Band Practice

Rehersal with the flute band went for four hours today. 4.25 hours, actually. That’s a long time to be pressing a scab to a string. And I had an important realization: I like Tammy’s bass a lot more than I like my bass. I thought it was 3/4 size, but it’s actually the same, but the neck is narrower, so it feels smaller and is easier to play. But maybe it is smaller than a fretless would normally be. Anyway, it has a great sound and is very comfortable. My bass is theoretically considered to be better than hers. Maybe she’ll trade. OTOH, my grandma gave me my bass as a graduation present, from highschool. Everything becomes sentimental when it’s a gift from a dead person. I have a copy of the book Lonesome Dove, which I have zero desire to read, but don’t want to get rid of because my mom lent it to me. Anyway, maybe I could trade something else to Tammy for her bass, like a semi-functional church organ. Or we could just trade while I’m at school with an option to trade back later? Perhaps I should discuss this with her instead of rambling on about it in my blog.
My other band, Tennis Roberts may or may not have a gig tomorrow night, but I have no idea because Mitch has not called or emailed. I guess I’ll find out tomorrow morning when we’re hanging installations in the castro for the IDEA Ensemble as a part of the thingamajigs festival. It’s a very musical weekend. Anyway, if it turns out that TR will be playing tomorrow night, I’ll be playing Tammy’s bass! Isn’t that exciting? It would be nice if I knew, cuz we could make an email list and tell folks, and maybe somebody could make little quarter-size flyers about the band with contact info, so that if anybody wanted to book us or something, they could do that. It’s the sort of thing you want to know ahead of time. *cough*cough*


I was telling Nancy on Saturday that I was super tired from partying the last two nights and I would probably be partying that night too and so stay exhausted and she asked if I was whining or bragging. Good question. But I’m too tired now to update my blog except to say that I unscrewed the back of my tuba valves today at band practice (being very tired is as good as being drunk and anyway, if I combined the two, I might drop the tuba on the cement and harm it.) and the middle finger, ring finger and pinky valves all had green corosion in them. I put sewing machine oil on all of them. Tony Clements, my high school tuba teacher, told me to use sewing machine oil someplace on the surface of the valves, but I can’t remeber where, so I’ve just been putting sewing machine oil around the outside for the last two times I’ve played it. I think the valves are faster, but I’m not sure how to oil them and I’ve heard that using the wrong oil can actually hurt the valves. So I’ve decided to take my tuba to Best Music to get it serviced. It’s like a tuba lube job. I’m hoping that they will take it apart and clean it for me and I can ask questions about all the care and maintance things that I’ve forgotten. for example, I know you can’t get cork soaked, but I can’t remember what the inside of rotary valves have in them, so I don’t know if I could even submerge my tuba in a large bathub or not. You know that you’ve always wanted to sit in jacuzzi with a tuba. When I was a youngun, every couple of months or so, I would completely disassemble my trumpet and put all the pieces (except that piston valves, which have cork in them) and soak it in the bathtub. Then I would run a cleaning snake through all the pipes and clean the non-lacquered tuning thingees with brasso. I’d rinse the valves under the faucet and then I’d dry and oil the whole thing and re-assemble it. I’ve never done this with a tuba. First of all, I don’t have a snake that big. I could have used my parents’ giant bathtub. My high school tuba only got cleaned once a year, by a music shop. I’ve never cleane dmy current horm, as far as I can recall. And then I stored it a long time without planning to or preparing it, and now the valves are somewhat greenish. I only hope that it’s not damaged.
Right now, it seems like a good idea for me to become a professional tuba player and to get a harness for my lap horn so that I can stand up and play it at the same time. I’m also having thoughts of scheduling a lesson with Tony, so he can remind me of everything I’ve forgotten. I know that there’s work for tuba players out there. Yes there is. Maybe I’m just very sleep deprived. Apparently, when I woke up this morning, I angrily ordered Christi to sell the drumset on ebay. I have no memory of this, so my theory is that she dreamed it.
I’m trying to stay up till 10:00. I tried to explain why to Tiffany, but it didn’t make any sense. I’m sure I must have a good reason. Maybe to build endurance for when I’m touring with my tuba or something?

Post-tonal Punk

So last night at band practice, I was a little inebriated and I was playing stacatto tritones in the bassline (and distinctly remembering Steve Steiberg, my highschool Jazz Band Teacher telling me to play legato and play the root or the fifth on downbeats) and I think I was in a different time signature than the rest of the band and possibly a different key and all of the sudden I thought,

“If I learned to play Tammy’s fretless bass, I wouldn’t even need to play in the same tuning system as everybody else.”

The only drawback would be if I got addicted to fretless and then Tammy wanted her bass back.

