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Dankology

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  1. Please listen, comment and share as you see fit...
  2. Re burglaries - when a friend of mine was broken into, the robbers left two very nice guitars that he had out on stands but stole the two near-worthless ones he'd left in their cases. Convenience and portability clearly being the priority...
  3. I think the whole point of musicians' interviews (outside of the highly technical but usually otherwise mundane/inane ones instrument mags) is to cater to the the very natural need the public have to better understand the people whose art has affected them. The artists themselves often value the opportunity to contextualize and add perspective. So the examples you list above are really the "normal" stuff: artists talking about the things their fans want to know about. This is not some "preoccupation with the inner artist" - this is someone doing the job that people want them to do: the alternative would be the unchallenging, technical, hagiographic approach of the instrument-specific magazines. Van has a long history of not indulging the former approach and often striving to characterize his art as "work", expressing frustration that interviewers (and people in general) are not sufficiently aware of the artists that he apparently holds dear. This interviewer seemed to know this and took a pragmatic approach and yet he still acted like a spoilt child, and didn't even have a pithy retort to hand. As I say above, he has no need to do any interviews - he could have made it part of his current contract or even provided interviewers with a list of pre-approved topics or questions. But he doesn't, he prefers to play the curmudgeon - when it would be far more eloquent (and befitting of his artistic legacy) to say nothing at all.
  4. To be fair, I think she was trying to do the exact opposite of that and actually tried to engage him about the practicalities of his job rather than trying to tease out any hidden meanings. And she successfully called his bluff too (or rather he tried and failed to call hers) when the topic shifted onto his preferred jazz musicians. I'd wager that the journalist knew *exactly* what to expect and was taking a circumspect approach. Despite this Van, artlessly and irrelevantly, used all his standard "defenses"... I mean, does asking about why a couple of old songs have been exhumed really count as a "psychiatric interview" or "intellectual debate"? It almost sounds like he nearly let the facade slip when the journalist in desperation actually appealed to some sort of personal connection - the exact opposite of how many of his interviews play out. I'm a huge fan of his music but I've not read one word about Morrison that suggests he's anything other than a deeply unpleasant man who revels in being contrary. And I don't buy that he only entertains interviewers under record company duress: this is a man who has kept some of his finest work out of print for years in order to maintain industry grudges. And I'm fairly certain that the same old lags will be buying his current LP regardless of whether the broadsheets run a feature on it or not. I can only read him one of two ways: he's either constantly reaching out to connect (hence his massive output) but is uncomfortable with/embarrassed by this OR he genuinely is joylessly doing the only job he can, and just happens to be brilliant at it.
  5. I realize that this is much-covered ground but I just wanted to have a bit of a grumble about my own fickleness. We did some recording earlier in the year for which I used an Aerodyne Jazz stung with flats which I was really very content with. As time went on I decided I wanted something a little pokier as the bass (a PJ, of course) was not really cutting through on some songs live. As a 40th birthday treat to myself not long afterwards I treated myself to a US Jazz with EMGs from the Marketplace here. It was strung with rounds that were a bit slender for me but the whole thing sounded great - nice and present both in rehearsal and live plus it was, improbably, lighter than the Aerodyne so my dodgy shoulder was happy too. Last week I went back to change one of the bass parts on the studio recordings and was gutted to hear the difference between the two basses. To the point that we left the old part as-is. I know that the original part had been subject to some EQ and had been recorded through a nicer desk but it was clear that the intrinsic sound was much more suited to the song. And more pleasing to my ear. So today I'm going to pull the Pyramids off the Aerodyne and see how they sound on the Jazz via its JVX pickups. If that doesn't float my boat I'm trying the other EMGs that came with the bass and if that doesn't help thicken up the sound I'll be open to suggestions. Unless they involve not using my lovely, light new bass. We supported a band the other week where the bassist had what seemed to be a Jazz Deluxe and played with a pick through an amp with loads of top end and still had a lovely thudding sound - I should've picked his brain.
  6. It was "bongos" rather than washboard... The Fall were an interesting case though. Much like Beefheart and the Magic Band, the one individual really defined the band beyond any other member and yet there are still line-ups of each band that I would say are very much not The Fall or the Magic Band despite MES or Van Vliet still being present. (FWIW, I'm referring to the Fall post-2005 or so and the Magic Band around the time of Unconditionally Guaranteed)
  7. Our XR18 cost £250 secondhand on Ebay - no significantly more than a new XR12...
  8. What tablets does everyone use to control these? I've now bought a Kindle and a Samsung tablet second hand - neither of which had 5Ghz functionality (despite being advertised as such), which is, of course, the main advantage of using an external router. I just want a cheap tablet 8" - 10" screen, 5GHz wireless compatible - doesn't seem too much to ask...
  9. ...and in or around Manchester, you could do worse than coming and seeing Joan the Wad at the Eagle in Salford: Live version of forthcoming single here: https://t.co/WjB2fuB7h9?amp=1 Tickets here: https://fatso.ma/MOdT The main act (Juliper Sky) sound very promising too. joanthewadmusic.co.uk
  10. I dunno, mine (linked to above) struggled to be heard above an entirely unamplified small acoustic guitar and single vocalist. I could hear it ok but it apparently did not project into the small room at all.
  11. I've got a fretless one of these that I use a lot at home and have gigged once or twice: http://www.bassdirect.co.uk/bass_guitar_specialists/Crafter_BA400_EQ_N.html I think I got it for about £250 (give or take) on Ebay. I believe Alice Cooper's bassist uses the fretted one. Make of that what you will.
  12. Why, thank you. Although the Waddup track is by someone else who inexplicably shares our name. I'm not sure how well vocal tips via the non-singing bassist will go but I'll look out for an appropriate opportunity...
  13. I've videoed possibly hundreds of other people's gigs over the years and yet still can experience what feels like a tautening of every sinew in my body as I sense the camera coming over to me. The way I try to think about it is that the discomfort I feel is a result of not wanting to look like a @r$e - but if I did look like an @r$e it would be apparent to everyone in the room, whether there was a camera there or not. At least with a video you can edit down such moments to the bare minimum - no such luxury in real life... Also, videos have let me notice things I can do something about, such as the horrible perma-grimmace I used to have - and also how much better everyone looks when they are not conspicuously self-conscious. I do hope you crack it - there's something immensely satisfying about seeing yourself utterly lost in a song. This is the most recent one we've shared and there's lots to fault: it's a cover that we've only ever felt our way through, it's the hottest day of the year, so we're all sweaty so I'm in shorts and there's no hat to hide the thinning hair plus I left the bass muted much longer than intended at the beginning... But seeing ourselves absolutely immersed in the performance has been incredibly useful to us.
  14. This was one of the reasons I moved to the Jazz w/rounds - we have one song that benefits from the odd pop here and there and the PJ with flats wasn't letting them cut through. Having said that, I like my flats quite well worn in so a newer set may well have been better. Listening through last night's rehearsal recording, I now have the opposite problem: the pops sound horribly tinny and thin. There are likely some technique issues here...
  15. This couldn't have been worse timed for me - just yesterday I decided I was a Jazz-with-rounds convert and had decided to sell my flats-equipped PJ... I might just hold onto it until after next batch of recordings now. Damn you, Basschat.
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