Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Wild Turkey!

What's your Turkey?

Well mine is....

Wild Turkey - Kentucky Bourbon - NO
ohhhh the high school days, paaatein' in the New England woods, one Wild Turkey (mixed with who knows what else) night was enough thank you...

Wild Turkey - Wild Meat - NO
too gamey, I prefer Tofurkey.

Wild Turkey - 70's ProgRock - YES
Now we're talkin'.... This Thanksgiving I am going to be groovin' to 5 and singin' along.... 'See You Next Tuesday' ha...

Ah the 70s what a great time for music and experimentation and some musicians even ventured into the odd meter realms. Wild Turkey is one of these bands. WT was formed by Glenn Cornick (bassist for Jethro Tull) in the 70s and had some reincarnations since and according to internet sources (Wikipedia and link below) they are still alive and kickin'. They had two releases in the early 70s - 'Battle Hymn'-70 and 'Turkey' -71, then 'Stealer of Years' - 96 and 'Final Performance' - 00. I have the first two in my collection and found just a few oddies, but goodies.

Battle Hymn - 1970
Easter Pslam - 3/8, 5/8, 9/8, 12/8
Twelve Streets of Cobbled Black - 7/4, 4/4
Turkey - 1971
See You Next Tuesday - 5/4, 4/4

More info on Glenn Cornick:

Happy Tofurkey,

Thursday, November 13, 2008

New this Week

Here's a few new oddy discoveries this week:

Artist - John Scofield
Album - A Go Go
Song - Southern Pacific
Meters - This is a true "Where's One" Tune

Artist - The Last Poets
Album - Chastisment
Songs - Hands Off & Tribute to Obabi (Ogun)
Meters - both songs are in 6/4 which isn't the oddest meter, but isn't that common either.

Artist - Jane's Addiction
Album - Strays
Song - Wrong Girl
Meters - 14/8, 15/8
You go JA!

Stay tuned for these and of course songs to honor November with 11/4 & 11/8 (see earlier blogs)

Foreva Oddly Yours,

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Happy 11/8

Here's to one of my favorite meters... yep 11/8 so many cool things that you can do with it and some have, but I wish there were WAY MORE...

Tunes totally in 11/8
Right in Two - Tool
Beach of Deception - Monks of Doom

Tunes partially in 11/8
Chemtrailku - BetZe (me) 12/8, 11/8
You - Radiohead 12/8, 11/8
Perverseerance - fred 11/8, 6/8
Cathode Ray Fantasy - fred 11/8, 5/4, 6/4, 4/4, 3/4
Serpent's Kiss - Symphony X 11/8, 44/, 12/8, 9/8
Cleanse the Soul - Slayer 4/4, 11/8
When Acting As A Wave - The Dillinger Escape Plan 11/8, 6/16, 13/8, 9/8, 4/8
All Gone Now - OSI 3/8, 5/8, 6/8, 11/8
Anesthetize - Porcupine Tree 4/4, 11/8, 19/8, 5/4, 4/4, 6/4
Bigger Wave - OSI 4/4, 11/8, 5/8
Day of the Baphomets - The Mars Volta 13/8, 11/8, 4/4
Elephants - Drums & Tuba 6/8, 5/8, 11/8
Midi Treat - BetZe (me) 11/8, 7/8, 3/8, 5/8

Listen for these songs this month on Odd Time Obsessed Radio

Happy 11,

Friday, November 7, 2008

Check out Michael Karwowski!

Michael Karwowski is an accomplished Classical, Jazz Fusion and Rock composer from Pittsburg, who mainly composes in odd meters and can play a mean Chapman stick. Now how cool is that? He graduated from Berklee (the same year I did) with a degree in Composition and if that wasn’t enough he went on to get a Masters in Composition from the Carnegie Mellon University. Check out his unique approach to harmonic movement, harmony/melody relationships, and polymeters which is sure to leave you wanting more.

Here are some samples of his compositions that will be featured on Odd Time Obsessed internet radio and more to come. And as if polymeters and Chapman Stick weren’t cool enough he’s got a piece all in 13! I’m diggin’!

Michael gives us the breakdown:

"Three Vignettes" composed by Michael Karwowski performed by "Of Birth and Death"

1.Lincoln Place - starts out in 4/4, the main idea is two measures broken into 3+3+3+3+4 eighth notes. There are short sections where the meter is 5/4, 9/8, and an occasional 3/4.

2. Is this all there is? - was created using a 9/8, 7/8 platform for the main idea. Each section has a dedicated pattern of time signatures.
3. Friday@5:00 - has the following setup for the A section. 6/8 + 4/4 + 3/4 + 4/4 + 4/4 + 3/4 + 3/4 + (5/8x4) + 3/4 + (5/8x3) = 89 eighth notes I call the ensemble

"The Day the Leaves Scattered From the Trees" A quintet for winds and string (Flt. Ob. Cl. Vla. and Cel).
13/8 divided into into a permutating 3+3+2+2+3.

You can visit him on MySpace.com/ofBirthandDeath

Forever Odd,

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Who Knew Part III - Jane's Addiction

Who knew Jane's Addiction was so cool?

