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

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,