Monday, August 31, 2009

Catch a Cricket Commercial - 7/4

Does anyone remember this commercial?

I don't, but how cool is it that its in 7/4 & 3/4? I found this nugget in "Great Songs of Madison Avenue" Hal Leonard Publishing (c)1976. All the other commericals were in 4. Someday when I am in a MIDI mood, I am going to record & arrange this commerical in Cubase. I long to hear the essence of 1973 through this commerical and pretend what it was like when it was cool to have a Cricket in your pocket.

Cricket Lighter, is really quite a light,
It'll last for months, and still burn
with thousands of sure-fire lights
and a flame you can set to just the right height.
Catch a Cricket, for a dollar forty nine,
by Gillette.

-BetZe13 Tune in


Sunday, August 30, 2009

Where's the Odd Reggae?

So my friend Leighton is moving back to Jamaica tomorrow for a bit and it of course got me thinking: What if there were more Reggae/Dub music in un4/4? Would it be so bad? Would it cause an uproar? What if they could mix and trix up that 2 & 4 upstroke guitar a bit? Reggae is right up there with Trance that sends me seeking relief in Mike Patton type patterns. What if Reggae could follow this just a bit? Only one example I've found so far is a cover:

I think 7/4 sounds perfectly normal in Dub style (I especially love the beginning)- I wish that I could hear more... Does anyone out there know any???

-BetZe13 Tune in


Saturday, August 29, 2009

Just So You Know

Just incase you were dying to know:
The following albums don't have any or barely have any odd time in them:

Slipknot - Iowa
Well this was a disappointment I was hoping to hear more amongst the horror angst all in 4/4 except Metabolic - intro 11/8 (6/8 + 5/8)

Halford - Resurrection & Crucible
This is not a surprise and frankly what was I doing here looking for some oddness? Well maybe its because I heard a rumor that there was some 17/8 on the latest Judas Priest and I was hoping that this might be some sort of habit. Anyways, Mr. Halford still has got the chops, but his heart doesn't sound like its quite into it, maybe he needs some new meters to get him back in touch with his soul.

Always searching,
-BetZe13 Tune in


Friday, August 28, 2009

Bulgarian in 13 - Krivo Sadovsko Horo

Macedonian music is metrically hip. They have songs/dances that are defined by their meters. My favorite is 'Krivo Sadovsko Horo', meaning crooked dance, and is always in thirteen (222322,223222). If it is played in another meter, then it can not be rightfully be called by the same name.
Check out these rustically rural big band cats playing in 13 and with such requiste joy.

This is one of the coolest sites my ears have ever laid on, and I love the coordinating outfits and the pride this country takes in its musical roots.

I think I am going to learn the trumpet.
-BetZe13 Tune in


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Wicked Cool Song of the Week: Cardiacs - Come Back Clammy Lammy

Here's another cool band/song suggestion from Andy (who rocks): The Cardiacs - a bastard son of Gentle Giant hummm, quite soothing to my odd ears.

Check out "Come Back Clammy Lammy" from their site (and many more free downloads) its in 5/4.
Cardiacs - Come Back Clammy Lammy 5/4

Come back clammy you dead saw barnacle
Make it to heaven red rim barmy you dead
Saw barnacle make it to heaven
Come back clammy you red rim barmy you
Come back clammy you dead saw barnacle
Make it to heaven

Nope, still not sure what the song means, reincarnation? hummm
I am diggin' these Cardiacs and arrest me not, they will be in my playa until I get it.

-BetZe13 Tune in


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Calculating Calcutta's Carousels - BetZe

Here's a little diddy I wrote in 7/8 when I was trying to learn the MIDI function in Protools, especially the drum patches.
Calculating Calcutta's Carousels - 7/8

-BetZe13 Tune in


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Strange Land - Band Review

Strange Land is metal in progression, literally. This prog metal trio from Milwakee, WI, naturally writes in odd meters without analyzation. They compose and play without counting, a concept that is foreign to me. They have their own style but are in the ambience of a heavy Rush, Dream Theater and Kings X (especially the vocals). The following is their discography with the meteric breakdown from Sean Gill the guitarist.

Catharsis promo 2009
The Men Who Spent Tomorrow: 6/8, 4/4, 3/4
Asinine: 4/4, 5/4, 11/8 (6+5), 6/8
Evolve: 4/4, 7/4

Blaming Season 2005
Obliquity: mostly 4/4, but very syncopated
Cause and Defect: 5/8, 6/8, 4/4, 5/4, 3/4, 6/4, 3/8, 9/8
Marionette: 6/8, 4/4, 5/8, 7/4, highly syncopated
In a Mind: 6/4, 4/4, 7/8, 3/4
Dear Helena: 6/8, 22/8 (5+6+6+5), 4/4
Below the After: 4/4, 3/4, 15/4, 7/4, 7/8, 6/8

All Things Considered: 7/4 (3+3+8), 4/4, 6/8, 3/4 (5-tuplets),
Foundation: 4/4, 13/8, 15/8 (3+3+4+5), 16/8 (3+3+5+5)
I Don't Know You Anymore: 11/8 (in a 4/4+3/8 feel), 12/8, 6/4, 5/4, 3/4, 9/8, 7/

As you can see the meter spectrum is well represented here. They are a progressively evolving band who has grown technically and creatively throughout their releases. I am digging their writing style which seems completely genuine, natural and flowing to me. They follow their instincts and come up with interesting and original parts. I look forward to their future releases.