I guess a lot of people do, I mean, I kinda thought they were back in the day, but I haven't been in the Addiction of Jane's loop lately. Anywho, I was just turned on to their 2003 release "Strays" this weekend and its pretty cool even if they didn't get along. Perry is one of a kind and his vocal layering is way cool on this effort. As I was listening and hoping to find an oddy. And just at the seventh track I could not believe my ears..... 15/8 and 14/8 all in same song. Now that's bloody cool....
Check it out on "Strays"
Wrong Girl - 15/8 & 14/8
And of course I will be playing it this week on Odd Time Obsessed Radio

Odd Girl,

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Happy 11/4

Whahoo Election Day! Finally, its here. What better way to celebrate... hopefully..., than to watch the race while listening to tunes in 11/4... works for me.. how about...

Tunes in 11/4
Eleven - Primus
Hernandu - Weather Report
Stillness Runs Deep - Hank Levy
Poopsie's Penthouse - Hank Levy

Tunes partially in 11/4
Take, Take, Take - White Stripes 4/4, 11/4
Mystical Circle of Young Girls - Rite of Spring - Stravinsky 4/4, 2/4, 3/4, 5/4, 6/4, //4, 11/4

Stay tuned this month to hear these songs in 11! Happy November!
Have an odd month,

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Happy Halloween - New this week

On the radio this week...... Odd Time Obsessed Radio
Nosferatu 70s Acid Prog Rock from Nosferatu - "Highway" & Congress - "El Errate" lots of oddness going on in these songs, not that easily notable but more of the 'felt' sense.

Halloween Theme from John Carpenter's classic - in 5/4
More Acid Rock from Captain Beyond and lots of other 'spooky' oddness for your obsessive listening pleasure.
B-Odd always,

Friday, October 24, 2008

Brian Setzer 13

Well well well Mr. Setzer... a little fascination with the number 13? Well maybe you are hipper than than I assume...

So I just discovered this album last night and I was hoping.... hoping.... that maybe, just possibly he just might... with a sliver of a chance have a song in 13. Yup, it was just a pipe dream in my case,,, but he had 13 songs on the CD and one nugget for me......

Everybody's Up to Somethin' - 4/4, 7/4

Yeah,,, even he's up to some oddness...

It will be on the playlist so tune in..

Geekfully yours,

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Reggae in 13 – Audition with Frank Zappa

David Aldridge, a Los Angeles based odd metered drummer, told me about an audition he had with Frank Zappa, back in the day. I can just imagine the intimidation Zappa uninhibitedly bestowed on the band hopefuls and I certainly would’ve melted probably after 5 seconds, especially at the tender age of 19. Its an interesting anecdote and of course I think more Reggae should be written in 13.

David's Words:
I met Vinnie Caliauta around January of '79, playing at the Baked Potato (Studio City, CA), doing his insanity. We hit it off, hung out, and when he left Zappa, he asked me if I would be interested in auditioning. Oh hell Yeah! I didn't know Zappa's music, but I knew odd meters, fresh out of 2 years at Towson State, so I figured, what the hell...

It was held at a very large rehearsal studio in North Hollywood. I walked in and got escorted into the studio, where the band was playing "A Mouth Supreme" a la "A Love Supreme,", making fun of the Charlie perfume model at the time, I believe. The drums were a duplicate of Terry Bozzio's double bass kit, and Arthur Barrow was playing bass. Frank described what he wanted, and I asked him if I could write down the sub-divisions. I think he kinda liked that I was at least trying to make it happen. It was a rock pulse, and Barrow just said "Keep time," which I did. We worked on a little bit, it wasn't bad, and I lasted longer than the 30 seconds most guys fell down with. When Frank asked for reggae in 13, I drew a blank. He thanked me for coming in, shook my hand, and that was my 15 minutes of fame...

I have since learned how to play the living shit out of reggae in 13...

Back to my words:
In fact, I think all Reggae should be written in 13, or 7 or 9… that way I can listen bare to listen to the upstroke guitar on 2,5 and 7 maybe…

Check out David Aldridge’s site with his extensive collection of odd metered compositions that will challenge your ears.


Reggae in 13 foreva,

Monday, August 25, 2008

Check Out PFLY

Okay Everybody you've gotta check out Pfly....

Pfly is an inventor of a new genre in music called "Classicodd", which is taking classical pieces and recomposing them to odd meters. He refers to as Manglements, but I like Classicodd because to hear in another meteroric dimensions does take some skill. I have heard others do this, such as, Don Ellis with rock/pop hits but not with Classical compositions.
Here are some links and meteroric break down of his compositions. I have been playing his compositions for the past month or so and every time I hear them I like them more and I think.... I've got to get to some Manglementing myself.


for all of his music:

for his Classicodd:
Here are some examples he broke down for me:

Omega - 13/8 in the 3-3-3-4 form

Supplikant - 13/8 4-4-5(the 5 as 3-2), 1-3-4-5(the 5 as 3-2), and 4-4-5(the 5 as 2-3) each one repeating after the other

Bachair - a synthed up version of Bach's famous "Air", in 10/8 time
Contrapunky 1 - Bach's Art of Fugue, in constantly changing meter

Contrapunky 2 - Art of Fugue, in 13/8 in the 3-3-3-4 form. The original is in 4/4 with a constant dotted 8th + 16th note rhythm, so the 3-3-3-4 time maintains the 4 beat per bar structure but makes the first 3 beats "swing", while the 4th beat gets two 8th notes instead of the original dotted rhythm.

