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Sofeya and the Puffins CD Release Show

Please come join us in the joy of celebration as we birth of our songs to the world.

Sofeya and the Puffins are an original blend of folk, rock, bluegrass, world beat, mystical rock and rhyme!

The New Deal Cafe, in the lovely community of Greenbelt, MD is not only known for having fabulous live music almost nightly, but also for their delicious Lebanese food.

For more information:
Facebook event page

Come and see us at Sofeya's Summer House Concert Series, opening for some awesome people...

We'll be playing in Linglestown PA, starting at 7pm on the following dates:

Friday July 18th, opening for Ginger Doss & Lynda Millard

Saturday August 9th, opening for Sharon Knight & Winter JP Sichelschmidt

Friday August 29th, opening for Wendy Rule
ellyssian: (Forever Autumn)
I wound up getting some time on bass, guitar, and vocals last night.

Worked on a few things on the fretless. Right hand technique is too mongrelized to get smooth speed ~ independently, I can get decent speed from any one of the three, but they really need to play nice together (literally). I should probably do some scales and exercises. Never really did those on the bass. Listening to Steve Bailey the other day (not to mention nearly every other bass player of note) really inspired me.

Played a few different things, some Lefty Valdez stuff, mostly just noodling though, finding a groove here and there. I goofed around with Whitesnake's Still of the Night ~ root on the guitar part, anyway. Never even looked into what Rudy played on that (if it was even Rudy on the album... he might have come in later, like Viv and Adrian did for Sykes).

Switched to guitar after a while, and messed around with some heavier rhythms. Mostly improv, or my old tunes, with a bit of this and that here and there. Noodled about with everything from heavy blues to smooth jazz. Ryan asked if I could play Crazy Train, and I couldn't remember the riff at all ~ been a while since I played it! Brought up some tab for it and played a bit of it, and it sounded off. Found some other tab that was arranged the way I used to play it, and lo, it was much easier and betterer.

Went to karaoke for the first time in a long time. Put in Crazy Train for my first song ~ never sang that one before, and it went over well. Tracey had me sing C is for Cookie as well. Also sang Dude (Looks Like a Lady) and Love Lies Bleeding. Being able to invoke a genuine Wicked Pissa accent helps with the former, and there was a bit of an Elton John theme going on, so I had to go with the latter. Didn't quite nail the James LaBrie/Dream Theater covering Elton John thing that I was aiming for, as my lazy, out-of-practice vocalizer was having some disagreements with me, but that's the fun of it, right?
ellyssian: (Forever Autumn)
For those of you who don't do the Facebook thing (or who haven't friendified me there!), you may have missed the news that my friend will be having a Grand Opening for his music store this coming Saturday.

Of course, if you haven't been reading me there, you probably don't know that I am in a band, so it would be a complete surprise to discover that we're the house band for the venue. Anyway, to catch you up, I am the bass player for Chronic Dysfunktian, and we'll be playing a few classic rock tunes, and inviting people to come up and jam with us ~ or to do their on thing on the open mic. Mert's big bad drum kit will be on the stage for you drummer types to play, and our vocalist and guitarist Chris will be hosting the affair, as he owns the store!

Saturday, October 1 ยท 11:00am - 6:00pm

Corner of Bridge St & N. 2nd St
229 N. 2nd St.
Columbia, PA

Live Music, Food, Open Mic.

BIG Drumset & Full PA System will be set up and ready for you to join in and play with your Band, Solo Acts ..... whatever.

Buy, Sell, Trade, Consignments........ Browse....... but most of all........ Enjoy yourself here.

We look forward to meeting you & Doing Business with YOU.

(In other news, I still need to get a photo of me with the bass... it's been, what, three? four years? since I switched over to playing it (more)... the guitar icon will have to do... =)

The Facebook event for this can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=262264303813580
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Here's a live performance of Blue Matter from the 1986 album Blue Matter...

Another great bass line on this one (which I didn't even mention on the other...) and more great phrasing from John:

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Now, with bullets!

  • [livejournal.com profile] aequitaslevitas just practiced him some parallel parking, so he should be all ready for the the driving test middle of February
  • Rachel has taken up sewing as a hobby, and does repairs in addition to beanie toy & cat toy projects
  • Rachel has also been organizing a bunch of the brown belts into a cleaning company, so they can take care of the floor and mats
  • Mr. B is convinced that, like his two older siblings and his 'elf, Aqua Energizer was also manufactured in mom's belly
  • I wrote a couple of bass riffs for a new song, and [livejournal.com profile] aequitaslevitas has the start of the piano part
  • I haven't been playing the bass enough, and so, after a quarter of the slap parts to 5 on Reserve, my fingers gave up, and now my index and middle fingers have nice, red, pouffy bits
  • Wrote some on the company blog yesterday
  • Thinking about my uncle yesterday, I looked back over the posts from this time three years ago, and realized I still haven't replied to most of them... and that some of the people who expressed sympathy back then aren't on LJ anymore, or worse, aren't even alive now...
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This video was recorded between 1959 and 1965, when Peterson worked with bassist Ray Brown and drummer Ed Thigpen. Here's a few tunes filmed live at the Newport Jazz Festival:

This trio recorded the album Night Train and the no-longer-available Canadiana Suite, although you can pick up the piano transcription.
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Those of you who can remember all the way back, a long time ago, to January 2, 2009 ~ I know, I know... that was eons, or, at the least, a couple of days, ago ~ might recall I already posted a video of Chick Corea (along with the two guys that make up his Akoustic Band).

