of Bars and Bassin’

My response:  I generally agree with this to the extent that the bar scene was entirely changed with the advent of MADD, etc. Good or bad, where I used to go out by myself and have a pop or two and watch some bands, I very seldom do in the last few years. A $5-10 cover, the inability to have more than 1-2 cocktails and still have to run gauntlet and possible checkpoints, makes staying at home jamming or wartching a concert on the box a better option for my time, dollar and risk.

College towns are, I hope different, or if one lives in the entertainment district where you can walk or get cheap transport, but I live in the suburbs where traffic policing is a revenue thing, and DUI is a $3-5K issue, not to mention the social and job effects.

And again, the DUI laws are probably a good thing, but the heyday of the local bar scene here (Southside of Chi) changed with the DUI crackdown (IL is .08 – at 225 lbs. that’s 2-3 drinks in 2-3 hours). I have never, BTW, hadda DUI, but friends have …

But I also have to acknowledge that so much current popular music is not amenable even to cover bands, and so they end up playing 60’s-90’s stuff (the 90’s cover bands are kinda new around here). And I’ll confess, personally I’m not even interested in cover bands, but there is basically no original music scene here at all – gotta go into Chi for that.


Bass pedal theory

Posted at talkbass:

FWIW, I look at pedals as needing to give me inspiration. What does that for me starts with overdrives and distortions, which I use mostly to set the starting sound for the tune, change the straight amp sound. After that, I look for sounds that change the way I play, primarily filters and flangers, etc. I look to delays, reverbs, chorus to change where I sit in the mix, generally to back down my sound during breakdowns, intros and outros.

All of the above is kind of an approximation, not a statement of law. For example, a chorus can make for a kinda brighter more forward sound on something like, a chorus. Certainly an OD or a boost or a distortion can make for a boosted solo or fill or other part. And a big-bottom filter like a Meatbox can set a different starting sound for a dub or reggae thing …

Then there are pedals like compressors what can be a utility, or an outright effect – there’s often a learning curve with pedals, and filters and compressors seem to me to take the most effort.

I have an older guy (60’s) in my band who never really went beyond Tele into tube amp in his life of blues and zydeco bands. I give him different pedals to borrow every month or so, and he’s crazy-inspired by them. I look for that for me, also, from new pedals, even as I’m very aware of not wasting my band’s and audience’ time experimenting.

Unusual recording gigs and new experiences, red wine edition

Postered at TOMB:

Killin’ time at work, I’ll tell one where I was the “artiste”.

So we’re in Solid Sound working with just one of the nicest guys and a really good producer, Phil Bonnet, R.I.P.
And because we are young (late 20’s) and excited and full of dumb, we are drinking as we record. I recall it was jug wine.

Phil was such a cool guy, he even took a few moments to show me how he was augmenting the snare with samples where necessary (and it was) and some other tricks, what were pretty new to me, and even new as tech in general – this would have been about ’88 or so, so it wasn’t too common on my level, anywhat.

So towards the end of the session we are doing BV’s on our funk cover of “Thankyafalettin’me” and I lose my voice. I mean, I can barely eak out a whisper, much less sing the last choruses.

So I move from plonk to lemon water and Phil starts setting up to fly in the vocals from another take, what, in ’88 was not necessarily that easy in that all this dig-igear was pretty new. (A week or two before he had The Little River Band in, and had some stories there.)

Well, he finally gets it all set to go and my voice came back right when he calls us in to the control room. I did end up being able to finish the take, and it was acceptable.

And I learned a lesson – no more wine when doing a vocal session, only whiskey or gin or vodker.

THDGeronimo Cowboys;
I mix with olive juice.

My first recording of someone else’s band

Posted at TOMB:

To the point where they pinned tampons on their leather or denim jackets …

We recorded in this old 3-story bank building by Humbolt Park, what was undergoing demo to become residential,inna big freshly wallboarded room with ladders and tarps and 5 gal. paint cans and no treatment. I used Rat Shack 6″ Optimus speakers for monitors and mixed in the same place, all done in one 6 or 8 hour stretch onna Saturday morning.