Joy of Bleep - I deliberately tried to make this one as unfoottappable as possible with constantly changing meter and rather bleepy sounds. A sort of rhythmic version of atonal music, any hint of recurring meter must be abandoned and contradicted as quickly as possible!

PWV-1060.2 - the second, slow movement of Bach's Concerto BWV 1060, in 13/4 time, or alternating bars of 6/4 and 7/4.

Quartokoda the Third - Bartok's 3rd String Quartet, crazy, very fast piece. This one didn't need me to impose odd meters Bartok already wrote it with constantly changing meters, mostly 3/8, 4/8, and 5/8, changing nearly every bar.

SaraBachabande - Bach's Sarabande, Partita #6 with synth guitar in 13/8 (4+4+3 form)
I just love when composers get this creative.... so very cool. So check Pfly out and this new Classicodd genre - who knows it could be the next craze...
Thank you Pfly for your Odd Manglement!


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Pyramid Song - Radiohead

Pyramid Song is a cool simple song by the much celebrated band, Radiohead. They maybe a tad overrated in my ears, but they can be cool and interesting with their meter usage. At least they inspire people to contemplate rhythm and meters and I think these astute music aficionados appreciate their ears being challenged. A listener informed me that there was much discussion of what meter this song actually was in and wanted to know what if I had a definitive verdict on this matter. No, I didn't but I quickly got one. And he was certainly was right, there was much discussion on this matter. Just for fun, read the comments on the YouTube page its kind of funny.... much ado about nothing.... which I obviously like to engage in... so... back to the song...

Pyramid Song - There is nothing like a song about the essence of time in un 4/4 .....I think that they are on to something.

I hear this song in 16/8 - 2 sections 323233 and 332332 with the beginning following this structure a bit more freely (sans drums).

This song paints an aural picture of.... yep a pyramid, and gives the feeling of (with the ascending and descending lines) going up the pyramid, resting on top for a second then back down again, cool hun? And as for the second part it feels as you are resting and observing the black eyed angels and astral cars.

Check it out ...

The pyramid feeling: Fsharp 3 G 2 A 32 G 3 Fsharp 3

Resting & observing section - Fsharp 3 E 32 G 332

Essence of Time lyrics
Pyramid Song
I jumped in the river and what did I see?
Black-eyed angels swam with me
A moon full of stars and astral cars
All the things I used to see
All my lovers were there with me
All my past and futures
And we all went to heaven in a little row boat
There was nothing to fear and nothing to doubt

Doing much about nothing,

Friday, July 25, 2008

Happy Birthday Don Ellis

Don Ellis b. July 25, 1934 d. Dec 17, 1978

A Day Out of Time

Do you think that Don Ellis was born on the “Day Out of Time” by accident? Well I don’t. He is a rhythmical genius and showed us that you don’t have to live in 4/4 time.

What is a day out of time? Well it is based on the natural time calendar that was used through out the world before Gregorian hijacked time. It is based on the 13 month 28 day cycle equaling 364 days which leaves one day for partying. I like that. Many cities of foreign origin celebrate this day and adhere to the 13 month calendar. Also many cultures of foreign origin play music that is not based in 4/4 – coincident? For me, 13 is the way to be! For more natural time cycles there so informative sites out there: one I enjoy is:


Thanks to a Greg, a wicked cool listener, I have learned much about Don in the past few weeks. Funny, I spent four years at a Jazz school and never heard of him. Well we didn’t do much with meters there anyways, so it is not that surprising. Anyways, I certainly would’ve remembered these compositions. If I could I would interview Don, but I have a close second. On the liner notes for “live at Monterey” he reveals himself as quite the visionary rhythmasist. Check out what he has to say:

Odd Time Obsessed - Don Ellis

So celebrate this day by listening/dancing/playing/writing to your favorite un-4/4 meter. Guess what I chose? Yep, one for every moon.

Being in 13,

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Who Knew? Pt.2 - Ozzy Ozborne in 14/8

Song: Diary of a Madman
Artist: Ozzy Ozborne
Album: Diary of a Madman 1981
Time Signatures used: 12/8, 4/4, 14/8 (33332, 33233)

Who knew that this song featured some oddness? Well, the title suggests it. But the last time I intently listen to this song was over two decades ago, before I could recognize a 14/8 count. To me this is still a beautiful song. I wonder how much time signature exploration Randy Rhodes would have done if he had lived longer.

According to Wikipedia:
Guitarist Randy Rhoads was taking classical guitar lessons while on the "Blizzard of Ozz" tour, and came up with the opening acoustic riff by using a variation of Cuban composer Leo Brouwer's Etude #6.

