Music and Shit

CONTENT WARNING - this page contains a brief mention of suicide and offensive song titles

I've been playing music most of my life. My first instrument was alto saxophone, which I picked up in middle school. I'm pretty rusty with the sax now, but I do plan to try and pick it up again at some point. I picked up guitar a few years after first playing sax, and for awhile it was my primary instrument. I was a wannabe shredder kid for a hot minute, and tried to learn how to gogo fast.

That got boring around the time I turned 20 and I discovered Dinosaur Jr. Their frontman/guitarist J Mascis is an absolute beast of a guitar player and my favorite in the entire world. But he does it through simple, effective rhythms and endlessly catchy guitar melodies. Seriously, I've never heard another guitarist whose GUITAR SOLOS get stuck in my head like the chorus to a pop song. So I started focusing more on writing and playing simple guitar parts that hit harder by saying less.

About 2 years after I discovered Dinosaur Jr (and other 90's indie rock bands like Pavement and Superchunk), I was approached by a local musician to play bass in his band after he heard my guitar playing. I told him I had never played bass before, but he must have seen something I didn't, because he handed me a Peavey Millenium bass and told me to fuck around with it. Less than 5 minutes later I landed the spot. I never really cared for the music I played with that band, but I did make some good memories and had fun putting some innovative bass parts on top of his music that no one else would have thought of. Even better, I found that I REALLY loved playing bass.

A few years later I discovered doom metal and sludge metal. Sleep, Electric Wizard, Kyuss, Acid Bath, Eyehategod, Acid King, that sorta stuff. I fell in love with their crushing guitar and bass tones, their riffs, their rhythmically oriented songwriting, and (esp for the sludge guys), the unbridled hardcore aggression. I had always been a metalhead but this felt like an epiphany. Heavy did not need to be fast. Heavy did not need to be tight and polished. Heavy actually felt heavier when it slowed down and left some breathing room. Heavy felt heavier when it ditched the concept of sounding clean and polished. Leave it raw and brutally crushing, I'm here for that shit.

So now I'm primarily a bassist. And don't get me twisted, I love examples of all styles of music I've run across so far. I'll always hold a place in my heart for classic soul and motown, for example. But I built my bass rig around the idea of acheiving absolute, crushing heaviness.

My main bass, which I fell in love with immediately and have yet to lose any feelings for, is a 2018 Rickenbacker 4003W. I fell in love with the distinctive growl Rickenbacker basses get many years ago, but DAMN they're not cheap. When I finally got mine it turned out to be the best purchase I've ever made in my life so far. It has the best playability out of any instrument I've ever set my hands on, and it can acheive every sound I've ever wanted to get with stellar quality.

I've got 2 other basses that don't get as much play time, but I still love them. One is a Squier Classic Vibe 70's Jazz Bass (fantastic instrument for the price btw) and a MIM Fender P Bass I grabbed from a pawn shop for $200.

I run my basses through a Wampler Euphoria overdrive, a Team Awesome Fuzz Machine, and a Dunlop 105Q bass wah. I used to use a few other effects, but it's been awhile. My amp is a 1976 Ampeg V4B (still running the OG tubes, and idk how), and I run that into an Ampeg 810CL and an ancient, gargantuan 1970-something Ampeg V4B cabinet. Seriously, when I say it's gigantic I'm not kidding. It broke my bandmate's porch when it was delivered to his house for storage.

I run my basses through a Wampler Euphoria overdrive, a Team Awesome Fuzz Machine, and a Dunlop 105Q bass wah. I used to use a few other effects, but it's been awhile. My amp is a 1976 Ampeg V4B (still running the OG tubes, and idk how), and I run that into an Ampeg 810CL and an ancient, gargantuan 1970-something Ampeg V4B cabinet. Seriously, when I say it's gigantic I'm not kidding. It broke my bandmate's porch when it was delivered to his house for storage. And for guitars I've got a Gibson N-225, Gibson Les Paul 60's Tribute with P90's, and a nylon string guitar I was gifted by a former coworker.

My Fave Bands

Below, I've listed some of favorite bands and musicians. They've all heavily affected my life in some way. I implore you - if you aren't already familiar, go check 'em out!

*I've listed these in no particular order, unless stated otherwise

Like I said before, these guys are my favorite band ever. I've been lucky enough to see them twice, and each instance was life-changing. They combine the melodic sensibility of country and pop rock with the crushing heaviness of punk, all topped with a slacker vibe that just oozes cool. J Mascis's guitar playing is a gift unto mankind. I've walked into a gas station, heard one of his solo songs I'd never heard before, recognized his guitar playing immediately. His guitar playing really has THAT much personality.

