Guitar Slide Wednesday and Other Stuff…

According to that calendar over on the right of the home page, I updated this blog twice in March and once in April. To keep the bar low, here’s at least one post in the this lovely month of May. And in the interest of efficiency, here are some things I would be writing about here on the blog, were I not at least moderately concerned with writing a dissertation.

1. Writing a dissertation and the exciting adventures of revising chapters1 

2. My second trip to SXSW that happened way back in March

3. Alumni weekend at my undergrad alma mater. I went because a.) it was my 15th year reunion (!!! #oldlady) and b.) our choir director/music history prof of 41 years retired & we had an alumni choir.

Finally, since it’s Wednesday, here’s a guitar slide for you. This song is called “Kerosene” by a band called Big Black, and the big guitar slides occurs at 1:05 and 3:45 or so.2  You might not be probably are not familiar with Big Black, but this band was a hardcore punk or industrial or post-punk band out of Chicago in the 1980s, and one of Steve Albini’s early bands. Albini is a Chicago-based musician and recording engineer, likely most famous for recording Nirvana and the Pixies, but has done, you know, lots of other things. This song appears in my dissertation, and I say a lot more about it there, but I know you only care about that guitar slide.3  

1. Just kidding. The process is pretty miserable, and I’m certain you don’t really want to hear/read about it at all.

2. As I write this post, I’m imagining the sort of feedback Advisor might provide and how she probably would disagree and/or not like it. This might be a sign I need to graduate soon. If you would like me to update the blog more frequently, perhaps you could let Advisor know that she should let me graduate in August.

3. I have listened to much of this song at least 200 times in order to transcribe it, well, because apparently, that’s what musicologists do. I really should have been a journalism major.


Guitar Slide Friday: Lead Guitar Version Redux

Athens, GA is a college town, and though my church is not in Athens, it is connected to the university community. University communities are, I suppose, by definition dynamic – undergrads complete their degrees in four years (give or take a few years), graduate students come and go, and professors find new academic positions. And as someone who has lived here for over a decade, I have seen too many dear friends leave as they move on to the next chapter in their lives.1 

Well, Lead Guitar is moving on to his next Thing (but thankfully not leaving town, whew!), and so this past Sunday was one of his last with us for the foreseeable future. I’m quite glad I’ve had the opportunity to get to know him over the years, and I will miss seeing him regularly on Tuesdays and Sundays. He’s been faithful, he’s got a great heart and a great attitude, and probably most importantly, he appreciates my love of guitar slides and has humored me on more than one occasion. But while I’m sad, I’m also happy for him because this is a good opportunity. So in his honor, here are a few of his guitar slides that I’ve posted here on the blog…

Here’s one of the first (since I started documenting this sort of thing). The slide is around 0:11 and unfortunately isn’t very clear in the mix:

Two in one song!!!!

Perhaps the most fun one:

And my most favorite of them all:

1. It is not lost on me that there is a slim possibility that I will be a ‘mover on’ in the future, but I’m not going to dwell on that just now. I’ll think about that later… #professionalprocrastinator

I need a minute… and a guitar slide!

Things ended up being hectic from the time I walked into the building until the service began on Sunday morning. Thankfully, Tall Sound Guy was there, so I was free to run around like a crazy person and take care of a couple video things, plus we had baptisms and a syncing song. Even though I had been busy all morning, as the first service approached, I thought we had taken care of everything that needed to get done. As the first service began, I felt a little crazy, but was ready to go.

As it turns out, I had forgotten a couple of tech things, which made the baptism go not quite as smoothly as I would have liked. Nevertheless, we made it through the syncing song; the baptisms went fine; and we were ready for our second countdown timer for the worship set. As soon as we got both rooms going with their timers, I told Tall Sound Guy I’d be back. I took a deep breath and went to the bathroom. Once in the bathroom, I just stood there in relative peace and quiet for a couple of minutes to catch my breath (thankfully, no one was in there, and I didn’t have to cut in line).

And then I went back to the booth. And then ProPresenter crashed in the middle of a song. Which somehow made one of our videos disappear, and of course, cancelled our timer. Thankfully, we were able to get everything back up and running (College Computer Girl & Helper Elf are awesome; of course, we missed Computer Papabear!), and all was well. It was yet another week that we were all thankful for the second service!