The song was written by Ozzy, Randy Rhoads, bassist Bob Daisley and drummer Lee Kerslake with the latter two writing the lyrics and vocal melodies, respectively. Supposedly, Ozzy had a hard time coping with the unusual time signature in this song, which was composed by Randy Rhoads and bassist Bob Daisley. According to Daisley, Ozzy's comment was: "I'm not fucking Frank Zappa you know."

Well, well of course he isn’t. But it would’ve/would be way cool if he would try to have just a little Zappa in him. In fact, everyone should have a little Zappa in them; it would be a much better world.

Now you know,

Monday, June 30, 2008

Ryan Rapsys – Skerzi & The-Novus-Arcadia

Erratik Electronica, Intelligent Dance Music, Sonic Experimentia

Ryan is a prolific composer, writer, film maker from Dulth, MN. He likes to use a mix of odd meters that will really throw off the E crowd. Check out the aural oddness from this creative composer.


1. Prelude (4/4, 3/4, 4/4)
2. Pseudocyo (constantly changing - uses 4/4, 5/4, 9/8, 3/4, 11/8, 7/8, 3/8 (etc.)
3. Interlude I - mostly free
4. Maelstrom (gradually goes from 4/4, to 3/4, to 5/8)
5. Interlude II - mostly free
6. Wrecksuite-01mvt (mostly 4/4, but some parts in 3/8, 11/8)
7. Interlude III - mostly free
8. I. dev.one (4/4, 12/8, 6/8, 5/8)
9. II. dev.two (4/4, 3/4, 5/4, 5/8, 6/8, 2/4)
10. Interlude IV - mostly free
11. Chao-eight (changing frantically and randomly between 3/4, 7/8, 4/4,9/8, 7/8, 11/8, 6/8, 7/16, 5/8, 2/8, 5/16, etc...)
12. Interlude V - mostly free
13. Prairie-ghost (older version - new mix on The-Novus-Arcadia) (5/8)
14. Interlude VI - mostly free
15. Breethe (mostly 4/4, but with several polyrhythms)
16. Postlude (4/4, 3/4, 5/8)

1. Aperture (mostly 4/4, with a rhythmic modulation)
2. Dyad (4/4)
3. Playing-by-the-Freeway (mostly 4/4)
4. Intermezzo I (free time)
5. Birchy (mostly 4/4)
6. Prairie-ghost (new version - 5/8)
7. Novus-arcadia (6/8)
8. Intermezzo II (free time)
9. Rain-drop (mostly 4/4)
10. Aldergames (mostly 4/4 i think?)
11. Flap-flux (4/4, 5/8, 3/4 alternating throughout)
12. Alighting (mostly free time)

I love this Intelligent Dance Music - will it catch on here in Hollywood... maybe with Esquared or something....

Thanks Ryan for your ODDNESS,

Friday, June 13, 2008

Happy 13th

OHHH what a lucky Friday this is....
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Sunday, June 1, 2008


Today I witnessed alleged visual evidence of chemtrails in my lovely Hollywood Hills neighborhood. I happened to get up earlier than usually and took a look in the sky. Wow, this abomination staring right at me as if to say, yah… what are you going to do about it? (Just like gas station signs say to me and my 8 cyl Mustang). My astute neighbor informed me that they do this every couple of weeks. Okay, WTF. This is the first time I have ever consciously witnessed them.

There is an extensive amount of information on the Web regarding Chemtrails and is usually interesting reading and can led to many other tangents of discovery. Chemtrails refer to systematic, high-altitude dumping of unknown substances for undisclosed purposes, resulting in the abnormal appearance of contrails such as crisscross and grid patterns. Some think its for weather control, administering a vaccine for pending chemical warfare or simply dumping of chemicals through the air. What do you think? Look up in your sky, perhaps you might see too.

Check out these pictures of Hollywood taken today Sunday June 1, 2008.

What does this all have to do with odd time? Well back in that dark month of Sept 2001, I was in Northern California hanging with my bro and a genuine beat poet Ruth Weiss. She wrote many haikus and hung them in her garden which inspired me to write a series of them. If you don’t know, a haiku is a style of poetry that consists of 3 lines: first line has 5 syllables, second 7 and third 5. Yes, this oddness is right up my alley. So anyways, I had just learned about Chemtrails and a friend of mine, t.minus, put out an electronica album called “Chemtrails” which inducted me into this grim subject.

This new inspiration helped create "ChemTrailKu" which I occasionally play on Odd Time Obsessed. I wrote this lovely piece on Music Magix ($40 recording software) with sampled acoustic drums that my brother was playing out of time, Wurlitzer, classical guitar, and spoken word by my brother and I. Its in freeish time, 4/4, 12/8 and 11/8.


once a sky so blue
carrying secrets anew
streaming, slow murder

hold on to your seat
hold on to your wee wishes
hold on to your soul

no one notices
blind impossibility
not crazy, not I

Livinxcross the barline,


Thursday, March 27, 2008

Symphony X - Paradise Lost - CD Review

My question is – When is this album going to become a movie – full length?

