Sunday, February 26, 2012

B.Y.O.B. (Build Your Own Bass)

I saw "It Might Get Loud" a few months ago.  The movie was a great look at different philosophical approaches to making music from three very accomplished yet very different guitarists.  Its an excellent flick.  If you haven't seen it, get on netflix or amazon and check it out.  But the one thing that kind of got lodged in my brain was the very opening scene that I have above, where Jack White makes a guitar out of crap and a pick-up.  I guess I never thought about what is really necessary to generate sound from an electric instrument, but the answer is: not much.

So like I said, this little thing was stuck in the back of my mind all these weeks.  I was at he local library with my daughter, and this book was on the new release counter right by the front door:

Handmade Music Factory.  Needless to say I picked it up and perused it over the next couple weeks.  I always knew about the existence of so-called "cigar-box banjos" and the like, but this coffee table book really took it to the next level.  From the aesthetics of incorporating found objects to wiring diagrams and fretboard layouts, this book covers a lot of ground.  If you are in to musical instruments or building stuff (or both) definitely try and get your hands on a copy to check out.  I found it very inspirational, though I'm not sure how I intend to focus that inspiration.  As a bass player, an obvious route might be this:

The whamola.  I don't know if Les Claypool invented it exactly, but he gets a shout out in the book in the section about the washtub bass and its electric offspring.  I always loved the songs he does with upright bass and whamola, just because they have such a unique timbre - even compared to his normally unorthodox bass playing. Perhaps I will start by looking for cheap guitars to cannibalize. Spring is near, and that means yard sales and flea markets to scour for parts.  Stay tuned.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

BBF's Saturday Morning Music Video - Plastilina Mosh

I've been thinking about all the great music I picked up through MTV Tres all those years ago, so I thought I'd make that my video theme for a while.  Plastilina Mosh reminds me of Primus for some reason.  Or maybe Beck.  Or perhaps the Beastie Boys.  None of them sound anything alike.  Maybe its just that they are a couple of weirdos making strange music.  I don't speak spanish, but that doesn't make the songs any less enjoyable.

Here is a different version of the same video.  I remember seeing both, but I think I like the first one better because it is so much more uncomfortable...

Saturday, February 18, 2012

BBF's Saturday Morning Music Video - Boeing

It's just a chill-out kind of morning.  When the original MTV went down the tubes, there was a time when the wife and I started watching a lot of MTV Tres because she speaks spanish and I like music videos.  And they played everything from reggaeton to mellow trance music like Boeing here.  This album is my brain tranquilizer, and so is the video.  I think I'm finally over my six weeks of pneumonia, so hopefully I'll start generating some more bona fide content soon.  In the meantime, sit back and relax with Boeing.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

BBF's Saturday Morning Music Video - Mastodon vs. Metallica

This is something from a couple years ago I just ran across.  Not much of a video, but just the best metal instrumental of all time covered by Mastodon.  Rock!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

BBF's Saturday Morning Music Video - Machine Head

Well, I developed a case of full blown pneumonia, and I'm on my second cycle of antibiotics.  Needless to say, I decided the sensible thing to do was stay home on Thursday night instead of going to see Machine Head as I originally intended.  How lame.  But as a consolation prize to myself, here is a pretty bad ass video. Maybe next time, Machine Head.  Maybe next time...