02 August 2007

8+

"Guitar Space/Summertime" by Jerry Garcia, David Grisman, and Tony Rice which clocks in at 8:41

Recently I found myself in what has come to be a fairly normal scenario throughout my musical life. A question: "why do you like metal so much? I mean, you actually honestly enjoy it! Why?"

I think this question is probably asked more often of fans of metal than of any other style of music. Perhaps because it is the one genre of music which absolutely alienates fans of each and every other genre. But to be fair, I've had the question asked of almost all of the various kinds of music I listen to, at one time or another. The answer for metal (for any music I enjoy) is more or less a very basic and primal one. Something within the music connects with something within me. MASTER. MASTER. Wheres the dreams that I've been after? In addition, the music injects a certain energy, confidence, and fuck-the-world-itude to any situation. MASTER. MASTER. You promised only lies... Working out while listening to music? What a great combo! But have you tried working out ON METAL man?? Walking around the streets of New York and listening to music? Have you ever walked around the streets of New York while listening TO METAL?! Throwing an old busted television off the back deck of one of the houses you lived in while in college - only to find out that the fall alone wasn't enough to break the TV so you end up having to go down with a baseball bat to finish off the job by smashing the screen over and over until it finally gives in? Find yourself in scenarios like that often? Well then, the only music for times like those is METAL. But you know this.

Destructive frolicking aside, there's another main reason I always cite if someone questions why I enjoy heavy metal. Namely, I've spent the better part of the last two decades listening to indie rock songwriters fumble their way through four chord songs as if their hands were all thumbs and sometimes I find myself thirsty for the highest level of proficiency on guitar, drums, bass guitar, piano, etc. Too many musicians I've loved for most of my life get by by playing off shoddy chops as if it were a style choice to be fairly average on their chosen instrument. Sometimes, you just need to hear someone SHRED. Metal is great for that, and so too is bluegrass. No really.

Bluegrass was (according to my parents) the very first kind of music I was really into. Stories are told about a time, before I could even walk, when I'd struggle to pull myself up on the edge of the coffee table (which, by the way, happens to be the very same coffee table sitting in my apartment right now) and bop and dip along to whatever Three on a String record my parents happened to be listening to at the time. This was while my family was living in Alabama, where I was born. I was a little hillbilly dancing outlaw toddler. Ever since then, bluegrass and I have had a special connection. A very basic and primal connection, and any time I listen to bluegrass it feels familiar and comforting. Feels like home.

Here you've got a chance to listen to two giants of bluegrass (David Grisman and Tony Rice) playing alongside an American music legend. Jerry Garcia will definitely be most remembered for his work with The Grateful Dead but I've always enjoyed hearing his music come through in the realm of bluegrass. From the aforementioned band Three on a String's take on "Friend of a Devil" to The Pizza Tapes album that this track is from and beyond. It's a joy to be able to listen to three string instrument masters sit down and "noodle" in the studio; and if you find yourself enjoying the noodling, then I highly recommend you buy the rest of the album and/or anything you can find from Grisman, Garica, and Rice.

Buy The Pizza Tapes HERE on Amazon, HERE on eMusic, and HERE on iTunes.

EAR FARM's 8+ is a weekly feature that showcases songs longer than 8 minutes. In the recent past these songs were featured on EF's 8+:
Boris - "Flood"
Vieux Farka Touré - "Diabaté"
Morrissey - "Southpaw"
Mastodon - "Hearts Alive"
Frog Eyes - "Bushels"
Slint - "Washer"
Martin Eagle Trio - "The Hipster"
Battles - "Rainbow"

To see a full list of every song featured in EAR FARM's 8+ click HERE.

10 comments:

Davey Wavey said...

Ever listened to Allison Kraus? Good stuff. I used to think that blue grass was like country, and for that I should slap myself across the face. Country, in my opinion, sucks really bad and it's all the same. Blue grass is classic. No one can say they don't enjoy a good hand clapping, foot stomping tune once in a while. I also enjoy metal, thought I can't say I've experienced the joy of massacring a TV.

Graham said...

Nice post. I just got to see Doc Watson live at the NC Museum of Art this weekend. Fantastic. Been going through another Bluegrass phase all week.

Matt said...

That's awesome! Was it outside there? I really love seeing concerts outside at the NC Museum of Art Amphitheatre.

graham said...

Yea. We drank bottle of wine, a fat harvest moon rose up over the amphitheater, it was cool. The sound they have there is amazing for an outdoor amphitheater. I guess because it's small? I got the impression that he plays there every year or so.

Anonymous said...

solidky written article here i'm interested to read the rest in this series and i'm shocked this blog hasn't gotten more attention for this 8+ thing

Anonymous said...

poops. SOLIDLY i meant.

Taylor said...

I don't like noodling because its' called noodling. they should call it something else.

this song is kind of a nice change of pace, though.

Goes Cube said...

On the way through West Texas in the middle of the night (very early morning) and after an entire town offered no vacancies, we listened to "Terrapin Station." You were driving. That was awesome.

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