Archive for Prince

B is for “Bass”

Posted in A to Z with tags , , , , , , , , on March 10, 2008 by Andy

Bass: N. — the lowest-sounding member of an instrument family.

No mincing, no dancing around it, no pulling punches. The bass guitar is the most important, most influential instrument in pop music.

OK, I’m a little biased, but that doesn’t make it less true. Because of the success of an electrified bass guitar that was easy to hold and play, music’s focus changed from melody-driven to rhythm-driven. Hail hail, rock and roll, baby. Continue reading

One-Man Bands

Posted in Miscellaneous Static with tags , , , , , , on March 3, 2008 by Andy

My favorite “sub-genre” of pop music is powerpop (which I’ll address sometime soon—in fact, you’ll get sick of me talking about it). For some reason, this style of pop seems to attract one-man band artists more than any other.

It’s a pretty new phenomenon, if you think about it: one artist who plays every instrument on a recording, arranges and sings all the vocals, and in some cases, engineers the entire album. Les Paul and his multitrack recording technique/equipment advances certainly paved the way in the 1940s and 1950s, but I don’t think anybody did it as a truly one-man effort until Paul McCartney (solo) and the woefully unsung Emitt Rhodes. Both their albums came out in 1970, with Emitt proclaimed a “new McCartney” (and to be honest, the album is an obvious Beatle-esque pastiche, no matter how well done it is). Continue reading