This post included tonight’s practice summary & thoughts, but I separated it into its own post, since they’re really two different things. Here’s some blather about a show wifey & I attended on Saturday night.
Didn’t get to practice during the day. We went to my sister-in-law’s with the baby and that ate the morning and afternoon. When we got in, we did some gardening – mostly pulling up weeds before they have a chance to really set in, and let the baby play outside for a while since it was actually nice out. At night, we ran over to River Roadhouse for the 1st time. There were 5 bands on for the night: Rise to Burn, Valence, Lies Beneath, The Hudson Horror and Thanatotic Desire.
I’ve known the drummer for Rise to Burn for about 20 years. We’re not especially close, but he’s a really cool guy and I love seeing him play – he also plays guitar and bass, and to my knowledge is versed in theory and can read. I think he went to school for it, and he’s engineered a ton of records for local bands over the years. I’ve seen him play in several bands, in various positions, since the 90’s, ranging from alternative to hardcore to death metal. They’ve generally been melodic bands. Back in the day, he filled in on bass for one of my friends’ bands – Insane Inside. I didn’t understand the ins and outs of it back then, but now I have a much greater appreciation for his ability to fill in for different bands in different positions. He has to actually learn all of those parts quickly enough and accurately enough to play them in front of an audience convincingly. That takes skill.
Wifey interviewed the drummer for The Hudson Horror about a year ago for her anthropology thesis work on women in NY’s extreme metal scene. She’s finishing her Master’s degree in physical therapy, a discipline I’m in contact with due to work. They’ve been in touch since then. She’s a smart woman and a great drummer as well. I do feel a little bad though. After their set, we chatted a bit, and as I’d spent their entire set standing up front with my wife, observing the bassist, I felt concerned about his right-hand (picking/plucking hand) technique. His wrist was bent very sharply at a 90-degree angle for the entire set. In virtually every lesson on technique that I’ve come across, this is bad form. Over time, it can lead to physical problems related to repetitive stress injury and carpal tunnel injury. I spoke with her, and another of her bandmates about it, but I probably shouldn’t have. I think I came across a bit strongly, which I didn’t mean to do, but I think that as I get older, I think about these things more regularly and didn’t want to see it impact another bassist if I could help to avert it.
I wrote her a message earlier tonight, partly to apologize, and partly to send her a link to a book I’d mentioned – Essential Bass Technique: The Definitive Technique Manual for Bass Guitar by Peter Murray. She has an interesting idea to specialize and become a physical therapist who focuses on musicians, and I think that this book could be helpful in that endeavor. I actually think its an awesome idea. I’ve never heard of a PT who concentrates on musicians, and it makes sense to me. Just like there are PTs who deal with different sports, or who specialize in geriatrics (most of the ones I work with, for example), but none, to my knowledge, with a focus on musicians.
Here are some other places where I’ve mentioned the book:
So, last night, wifey and I went to BB King’s Blues Club, and saw Marcus Miller perform for our anniversary. It was a fun show. We haven’t been to a jazz performance in a long time. Its mostly been death metal and various industrial or harsh electronica/noise shows for at least 2 years.
So, we got there a little early. Doors open at 6:00, but I wanted a table and dinner, since we’re apparently growing old together. We arrived around 5:40 and waited on line outside. There, we met an older couple from Norway who wanted to confirm that they were on the right line. They were an interesting pair. She’s a scholar and was here lecturing about crime. She had just recently been to SUNY Purchase (about 20 mins from where we live) and The New School. They’ve been married for 20-odd years and were together for 44 years, which seemed to be a theme for the night, and they came to the show because Marcus’ keyboard player was staying at their hotel and they liked him, so they got tickets for the performance last night. Apparently, it was warmer in Norway than it was here in NYC yesterday – which surprised me. It was their 1st time seeing him play, but they were familiar with his music. That’s interesting to me because my parents are probably a little older than them (mine are close to 80) and aren’t familiar with too much American music. I like meeting people who are both younger and older than myself who listen to stuff that I wouldn’t necessarily expect. They didn’t seem too interested when I brought up metal, so I didn’t delve too deeply into it, though, and when wifey mentioned that she wanted to try to go to Helsinki this year for the ISMMS conference (she presented her Women in NY’s Extreme Metal Scene material at the conference in Dayton back in October) they did laugh that there were a lot of alcoholics in Finland.