For samples and more info, check out their most comprehensive site:

-BetZe13 Tune in


Monday, August 24, 2009

Jarmila Xymena Gorna – Hashgachah CD Review

Jarmila is a composer, musician, and vocalist based in London who has much to say without words. ‘Hashgachah’ is an exciting one to me because it comes straight from the core of her soul. It’s not everyday that such visionary creativity comes across my ears.

Jarmila is originally from Poland and has been playing music pretty much for all of her life. She has been schooled, and then took it upon herself to become unschooled and to find her real voice. And as a result of this journey, she has found it and comes across with boundless mastery. Here are the tracks:

Which Way? - 12/8
Swansong - 4/4
Always? - 4/4
From There to Here - 4/4
My Hope - 4/4 + mixed
Approaching Your Insanity - 12/8
Dark Spell - 4/4

She sure does let it fly and even the 4s sound ‘odd’, a true natural expression. This free flow can bring many interesting directions about. I look forward to her future works and would love to hear her more in the soundtrack arena.

Check her out:
-BetZe13 Tune in


Sunday, August 23, 2009

Five Finger Discount - The Unteaching of Odd Meters

One of the questions that burn in my mind is why aren't more songs in 5? or 7? or 9? or a mixture of various meters? Why do we get stuck on 4 in this culture? Well, part of it is that its simply not taught, and can be discouraged.
A couple of years ago I had the opportunity to take and electronic music class at the local community college, LACC. Prior to that, I have never even stepped foot into a CC and quite frankly I am glad parents were avidly against it in my early years. Anyways, there I met Michelle, a budding songwriter/piano player who told me that she was writing all of her songs in 5. No way, really? Why I asked her? She stated that it was because she had five fingers and thats the way it came out. Sounds logical to me, but our teacher (no names here), said don't do that all pop songs are in 4. Hummmmmm, crush that creativity.
Many schools seem to be like this. At Berklee in the 4 years I attended, odd meters were only mentioned in Conducting class an my Progressive music elective. Also, an instructor at GIT, had mentioned that they don't really teach or encourage meter exploratoin there too. Well CC or no CC, this may contribute to the attachment to four. But there are two great teachers that I know of that were bringing odd meter education forth, helping us to expand our rhythmic approaches. I am sure there are more out there, but the two I know of now is Don Ellis and Hank Levy. Both have instructional manuals that I am going to go through and surely babble more about.

Well, we've got five fingers for a reason, well actually ten, and some have thirteen - lets use em ALL!

Thirteen Fingers,
-BetZe13 Tune in


Saturday, August 22, 2009

Thingy - My Room Has A TV

Andy, an avid odd meterite sent this "Cute and Complicated" song to me. It sounds a bit more complex than it works out on paper, check it out.

This inspires me. There are artists out there true to their own colors. Love it! But to me, there really is nothing complex about this song, but completely in the creative flow. Complicated comes when you try to fit something into... say 4 when it infact does not belong there at all.

And I am glad that she is singing about a TV in her room, its an important subject. And..I would just like to add that I don't have one nor will have I ever. So now I am going to write a song about My Room Doesn't Have a TV and people just don't understand why...

Thanks Andy for this odd nugget.

-BetZe13 Tune in


Friday, August 21, 2009

Cool Song of the Week: Don Ellis - Arcturas

I just can't stop listening to this song -

Isn't this the funkiest 70s big band song in 10 that you've heard in a while? Would you agree with me that this composition would appeal to the Arcturians' creative sensibilities? I do think that they would be (are) honored to know that this brilliantly grooving dynamically orchestrated song with a base of 10 (leadership in numerology) was written for/about them.

Far Out,
-BetZe13 Tune in


Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Free Design - Bubbles

Here's the cutest song you'll ever hear and it has some odd time in it and what else could you ask for -

Blowin’ bubbles outta the window
Chewin’ bubblegum and blowin’ big bubbles
Gettin’ gettin’ ridda ridda all my troubles,
Watchin’ the tadpoles glubba, glubba in the puddles
Soap bubbles carry my dreams up high
Bubble gum kinda keeps my heart from gettin’ heavy and cryin’

Ma ‘n’ Pa are arguin’ again,
today I lost my best friend
The kitty has a little cold,
‘n ‘ grammama is getting older
My tummy has a little pain,
‘n’ when does Jesus come again?