This album f-in’ rocks
(makes your chops kinda feel like tidbits)

When I picture these guys, I see five warriors on white horses blazing through the sky, much like the Knight of Swords in the tarot. And ya know what?.... they are warriors and seers, of the modern day sort. There are many changes going on here on earth and I think that they are picking up on this. Most of us are not paying attention, but here comes Symphony X getting us to in one way or other. What better way than through chops and meters. I am listening….

Okay, with the esoterics, this is an amazing album and it really does sound like a soundtrack in many of its parts. Someone has got to make this into a film.

Oculus Ex Inferni – 4/4, 2/4 - very syncopated
Set the World on Fire – 4/4, 7/4, 9/4, 14/4
Domination – 4/4, 7/4, 5/4
Serpent’s Kiss – 11/8, 4/4, 12/8, 9/8
Paradise Lost – 13/8, 6/8, 12/8
Eve of Seduction – 4/4, 15/8, 12/8, 10/8
The Walls of Babylon – 4/4, 6/4, 8/8, 6/8, 14/8, 7/4
Seven – 4/4, (7/8 +6/8), 7/4, 8/4, (7/8 + 8/8)
The Sacrifice – 7/8, 8/8, 4/4, 3/8, 6/8
Revelation – 3/4, 5/4, 4/4, (5/8 + 13/8), (13/8 + 14/8)

Well that was fun to figure out. I can imagine trying to write it. HA.

It looks like they have covered most of the quarter and eight meters on this album and they manage to do it ever so naturally. The highlights to me on this album were: the 13 of course in “Paradise Lost”, the almost 13 (6+7) pattern in “Seven”, bass intro and trans to the verse in “Serpent’s Kiss” and I find it particularly cool that they ended with a song mostly in 3/4. That was a great feel for the last song and I even think they went past their own boundaries for it.

There are so many cool moments in these songs, its just filled with parts that make you rewind and say to yourself or who ever is listening.. “what was that?”, “cool, I wish I thought of that”, “yeah, yeah, I can play that too, just gotta freshen up my chops”, “man these guys are bad ass” …. And on and on.. Check out these masters, I think this is their best effort yet.


Keep on counting,

for more reviews go to OddTimeObsessed.com/Reviews

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Le Sacre du Printemps

Well its officially here - Spring - as of 3/19/08 10:48 PM PST. And what better way to greet the season than with some visual Stravinsky.
Le Sacre du Printemps - a silent movie to the music of Igor Stravinsky - film by Oliver Herrmann and Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Sir Simon Rattle (recorded especially for the film). Running time - 38 mins

This film is amazing to me and right up my alley. It is interesting to experience a reversal of inspiration. Usually, as we all know the music gets composed after the film is written, shot and edited (at least some part). So now we can experience the story coming from the music.
The storyline leads us into the world of Santeria where the three main characters: Esther, Lucia and Dr. Bardot, share the same fate when their obsessions reach a peak. They then are transformed by a dream time ritual that will in the end enlighten their tormented minds.

The Santeria rituals and God's kitchen really suit the essence of this musical work. Although, the dancing never matches the beat in the film, it doesn't really matter. Well actually, it would be particularly cool if it did. But nonetheless, I think Stravinsky would be please with this modern day rendition and you might be too. Check it out, after all it is only 38 mins long.

Igorly yours,

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patrick's Day from Zappa

Its great to be Irish.... and boy am I ever - that Bostonian blood ya know...

What better way to celebrate than with ZAPPA - that's always who I think of when this day comes around.... not my homeboys taking off the day to honor St. Patrick wearing townie green shamrocks and drinking Buds at 10am and praying to the porcelain god by 6:00. Somebody always ended up with a green tongue by the end of the night. anywho....

So this week I will be playing tracks from this very special album.
Album: St. Patrick's Day
Recorded at: Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena Binghamton NY
Date: 17-Mar-1988
Musicians: Frank Zappa's Best Band - Frank Zappa, Mike Keneally, Ike Willis, Bobby Martin, Scott Thunes, Chad Wackerman, Ed Mann, Kurt McGettrick, Bruce Fowler, Walt Fowler, Albert Wing and Paul Carman

If you haven't heard this album yet..... now you get to hear what you have been missing all of these years.... you are gonna like it...

1. The Black Page (New Age Version) Incl. Band Introduction (09:36)
8. A Pound for a Brown on the Bus Incl. Make a Sex Noise (18:10)
10. Jesus Thinks You're a Jerk (07:19)
11. Florentine Pogen (08:17)
12. Andy (05:31)
13. Inca Roads (10:24)
14. Lucille Has Messed My Mind Up (03:06)
15. Let's Move to Cleveland (07:40)
18. Who Needs The Peace Corps ? (03:08)

I will be rotating these throughout the week - can only play 3 at a time.

Stay Green,

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Happy 3/16

This is a cute little meter, mostly used as an accent or filler.

So far, I haven't found any songs completely in 3/16. If so, I would imagine it to be a fast "one - triplet -feel" which wouldn't be too odd. It definitely has to be mixed with ..... say a 5/8 or maybe other 16s perhaps a 7/16 or 10/16.

