I saw the Yellowjackets last night at the Syracuse Jazz Fest. Felix P. held down the bass chair. My first tip was that the bass being tuned on stage was a righty and not a lefty; I had forgotten that Mr. Haslip wasn't with them anymore. But Wow, Felix was good. Enjoyed it greatly; him and Mr. Kennedy played nicely together. But: the sax player had no on stage personality. During the other solos the fella looked like he was waiting for a bus. Keys player also didn't light my fire. But the rhythm section rocked.
I would also like to be able to say that Felix totally rocked his "Village People Mustache". But that would be lying. But he did totally rock the "Bass Face" category. Something must have been pretty stinky on stage.
We got rained on a couple times, so about nobody was there. Was looking forward to seeing The Grandmothers of Invention, which was the next act, but the lightning and sinister looking dark clouds convinced us to run away to come back another day. Having driven through it on the way home, it was the right choice.
Last edited by Paul K; 07/06/1309:29 AM. Reason: Lightning, not lighting.
Saw Steely Dan last night at the outdoor arena near Canandaigua, NY. Ha! Good time. Pro's of the show: Drummer kicked ass. Fagen was great. The guitar player doing the real playing was totally solid. Great tune selection; only one song in the list that I'd have axed. Horn section was the total bomb--almost as good as the drummer. Bone player raised the bar for other bone players to aspire to. And did I mention that the drummer was the bomb? Second tune was Aja; every lick was perfect and in it's place. Something simple that I noticed that I really liked was that at the end of the tune where you do a pop for the last note (think Basie ending Ba Da bumbum bump-a-dump bump......Baaaaaaaaaaaaa!", he'd do a kick drum two notes that let you know when the "Baaaaaaaaaaaaa!" was. Every drummer I've ever played with made me and the band watch his sticks. The better drummers hold their sticks in the air, then raise them higher before they do the crash--like a conductor telling the winds to take a breath. The bad ones just crash down without showing the upbeat so that it's hard to time. Then they give you the stink eye that says, "Well, shit. What else do you want from me? You guys screw that up every damn time." The two kick drum beats before the crash that this drummer did made it easy; no looking involved. Now I know what to ask the drummer for. It's so obvious to me now. Me stupid. And again, Fagen was just great.
But I have an even hand. Here's the things that sucked. Walter can no longer play guitar. His right and left hands weren't in synch--like a bad clarinet player who can't tongue the reed in time with his fingers. His presence was important, but maybe he should switch to air guitar. The sound was so loud and full that the bass player was inaudible. All nuance of the classic Chuck Rainey lines where gone. Unison part with guitars on Josie was totally gone. On Peg you could only hear those three notes where Chuck goes high on the neck (but just barely hear it)--the rest of the licks were gone. Backup singers were not in the mix as they should have been, and did not come close to hitting the Micheal McDonald harmonies in Peg. The killer drummer and killer horns where just too loud to let these parts shine. (Or the parts weren't there?) I know it's a rock show, but sometimes more is less. Plus, then when you give'em more it has more impact. You can't give'em more if you're already on "10". Oh, and the one tune that I'd have axed was Razor Boy. Why'd they do Razor Boy? Not a good choice in such a thick catalog. There's many other obscure Dan tunes that bring so much more to the table.
The most glaring error was no cowbell on My Old School. Just snare and hand claps. C'mone. Never thought I'd say, "Needs more cowbell" and really really mean it.
The seats we had rocked, and even at 51 years of age, I almost felt like the youngest person there. Old farts, all. If they come to your town, you should go. You will dig it.
I saw the Yellowjackets last night at the Syracuse Jazz Fest. Felix P. held down the bass chair. My first tip was that the bass being tuned on stage was a righty and not a lefty; I had forgotten that Mr. Haslip wasn't with them anymore. But Wow, Felix was good. Enjoyed it greatly; him and Mr. Kennedy played nicely together.
Felix was one of the teachers at this year's Wooten Woods Music/Nature Camp. Yes, indeedy, he can play. And he can teach really well, too. A very sweet and humble guy.
Last edited by Groove Mama; 04/20/1404:13 PM. Reason: IPad impaired
Queen of the Quarter Note "Think like a drummer, not like a singer, and play much less." -- Michele C.
Op-Ed on Fox News' site, if you all can handle that.
Collin is callin' on country music powers that be to get off the Bro Country Bandwagon- following is an excerpt
Originally Posted By: Collin Raye on Fox
The well-written poetic word of the country song has disappeared.
There appears to be not even the slightest attempt to “say” anything other than to repeat the tired, overused mantra of redneck party boy in his truck, partying in said truck, hoping to get lucky in the cab of said truck, and his greatest possible achievement in life is to continue to be physically and emotionally attached to the aforementioned truck as all things in life should and must take place in his, you guessed it...truck.
I didn’t mind the first two or three hundred versions of these gems but I think we can all agree by now that everything’s been said about a redneck and his truck, that can possibly be said. It is time to move on to the next subject. Any subject, anything at all.
This strikes a chord with me. I grew up on Garth Brooks, Travis Tritt, Collin Raye, Tracy Lawrence, Clint Black, Junior Brown, et al. Not to mention the greats like George Strait and Reba. I used to love country music.
I personally share a lot of those same sentiments. Country's always had the ongoing joke that playing a country song backwards means you get your wife, your truck, and your dog back. Every genre has it's stereotypes, and country music has always had an element of hard drinkin', hard lovin', and 4x4s, but this Bro Country stuff is over the top. It's stereotypical lowbrow tripe.
But, it's a cash cow. People are eating this stuff up by the droves. And that's why it won't go away.
Ok, rant over- for now
"Political language... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind"- George Orwell
I will need to buy bigger doors in my house, as my head has swelled to the proportions that make egress difficult. I ran a 21 min 7 sec 5K today. No rabbit for me to chase in this race: not enough runners for that. So my delusions of grandeur have me thinking that a sub 20 min 5K is possible with the right runner to chase.
OK. so for years now, my father's computer has sucked wind. Browser capabilities sucked; everything took forever to "not respond". I did tons of malware scans and such. Deleted as many unused programs as possible, etc. Still sucked. And tonight I noticed that all browsing went through this "conduit.com" site. Quick google of what in hell that is, and it's fixed. It's a malware thing that lives inside the browser. I hit browser re-set, and his machine is good as new.
So I've been checking out "Lost on the river" by a group called The New Basement Tapes.
This project has a cool backstory. Bob Dylan's music publisher came into possession of a collection of Dylan's lyrics from the time when he was recovering from a motorcycle accident. Dylan wrote very prolifically during this period. And he recorded a fair amount of those with The Band that went on the become known as "The Basement Tapes". But some of those songs were only ever conceived as lyrics.
Enter producer T-Bone Burnett. He was given those lyrics and assembled some amazing talents to record the material: Elvis Costello, Jim James of My Morning Jacket, Marcus Mumford of Mumford & Sons and Taylor Goldsmith of Dawes. The project wound up being a collaboration on many fronts. Dylan provided the lyrics, but generally speaking the artist who sang lead wrote the music for that particular song. All in all it's a pretty cool take on some Dylan songs that hadn't seen the light of day since about 1967.
Showtime also premiered a special on the production of the record, and that aired last night. I caught some of it, and as always, it was great to see some really talented people at work in the studio in varying capacities. And it left me thinking that I may have found a new favorite drummer in Jay Bellerose.
Obligatory Social Media Link "My concern is, and I have to, uh, check with my accountant, that this might bump me into a higher, uh, tax..."