Thursday, January 1, 2009

Werewolf Guitarists cont.

I wrote about Chris Silva last week but had no pictures for the blog. We made plans to jam at Ruby last Tuesday so he came with his strat, loop station, and a few effects. I made sure to drag along a few friends, so photo credits on this page go to Kiyoto Koseki, Yu Araki, and Kaori Shiba.

When Chris arrived to Ruby, I whispered to my friends. "Psssst. Psssst. This cat is really good! Check him out! Shhhhh!"
We played mostly straight ahead this time around. Ruby has no monitor speakers, so I was struggling to hear the guitar, made more complicated by the loop station in which Chris would record a phrase on a digital stomp box, and then accompany his own playing with soloing. In short, while Chris was wowing the audience used to an amateur lineup (Tuesday night's show was especially weak for some reason), I was playing quite conservatively.

Actually, the sound situation was so desperate that I had to keep my eyes focused on Chris' hands and body to keep the time straight. I would watch his palm fall down the neck to find the beginning of each phrase. He would also do an awkward old man style ass shake from which oddly enough I could decipher the beat.
Read my last article about Chris' style. He is one of the most technical players I've met in town. Find the post here.

Of course, I had to take the stage and play a few  tunes. I stuck to blues this time but threw in some Weezer. Excalibur has been sounding nice lately. I tweaked her bridge last week.
Open mic ended quite early so Chris and I decided to get up there and do a few more blues tunes. We had figured out how to fix the sound issues by then so our sound and interaction was tenfold better. In the middle of a Hendrix jam, Chris and I motioned to one of the bass players in the room to come up to the stage and join us. She played bass with a locomotion like style, non-stop action with a round sense of phrasing. I'm thinking of Billy Cox from Hendrix's Band of Gypsies playing Chicago Soul.

We talked for a bit after the set. Her name is Tokie and she has quite a backlog of experience on bass. A few years ago, she was in New York playing full time in a rock band. I'll have to ask her more about it sometime. Chris was also impressed with her style. After he left, I got a text message asking me to invite her to play with us again.
And as a final note to this story, I keep thinking about female rock musicians that I am constantly meeting here. Back home, women in rock are generally singers or acoustic songwriters. Instrumentalists are literally considered to be, dare I say it, butch. I think that reflects rather poorly on our society.

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