Sunday, December 27, 2015

Baby Wants To Leave?

When it comes to music, heedless of the form or the style, or even the format or intent, I think having fun should always be a large part of the "process." In fact, there are many musicians who will tell you that some great music has been written through the ages with just the fun factor in mind. Whether it be an artist just sitting down and striking a few notes or a few chords in a progression that grabs the imagination, or a group of artists sitting together with a few cocktails and having a jam session.

Baio said he actually wrote Sister of Pearl while in an office, saw a guitar, and just started playing. Not that his song is stellar, and certainly I won't put that label on any of my work either, but certainly a song was written purely out of fun.

Sometimes it's just fun to pass the time as well.

After my wife joked about leaving for a couple of days, it inspired me to write this short ditty about the potential consequences of her making that choice. It's all in fun. My wife are very much in love, and neither of us are going anywhere.

But writing and putting this short little ditty was fun, and for that reason thought I'd share it with my readers to have fun with it also. It won't be hitting any Billboard charts any time soon, and I have no intention of picking out my next Bentley (I don't even have a first Bentley by the way) from any "royalties" from it. But even if all that comes from it is that I indeed had fun doing it, that is quite enough to satisfy me.


102 IDLE STONES by JIM BAUER on iTunes

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Kurt Vile's Pretty Pimpin

Kurt Vile is someone entirely new to me in the music world, and until I heard his song Life Like This, I had never heard of him before. After a few listens that song began to grow on me a bit, and then I became curious.

What else has he got?

And then I found one of the other songs from his latest album, b'lieve i'm goin down, this one called Pretty Pimpin, that I simply thought was a great example of indie sound, uniqueness, and a groove I can definitely get into.

Without sounding corny, the song is pretty pimpin.

It is played with a very simple, but groovy and hooky fingerstyle pattern, and I think this song, unlike Life Like This is a much better example of his musical talent and genius. I like Life Like This for its sheer simplicity of form and arrangement, but Pretty Pimpin, to my mind, is better, and I am not sure why this one didn't make it to the airwaves before the other one did.

Or perhaps it did and I just wasn't paying attention. After all, like I said, I had never heard of Kurt Vile before.

Having dabbled a bit in the indie scene myself, writing my own music, I like music that is not overly mainstream, not overly structured, and that is more like a piece of abstract art that one must see the message of with a discerning, yet keen eye to the underlying message. Kurt Vile manages to keep the song moving along nicely, and you never miss that the verses are really the chorus, it lacks a real bridge, and disobeys the "laws" of what defines great music. Pretty Pimpin stands well on its own as a solid track, and one that can be listened to over and over again, each time finding something new you did not hear before, and always appreciating every subsequent listen more than the former.

It may not be a masterpiece, but the song still fucking rocks!


Monday, November 30, 2015

Things In Herds, Always Disappear

One band that caught my attention very early on in the indie scene was Things In Herds comprised of Pete Lush and Miss Ping. Their song Always Disappear just had, what I felt, was a very whimsical and fun sound to it, and of course it was very different than a lot of other songs I had heard at the time. In many ways I thought that Things In Herds had an almost Coldplay like feel to it—although on a different level. Perhaps it was the pure rawness in the way that the song was presented, something I have always enjoyed when it comes to music of any style. Unpolished, pure, and of course fun and interesting.

Songs like these, and recording them in this way, is always reminiscent of old garage bands or those new groups you stumble upon in bars and nightclubs.

I enjoyed the song Always Disappear enough that I decided I wanted to tab it out for myself and give it a go. Back then I was new to recording and if I remember correctly, used N-Tracks to put together all of the parts. Most of the time when it comes to drums, I write those out using Fruity Loops—a little time consuming, but worth it in the end since I do not play drums and do not own a drum set, but of course want some percussion to accompany anything I happen to be playing.

While my cover doesn't nearly capture the true fun and whimsical nature of this song, I think it still accomplished what I wanted it to do when I recorded it.

Incidentally Things In Herds is one of those groups that have been fairly quiet on the scene for some time. I think they still play live, but I have not heard of anything new hitting the streets from them recently. Nonetheless, besides Always Disappear, there's plenty of other great songs from this band to enjoy. If I am to be on anything, it's that Pete Lush and Miss Ping do have something in the works, and hopefully we'll be hearing some new stuff from them soon.


Sunday, November 29, 2015

Introduction To The Alternative And Indie Music Corner Blog

Perhaps it is that I was a child of the 80's that my taste in music has forever been a bit eclectic. Even when writing my own music, my style definitely defies the norm, and is more than a bit outside of the mainstream. The 80's at the time could have easily been defined as "mainstream," but certainly for its time it was a style of music that had its own place in time, and of course had its own distinct sounds. Like mullets and multi-colored outfits, the 80's are unmistakably obvious—you know it when you see it, and you know it when you hear it.

From very early on in my childhood I was interested in creating something all my own. Some of my friends probably thought I was a bit of an oddball, spending hours at a time in my own fantasy world of bright lights and adoring fans. I was always singing something, and 90% of the time it was something I made up. Knitting needles and hairbrushes were given new purpose as microphones, and my band was made up of vocalized percussion sets with lyrics of course mixed in.

One of my favorite bands at the time was The Talking Heads. There was something about that sound and certainly their style of music that just drew me in. I was hooked. And of course there was that first video I saw of them, with David Byrne dancing in a typical unusual style against a blue backdrop to Once In A Lifetime. To this day I still enjoy throwing in some Talking Heads music.

The thing is that there is so much great music out there if only you take the time to find it. I like my music interesting and different, rather than simply being spoon fed what is popular or who some radio marketing guy decides should be. And of course nowadays with the Internet, YouTube, Jango, and satellite radio, it's easier than ever to find those bands, signed or not, and hear some very interesting musical talent. Back in its day MySpace was actually a good place to seek out some really interesting and eclectic stuff you'd probably never have otherwise have ever had the opportunity to find. And many bands today actually get their start simply by getting noticed through channels that for artists in the past would have been impossible. Even Justin Bieber, regardless of what you think of him, would never have been discovered had it not been for things he posted on YouTube. If it would have happened anyway, and considering his undeniable talent I think it would have, it would not have been until much later on, and the work to get noticed would have been much harder.

How many great musicians, do you wonder, did we never get to hear from simply because the path to being heard had only one course? How many simply gave up and got jobs in factories or office buildings?

This page is devoted to my view of music. Here I wish to share what I find to be interesting and fresh, both from signed and unsigned bands alike. Here it is about sharing covers, great original new stuff, my own covers and originals, and anything else I think is worth sharing here. I hope you will enjoy whatever journey we wind up on, and if you have any suggestions for me for bands to check out do feel free to comment any time. Or if you would like me to check out your own stuff, I'd be more than happy to see what you've got.

The most important take away here should be that music is about sharing. It is about fun. It is about being different and embracing that. It is about tossing aside the mainstream and making way for enjoying what makes each artist unique and different. It is about letting the fans and the listeners decide who and what ultimately makes the airwaves, and what defines our own "mainstream."