July 1, 2010 by esarsea
I need some new music, and I’m not sure what. I mean I know what I want but I don’t know what artist or band fits the bill. Here’s the parameters:
- Outstanding production value, but not over-produced. Excellent clairity, individual instrument definition, and crankability. For comparison, think of the Doobie Bros The Captain and Me, Heart’s Dog and Butterfly, or the Outlaws classic self-titled debut album.
- A great bass player and rhythm section. I tend to listen to music bass first, or bass-forward if you will. For comparison here think early Grand Funk and early Led Zeppelin, Allen Woody’s work with early Gov’t Mule, and Eric Czar’s work with early Joe Bonamassa. As mentioned in #1 however, the bass needs to be clearly defined (and somewhat forward) in the mix, but without overpowering it.
- Horns? Maybe, maybe not. If it’s a horn-based band like Tower of Power, bring ’em on! If the horns are an add-on, like on the Door’s Soft Parade or the Stones’ Sticky Fingers, no thanks. Those horns are as out of place as a turd on a wedding cake.
- Keyboards? Again, maybe and maybe not. I loves me a little old school Hammond B3 played through a Leslie as long as it doesn’t overpower the music. But for now I’ll pass on a band or music that’s centered around the keyboards.
- I like the drums to be at least on equal footing with the rest of the band, and not pushed back in the mix. They don’t have to be as prominent as they are in Metallica’s S/T Black Album, but they should be close. And no electronic drums, please.
- Guitars can be varied depending on genre and format. One guitar in a power-trio is fine, as is 2 (or more) in a bigger band. Gibsons and Fenders are ok either way. Of course I’m specifying a particular brand. I use Gibson and Fender only as broad examples of thick vs. thin sounding guitar tones. I also want music/songs that have lead breaks.
- Genre? That’s fairly open. Rock, Metal, Jazz, Blues…provided it fits the overall guidelines above. Item #1 is probably the single most important factor.
- Vibe: Whatever the mood, I’d like it to be emotive. If it’s a sad song I want it to make me feel sad. If it’s an up-tempo rocker I want it to feel invigorated. If it’s the blues I want to feel empathy for the composer and performer.
- As far as vocals, that (like everything else) just sort of depends. I’d prefer any Jazz be instrumental only. Everything else is open. I tend to favor female vocalists in general, except for testosterone-fueled metal and/or hard rock. But male or female is fine as long as they are talented. I perfer a vocalist to a singer, if that makes sense.
If truth be told, I think I’m looking for a little escapism – and a $10 download from iTunes just might do the trick. So bring on the recommendations! Please! (and thank you).