Sounds from Vacay: Improv in Open G + Vieques Wind, Rain, and Ocean

Vieques Vacation 2012 2012-03-25 008

On our spring vacation in Vieques, I got inspired by the sights and sounds so I decided to test out the Soundcloud mobile app and do a little improv on my Martin Backpacker. Considering the audio source and that this is all improv, I think this one came out nicely…

Improv in open G + waves and rain at Island Of Vieques by whitperson

Of course, Soundcloud isn’t just for music. You can record anything you think is a cool sound. I was really digging the sounds of the ocean, wind and rain during our trip, so I tried out a couple different recordings:

Waves and Rain at Island Of Vieques by whitperson

Vieques ocean and wind by whitperson

Loop Pedal Fun, Part 2: Because Sometimes I Attempt to Make Music

I <3 loops

I put this post together a while back when my loop pedal was acting wonky and I had to pull off all the data before bringing it into the shop. In that process I had re-discovered some old loops that actually weren’t too bad. I made a quick attempt at improving the sound quality in an audio editor and then gave each of them a quick name — literally the first words that I thought of when I heard them again. I have no idea why I never posted this, so I figured…why not bust it out in the new year?

Like my previous audio posts, there are definitely some mellow, lullaby-like sounds going on here. But there are also a few other cool themes like a Western/desert thing and other more psychedelic sounds. It certainly ain’t hi-fi but it’s not bad considering the low-budget equipment and that all of these were recorded on-the-fly, completely as improv (the one exception being track #1, the “Drift Away Instrumental,” which was actually my attempt at capturing the groove from the original loop in track #2).

Take a listen… Continue Reading…

Two Summertime “Bliss” Mixes

Phish @ Susquehanna, Camden, NJ, 6.10.11

I caught up with my buddy Burke recently and he made a point to say how much he liked my live improv mixes, even though I don’t think he really considers himself a big live music/improv guy. In honor of summer, I recently put together two different all-improv, all-instrumental mixes around a “summer bliss” theme. I’m pretty darn happy with the final products, so I thought I should probably flag the new material on my site before the summer’s over!

Check ’em out:

Podcast #069: Bisco Bliss Mix:

Live Music Blog Podcast #069 – Bisco Bliss Mix by whitperson

Podcast #70: Phish Summer Bliss Mix:

Podcast #070 – Phish Summer 2011 Bliss Mix by livemusicblog

By the way, I typically post most of my mixes over on Live Music Blog to add to our ongoing podcast series (which you can subscribe to via iTunes if you’re so inclined).

Song of the Day: El Ten Eleven – “My Only Swerving”

I came across El Ten Eleven on the eMu site yesterday and really dug their sound.

Check it out:

These guys put together a nice mellow style of instrumental music using drums, double-neck bass/guitar, a loop pedal and lots of effects. In that way, their music is actually somewhat similar to some of the mellow, lullaby-esque sounds I’ve been laying down on my loop pedal lately (though mine aren’t nearly as good and don’t include drums, double-neck guitar or nearly as many toys).

Side note: I like to think that if my blogging buddy Justin and I ever started a band, we’d probably play something like this.

Song of the Day: The Grateful Dead – “Second That Emotion” (Smokey Robinson cover)

I thought I’d do a short post in honor of Jerry Garcia’s b-day anniversary today, with a short but sweet clip of the Grateful Dead’s cover of Smokey Robinson’s “Second That Emotion.”

This track was on the first full live recording I ever heard by the band, which was on a crappy old cassette tape given to me by a random acquaintance in high school. It’s a great example of the sound that initially grabbed my attention. I think the fact that they covered a familiar Smoky Robinson tune probably allowed me to dig in a bit further, but it was the guitar solo from this take that really caught my ears. It’s a short, melodic, note-perfect instrumental rendition of what Jerry thought Smokey was trying to do with his vocals on the original tune. It perfectly captures that happy, major chord vibe that helped the Grateful Dead stand out to me among a sea of blues-heavy rockers that were gradually going down a darker road (which I also loved).

To this day, I never get sick of hearing this one:

Song of the Day: “Drug” by White Denim

The rawkin’ Austin trio has added a second guitar and they’ve gotten a bit more — dare I say — jammy.  Check out the dual-guitar madness on their new track:

White Denim – Drug by WhiteDenim

I finally caught White Denim’s live set down in Austin during SXSW. They seriously rocked, but it was in a weird and rather sterile scene at the Convention Center, so I can’t wait to see them again in a more rock’n’roll kind of environment (like a sweaty NYC rock club).

I also can’t wait to check out their new record which drops on May 24.

Song of the Day: “Nothing Ever Happened” by Deerhunter

I caught Deerhunter live last Friday down in Austin during SXSW and they rocked this tune hard.

A few things I love about this song:

1) I really dig the opening bass and drums groove. I hear the opening notes and it immediately reminds me of the Spencer Davis Group’s “Give Me Some Lovin'” from way back in the day:

And just when I expect a big, bright major chord organ, they drop this darker bass line for the verse section, which is more reminiscent of a 90’s alt rock tune.

2) I also like the way the different sections flow throughout the song. By ~2:30, we’ve already gone through three distinct sections. And beyond that first change I mentioned above, they’re much more subtle. It all flows perfectly.

3) Like so many of my favorite Deerhunter tracks, the song’s outro seriously kicks it up a notch. From ~2:35 on, it’s just dual-guitar madness. But it’s the riff at ~4:05 that really gets me. It’s just a little finger-tapping riff, but with all the extra distortion, it’s totally loud and raw. Along with all the other guitar layers, it creates this killer, raging jam to close out the tune. Love it.