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The Life and Times of Grandpa Parm & Scheme-On

The One-Man Band…

The One-Man Band…
Independent Mastermind or Anti-Social Scumbag???
(Music, Life)

picture-15San Francisco, CA, 11/15/08 – So last night I wandered into this little black hole of a concert room at Hemlock Tavern, through the pieces of industrial car wash plastic to find what sounded like an extremely sloppy Wolfmother-type band. I couldn’t fully see the stage, only the top of the singer’s head, so pushed my way closer to try and spot the drummer and to my surprise realized that this band was not a band at all. It was one super exhausted dude, pounding Pabst Blue Ribbon, wailing on a guitar, screaming into a mic, with his right foot on a bass drum and left foot on a high hat… it was awesome. Witnessing this demonstration of musical multi-tasking made me start thinking about how one makes the decision to start a one-man band. What’s the natural progression? Do these people usually start off in a normal band then end up going rogue, or are they just hardcore one-man banders from birth? What’s the motivation? What type of individual has the passion to take on what a group of 3-5 people generally do? Are they just independent musical masterminds with exceptional creativity and talent, or are they anti-social panhandling scumbags who are so awkward and annoying that they can’t even find 3-5 other people who want to be in a band with them? There are plenty of solo artists out there, but this shit’s on a whole ‘nother level. You have to give them props for their talent though, I mean I can barely pat my head and rub my belly at the same time let alone play 5 instruments simultaneously and sing. The closest I can get to multi-tasking is drinking a beer and smoking a cigarette at the same time, and shit, I’ve even had trouble with that. That being said, I leave you with this quote from Joe Barrick’s one-man band webpage:

“The one-man band exists, in all its uniqueness and independence, as a most elusive yet persistent musical tradition.  As a category of musicianship it transcends cultural and geographic boundaries, spans stylistic limits, and defies conventional notions of technique and instrumentation.  Defined simply as a single musician playing more than one instrument at the same time, it is an ensemble limited only by the mechanical capabilities and imaginative inventiveness of its creator, and despite its generally accepted status as an isolated novelty, it is a phenomenon with some identifiable historical continuity.”

Get Independent or Go Home…
Scheme-On

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November 16, 2008 Posted by | Life, Music | , , , , | 4 Comments