Tuesday, March 20, 2007

FBO: 'Launched! Two Weeks of the Bass'

Watching the Shins on Saturday Night Live recently, FBO Admin found it charming how disproportionately 'into' the fairly unimpactful rhythms the bass player was. Bending his knees on the quarter notes -- like Blondie's bass player used to do -- but with a bit more intensity, he was the only one moving onstage. The songs -- fairly whiny testaments to discontent -- are enwrapped in the lead singer, certainly not the bmm-bmm-baa-bmmm bass patterns. We applaud this man.

Often in indie rock -- aka college-grad white rock with no hopes of the Top 40 -- we see the bass as the most mistreated instrument. Bass players are often last-second additions, people who've never played before, content to just hit the half notes that the guitar player points out on the fretboard. In recent years, some indie bands -- White Stripes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, the Kills, Black Keys, many others -- have paid the ultimate diss to our four-stringed friend: by not including it. A trend both disturbing and wrong.

This week FBO launches 'Two Weeks of the Bass' (beginning March 22 and lasting through April 5) which will include every other day an overview a bass player of our past worth knowing.

In other news, the FBO's adopted Trabant has been spotted at several places in a press-garnering trip to Bulgaria. Check back in a couple days for a couple real-live Trabant photos.

FBO Admin
Mobile HQ -- Sofia, Bulgaria


Anonymous said...

Definately tired of guitarists getting all the credit....the Steve Vais, Gary Moores, Neil Schons and Dimebag Darrells. Who played bass on Yngwie J Malmsteen Rising Force? Did Yngwie allow him to bass solo in concert? I want to know something about that person. Kudos to FBO for celebrating the bass.

Anonymous said...

I just hope there is some great stuff about my hero, Lance Bass.

tom caw said...

I know FBO Admin will not be at a loss for bassists to thank, but I wanted to nominate Matt Gentling of the decidedly FAILED band Archers of Loaf for Bass Bi-Week. I saw that band several times in the '90s (unintentionally every time--they were always opening for groups I went to see), and Gentling was always worth the price of admission on stage. He played bass like he was a cornerback. Christgau once described him as "a jumping fireplug." I just want to thank Matt Gentling.

Anonymous said...

Do you know the new bass player in your band? That would be me. And I hate to tell you this, but I am exactly what you describe: "a last-second addition...[who's] never played before, content to just hit the half notes that the guitar player [chip] points out on the fretboard." I am so sorry.

Alan De-Mulletized said...

Saw the Shins in OKC last year. For such low-fi redorders, they do put on quite the rock show! Loved it, and yes the bass player is a space filler.