Big Wheel – East End (1989, Giant)

After Louisville, KY punk wunderkinds Squirrel Bait split in the late ’80s, throaty vocal sorcerer Peter Searcy invested his efforts into the demonstrably more lucid Big Wheel.  The quartet subscribed to a comparatively standard rock n rule schematic, occasionally spiked with the slightly frenetic tincture of S/B…just don’t get your hopes up if you’re pining for another Skag Heaven.  Frankly, Big Wheel were innocuous riff-brokers, but if you’re taken with Searcy’s singular timbre, the band infuse just enough groove into the proceedings to keep things afloat.  I’m not sure what’s up with them titling a song “Metallica” that has absolutely no relevance to the band (though I have to admit, it shreds harder than anything else on here).  Bit of a head scratcher I suppose.  East End was followed up by two more Big Wheel volumes, Holiday Manor and Slowtown.

01. Bang, Bang, Bang
02. Model Home
03. Times You Need to Think
04. Big legged Woman
05. Erect Song
06. Time of Your Life
07. Sound so Familiar
08. Body and Soul
09. Billboard Song
10. Half of Everything
11. Spanish Salsa
12. Metallica

Articles Origin: Big Wheel – East End (1989, Giant)

Arctic Circles – Time ep (1986, Mr. Spaceman)

The title of this record involves something I’m well short of these days, but I digress.  I have no relevant info to offer on the Arctic Circles, a bygone Aussie psych/garage band.  Nothing here particularly shakes me up, but superficially, you’ll encounter ample Hammond organ.  At times, these guys strike me as a more serious variation on say, Inspiral Carpets.  Make of the Arctic Circles what you will.

01. Time
02. W.A.S.P.
03. My Window
04. Celina
05. Taste

Articles Origin: Arctic Circles – Time ep (1986, Mr. Spaceman)

How To Work With A Click/Metronome

The time to get acquainted with using a click track is not in the recording studio. For many drummers, that’s their 1st time having to play along to a click. It’s a recipe for disaster, and for an inexperienced drummer, it will be a futile waste of time (and money).

I’ve met way too many drummers who do not practice to a metronome, let alone even own one! This is not good. Whether you play rock, pop, country, classical, hip hop, marching, etc., you need to be able to play in time. Working with a metronome, drum machine, or click track can help you develop a solid sense of time. For the unsure, or uninitiated, let’s take a look at how to play along to a click.

Ear to Brain to Arm and Foot

The most important thing to realize is that most drummers try to follow the click. This just doesn’t work, because by the time you hear the click, and react to it, you are already behind.

From my experience teaching, I find that most students wait for the click. They wait to hear it before they react, thus they are always behind the click, as in the above example. There is just no way to react fast enough to hearing the click to be in time with it.

The next example shows what happens when they get frustrated being late. They tend to over compensate and anticipate the click, which usually means they are ahead of it.

Then they get frustrated even more and their time jumps all over the place as they hope to somehow find the click and sync with it.

The key to working with a click (or metronome, loop, backing track) is to play along with it. Ideally, when playing with a click you shouldn’t hear it because you are right with it. If you hear it, you are either ahead of, or behind it.

The time to start practicing with a click and/or metronome is now, in the privacy of your own practice space. Don’t wait until a pressure situation to try it, because that’s a sure recipe for disaster.

How To Practice

Start your metronome/click track/drum machine and listen to it for a while, getting the feeling of the time/tempo in your mind and body. Once you feel it, count off and start to play. Don’t listen for the click! Just relax and breathe, playing along to the click. If you can hear it, or feel out of sync, adjust your playing until it feels right again. Keep working at it until it feels natural and you play in time, never thinking about the click.

Remember to practice at various tempos and in various styles. Also realize that this is a long term endeavor. You can’t become an expert in just a week’s practice. Keep at it. Then, when the time comes to record in the studio, or some other situation, you will be ready.

~ MB

Deconstruct Yourself™

Articles Origin: How To Work With A Click/Metronome

86 – Provocation (1987, Twilight)

I made my acquaintance with Atlanta’s 86 a good ten years after they disbanded, via an ep titled Minutes in a Day.  Not an overwhelmingly awe-striking record, but the band’s Yankee spin on tuneful Brit post-punk put their foot in my door, so to speak.  After said revelation, it would be eons before I excavated any further 86 ventures, but low and behold the follow-up to Minutes, 1987’s Provocation eventually found it’s way into my hands.  What a difference a year can make between records.  Provocation still bore a decent chunk of 86’s collective worship of clangy, Anglo crown jewels C.S. Angels and the like, but the album was equally informed by a more dissonant quotient of American indie-rawk:  The Wipers, Nice Strong Arm and an assortment of lesser names that would crop up on imprints such as Homestead Records.  This recipe tempts delightfully on paper, but in practice…  It’s still a recommendable album, but you might be better off sticking to side two (tracks 6-11).  You can peruse much more detailed text on 86 here and Beyond Failure blog, who are hosting the bulk, if not all of their discography.

01. New Pair of Eyes
02. The City
03. Shade of Black
04. Seven Weeks and One Day
05. Kings Mountain
06. Eyeless
07. Sonambo
08. Wondering
09. Getaway
10. Inside
11. Wheel of Confusion

Articles Origin: 86 – Provocation (1987, Twilight)


Sorry for not inserting more new uploads into the slipstream.  The good news?  My turntable is operational again.  And if the promise of that won’t tide you over, maybe these will.

The KilljoysStarry, Gimmie Five, Melos Modos, One Night and a Morning After
Tommy Keenedemos
Posies – Broadcasts, Vol. 6
Juliana Hatfield & Evan DandoMercury Lounge, NYC 9-30-10
DumptruckD is for Demos
Dimestore DarlingsWhat is My… tape & Senior Ball tape
Guitars & DrumsBelieve it or Not ep
Wild GiraffesRight Now
MopedIt Won’t Sound Any Better Tomorrow
Square Root of NowBent Around Corners
Not Shakespeares/t ep
Vigils/t LP
VisitorsNo Sign of Intelligent Life
Grand ChampeenOut Front By the Van
Get Up KidsOn a Wire demos
Radio Banditss/t ep
CartoonsToys of Destruction ep
Chainsaw KittensMother 7″ & High in High School ep
Out of the FireInto the Frying Pan
Jo Broadbery & The StandoutsThe House of Love
KineticsSnake Dance
Miracle Legion – Simple Thing tapeMP3 or FLAC
Bitter SonsGhost of John 7″
Space NeedlePanic Delaney 7″
Piper CubChance 7″
The WildebeestsPunk 7″ ep 
Rattail Grenadiers/t LP
GemI Am a Tree ep
Ridel HighRecycle Bin & Mouthful of You 7″

Articles Origin: Re-ups.