B R E S K I N T U N E S 2002

I finally made it to Burningman this year, after something like 5 years of actively not going.

I went because I was "convinced" by several friends that if I was ever going to find people to play with it would be on the playa. As it turned out, music was the LEAST signigficant part of Burningman, this year and in fact it was a vast musical desert - the place was infested with HUGE disco sound systems belching techno-noise "24/7.".

For years I have maintained that one of the major factors that makes life unacceptable for Seattle's street-people - that keeps them crazy and dysfunctional - is that there is no way for them to get away from the noise. Burning Man was a great test-lab for this. By Tuesday night, there was never anyplace on the playa where there was not techno-crap thumping away. When I was 20, playing rock and roll, I smoked, because that way I had my own personal smoke-cloud to hide in, instead of being bombarded by second-hand smoke. People who ought to know better seemed to be approaching sound the same way.

Tow a giant ghetto-blaster around behind you, and a generator behind it to keep it running, and the blaster behind your golf-cart masks the racket from the generator and the other systems as well. Tragedy of the commons. Writ large. To the maxxx.



EVEN NEWER STUFF - Recorded as recently as 09-19-2002!!!

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These are almost like real studio recordings with proper micing and everything. Except the guitar is pretty uneventful, cuz it was tuned down to D so the strings were floppy, and I was mostly concentrating on singing. And because there was no engineering - there is WAY too much reverb on my voice. They are typically under 5 minutes long and the 32 Kbps versions under 1.5 MB.

Same old Dinosaur, shiny new bottle.

Lynn and I have played together off an on for a year or so, without ever really taking the time to get serious. We'll talk about booking a show, or writing, but stuff always got in the way. I loaned her a recorder a few times and eventually guided her into getting a minidisc of her own. One night we set it up in her living room, plugged into her board, with her piano and her mic, and my jet black Warmouth sortacaster plugged in totally dry, into her house system, which is a pair of rich-sounding Yamaha 2-way powered PA boxes plugged into her old no-inserts Mackie 1604 with a midiverb in the effects loop. She runs a lot of midiverb on her voice, but knows how to use it and has it set to make the thing sound GREAT for her stuff. Eventually, she pushed the mic across to me, and so it came to pass that I got recorded singing some of my songs to her - with a lot of midiverb on my voice - an effect that I do NOT know how to use. But it was still a blessing: it's the first time I've sat in front of a vocal mic in a quiet place with a guitar in my hands for years.
We got about 5 songs. I've smashed 2 of them down to MP3 so far: "The Dinosaur" and "You don't really love me."
You really don't love me ... The Infamous Dinosaur Song.

REASONABLY NEW STUFF - Recorded as recently as 04-19-2002!!!

Two Duets with Sylvia Heins in 32 kbit/sec or 96 kbit/sec MP3.

  Sylvia got herself blue.
I really don't think I play the blues very well. I have been playing it exactly the way I do now for about 35 years without getting any better at it. What happened back then, in the middle '60's was that Jimi Hendrix really made some progress - extended the "meme - and then it just sort of died there, and although there were definitely some slippery riffs that I wanted to learn (that people like Danny Kalb and Roy Buchanan had definitely already figured out) it was pretty clear that in order to learn them, I would have had to sit in front of a TV for weeks on end, burning them into my fingers, or more likely, sit propped against a wall in some flophouse, shooting speed or junk. And I just didn't want them that bad. When we went to Maui in 1986, I sort of got re-interested, sitting around playing the blues with Charlie Musslewhite, but the truth is that I'd rather play Jimmy Webb songs than Jimi Hendrix and besides, if you really want to listen to someone play the blues - there are masters to listen to, like Alice Stuart or or Rod Cook
  Sylvia can actually play ...
She is really an amazing player, if she can be convinced to let go of the polished stuff she has been working on for years and commit to the fall line of the moment. So when a ballet dancer, in tutu and point-shoes, with a fan, bounded into the center of the room during our show, she did not hesitate to dive into the task of providing appropriate dance music.


 Roberta Donnay's Blues.
Three very interesting out-of-town women came to PT on Halloween last winter and played a show at the UpStage, directly downstairs from Cabaret De La Lune. I did sound for them. During the final stage of their sound check, I picked up Martine Locke's guitar and accompanied Roberta on the last part of a tune. When that song came up again, at the end of their show, Martine handed me her guitar and said "play".

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