Banned Practice

We had practice today, despite some sporting event bruhaha. Mitch was talking about this chick he likes, and I suggested he try cooking for her. The drummer (same guy who wants to wrap Xena in a giant flour tortilla) says, “My advice is just go for the neck. Like right away.” Apparently, he means go for necking right away, not some sort of vampire thing.
We sounded pretty good today. Played a lot in E. A whole lot of E. We’ve decided to do a cover of the sesamea street counting song, the one that goes “One two thre four five, six seven eight nine ten, eleven twelve,” but we’re going to do it in esperanto. “Und du tri kvar, kvin ses sep ok naux dek, dek un’ dek du.” We also talked a bit about covering the song “There’s a place in France where the naked ladies dance.” We did not talk about insane clown music, but the spirit of it was hanging in the air.
Ok, so what’s this band like, you’re thinking. I play bass. I think I play a Fender P-bass, but I’m forgetful, so who knows. I suck. Ed plays guitar. Ed it really good and has a cool holoow body guitar. He also has the FX box of doom. It has several preset styles and a delay. Today Ed was sounding like heavy metal and had the dlay feeding back on it self, so he was echoing. Mitch also plays guitar. He has a pink paisley fender, just like the one in the band in the first Austin Powers movie. He was going toally clean through a very crappy amp. His guitar sounds kind of plinky sometimes and he plays most of his solo lines very high up,often using the pentatonic minor scale. Often this sounds great. Occasionally it sounds like dueling banjos. Very occasionally. Chand plays drums. He plays electronic drums. They’re digital. There’s an artfiact such that the symbols stop ringing when you hit another drum, since the decay of one seems to cut off the decay of the other. He plays quite well, but, since the drums are electronic, the drum sounds sound like a drum machine, even if his playing doesn’t. All of this together conspires on evil clown music and five-eight time, on the theory that five eight time will cause riots. Riots are desirable.
Estas Loko en Francio, kie nudaj inoj dancas.
How do you translate, I feel your purple vibes? Eble, Mi sentas vin purpure or Mi sentas viajn purpurajn vibrojn.

Giant Tortilla Xena!

I had band practice tonight. It was pretty low energy, partly since I’m kind of tired and also partly because we all stuffed huge pieces of foam in our ears because Chand, plays very very loudly. Anyway, the foam sort of overcorrected. After kind of a short time, we decided to come up stairs and drink coffee and have cookies. Chand was looking at the dog and exclaiming how cute she was. He said, “She’s so cute, I just want to wrap her up in a giant flour tortilla. Not that I want to eat her or anyhting, just to hug her, you know, in a tortilla. That would be hard to find though. You’d have to find somebody with a really big tortilla stone.”
What is it about drummers? I felt stoned just listening to him as he expanded on this idea further. This is a near-verbatim quote, btw.

Christi told me a few days ago that people would be coming over to jam today. “Fine.” I said. “You’re playing too.” she said. I whined. she said, “It’ll be fun.” Meanwhile, Tiffany was campainging to get me to jam with her friend Ed. “I’m not really a jamming person.” I explained. He same over thursday anyway. I made synth noises and he ran them through a groovy little fx box. It was awesome. But I still whined at Christi. She said, “I need to find out how well Ed plays cello.”
So today Chand, Mitch and Ed came over. Chand played drums. Mitch got his guitar. Ed got out his cello, but it took a long time to figure out mic placement and Ed seemed timid improvising, so he started singing. He’s excellent. Chand’s a good drummer. Mitch has always been a good guitarist. Then Ed played bass and I sat out. (He was good, but all I play is bass, so I’m not in favor of this setup.) The he picked up the guitar that Chand brought. He’s a good guitarist too. Mitch is also a good guitarist. So I guess I’m in a band now. Christi’s trying to schedule the next practice. I think we should be called The IHOP Conspiracy, but I haven’t run it by Ed or Chand. Mitch thinks it’s funny.
So I guess Christi decided to be a band manager, or that I should be in a band. When my old band broke up, I kind of felt releived about it, but Christi kept saying, “You guys were really good.” But we were going nowhere. I’d like to be more serious. Mitch says no more being half-assed. Christi wants to schedule us recording time at Expression New Media (they do free recording for bands). We don’t even have any songs yet. She says, “Who cares, you sounded great jamming. Just go in and play for half an hour.”
This being pushed into music by other people thing seems to be ok. I finished my last piece of music in June. I’ve got a score for a call for scores put out by Jack Straw Productions in Seattle (no relation to the British leader), but it’s not done. Almost all the music grad school applications are due January 15th, except for Berkeley and Stanford, which are due monday and are not going to happen for me. But I don’t really want to go away. I want to build big cabinets downstairs and have a super-usable work area. But then what will I do with myself if I don’t go to school? I think I probably need a masters degree to be a serious composer. (What will I do with myself when I’m a serious composer?) Maybe I could just go to Cal Arts and keep Tiffany living at my current house and come home frequently. Maybe I could somehow complete the Berkeley application by Monday. I don’t really want to go to Berkeley. Actually, I don’t really want to do antything. Maybe somone will push me into something.