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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

278. "Neon Meate Dream of a Octafish" by Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band

Yet another Skates & Rays rehearsal, and yet a few more refinements to our recording setup. This time I managed to get an actual discrete mic on the kick drum and better sounding stereo drums in general, but between having forgotten a few key cables at home and having Eden along with me this time (we had the band cut backing tracks for demos of her most recent songs, which is a pretty cool development), I failed to check the signal I was getting from a few of the more obvious sources, so I ended up with too little guitar signal and a frequently overdriven bass sound (which I just rolled with here by converting it to a full-on fuzz bass, a choice I doubt Cliff would have made, but damn does it sound good on the type of stuff he played here). Personally, I was in an off mood in terms of my own playing and couldn't think of a good cover for us to do as a troubleshooting experiment, beyond the vague idea that a Beefheart tribute might be cool.

I had an unusual conflict about how to present what turned out to be our version of "Neon Meate Dream of a Octafish". The full track is close to 15 minutes long, and, frankly, I like it that way. The recognizable Beefheart part only surfaces around nine minutes into it, though. I've posted quite a few epic-length Skates & Rays tracks since rehearsals recommenced, so it didn't seem fair to those expecting to hear us doing Beefheart to saddle them with ten minute of not that at all, but what in fact starts off as a bit of stiff white funk. Now, like I said, I like it, but that's partly because we started this thing of with me literally calling out to Derek and Cliff just lay down some kind of groove, any kind of groove. Once they get going, it's pretty good stuff they're playing, and I'm able to keep up enough to fill it out... but it was only about halfway through the "jam" that I decided that this was going to be the Beefheart tribute, and I switched to a more Magic Bandy approach on the guitar. My favorite aspect of this is that the rhythm section really had no idea of my change of heart, so they kept on cooking up what they'd already thrown on the grill.

Anyway, if anyone is interested in the full performance, they can find it here as yet another 39-40 Appendix Track. And there's absolutely nothing to stop you from retagging it as 39-40 track 278, and pitching the truncated version.

Guitar & Vocal ~ Rex Broome
Bass ~ Clifford Ulrich
Drums ~ Derek Hanna
Additional commentary on the biology of the octafish ~ Miranda & Ridley Broome
Recording assistance ~ Eden Hain

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