recall where, it might have been a slightly loose guitar cord on one side or the other of my tuner pedal, but whatever it was it took me a while to figure out the problem hence that big gap of not-much after the bridge.

And hence my frenzied attempt to leap back into the fray once things came back to life, and hence the wrong-fret problem and that deeply outre approach to rock tonality. Yowza. It sounds like I was so demoralized by that that I didn't bother playing anything else for the rest of that song.
posted by cortex at 4:22 PM on September 2, 2010

Oh, man, the sudden silence of your guitar was pretty devastating.
posted by snsranch at 4:44 PM on September 2, 2010

I've done the wrong-fret-thing and I've (worse) had a Rickenbacker 12-string go a quarter-tone out of tune in the middle of a gig due to intense humidity. I could NOT work out what had happened.

But here's the worst solo I ever recorded. So it's about 1991, it's my first band, and my first time ever in a proper recording studio. I am not a very confident guitarist but I am under the spell of J Mascis and it has never occurred to me to work out a solo in advance. So we go into to record what will (eventually) become our first single, and it all goes okay up to the part where I have to record the solo.

The band and engineer gather in the control room and I plug my RAT into my Marshall, wipe the sweat off my hands, and we roll.

And it's just terrible. Everything I play is terrible. I realize with a sinking feeling that I have no idea at all what I am doing. I am busted. Totally busted. But we keep going, and it keeps getting worse, and finally I manage to get through an entire take, and it is just painfully, excruciatingly bad.

So I look up and to my astonishment there is no-one in the control room. This, it turns out, is because they are all lying on the floor laughing. Finally the engineer, who was spherically overweight, manages to lever himself into view, and gives me the thumbs up.

Here it is. Solo begins at 1'20".

I still can't listen to it without laughing, and cringing, and laughing, and cringing...
posted by unSane at 5:01 PM on September 2, 2010

You fellows posting your gaffe solos are to be commended for your selfless honesty and humility. I might do the same, were I a guitarist, but, alas, the six strings have always eluded me. So, I'll just link here to Richard Thompson, not only one of my favorite songwriters, but a man who's been a consistent purveyor of lovely, tasty, crafty, powerful, hythmically compelling and artfully constructed guitar solos for decades now. His typically understated and ridiculously pleasing solo starts at around the 3:40 point here. Oh, and typically fine lyrics, if you wanna check it from the beginning...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:36 PM on September 2, 2010

And yeah, "hythmically" is a word. Is now, anyway.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:37 PM on September 2, 2010

Flapjax: That guitar solo is superb....What is his name?
posted by Zenabi at 6:45 PM on September 2, 2010

aha...Richard. Got it
posted by Zenabi at 6:46 PM on September 2, 2010

Yeah, that is a fantastic solo. Partly modal, but also modulating between the chords. And you can feel it lifting the song higher and higher, increasing the tension. I've never been able to get into RT for some reason, despite many attempts, but that makes me want to give him another try.
posted by unSane at 7:01 PM on September 2, 2010

That Thompson solo is really nice stuff, flapjax. Not precisely my taste in guitar style or overall sound, haven't really spent any time listening to him in the past, but it's some apt playing and gets the job done.

And man, unSane, that's not even terrible. At least by my hack standards. I mean, it's got problems and it certainly doesn't rise above workmanlike even at its best moments, but as a spacefiller it's certainly not the horrorshow I was expecting. I think I knew too many awful fucking guitarists in high school or something, my expectations when some starts being humble tend to be somewhere in the sub-basement.

In point of fact, it's a better solo than the solo I was once upon a time super proud of, back when I was 17 and did a two hour sessions with my recordist neighbor across the street to lay down a proper tiny-studio recording of my then top-in-the-rotation epic rock ballad. Which upon review I have never actually posted on Music, so I'm just gonna go ahead and lay that one out on the front page and have done with it.
posted by cortex at 7:35 PM on September 2, 2010

The thing that is both terrible and wonderful about it to me is that there are no wrong notes in it, and yet every single note is out of tune.
posted by unSane at 7:37 PM on September 2, 2010

and it's the first time I've ever been disappointed that someone didn't think my guitar playing was terrible
posted by unSane at 7:48 PM on September 2, 2010

Hell yes I say.

Sorry, unSane. I hate to put the wind into your sails. For what it's worth, yes indeed a whole lot of pitchiness in it. I think the problem for me is I listen to you sort of reach with a bend and not quite make it and my open-minded brain says "oh wow, listen to him dance just on the edge of traditional tonality" and shit.
posted by cortex at 7:52 PM on September 2, 2010

Well, it entertained the folks back home enough that it was the solo we kept for the demo, and in a strange way it worked given that the song was basically riffing on hippy cliches, so a deranged out of tune widdly solo that might well have been done on acid was sort of apropos.

The solo on the single is very similar except it's all in tune, and in a strange way it seems lacklustre by comparison.
posted by unSane at 8:02 PM on September 2, 2010

I've never been able to get into RT for some reason, despite many attempts, but that makes me want to give him another try.

I highly recommend Mirror Blue, the album that linked track is from. An astonishing number of kickass songs on that one. And Rumour and Sigh: great record. I'm also quite fond of Hand of Kindness, especially the song Devonside, from that release. He's really a hella songwriter. Some people don't like his voice, but I'm fine with it.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:25 PM on September 2, 2010

Q: What's the difference between a drum machine and a drummer?
A: With a drum machine, you only have to punch the information in once
posted by unSane at 5:03 AM on October 21, 2010

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