For introductory listening I'd recommend these - The Wagon, Over It, In a Jar, Freak Scene, and Out There. My personal favorite is Get Me. That song makes me weep, and when I hear the first notes of J's last guitar solo I simply cannot contain my emotions. My favorite album of theirs is a toss-up between You're Living All Over Me and Where You Been. They're both masterpieces of moody indie rock, but they have very different vibes. YLAOM sounds like the musings of a person unable to relate to anyone, just trying to find a place they belong. WYB feels like the same guy, but he was never able to find a place to belong, and this album was an attempt to come to terms with that. PLEASE check these guys out! If you haven't listened to these guys before and go check them out I will literally send you $1 (I'd send more but I'm usually quite broke lmao).

Have you ever been so depressed you couldn't stand the idea of waking up the next day? Have you ever just wanted to drug yourself so much you couldn't feel things anymore? Have you ever been furious at mankind for simply existing and you don't know what to do with these feelings? Have you ever just wanted to stab god? Boy, have I got the band for you.

Listening to Eyehategod is a deeply cathartic experience. I've never heard a band that conveys such a deep, complex vision of pain. Mike IX Williams has the most tortured vocal delivery I've ever heard in my life. It's a viscerally beautiful thing. And the instrumentalists in EHG have such a way of setting the scene for pure, unbridled anger and misanthropy. It's a crushingly heavy, chaotic mess that flips between slow, plodding riffs and the speed and intensity of hardcore punk. They write operas of pain, and I'm here for it. Best vent music I've ever heard in my entire life. I've seen these motherfuckers twice now and I will continue to see them at every chance I get for the rest of my life.

A good place to start with these guys would be the entire album Take As Needed for Pain, as well as Also the album In the Name of Suffering (it's a close 2nd). If you don't have time for the whole albumms, I'd recommend the following tracks - Blank, Medicine Noose, Southern Discomfort, Man is Too Ignorant to Exist, Depress, Sister Fucker (part 1), and my personal favorite - Serving Time in the Middle of Nowhere (that track FUCKS. SO. HARD).

I discovered these guys around the same time as Dinosaur Jr. I heard their track Gold Soundz and it hit me like a ton of bricks - instant love. These guys had such a vibe about them that I struggle to describe with words. Their frontman Steve Malkmus has a very apathetic way of singing that sounds like it's hiding something underneath. Like an "I don't care, but somewhere down inside myself I really do care and I'm digging deep inside myself to attempt to express it" kinda vibe. Maybe that's just me hearing it. idk. I'm really not sure how I could describe their music. Kinda poppy, but they feel raw and unfiltered. Almost like they always recorded the 1st take and said "good enough" every time. Kinda chaotic. Very messy (are you noticing a theme in my favorites?). Ok, I give up trying to describe these guys. That's the best yer gonna get!

Some of their best tracks are In the Mouth a Desert, Summer Babe (Winter Version), Gold Soundz, Grounded, Rattled by the Rush, Stereo, Shady Lane, and Mellow Jazz Docent. I beg you - find the time to listen through their debut album Slanted and Enchanted when you can. It's a beautiful work of art.

So I found this guy by complete accident a few years back. I was looking for a song on Spotify and autocorrect put in a different word than I intended. I accidentally clicked on one of Ian Dury's tracks and almost turned it off so I could find the song I was originally looking for. But then I heard the bassline to Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick. Oh MAN it grooved so hard. I had to check the rest of this track out. I was not disappointed.

Ian Dury's eccentric yet (wonderfully) trashy vocal delivery with his unique lyrical style had me hooked from the second I heard it. And man, that band was funky. Super funky. But they fused that with so many other weird elements, like rock 'n roll, jazz, and god knows what else. I could not put a genre around these guys if I was forced to. But god they were good. I really wish I had the chance to have ever seen them. Unfortunately, that boat left the port in 2000 when Ian Dury passed. Oh, well.

Standout tracks include Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick, Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll, What a Waste, and Inbetweenies. Check out Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick first. That bassline has got to be one of the best ones in existence.

Man, I love Josh Homme's (singer/guitarist) previous band Kyuss so. fuckin. much. But QotSA has grown on me even more over the years. The man has a seriously awesome sense of melody and how to coordinate a rhythm section for a simple, effective track. He's described QotSA's music as "rock 'n roll for robots" before, and I can kinda hear it. It definitely falls under the web of stoner rock - a lot of their stuff could put you into a straight up trance. Just endlessly g r o o v y.