And now I'm posting it again.

Only this time, instead of a piano trio, there's a whole quartet. With Bob Berg. A saxophone. And Eddie Gomez. An upright bass. And Steve Gadd. Which means drums.

This is good stuff.

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Spent most of today watching the Mummers Parade. Starting last year, Deb, [livejournal.com profile] aequitaslevitas, and I kept score on the string bands... we didn't quite vote along with the judges or the viewers choice, so we'll see how we do this year! =)

Here's some videos of the string bands from last year's parade...

Up first my first choice for this year as well as one of my favorites from last year, Polish American, with Ghouls Gone Wild:

Four more string bands, King Kong, leprechauns, and more under the cut... )

I'm in no wise trying to present a history of the mummers, or even an in-depth overview of the parade, but all these guys in these bands are average, every day people - they're not professional musicians, dancers, costume designers, and choreographers. They're plumbers, auto mechanics, electricians, and whatever other trade or profession people in a city might have. There's a few councilmen, judges, and so forth in the bands and clubs, but they're generally rank-and-file members. Many of the clubs are family based and then extend outward to the neighborhood.

~ ~ ~

During one of the Murray Comic Club's presentations, a mummer went into cardiac arrest... as he was playing the devil, and the theme had something to do with Hell freezing over, it wasn't immediately apparent that his fall to the ground wasn't part of the act... no word on who he is or his status but I hope, first off, that he's okay, and, if that fails, at least he went out doing what he loves.
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The NAMM show - National Association of Musical Merchandisers - is an incredible opportunity to see new instruments and equipment and hundreds of artists that play them. Of course, officially, it is (or was - my last visit there was Winter 1988) only open to manufacturers, artists they invite, and music gear resellers.

This little bit, apparently at Monster Cable's booth, gives you a taste of some of the treats you can get... in this case a jam between guitarist Al Di Meola, fretless bass master Bunny Brunel, and, heard but mostly unseen percussionist Gumbi Ortiz:

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Here, once again, we have Lalah Hathaway and Marcus Miller ~ possibly from the DVD Marcus Miller: Master of All Trades ~ performing Killing Me Softly:

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Changing gear rather earlier than expected, here's Lalah Hathaway, accompanied by Marcus Miller on bass, performing When Your Life Was Low:

ellyssian: (Forever Autumn)
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Omar Awqatty.

They pulled off their clothes, jumped into the Charles River, swam out to the car, smashed its windows, banged on the roof and heard tapping in response, pulled on an arm of a man trapped and struggling 10 feet under water.

For a dozen or so minutes -- just how long, they are not sure -- three would-be rescuers fought the Charles River and the clock in Cambridge Wednesday night in a heroic attempt to rescue two persons whose car had crashed through a guardrail and sunk.

They overcame the cold and the current of the river. But they lost to the clock.

When a tow truck pulled the car out of the water a few minutes later, firefighters found Omar Awqatty, 18, a talented artist and ...

The site that has the newspaper article from June 2, 1989 archived requires registration before they show you the rest, but I know it well ~ I still have the article cut out from the paper.

Amongst other things, what it immediately went on to tell you was that he was also a musician ~ a bass player, to be specific.

What the article doesn't mention is that his girlfriend, who had been driving the car, received a very short sentence, due to her mental state, for his murder, because they didn't know it was anything other than an accident at that time.

When Cliff Burton was killed in a bus accident, two bass players made the short list ~ the one who got the gig and Omar. Some part of me actively disliked Metallica for that, after all, if he got the gig, he'd be on the road, and his girlfriend ~ who misread all his new healthfood kick and upbeat attitude as involving another woman ~ wouldn't have been able to drive him into the Charles and drown him.

There are very few events in my life that had a greater impact on me than when I heard that news within hours of the event.

I turned twenty the day after that article came out, and later that night I found myself in the role of taxi to one of my brothers friends. The drive required me to go along the Charles, and at that time my understanding was the accident had occurred on the Boston side of the river. We sat at a light and both received a chill ~ the effects were visible. The light changed, and we found ourselves driving past the missing section of fence.

A couple days after my birthday, I managed to write Talent Lost.

Almost twenty years later, the guitar he was going to paint for me remains in an unfinished state. The Boston Globe ran his obituary on the front page of the Metro/Region section, with a photograph of a portrait of Einstein he had painted. Had he lived, you might be familiar with his art.

