Monday, April 25, 2011

four strings

As a perpetual wallflower and shy person, it felt good on Sunday morning to not be in front of a microphone thrashing away with an electric guitar like Billy Bragg's born again niece, but to hang out in the back with a very gifted drummer with a love of similar tunes and with the mingling of good voices harmonizing together, I could hold down the low end, letting the calluses harden again on my right hand as my left worked its way up and down the fretboard. I could sing and not be heard

I once resented being relegated to "chick bass player" status playing in terrible teenage bands, but now that I'm not there anymore, it feels good to be there, because I love working root notes into runs, providing something between rhythm and melody. By the end of the second set of songs, his drumsticks were disintegrating, I had to transpose for an unexpected capo, but we finished sweaty and euphoric, because the sensual and the spiritual aren't always so far removed from each other, and there is an incredible feeling when instruments and voice come together in ways that are hard to understand.

To begin the day with that, and driving through the beautiful grey to feast with the Ethiopians resplendent in embroidered white, to hang out with the family before heading back through empty streets to the almost-hood, wondering what kind of drama went down a couple blocks south with all the cop cars, wondering when the seeds I planted will start to come up and what else I have room for, especially if the new tenant downstairs is the lady with three dogs that looked at the place this weekend...

Meanwhile, in more pointlessness, the Rock Hall is doing some lame exhibit highlighting the tired trope of "women in rock" which will naturally feature Lilith Fair acoustic chicks, and boomer approved canonites, and Rolling Stone cover girls.

As a musician with ovaries who digs power chords and loudness, I have to remember that this is the Rock Hall and therefore nothing better is to be expected, but damn I'm sick of hearing about Carole King and Yoko Ono and Kathleen Hanna and pop stars known more for their trainwreck lives, cover girl looks, and wacky outfits (Hello Britney, Gaga) than for producing quality music.

None of this was inspiring to me when I started playing music, as I was neither a burgeoning lesbian or much to look at and until I delved into the underground, my role models were all dudes because I liked their songs better because it wasn't until later that I found out that there were talented females who got by on talent rather than image, that there were even chick bassists that were an integral part of the sound rather than just eye candy. Kim Coletta, four string fiend and fellow worker in the field of knowledge, you rock my world.

1 comment:

Randal Graves said...

Few things (*any* thing?) outside of music can bring together those two things. Yeah, there's a science about sounds affecting our bubbling chemical brew, how dreadfully bland. But that shit's magical on about 700 levels.

I was going to give you grief for your assault on your non-eyecandyness but then you typed Yoko Ono and Cold Turkey, a certain isolated track of Cold Turkey, is on loop in my skull and thus you did in fact gain a coveted spot on the Nixon list.

Word verification: parmo. A bro from Parmastan?

I gotta pick up that damn Strat and master the E.