One thing for sure that I do know, is that my classical hero (Stravinsky) has expressed this meter in some of his works:

L'histoire du Soldat
Trois Danses - 3/16 + 2/4, 3/8, 3/4, 5/16, 5/8, 4/8, 7/16, 4/16
Marche triomphale du Diable 3/16 + 4/4, 5/8, 5/4, 3/4, 2/4, 3/8, 2/4

Dumbarton Oaks
Tempo Giusto - 3/16 + 4/4, 2/4, 3/4, 5/16, 2/8, 3/8, 5/8, 4/8, 9/16, 7/16, 11/16

As you can see it is mixed with many other meters. Maybe by this time next year I will have discovered more about this meter or perhaps featured this meter in a composition.

Until the next 16,

Friday, March 14, 2008

Dillinger Escape Plan - Ire Works - CD Review

The Dillinger Escape Plan are who they are and there is no mistaking that. Like a dietary supplement, their music is a vital necessity to my creative well-being. A monthly dose is usually all it takes (unless I have been unduly exposed to the mundane) to liberate bits of conformed energy trapped in the recesses of my psyche. Their expression adjusts my alpha and delta brainwaves so that I may continue unobstructed on this creative path at this time and in this way. So, I am thankful for their new release to freshen up my supply.

“Ire Works” is their third full-length release and proves to a more a little more musical in their evolution. As always I enjoy their sporadic use of meters and even the tunes in 4 are cool -

Decoding Dillinger – this is how I counted it anyways:

Fix Your Face - 6/4, 4/4 all over the place
Lurch all – 7/4, 9/16, 7/16, 3/16, 6/8, 14/8 +
Black Bubblegum - 4/4, 2/4
Sick on Sunday - 4/4 underlying, some deviation
When Acting As A Particle – 6/8, 9/8, 3/8
Nong Eye Gong – 10/8, 8/8, 2/8, 4/8
We Acting As A Wave – 11/8, 6/16 (eighth triplets), 13/8, 9/8, 4/8
82588 - mixed
Milk Lizard – 4/4, 5/16 +
Party Smasher – 8/4, 4/4, ?/16
Dead As History - 4/4
Horse Hunter – 8/16, 10/16, 4/4, 8/8, 18/8, 6/4, 5/8, 13/8
Mouth of Ghosts - 4/4, 6/8

They are still crazy as every …… or are they? Sometimes it is hard to tell whether or not a band’s initial energy that liberated them from the creative confines of the established still continue to fuel them creatively or they in fact are trapped by the machine they have made with it. As crazy as I might sound, there is a certain “safeness” to album. Who knows what pressures will do to the creative process, there are fans and contracts to keep, but I wouldn’t know anything about that. With the original energy that brought this band about, I would expect/hope just a little more deviation from their proven success. Although they are a little more musical and steady (4/4) on this effort, but maybe I was hoping for something a little more bizarre that worked. Anyways, they still blaze across the boundaries of the bar lines (as in notation, not in the club) liberating minds across the globe. Can’t complain about that, now can I? I can only hope that they continue on and don’t get too safe in their groove.

From beyond the barlines,
-Countess BetZe

Thursday, March 13, 2008


Well its finally here....

Interview with Lindsey Boullt.

I had the fortunate occasion to interview this exceptional musician/shredder/composer. He is a fantastic person and offers some unique insights to what odd meters mean and the writing process. Also his favorite meter is......

Interview with WRY

Wry is a diverse singer/songwriter who delves in acoustic, electronica and death metal realms. I was in a band with him for a bit and he is an interesting artist to work with. Check out what he has to say about meters and the writing process.

More to on the way too...
Keeping you ODD,

Why 13?

Happy 13....

Why the obsession with 13? Well, why the obsession with numbers and counting? I am not sure if I am ready to know that particular truth at the moment. But, could it be simply the esoterics around it? The numerology? Well I just think that its my personal rhythm. It started at Berklee when a fellow bassist showed me a slapping technique in 13... or I changed it to 13, I don't really remember. But, ever since then it stuck as my number.

Now I know you just couldn't stand another day without knowing that.


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Who Knew? Pt. 1 - Slayer, a cleansing 11

After all of these years of this classic sitting right in front of me, the 11/8 finally caught my ear. Can you believe it???
Who knew? Well nobody told me.
I thought they were a straight four band. Ahh the secrets come out.

Slayer - South of Heaven
Cleanse the Soul 4/4, 8/8 (332) and 11/8 (3332)

Unearthly ritual sealed in fire
Enter the kingdom of desire


Monday, March 10, 2008

Short way to my heart....

So, a wicked cool listener sent me a song in 13/8 (and 4/4) "Turn it On Again" by Genesis. Now I have got to tell you, this much better than getting a room full of roses.

Thanks C - the short way to my heart is 13.....

Yes I am an odd chick,

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Can I just say?

Can I just say ....that the people who listen to this station are cool as shit. (its a compliment)

I love it!

Tell me tell me what makes you tick.
is it 5, 9, 10, 11, 13, 17, 8?? 4 (really that's okay), 21, 25 or 3
Tell me tell me what you groove too.
Tell me tell me what you write.

I want to hear it!

