Friday, April 17, 2015

The Thing I Learned Today...


Today I learned that, no matter how old you are, partaking in Ska-Punk is pretty much guaranteed to make you feel like a kid all over again.

What the heckfire am I going on about this time?

Well, the Geezers are getting ready for their biggest show of the year....

And the rhythm section has decided that we should give Rancid's 'Time Bomb' a try.

For real.

So, given that, does anybody have any tips on how to play a super low-strung vertically-oriented guitar while screaming and twirling at the same time?

Don F?




I sure hope no one mentions The Pixies anytime soon.

All joking aside, Time Bomb is a straight-up, super infectious tune to mess around with no matter how you do it...And, while I'm not sure Mr. Beer 'N Hockey would agree, it almost seems like a Post-Hip-Hop-A-Lyptical westcoast-destylized version of Springsteen's New York City Serenade, at least from a lyrical POV....But don't quote me on that in Greasy Lake circles whatever you do....
Interestingly, Rancid's front man Tim Armstrong/Timebomb, who is on the front porch of geezerhood himself now, is still up to some most interesting DIY stuff on the side, a lot of which you can find....Here.
And, in the interest of full disclosure...We lived right up the street from where the two then young Armstrong's, Tim and that other guy, as well their two crews were honing their craft in the Berkeley flats as kids back in the early '90's...But as a junior science geek with a then newly born tiny e. in tow I really had no idea what was truly going on at 924 Gilman on the other side of San Pablo at the time.



Mr. Beer N. Hockey said...

Rancid? A little new school for this ol' geez'. Which reminds me to ask you, when you are going to sing "Snowbird" for us?

Don F. said...

First off you need an old Gretsch country gentleman with the weighty body for the angles. It helps if it played upside down like he does. Hard to do on the new Tele Ross. Those boys have it to a science.
I would do it in a dream as I am always that age when I dream. Quite an undertaking if your looking to be authentic.
All in all they play decent enough but the secret is the bass player who can deliver continuos sound.
I have faith in you and know you can deliver.
Go Ross Go I say!

RossK said...


Well, now that 'You're So Vain' is in the set, I don't imagine that Snowbird can be far behind.

Now that I think of it, I'm actually pretty amazed that I've never heard Mr. Keithley et al. do that one.



You mean you're giving me money to steal from the youngest kid's college fund to get me a Gretsch?

Hmmmm....Will have to get to back to you on that one.

Luckily, we do have a kinghell bass player.


scotty on denman said...

Heh, heh,.."Post-Hip-Hop-A-Lyptical westcoast-destylized..." Whoa-ya! I agree with Don: try that twirlin' and screamin' shit w/ a "super low strung vertically-oriented" guit-box, esp. if it's also "low slung"---w/ yer tele...hmmm...too light, I think. But who am I to give advice, esp. about SKA? (1st time (English) Beat@Mason's Lodge in TO, 40 below outside and every sweaty, mosh-wilted frame about froze solid upon leaving---'twas my kid brother's idea; 2nd time walking past the Vic SKAfest and a puff of breeze blew me clean over Beacon Hill heath). But then, now I think of it, the reggae cover of Instant Karma keeps morphing to Peri-Hippie-leftcoast-style-eyed SKA(-like) sounds. Dang! I dunno!

My ol'man bought my ma a cedar guitar in Franco Spain, prob'ly about '59, got hung on the parlour wall till it cracked. I started on it after hearing my buddy's cousin do Johnny Horton covers, showed me G/C/D, but I couldn't get the C for nearly a year, so I just fiddled. My ol'man heard me one day, said, "That's the Blues"---I didn't have a clue what he was talking about. Next time I heard it was at a hippie tenancy in Fernwood, friend had the iconic "Robert Johnson King of the Delta Blues Singers" LP, the cover of which had a 50s-style graphic of a black figure on a chair. Not sure, but that might be why I've performed sitting on a chair almost ever since.

So what would I know about ambulatory antics on stage? Well, actually, I did have a relatively recent revelation---until I met my cardiologist. Now on the mend, I do pace my parlour with my Tele---neither low strung or slung, more Yardbird-ish, w/ the thing cinched so high looks like I've inhaled too much helium. When I've had enough, it's back to my little parlour classical (1/2 body, 3/4 neck). On a wooden kitchen chair, of course.

Yeah, I'm probably what we used to call an "L-7". Like all squares, though, I do love the vicarious experience, so thanx and be careful out there---sounds freaky! And fun!

PS: Check out Morganfield's "Electric Mud".

RossK said...

Awww Scotty--

Kid brothers will do that kind of thing to you.

Speaking of 1/2's and 3/4's and all that...Now that I'm really paying attention to such things, kinda/sorta getting a hankering for a Mustang.

One other potentially troubling thing...the desire for more pedals.

Have Mr. Morganfield's flirtation with psychedelia on as I type.