Omar, even if Metallica had refused him, was still destined for musical fame and fortune. We had been discussing the possibility of a band, and I know there was at least one other project he was working on as well. Had he lived, there would have been more, and everyone outside of the Boston music scene would also be aware of his talent.

So, yeah, that is the celebrity death that has given me the biggest emotional hit.
ellyssian: (Default)
There was a subtle segue yesterday, where I mentioned that Pick Up the Pieces really made me want to pick up the bass.

Of course, I love the horns in the tune, but what's the point of horns? None! Guitars? Useless! Keys? Excess! Drums? Needless! Vocals? Superfluous!

All you need is a bass (and a loop pedal) to pick up those pieces...

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Over the past few days, we've seen McFerrin performing classical music or with a classical ensemble... this is some improvisation in a much jazzier format - just McFerrin and bass player Richard Bona, making it up as they go along:

There's a very good chance that this performance is from the DVD Bobby McFerrin - Live in Montreal, although the only evidence I have of that is a review that indicates McFerrin is joined by Bona and others... =)
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Here's Badi again, along with a percussionist and a great bass player - bit more of a jazzy feel to this one...

ellyssian: (Default)
Two new songbits tonight.

The first, a walking bass line... nice, mellow... should be played on an upright, but the Warwick does okay with the tone set down smooth and low... fretted basses, however, need not apply. There are three little lines that fit in nicely together. Maybe do a piano trio feel with a piano part; could also work for a horn section.

The second, night and day from the first... crunchy, almost grungy guitar - muted, sliding chord fragments with some unexpected harmonizations... simpler to the ear than to describe. A three riff A section, and a two chord B section. The B sounded good going into some solo fragments, but I need to develop it more and see where it goes. Could be a verse for lyrics, could just be an instrumental. I'm hearing some fragmented horns coming in on it, and some bass lines, but I have to play with it more to try it out.

I'll record both fragments tomorrow if I get half a chance.

Take Four!

Jul. 27th, 2008 12:48 pm
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Take 4 is up on the Lefty Valdez MySpace.

We've moved from a train wreck to a car wreck, and it even sounds as if we're almost playing the same song!

If you haven't checked it out yet, give it a listen - we've received absolutely no feedback on this tune from non-band members, and I'd like to at least hear about how bad it still is... for those who've listened to the different live takes, it'd be nice to know if we're improving!

This take is still the drum machine, [livejournal.com profile] noone234 on alto sax, [livejournal.com profile] aequitaslevitas on piano, and meself on guitar and bass.

We're debating having [livejournal.com profile] aequitaslevitas do the clarinet part (doubling the one Rachel will be doing) or doing the same part - maybe up a third - on the trumpet. We may also have him add in the trombone, or have [livejournal.com profile] noone234 double the sax part. With the wonders of multitracking, we can have a whole horn section.
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Take 3 of 5 on Reserve (it only took 473 takes to get from 2 to 3!) is posted on MySpace.

It's a train wreck, but it's *our* train wreck.

I did the bass track to the drums. We did a bunch of attempts to play sax-guitar-piano live, failed, and proceeded to do a bunch of attempts to do the tracks one by one. After that, we played live again, and it mostly worked. [livejournal.com profile] noone234 switched to a better mouthpiece, and did another take, and the rest is history.

Better versions coming soon.

ellyssian: (Default)
Okay, there is now a rough track up at the Lefty Valdez Band MySpace page.

This is, off-time percussion* aside, real, live, actual music played by meself (bass - more or less okay; guitar - lots of mistakes there and off-time more than on) and [livejournal.com profile] aequitaslevitas on piano. Rachel is still learning her clarinet part, and [livejournal.com profile] noone234 couldn't make it over today to put down some sax tracks.

So. That's it. The music you hear is written and performed by us.

~ ~ ~

In other news, getting new photographs of the band or its individual members once again hasn't happened. Some day, perhaps it will.

~ ~ ~

*: AKA drum loops. 4/4 time. Cut, lengthened, and attempting to fit 3/4 time. Mostly. Not wasting too much time on that at this moment. Need to either get a percussionist (preferable) or figure out how to write a part manually in the software.

A Low Note

May. 4th, 2008 11:11 pm
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Yes, I post next to nothing for a whole week, and then, after a couple of posts I revert to videos.

The theme of the day is Bass Players Who Inspire Me. Or Bass Players Who Rule The World. Or something like that.

Up first we have Stu Hamm - a big inspiration for me when I first heard him with Satriani and Vai.

I had the pleasure of seeing him in LA - not just on the stage, where he played alongside the aforementioned guitarists, but up close and personal at the Fender booth. Had a chance to talk to him while he goofed off and played something familiar, especially to those who might have kept an eye out for the Great Pumpkin or sang around a scrawny tree.

More bottom-line goodness under the cut... )


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