March 1, 2007

Good sweet baby jesus...

by Chris Randall

I just saw Burt Bacharach on "Later w/ Jools Holland" (it's obviously a c. 2005 episode) with Rufus Wainwright, doing "Go Ask Shakespeare" off Burt's "At This Time" album. Now, up front, I don't care for mid-tempo love pap one tiny bit. And I don't care for Rufus Wainwright the other tiny bit. However, I have two questions:

1. Who was the bass player at that gig? I assume it's the same one on the album.

2. What the fuck was up with his tone? It was a large helping of pwncakes covered in awesome sauce. It was completely off the hook, the best live bass sound I've ever heard. The sound on the Jools Holland show is uniformly spectacular to begin with, but this bass sound just grabbed me by the ears and jammed its knee in to my face. Holy shit.

Now, caveat: I've listened to the album version, and it isn't near as huge. Anyone know who that guy is and how he gets that shit? Must... have... now...



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Mar.01.2007 @ 10:55 PM
hey you make me want to see/hear that now!

off to youtube...



Mar.01.2007 @ 11:14 PM
yeah, sounded big for tv, didn't like some of the cheezy bass sliding though.
jools holland audio guys do seem to understand how live music should be mixed for tv.

Mar.02.2007 @ 2:09 AM
Sorry, it just sounds too loud and distorted to me (imho). I guess that qualifies as awesome in most cases, though...

Mar.02.2007 @ 4:16 AM
Chris Randall
The YouTube video sounds nothing like it did coming down the digital pipe in Dubly, I'll say that much. On YouTube, it _does_ sound too loud and distorted.



Mar.02.2007 @ 10:48 AM
FWIW, I believe Radiohead's sound guy does the Jools show when he's not on the road...

Mar.02.2007 @ 11:13 AM
Where can I hear the non smashed-to-hell version? I'm always down for a bass tone to change my life~

Mar.02.2007 @ 11:52 AM
I can totally understand not digging Burt (or Rufus), but the man definitely knows how to write an ass-kicker of a chord progression....

Too bad about the crappy YouTube distortion, but I can kind of hear through the fog that the bass sound is sweet and delicious.


Mar.02.2007 @ 1:56 PM
What with my almost total absorption in non-Western music for the past 5 years, this was my first time to see or hear Wainwright. Not terribly impressed. Aside from the thin voice, he didn't know the lyrics and has no stage presence. In his defense, the (nearly) one-note melody didn't give him much to work with. Bacharach deserves respect for so mastering his particular niche. As a bassist (and a lover of dub) I actually thought there was too much bass in the sound (perhaps just YT distortion), and the playing was too coldly perfect for my taste...but I wish we had more shows like this one State-side.
I saw Radiohead some years ago at Madison Square Garden. The sound was atrocious - hideously distorted from top to bottom for the entire show. A year before that I'd seen Peter Gabriel there and the sonics were pristine, the best concert sound I'd ever heard. I don't know what's up with that...

Mar.02.2007 @ 2:02 PM
Chris Randall
I agree. Both times I've seen Radiohead, the sound was awful. Heavily compressed and knocky, singularly unpleasant to hear. I guess it'd be different if I was stoned, but I wasn't.

In any case, for what it's worth, that same episode has Jamie Lidell doing "Multiply" without any of the electronics he's normally hooked to. (Which is why I watched it in the first place.) Just him on vocals, Jools playing piano, and the other fellow from Supercollider doing a little tambo action. It was easily the best Jamie Lidell performance I've seen. Link here:

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If you're not an owner of his "Multiply" album, well, you're simply not with it.



Mar.02.2007 @ 8:15 PM

i think that is the most sedate lidell performance i've ever seen. it was very good, mind you, in a different way than a 'normal' lidell experience. it seems he is doing everything he can to keep his feet in that one spot and keep from exploding around.

musically, it was better than anything i've heard live, and this is perhaps due to the format, it didn't have that same magnetism that makes me swoon for him so.


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