And I do...
Johan - Empty Cinema from Sweden sent me a song he wrote in 14/16 - I find it getting stuck in my head (so cool)
Timothy - sent me an epic list of suggested songs with the signatures included (very handy)
Ryan - sent my some cool songs I never heard of and he writes some oddies himself
Guy - requests some great tunes and inspires new ones
Phillip - from Norway, turned me on to Balkan Folk music - 13 and 25s who could ask for more?

Well, there are many more..... so keep it coming, I appreciate the shared obsessing..... especially when you tell me your fav meter.

Y'all Rock!
Stay odd,

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Prong – Power of the Damager - Diddy

So, I finally acquired this CD and just as I thought… its way cool.

What I really dig about Prong is his (Tommy Victor) unique/simple guitar voicings (particularly use of fourths and sus2), chord progressions, song structure, style/energy of the vocals – just his pure raw essence and of course most of all – that unmistakable industrial/metal/Victor groove. Power of the Damager showcases it all.

He has still got it and he can groove like no other. Prong is still Tommy Victor and in this latest incarnation of mates - ummm, they do the trick. I still admire his creativity in staying true to his core yet not afraid to explore some other sounds. For example, on “3rd Option” he used a sound that I haven’t heard Prong use before. It woke up an underground metal sound memory for me from the 80s. Which immediately brought me right back to the “Channel” in Boston, where I saw every possible metal show in the late 80s/early 90s. Anyways, this guitar harmony/lick sounds “Iced Earth-y” and a bit like “Sanctuary” (old Nevermore incarnation) which was cool to hear Prong-style. Also throughout the CD you can hear punk and speed metal – early Metallica style. And even his voice starts to sound on some songs a bit “kiddish”, sort of like Perry Ferrell. The only thing that bugged me just a weeeee bit is the guitar bending (not sure of the exact technical term) in almost EVERY song. A little bit that goes a long way, went too far.

Anyways, he’s not afraid to experiment. Not in a circuit bending, Faust or lets try a samba way, but in his own, grounded way that is subtle and works. This sort of freedom has gotten him to 7/8 and I don’t think that it is because he has been listening to the Venetian Snares either. I think that it came about from the evolution of his internal groove clock – which I hope will keep on that path. But for now, 2 out of 12 isn’t bad, but keep going!

The Banishment – Time….. creeping…closer to the end 4/4, 5/4
(me fav song on CD)

Bad Fall – 7/8, 4/4
(Can you believe this? I think this is the first time he delves into the eighth note signatures keep going, keep going, keep going, I wanna hear some 9s and 13s next time!)

Well of course these two nuggets are going to be on the playlist…. Coming soon.

Time… creeping,
Countess B

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Chain Reaction

And there it was......

Out of the ethers of the internet.....

It came to me.....

Could be true - right there on the cover of the CD - my favorite meter staring at me.... 13-8!!!! A corner of the flugelhorn sheet music to "Chain Reaction" performed by The United States Army Field Band Jazz Ambassadors - Legacy of Hank Levy - starting in 13/8 (33223) right in front of me. It was as if it were speaking to the very core of my being and it said, "Wake up sister you are not the only one". Haaah!

Well, well, have your own ears decide, but this is one of the coolest arrangements I think I have ever heard in this style (full jazz band). Yes I might be a bit biased, to the 13 ya know. But, it contains lots of cool parts and instrumentation and I think it goes into 10/8 in one part and visits other meters too and some unexpected riffs that almost sound a little Opeth-ish.

Chain Reaction will be on the next playlist, which is going to happen when I get my new new computer, hopefully this week. But in the meantime, the current list is stuck in a loop and apologies for that, it can get old fast. And in my meantime, I am going to be stuck on this Hank Levy loop.

In 13 land,
-Countess B

Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Bad Plus – Prog CD Review

Never have I been inspired to use the words “brilliant” and “musicians” together, that is until now – or should I say once I heard “Prog”. These “brilliant musicians” that I speak of are called “The Bad Plus”, a jazz trio from the Midwest who play almost beyond my comprehension. They are far out, and not in the psychedelic way, but in the outer-space-later-years-of-Coltrane way.

“Prog” is their seventh release and is the first one that I have heard (where have I been, I know). Covering and interpreting Rock and Pop tunes is a specialty of theirs and there are plenty to look for on this CD. It is fantastic what they do with their originals too, I've never heard a 9 quite like this. They are creative with and in meters and I swear they make up their own sometimes, a secret language of musical communication. Maybe they don't always communicate with each other in meters, maybe its something us earthly folks haven't gotten to yet, maybe its in pictures or colors or impressions. They do call themselves a "Collective" ya know, humm. Well you certainly have to be together on this one.

Here are the tracks:

Everybody Wants to Rule the World – 4/4
REM cover – check out the drums on this, I think he goes some where in between Saturn and Neptune, but the piano keeps in close to earth (on this one).

Physical Cites – 5/16, 3/4, 10/8 (that’s what I got) plus their own collective meters
As opposed to the kind of cities in other dimensions that I am sure they visit.

Life on Mars – 4/4
See I told you they were from outer space – Bowie Cover, but they conveniently left out the question mark. Bowie was asking us if there was, I think the Bad Plus knows the truth there.

