Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Fables of the R.E.M. Ensemble - Week 2

Tonight revisited material from Life's Rich Pageant and introduced songs from Document for the first time. After having done my homework from the last session, I felt a little more comfortable in the class and with my playing. This time we had the pleasure of having the drummer and keyboardist in the room. I think their presence definitely changed the overall vibe of the class and made the energy go up one notch from last week's session.

Week 2 - 9/11/12

Songs practiced: "Begin The Begin"/"Cuyahoga"/"Finest Worksong"/"Strange"

Random Notes:

Practice. Practice. Practice. And a touch of overdrive effect from the Vox. "Begin The Begin" sounded a lot better, and the intro riff is coming off a lot smoother for me.

Bob asked me to play in Drop D tuning for "Cuyahoga" and gave me a different part to play during the verses. The Drop D tuning also allowed me to play the intro to the song, which I had never tried before outside of standard tuning. I picked up on the intro pretty quickly, and the different tuning gave me a new approach to the song that was really nice.

The first new song sheet of the night turned out to be "Finest Worksong." I was ready for this one. It's always been a great, noisy song to blast in an empty house/apartment. The first run through was good. Bob fleshed out certain parts and worked with the bassist. We should all wear name tags or something just to help since we're a group of old and new members. But the bassist is really getting his parts down. It was great to finally learn some of the harmonic parts to the song on guitar.

The curve ball of the night turned out to be a classmate's request to try out R.E.M.'s cover of "Strange" by Wire. Granted that Wire hates R.E.M.'s cover, I wouldn't have found out about Wire if not for the cover. So, whatever.

Bob was just starting to brainstorm what song to play to end the night when "Strange" was requested. I immediately played the chord intro and smiled at Bob. He then left the room for a while, and I started to work out the chords with my classmates. It felt like Bob was gone for a good amount of time. I asked out loud, "Is Bob protesting 'Strange'?" After figuring out the correct chords to the chorus, Bob reappeared with song sheets for "Strange." The question of who was to sing soon followed. Feeling comfortable, I volunteered to step up to the microphone. I probably haven't been in front of a microphone since my cafe open-mic days over 12 years ago!

Needless to say...it was so fun just to get lost in the song. 4 chords. Loud. Fast. And I got to sing "Do-Do" a lot. What's not to love?

Bob mentioned giving Collapse Into Now a listen recently. Fingers crossed "Discoverer" gets the call next week.