Letters from the Lunar Outpost

Beware of him that is slow to anger; anger, when it is long in coming, is the stronger when it comes, and the longer kept. Abused patience turns to fury.
- Quarles, English Poet (1592-1644)

Music Appreciation

 

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So my buddy’s wife was asking for a drum set for Christmas and we were hanging out as he was buying it online and it was a nice little kit, but who would’ve thunk it, she wasn’t happy at all with the gift! Turns out what she really wanted was some steel drums! Wow, talk about a “lost in translation” situation. So the drum kit will probably just sit in their house gathering dust, and now he’s going to end up spending less money on the gift she really wanted.

After he told me this and I was done laughing, the thought of steel drums made me think of a transcription I did and a little music I’d like to share with you. Even if you’re not a musician and you don’t read music, it’s still kind of fun to try to read along and see each and every note that Jaco plays on that fretless bass of his.

Listen to the sound of Jaco’s bass. When he came out with his self-titled debut album in 1976, there had never been anything like it. It was like a revelation to musicians across the world.

Jaco Pastorius was to the bass like Hendrix was to the guitar, you could say there was guitar playing before Hendrix and then there was guitar playing after Hendrix. Same thing with Jaco, there was the pre-Jaco era, and then the post-Jaco era. He blew the doors wide open and every bass player who came after Jaco was stepping through those doors.

Listen to that sound of Jaco’s bass on this song! What a brilliant composer he was, to go from that freaky, spooky sound on the verses to some straight-up, kick ass funk on the choruses. There aren’t many things in this world that are as beautiful as the way Jaco played his bass.

Jaco Pastorius, Opus Pocus pg.1

Jaco Pastorius, Opus Pocus pg.2

Jaco Pastorius, Opus Pocus pg.3

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ewok-walk
               

The lyrics were never more relevant than they are today . . .

When the Shit Hits the Fan

in a sluggish economy
inflation, recession
hits the land of the free
standing unemployment lines
blame the government for hard time

we just get by
however we can
we all gotta duck
when the shit hits the fan

ten kids in a cadillac
stand in lines for welfare checks
let’s all leach off the state
gee! the money’s really great!

we just get by
however we can
we all gotta duck
when the shit hits the fan

soup lines
free loaves of bread
five pound blocks of cheese
bags of groceries
social security
has run out on you and me

we do whatever we can
gotta duck when the shit hits the fan

doobiddy do wop wop, say what? yeah

we just get by
however we can
we all gotta duck
when the shit hits the fan

soup lines
free loaves of bread
five pound blocks of cheese
bags of groceries
social security
has run out on you and me

we do whatever we can
gotta duck when the shit hits the fan

Video credit: Black Mountain Boar

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ewok-walk
               

I feel very privileged, my friends, because I’m willing to share a very rough draft of my election song engineering with you.

I may be even more privileged if you take the time to say how I can do it even better. Your feedback is invaluable!

Not only is it a very rough draft, but for any chance of it going viral, I’m going to have to make some video for it. Never mind that, if you’re a good friend, you will make a comment and give some input on this project.

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p.s. When the music is set, then I’ll be setting it to YouTube so we can all take part in making it viral video.

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ewok-walk
               

How cool would it be if there was a website where you could find isolated tracks like Bradley’s vocals on Santeria, Neal Peart’s drums on Tom Sawyer or James Jamerson’s bass line on What’s Going On?

That website exists, and whether you’re into recording or just a lover of music, it’s one of the coolest things you’ll find on the Internet.

The website is called Studio Multitracks, a genius idea that’s filling out quite nicely.

Bradley on Santeria – you always knew what a great vocal performance he laid down on this song, but then to hear the vocals completely isolated, like he’s just singing a cappella in a room with you, it’s really something beautiful:

[Update: copyright nazis working for Sublime or their record company took this video down.]

The drumming genius of Neal Peart on Tom Sawyer – yes, even completely isolated it’s 100% as precise and flawless as you always felt it was:

[Update: copyright nazis working for Rush or their record company took this video down. Hey dumbasses who took this video down, do you really think an ISOLATED TRACK of Neil Peart’s drumming is actually somehow going to hurt Rush’s sales instead of teasing some people into buying the whole song or album? You copyright nazis are stupid, plain and simple.]

Check out John Taylor kicking some funky ass bass on Girls on Film:

James Jamerson, I love you, man. Your bass playing is in my heart and soul and I can sing every single note of this bass line from memory:

One good Motown bass line deserves another – this is Wilton Felder on I Want You Back.

How about Eddie on Unchained? OH the immaculateness of your tones and your playing, Eddie!

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ewok-walk
               
Currently Listening To:

Team of Rivals
by
Doris Kearns Goodwin