We must begin with a shout-out to MC Tiarific, who tied the knot Monday night with MC Bad Boy Baumel, and let us all in on the eternal image of Yossi Piamenta smoking cigarettes while he plays guitar. May their marriage be as easy as the urban studies final just administered to me in the dilapidated Rathaus building, where even the most timely conceptions of poverty and affluence are harnessed back to mundanity by broken light switches and cracked tile floors.
One more thought before the blog begins: is there anything more pointless, more inherently idiotic, than flirting with a tech support girl after your problem has been fixed? I'm an idiot.
Not all bassists, however, are idiots. But even the bad ones (me, the guy from Built to Spill, and the guy from Future Rock) are coherent enough to recognize a great YouTube clip. The other night, when I was supposed to be composing an essay on deviance (metaphor alert), I was instead perusing the YouTube bass anals (how bout we turn off that metaphor alert??). Here I offer the best my travels have to offer, preceded by a disclaimer (thank you, Zach, for reminding me that people would need this disclaimer. And hey--did you see how I posited in the last paragaph by assigning agency to broken light switches and cracked tile floors? That was for you; the fun-loving conjugation will probably follow somewhere below).
I realize that not everybody is a bassist, and that not everybody-gasp!-would normally spend close 4 hours absorbing each singular note of a particular YouTube bass video. But this iTube (iTube=my YouTube) pantheon I've assembled is guaranteed to enterain you to some significant extent, principally because each clip will either a) blow your mind b) consist of a song or piece with which you're already familiar, or c) both of the above.
So, without further ado, and certainly without further adon't, here is the iTube bass hall of fame, in ascending virtuosic order.
1. French-Canadian shaggy-haired phenom Marco Rodi playing The Police's "Every Breath You Take" with some creative looper use. I checked out marcorodi.com for more information, and it seems he's an improvisation- and practice-obsessed 21-year-old who'd rather employ poor English grammar than virtually anything else. Note that he wrties on YouTube that he messed up the second chord (you'll hear it, it sound very off); kudos to anybody who points out their own missteps.
2. I've never heard of Matt Dowd, but this clip has him playing like Marcus Miller’s long-lost brother. Pay special attention to his facial expressions, which, compared to Rodi, make Dowd seem like he has the entire Bach library up his ass.
3. Stu Hamm will always hold a place in my heart for covering the "Peanuts" theme song. Here we have him playing some of the most gorgeous chordal bass work I've ever heard, followed something classical that we all know. Then he snorts an aderol and goes bluegrass crazy. Extra points for whipping out a bluegrass solo at a Joe Satriani gig.
4. This next clip is exemplary of everything Marcus Miller is--a genius, a masterful bandleader, and a funky soul brother. He is constantly in a state of breaking it down, getting down, being down, and having gotten down just a moment ago. You always get two bonuses from Marcus: first, he is never without a fedora-type hat. Second, every time I've seen him, his body/facial language puts him somewhere between falling asleep and thoroughly enjoying himself. He’s like a savant who had too many beers and can’t decide whether he wants to party or pass out. As an added bonus, this definitive version of "Frankenstein" will rock your world because the guy who plays the best organ solo EVER looks like a girl. I actually wasn't sure what he was until the camera took a close-up.
5. You know who's a dumbass? Anyone who thought I'd compile this list without including something(s) from Victor Wooten. The reason I put his clips last is that viewing them first will thoroughly ruin anything you watch thereafter. I made that mistake a couple of nights ago, so I'm saving you from the same fate. The first clip is him dueling with Vital Information drummer Steve Smith (who I'm seeing tomorrow night, by the way. I'm loading up on tissues). The second is a little grainy, but it's still the best representation of his transcendence that I've found on YouTube. Just remember that he's infinitely better in person than he is on video. This clip exhibits his erection-inducing chops as well as an abbreviated version of the famous "Amazing Grace" cover that's inspired bassists everywhere to quit playing bass.
Pee Your Pants Steve Smith clip: http://youtube.com/watch?v=9yly0RKfVMs
Pee Your Pants Again/Amazing Grace: http://youtube.com/watch?v=LHTA8VZGoMs&mode=related&search=
That's it for now. Please excuse me while I take needle after needle of distilled heroin to try to get "Every Breath You Take" out of my head.
Stay groovy, Victor
DJ Double Bass