Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Make my funk the P.J. Funk? Don't wanna get that funked up

Back from Tasmania, and what a pleasant holiday! Got a small bottle of The Lark, as promised to myself. Nice distillery too - a great place to look at Hobart harbor while kicking back, sipping drinks, and reading a Sharpe novel. Even if this item was on my mind.

Ibanez SR-506 

You are looking at a SR506 - a six-string bass manufactured by Ibanez. Mine is the same model except that it's green, about 12 years older and missing a mid-range EQ. If I had a favorite possession, this would be it. Much missed, but not much played. I had to leave it at my folk's place while I lived in Việt Nam for four long years. I had plans to shipped over - I even put it in a packing crate - but it stayed put in my parents' garage. Maybe that's a good thing. God know what Vietnamese customs would have done to the thing if I'd shipped it. Break the pickups while searching for "contraband", perhaps.  

Even when I returned to Australia, I left it be; I was too busy looking for work, and then I was too busy at work. But when that slacked off, I realized I wanted to play again. But the strings were old, and one of the heads was broken and welded to the strings, and so I arranged for it to be repaired before my holiday. I picked it up two days after returning from Tasmania. It cost a lot (3 figures, not 4), but it's cleaner, the rust is removed, the dust is gone, and I don't regret it one bit. I've been having too much fun practicing (which is what I need), and I'm working on expanding my repetroire. Ideas for now:

Every Breath You Take - Police standard. Rather that the "duh-duh-duh-duh-duh-duh-duh-duh" simplicity of the original, I attempt to play the Andy Summer's guitar riff on the bass one octave down. No, the song is not about love, despite what Puff Daddy and Faith Evans may think. It's really about paranoid obsession, and that's how I'm tackling it. Or do these stanzas sound that romantic to you?

Every move you make
Every vow you break
Every smile you fake
Every claim you stake
I'll be watching you

Jerry was a Race Car Driver - I used to be a Primus fan, and even was inspired to buy the bass after discovering them in concert at "Alternative Nations", one of those rock festivals I used to attend. Drove my flatmates mad with my playing, as one reminded me when I visited her in Melbourne a fortnight ago. I'm not that obsessive now about the band, but I like the "tap-with-the-right-hand/pop-with-the-left-hand" technique of Jerry. [*]

I want to say something about P.J. O'Rourke's latest article: 24 Hours on the 'Big Stick'. Only heard about it because it was reprinted in The Australian. Good points - still an excellent writer on certain subjects, such as what happens on an aircraft carrier. Bad points - using this as a metaphor to tout the virtues of American-style "Conservatism", despite 8 years of Bush demonstrating that the ideology sucks dogs bollocks. He thinks John McCain would be a good president because he was an aircraft-carrier pilot. By the same criterion, Randall "Duke" Cunningham - legislator and confirmed "ace"- would be an even more stellar commander-in-chief. Perhaps he could run in 2016... after completing his 8-year sentence for tax evasion and fraud.

[* "Alternative Nations" was also the same concert where I saw women pelting Ice-T with water bottles. "KKK Bitch" was not appreciated.]