But they were pretty good, altho’ for my 32 y.o. arse it was a trip wrangling 4 strong-willed females with just my ‘tude and a 4-track. Successfully, I might add; they gigged the famous Checkerboard Lounge, and Metro, using my recording as a demo. A few months later they hired some guy with a Tascam 238 8-track for another go, album length, and brought me in to “produce”. I recall he wasn’t very good, and was in a hurry, and the results were not great, so I ended up re-recording some of the songs using the Porta 2 again. This was the early 90’s, before home-recorded CD’s, and nothing ever went to vinyl, but they did have some nice cassettes printed up – my bassist was actually a printer!

THDGeronimo Cowboys;
I mix with olive juice.

Vlayman: *I’m Gettin’ Bigger*


1. Bigger 03:36
2. Dumpster Fire 04:47
3. What I Seen 03:31
4. Crazy Town 03:37
5. El Caucho 04:37

Recorded in the first half of October 2018 at Feta Central Recording DDL, south of Chi. All guitars recorded without a amp, except bass, and lostsa, lotsa pedals, and on bass.

ADVISORY: Kids, don’t let yer parents hear you singin’ along with the 2-3 or more F-bombs. etc. in songs 4 & 5, herein!


released October 16, 2018

drums is heavily-edited nettage, all other noises by yo.
All songs by yo.
Recorded, playt, mixt, masturd, sequenced by yo.
Fartwerk by Jose Jones.

c, ’18
all rights reserved

THDGeronimo Cowboys;
I mix with olive juice.

So, somebody objected to performing, “Brown Sugar”

… at talkbass, and I responded:

While often drug-addled and hedonistic, and writing in and of the 60’s-70’s, I believe Jagger in “Brown Sugar” attempted to criticize American society to the extent that slavery existed, even as he acknowledged the psycho-sexual results of living during those times when he sings even “the houseboy knows he’s doin’ alright” – it’s an uncomfortable juxtaposition, the critical and the celebratory, just like “Under My Thumb” is* – it’s the bloody Stones.

And in “Gimme Shelter” the singer is looking to get away from the bad things, even, hold yer breaf, asking for shelter from them.

I mean, doya’s really think Jagger wants sympathy for Satan?

But of course, if you don’t understand those backstories, are uncomfortable with the songs, or can’t convey the true meaning in the context of the song’s world (including when it was written) …

I say you drop all yer songs and do a set by GG Allin as penance.

But I will also add, I would be uncomfortable doing such a seriously personal and political song as “Strange Fruit” because I would feel I was appropriating a tragedy that is only secondarily (as an American) mine – ain’t it funny where we draw our lines.

I also wouldn’t do a Gary Glitter song, me …

*Give a listen to “won’cha hit me” at the end of “Stray Cat Blues”, etc.

scumble: *Guinevere*


1. The Ballad of Karen McDougal 03:19
2. The Burning Time 03:32
3. Talkin’ Trash 03:43
4. Winner Face 03:48
5. Guinevere 04:23

Music from the 2080’s, when all new is old, all old is new, and and we are nostalgic for originality. Kinda like today, what?

released October 5, 2018

All guitars, keys, strings, horns: Grankspoine
All bass, “vocals”: Vlayman
Drums on no. 1: Nettage
Drums on no. 4: Silversmith
Drums on 2, 3, 5: Vezina

Recurded, mixt, masturd, prodooshed by Vlayman at
Feta Central Recording DDL, Chicago except:
Vezina drums at Renae’s Place;
Silversmith drums in Commanda, Canookia;
Granskspoineage in Ye Merry Olde

Fartwerk by Grankspoine

all rights reserved

THDGeronimo Cowboys;
I mix with olive juice.