Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Practice Number 3

We convened last night for our third practice of the History Era. "Whiskey Rebellion" and "The Great Stink" are coming right along. We're still a little fuzzy on the transitions from verse to chorus and back again as well as the beginnings and ends. The songs are probably 80% there. I really like both of these bass lines, but "Whiskey Rebellion" is my favorite that I've composed in a long time. The way we play it reminds me of what I love about playing in a band. I remember back in 1998 when Josh assembled the first band I ever played with when he said, "When you take the guitars and bass and add drums, everything is just...perfect." I thought of that as Daniel was shredding out the solo and the rest of us collapsed so smoothly into the verse chords.

The one that lags behind is my own composition, "Bob Dole," which we have not quite figured out. I had some plans for it, like lead guitar suggestions and to have the lead guitar and bass to follow the vocal melody in the bridge. Kelly's changes to the chords and vocal melody made me toss away all I had in mind. What I'll suggest at next practice is to go with the Violent Femmes influence to make it stand out more from the rest of the songs and sound less like "Elephants." I have some ideas to drop in some instrumental breaks and maybe pull the drums back in a couple of places.

We finally made a band attempt at "Election of 1800," and none of us knows what to do with it. We alternated in styles and tempos as Kelly sang through the song, in the end making no decision on what direction to take with it. I suggested that we simply record it to possibly put on the record with Kelly singing with acoustic guitar and then some soft, maybe Radiohead-like noise behind it. Kelly didn't seem to like that idea. I doubt we'll have it ready for the two shows we have at the end of the month.

I've noticed that since we've started playing these songs, I have little to no interest in the songs from Whimsical in Reverse. I still love them and all, but I could take them or leave them in our live sets and am more interested in building up our history set. Granted, we just put out the record and still need to play those songs to help promote it, but there are three songs that I could go a long time without playing. We'll keep rocking them, and that's fine, and I'm guessing the two sets at the end of the month will be the first chance for us to leave some of the second-stringers on the bench for a night while we break in the new guys on our basketball court of rock (with a full-court press, no less).

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