And since it’s been months since the last Guitar Slide Wednesday, here are two slides played by Lead Guitar in the service during the song “Happy Day.” Enjoy 🙂

Guitar Slide Wednesday: Youth Band Version

I’ve posted a few guitar slides from my church here on the blog, including this one from Lead Guitarthis one from Frequently Visiting Lead Guitar, and yet another from Lead Guitar. Well, it’s Lead Guitar again today, but this time he’s Lead Guitar/Youth Worship Leader. You may recall Bass Guitar was also Youth Worship Leader, but as often happens in a college town, he had to leave us (true story, sad story). So now it’s Lead Guitar filling multiple roles. Thankfully, he still finds time for guitar slides no matter what role he’s filling.

The song in question is called “Holding Nothing Back,” written by Tim Hughes and Martin Smith, and was the title track on Hughes’ 2007 album. This album is more well known for the song “Happy Day,” which has been recorded by pretty much everyone, including our worship team. “Holding Nothing Back” was also recorded by Jesus Culture on Consumed (2009), featuring Melissa How, and appears on 2011’s Jesus Culture Awakening: Live from Chicago featuring Chris Quilala. I think it’s kind of funny that the the phrase “holding nothing back” is not in the song, and the closest lyric to that phrase is “And nothing’s gonna hold me back.”

Our youth band played this song tonight, and coming out of the bridge, Lead Guitar/Youth Worship Leader did a pretty epic guitar slide.* There’s no way you can miss it, so listen and enjoy 🙂

*The pictures on the video are not from tonight, but they were all taken from the past few weeks (including last week when the band took a Wizard of Oz turn for Halloween).

Guitar Slide Wednesday: Richard Buckner Version

I’m still recovering from a (slightly impromptu) trip to Alabama to see family this past week/end, and feeling maybe a lot teensy bit unprepared for the impending weekly meeting with Advisor, and hoping that some music-type folks actually return my emails/phone calls/cries for help, so I can have something to report to her.

But that’s not why we’re here tonight. Richard Buckner’s Devotion & Doubt is one of my favorite albums. As it was rainy and dreary for my drive back to Georgia, this album seemed like a good choice. My favorite song on the album has varied, but “Lil Wallet Picture made it on to my repeat list a long time ago. My favorite part about this song is the pedal steel. There are moments in the song where it’s exactly what I think a pedal steel ought to sound like.

As the previously linked review of the song notes, the upbeat moments of the accompaniment (particularly the fiddle, acoustic guitar, and a little mando in the second verse) belie the depressing tone and narrative of the lyrics. My favorite moment in the song is after the second chorus. The pedal steel fades out, and Buckner plays a great lead lick on the acoustic guitar (3:20), and it seems like the song is nearly over. But just as the acoustic part is finishing up, the pedal steel slides back in and plays a sort of structural role (3:29), seemingly rousing the acoustic with a rowdy couple of measures. The acoustic follows, picking up with rhythm again, and leads into one final lively chorus. 

Guitar Slide Wednesday: Lead Guitar Version

Most of the guitar players on our team at the church are aware of my interest and love of guitar slides. They usually humor me and throw in a slide here or there, or at least smile and nod and say they will play a slide sometime. However, I’m pretty sure Lead Guitar likes guitar slide as much as I do, evidenced by his contributions to Guitar Slide Wednesday. I’ve featured one of his guitar slides on the blog before, but he took it to a new level on Sunday night when our band played the song “Not Ashamed.” The song originally appears on the most recent Passion album White Flag (2012), and is performed by Kristian Stanfill (you may remember him from “Attractive Worship Leader Friday“). This recording of the song features a couple of slides, but when our band played the song, Lead Guitar played an epic pick slide right at the start. It’s pretty sweet…

Guitar Slide Wednesday: Liberty Mutual Commercial Version

Today’s guitar slide comes to you from a commercial that was played during the Olympics. The commercial is for Liberty Mutual Insurance and features an ’80s song by Human League called “Human.” The ad campaign is called “Humans” and shows a variety of mishaps (obviously resulting in a need for insurance). When I first saw (and heard) the commercial, I immediately recognized the song, but I never noticed it had a slide!

The slide happens in the introduction of the song around 0:21, and again leading into the chorus at 1:19; in the commercial, they cut to the chase, and the slide happens around 0:04, right after the car door gets bashed in (this is the long version of the commercial). There’s another slide in the song leading into the second chorus around 1:55, and again after the spoken bridge (!) at 2:54. We won’t mention the troubled relationship dynamics discussed in the narrative of the song, but I hope you enjoy the TOTALLY 80s hair and fashion along with the guitar slides!