Friday, January 20, 2012

It is possible to enjoy the music sincerely AND goof on the haircuts.

A few years ago I decided to create sounds (using electric bass and effects) that were inspired by analog synthesizers, especially the Moog bass on Stevie Wonder's Innervisions album and Herbie Hancock's Arp synth bass on "Chameleon." I've had varying degrees of success, both mimicking these sounds and creating new ones. I've used many different effects, done a lot of fussing with settings, used different instruments. Then yesterday I discovered this track and kind of felt like a dumbass, because Pino Palladino gets such a clear, full sound using, from what I can tell, a fretless bass with a lot of high end eq-wise, a little bit of chorus, and a Boss OC-2 octave pedal. It was humbling to hear this track for the first time. Humbling to hear him nail this sort of sound nearly 30 years ago on what could have been a totally forgettable pop track.

Paul Young--I'm Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down

A few thoughts:

-Isn't it fun to watch an entire band "lip synch"?
-Is that mic stand made of copper pipe? Jesus, that must be HEAVY!
-I am going to learn every one of the guitarist's sweet, sweet moves.
-I think every synthesizer should be programmed to a default "ugly orchestra hit" patch whenever you slap at it from at least two feet. That would be terrific. (3:22 is a good one)
-Why is the other keyboard player so sweaty? Or is he just moisturizing some new ink?
-But is it possible that his first generation Boss octave pedal tracks better than my new one? That's ridiculous.
-Without the octave effect his playing would annoy me--too much treble, chorus, wide vibrato--gross (like Paul Young's version of "Everytime You Go Away"--YIKES. Listen to the Hall & Oates version instead.). But with the octave it's juicy synth-town. Love it. And I do give a certain allowance for the meow-bass in 80's pop music (see Duran Duran).
-"Meow-bass" deserves it's own blog entry.
-This video fades just as the bass really takes over. I recommend finding a higher quality audio and checking it out. I do love this one a lot. Do yourself a favor--turn off your 80's irony brain and just love it. Great pop music that happens to be all about the bass. It is possible to enjoy the music sincerely AND goof on the haircuts.

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