Their self-titled debut is definitely my favorite - I listen to it all the way through any time I have time for it. It's just that good. Standout tracks by these guys include In the Fade (features Mark Lanagan of Screaming Trees!), The Lost Art of Keeping a Secret, If Only, You Can't Quit Me Baby, Little Sister, and I Sat By the Ocean. Check em out! Do it now!

Windows 96 (Gabriel Eduardo)

On to something very different. This is my favorite electronic artist ever. I haven't heard anyone able to paint a mood quite like this dude can - dripping with nostalgia, almost like you're looking back at a treasured memory through the hazy lens of a dream. Major vaporwave vibes. Feels like it's seeing into the past and the future at the same time. His songs feel like entire living, breathing entities. I don't think I'm properly describing Gabriel's work - just go listen!

My favorite album of his is One Hundred Mornings, which has a very dark, almost alien vibe throughout. It's even sinister at times. My favorite tracks of his are Rituals, Bliss, Caligula, Hazy Trip, and Deep Swim. He makes some great music to just lay back and vibe to. Check him out!

If you haven't heard of Motorhead, I'm very confused. Then again I'm a metalhead so maybe you aren't, and I just don't get how. Idc I'm not here to judge. The dude up front, Lemmy is one of my heroes. The dude got kicked out of his first band, Hawkwind, and went on to make one of the best rock 'n roll groups to ever exist. Seriously, check out his bass playing in nearly any song of theirs. It's usually pretty "simple", but his aggressive sound and the attitude he brings to the table is irreplaceable. Also, "Fast" Eddy Clark was a beast of a guitar player. I don't know how anyone could keep up with Lemmy like he did, but...well, he did!

Essential tracks include Motorhead, The Watcher, Bomber, Keep Us on the Road, Overkill, and Iron Fist. Honestly, if you can make time for it, PLEASE listen to their self-titled debut and Bomber all the way through. Crank that shit so you can hear his bass parts loud and clear. I doubt you'll be disappointed (unless you really just don't like metal or punk).

These guys are moody. Super moody. Their best material almost feels like an even MORE depressed continuation of the Cure. My mom took me to one of their concerts when their album Antics had just come out. I had never heard of them and did not give a flying fuck about this concert until they actually went on stage. Turns out I had a BIG reason to care. I fell in love with their sound that night and today, Antics is one of my all-time favorite albums. It's another one of those albums you can listen to front to back without skipping a second of it. It almost feels like they're all acts of a play, flowing seamlessly into one another.

Standout tracks (not necessarily from that album) include include Pioneer to the Falls, Not Even Jail, Take You on a Cruise, Obstacle 1, and Narc.

There's a reason a ton of musicians love these guys - they were geniuses at their craft. I'm a big fan of their whole catalogue, but their mid-70's work through to Moving Pictures is my favorite era. I'm not sure what to say about them in general because they're kinda all over the place. You can always hear a weird take on music with some virtuosic playing by all 3 members on any track, though. Their albums Fly By Night through to Moving Pictures are some of the best prog rock in existence. And Geddy Lee's classic bass tone was one of the reasons I fell in love with Rickenbacker basses, to be honest.

My favorite tracks include Cygnus X-1 (parts 1 AND 2), By-Tor and the Snow Dog, Xanadu, The Camera Eye, Vital Signs, Natural Science, Freewill, and of course, Tom Sawyer (it's a popular track for a reason!).

Man, I still LOVE me some good thrash metal. These guys were the kings of it (old Megadeth does come close, though). The first time I heard of these guys, I was looking through some guitar magazines my dad's friend had given me so I could look through the tabs in the back and learn some cool songs. I remember seeing a song by Slayer titled Angel of Death and was intrigued. I looked at the tab and it looked like an absolute clusterfuck. I downloaded the track on Kazaa (yeah ik, I'm fucking old lol) and was BLOWN AWAY by what I heard. I'd never heard anything like it and still haven't heard anything like these guys to this day. Many have tried to emulate, but none that I've heard have succeeded. Rippingly fast, brutal guitar and drums, abhorrently violent lyrics about a multitude of topics, and their guitar players Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman had some of the best chemistry I've heard in heavy metal. King always sounds like a chaotic mess of a guitarist with whammy bar tricks and all sorts of atonal noise, and Hanneman would play off of him, shredding all over the place like an evil wizard. Best of all, their solo sections frequently featured them trading solos back and forth. Their material is a hell of a ride, man.

My favorite tracks of theirs are War Ensemble, Angel of Death, Necrophobic, Hell Awaits, World Painted Blood, Jihad, and Necrophiliac. Couldn't pick a favorite album to be honest, but their material was all great in some way or another.

©2024 Viihna (Voidfucker) - Contact Info