WWSP's "The Alternate Boot!"

Friday, December 02, 2005

Take a Beat, Add One Major Chord, and Shake Vigorously!

Last night, we had a productive Telepath rehearsal preparing for our show next week. It's amazing how good major chords strummed over a bass and drum combo can sound. It's been a lesson for me. What is creativity? Sometimes it's taking very common elements and putting them together. As simple as that! We are working with instruments that have been played by millions, using chords and notes that have been strummed over and over and over. We can't really step too far out of the confines of beat, rythmn, melody, harmony. Once you say you are gonna play R&R, you've accepted a whole set of boundaries. But within the confines of this type of music there's room for little creative sparks. It can be found in everything, the way a snare or high-hat rings out, the thump and resonance of a bass string, a certain vocal inflection. I guess it's obvious, but it's the human beings behind the mikes and instruments that add something unexplainable, something unlike anything else you've ever heard. Whether the band is good or bad, the band should be good or bad in their own unique way. Or at least that's where I think greatness lies. The trick is to find the quirkiness, the sloppiness, or the elements that aren't quite right, and push those to the forefront (my two favorite examples? Bob Dylan and Neil Young - both of these guys at one time or another were told they couldn't sing, couldn't play guitar, harmonica, etc.). This all fits in with my approach, looking for "happy accidents," putting the elements together, letting individuals be individual and seeing what happens. Not sure the results will work for everybody, but to my way of thinking, if they worked for everyone they wouldn't be "individual" enough.

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