Mint – 4/4 + their own
(this song is annoying)

Giant – 9/8
Sedately beautiful

Thriftstore Jewelry – 4/4, 6/4, 9/8
(that’s how I counted it anyways, I think there is some collective meters in there) really cool bass groove ending

Tom Sawyer – 4/4, 7/8
Wicked cool deconstruction of this anthem – yep, the piano leaves earth a bit for this one

This Guy is In Love With You 6/8
Burt Bachrach tune

The World is the Same – 4/4

1980 World Champion – 9/8

Who knew jazz could be this fun? If you like just any old jazz, then I am not sure you will be into what The Bad Plus have to say. But, if you like to groove in new realms and if you like to hear true artists challenge your musical comprehension – then please – delve deep into these brilliant musical minds.

Keep Counting,
-Countess B
for more review go to Odd Time Obsessed - Reviews

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

2+2=5 Music Minus One - Review

2 + 2 = 5
A Study in Odd Times by Hank Levy
Published by: Music Minus One

Its time to –
Improve your Big Band 70s style odd time skills with the Hank Levy Towson State College Jazz Ensemble

Music Minus One is a teaching concept that is designed to be applied directly to real musical situations. In case you are not familiar with this concept, the first step is to learn the music by playing along with the full recording, then on the next CD, your part is silenced and you take the stage. In this case, I am not sure of how many musicians find themselves faced with odd time charts in a big band/ensemble situations, although I wish there were more. But, for the rest of us, this manual has the potential to help you feel the particular grooves and maybe in a way that you haven’t before.

This manual was first published in 1975 and re-released w/CDs in 2001 preserved with the funky 70s 2-color state university band ensemble feel. It is available for alto sax, trumpet, piano or bass and contains 2 CDs and 24 pages of notated (bass) parts (no no no tab here, this is serious jazz) of six compositions, 5 in odd time, and one in cut time. All of the pieces are composed by Hank Levy and performed by the Towson State University Ensemble, where he was a Professor. Compositions in odd time is a trademark of his and he is the author of “A Time Revolution”, a textbook about the exotic meter concept.

Here are the tracks:

Bob City Revisited – 7/4
Poopsie’s Penthouse - 11/4
A Quiet Friday – 5/4
Pete Is A Four-Letter Word - 7/2
Bread & Watrous – Cut Time - fast Samba
(4/4 cut in half - ? that’s not ODD)
Stillness Runs Deep – 11/4

It was cool to play along with these compositions even after being reluctant at first, due to the school like feeling. I had the most fun with the bass solo in “Pete Is A Four Letter Word”. But, it is still a mystery to me, with all the meters to pick from, why they chose to include cut time – it certainly didn’t feel like odd time.

As for educational value, the meters are a basic start to getting the feels into your groove memory. They safely stick to one meter per song and keep in the quarter (half) note groove. Even if you are quite proficient in playing in odd times, this has the possible potential to get you out of a creative rut if you happen to be in one. Also it is beneficial, when your part drops out, to hear loud and clear any mishaps or un-grooving going on that’s nobody’s fault but…. This will further prepare you for real life odd time playing with real players. So, if you feel like hearing what you might sound like in 11/4, 5/4 etc and/or sharpening your big band quarter note odd time feels and/or coming at your creativity from another direction give it a try. These tracks won’t make you meshuggah but have you safely on your way to odd-dom.

Your Oddness,
Countess B
For more reviews go to Odd Time Obsessed - Reviews

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Randy Graves - Instructional - Review

Randy Graves – Instructional

Your ‘somewhat odd’ Didjeridu Companion

Randy Graves is a didjeridu player, composer and teacher. He has a series of instructional CDs for the didjeridu which range from meditative, mixed up to straight ahead. Now, you don’t have to be a didjeridu player/student to learn from this CD. He breaks down the compound meters first slow, fast then with just sticks. Before a couple of the exercises, he will play a sample from his recorded work so you can get a "real life" feel.

The tracks are as follows:

1 Introduction
1-5 12/8 (3+3+2+2+2)
6-9 10-8 (3+3+2+2)
10-13 7/8 (3+2+2)
14-17 5/8 (3+2)
18-21 5/8 (2+3)
22-25 7/8 (2+2+3)
26-29 9/8 (2+2+2+3)
30-33 11/8 (2+2+3+2+2)
34-37 13/8 (3+3+3+2+2)
38-41 22/8 (3+3+2+2 + 3+3+2+2+2)

These exercises can help you really feel these particular compound patterns of each meter. Once you get the feel of these patterns, then it is easier to experiment with in that comfort. Plus it is neat just hearing a droning instrument playing these patterns. Now I can drone out to 13 instead of 4, very important.

Anybody who teaches odd meters on the didjeridu is way cool in my book. His solo work and former band “Diginus” are worth checking out. He likes to use odd meters and from what I have heard the instrumentation is worth investigating and the writing is capturing.

So if you are looking for some more ways to practice your compound meters, here is a different approach that might take you in a new creative direction.

Check him out on Ginger Root Records

Keeping it ODD,
-Countess B
Odd Time Obsessed