Monday, April 25, 2005

Segovia Vs. Honolulu, Who Will Win?

So I actually played guitar with a drummer this last weekend. It was interesting. He hasn't read this, nor is aware of my blog as such, so I can speak freely about him and his often semi-suspect habits. I met him at a record store, where he was buying a Can CD, and I struck up a conversation. Turned out he plays drums, recently moved to town and works at a local supermarket in the produce section, and wanted to play. I warned him repeatedly of the fact that I had never played guitar with another person, but it didn't seem to faze him. In fact, I get the impression because he moved to my unusually inhospitable town, that he was aching for a friend and it's a sad state of affairs when he couldn't find one more suitable then me. So, the bad: first off, the guys name is Jesse, which is no name for a man. I don't know why, but I hate the name Jesse. It makes me think of freckled bucktoothed congenital idiots with unisex curly hair and ill-fitting sweatpants. I have had much grief over the name Phil during the course of my life, especially during high school when a group of Samoans stole my backpack after I left it on the bus, which included, in addition to my books and lunch, a copy of the Tube Bar tapes. So, my nickname thereafter became 'Philmyass' (aka 'Fill My Ass'), a particularly irritating part was, obviously, that the irony of my nickname being derived from something I enjoyed that was stolen from me. But I think being named Jesse would be pretty much the worst thing that could happen to a male person. Second off: Jesse dresses like an idiot. He wears weird big ugly pleated pants, bloated, dumb sneakers, and has an assortment of tanktops (at least I assume it's an assortment, I've only met him twice and each time he was wearing a different loose, billowy tanktop). Third: Jesse still doesn't have access to the internet, which is inexcusable. Don't give me any of your newfangled 'look folks, I am being iconoclastic' Luddite shit on this one either, because if my memory of Luddite belief is correct, the practice of being a Luddite wouldn't have included reading a blog in the first fucking place. C'mon, Jesse, you can't get a free fucking account and check it at the library. Fourth: Don't get me started on Jesse's hair, which if I was on a rooftop with a hunting rifle about to start a killing spree, as soon as someone with hair similar to his stepped into my crosshairs, I would take special glee is blowing his brains out. Anyway, I went over to Jesse's place, which was a guest house, and he had a semi soundproofed room where he practices his drums. He's got a loft above, with clothes scattered everywhere. There was an alarming amount of gym socks in all corners of the room, and I got a quick glimpse of Jesse's record collection (lousy) and his bookshelf, which was back issues of 'Men's Health' and coffee table books with photographs of high end musical instruments. The drum set, in itself, was pretty excessive. He had multiple rack toms (why are those necessary?) all sorts of dumb shit sticking out of every stand. He recently/thankfully 'stopped playing double bass' and hadn't played with anyone in awhile, which was 'killing' him. He had a Peavy bass amp which I plugged into, and we played some music together.

It was strange playing with another person. I can pluck around all I want by myself at home, and it sounds vaguely in time because there is nothing to offset it, my inept playing floating unmoored through space where standard temporal rules need not apply. I realized how off I was once I was playing alongside someone, and I had to concentrate much more. After awhile, upon a change, we could more or less figure out when the other person was going to do so, either by a fill on his part, or just the culmination of listening to so many songs that you can figure out when transitions are going to be almost unconsciously.

It sounded pretty good, too, if I do say so myself. At least it sounded recognizable as music as such, which was better then I was expecting. I would often fuck up my time and it would dissolve into shit, but for the first time playing with someone, I got to feel the minor exhilaration I have heard people mention when playing with another person. It made me realize the work of being in a band isn't the musicianship, it's dealing with interpersonal relationships, as I would smile non committedly when Jesse would make a pathetic attempt at humor, or make an incredibly obvious observation and pass it off as great wisdom, etc. But yeah.

Almost done with 'My Life In Heavy Metal' which I abandoned for awhile but recently started again. I'll probably finish my review soon. I think I might play guitar with Jesse a few more times, if I can bear his harmless, yet deeply offensive company

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