So what did you think, cute eh? Sunshine Pop can be pretty cool eh, especially with the 7/8. The Free Design was around from 1967 - 1972. Surprising? No. Genuine sunshine is hard to come by nowadays... Well that might not be true, it just doesn't come across my ears often...

Sunshiney (just for today),
-BetZe13 Tune in


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Fu Manchu - Pick Up Summer

Hey Whattdaya mean
yeah whattdaya mean
rolling dice see how they fall
slide and glide it into high gear haul
(I have no idea what else he is saying)

Love this song and band, they make me think of summer, my two Mustangs that I don't have anymore (wipe the tears), the beach and its time to get drunk... They don't really make me think of odd time, but this one happens to have that dropped beat feel that can be created by alternating 8/4 and 7/4 phrases. Cool effect..

Into High Gear Haul,
-BetZe13 Tune in


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The New Rhythm Book - Don Ellis

So I finally got my hands on this long lost 'manual' aka work of brilliance. I'm so infatuated with Don Ellis I can't help it and yes he would be my 80 yr old husband if he were still alive, but he's not.

This book wants you to play odd meters with ease. Mr. Ellis found that trying to teach his band odd meters was challenging no matter the proficiency of the musician. This is how this book was born. It covers: Historical Background, Basic & Advanced Concepts, Indian Ways of Learning New Meters, Balkan Meters and more. I will be taking these concepts and approaches step by step and report on it. But I can tell you so far the Indian way of counting is uncomfortable to me - I prefer conducting, but more on that later.

Ta Ka Di Mi, Ta Ka, Ta Ka, Ta Ki Ta, Ta Ka,
-BetZe13 Tune in


Monday, August 17, 2009

Disturbed - Ten Thousand Fists

Okay so I am still in a Disturbed mood - this time its "Ten Thousand Fists" (in the air, not in the face) which proved to be not that exciting meterically. Here are the tracks -

Ten Thousand Fists - 4/4
Just Stop - 4/4
Guarded - 4/4 sounds like it might be partial odd but its not
Deify - 4/4, 6/4
Stricked - 4/4
I'm Alive - 6/8 intro 6/8, 5/8, 6/8, 7/8, 6/8, 5/8 and repeats in at the cool part (interlude in the 3rd quarter of the song)
Sons of Plunder - 4/4
Overburdened - 4/4
Decadence - 4/4
Forgiven - 4/4
Land of Confusion - 4/4
Sacred Lie - 4/4
Pain Redefined - 4/4
Avarice - 4/4

Well at least this time their titles consist of more than one word and the song structures vary just slighly and the requisite ballad is absent. It would be interesting to find out what if any oddness is on their latest "Indestructible " released in 2008. Hopefully a little more meterically exciting, and surely I will be certain to blab about it.

Almost unDisturbed,
-BetZe13 Tune in


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Disturbed - Believe

For some reason, Disturbed has been on my headset and mind off and on for the past couple of weeks. Is it because I am disturbed? Well recently I believe that might be true. Nonetheless, "Believe", their second release, is the subject of my current musical meter meddling. Even though it was released in 2002, its semi-new to me. I know I am behind the times, or maybe I am before the times, but one thing for sure, I am of my own time. Anyways, this album has crossed my ears a few times in the past and with always a comment of ohhhhhh, thats odd what is it? Now, today I decided to find out and this is what I discovered:

Prayer - 4/4 maybe some skipped beats (snare on 3, got a snare fetish ya know)
Liberate - 4/4
Awaken - 4/4 a couple of bars of 9/8 in intro for the hesitation effect
Believe - 12/8
Remember - very daring verse 8/8, 5/8, 8/8, 6/8 - 4/4 rest of song
Intoxication - 4/4
Rise - 4/4
Mistress - 4/4
Breathe - another daring verse 11/4 (6/4 + 5/4) 4/4 rest of song
Bound - 4/4
Devour - 4/4
Darkness - 4/4 slow (sort of sappy sounding)

Okay so not a lot of oddness but I do admire thier flawless playing and production, wicked low bass and creative writing in their vchvchbrchcoolpartchchandout structure confines. And even with the easy to remember titles its still is an appealing album. Although its a little too commercial for me to get totally obsessed with it and doesn't alter my etheric vibration, it has some odd time in it, and that always turns me on.

Liberate Your Mind,

Monday, August 10, 2009

Who Knew Part IV - Flaming Youth

My uniform is leather, and my power is my age
I'm getting it together, to break out of my cage
Flaming Youth, set the world on fire
Flaming Youth, our flag is flyin' higher and higher...

Well who knew 'Destroyer' - an album that shaped my youth (and made me forever long for boots that were supported by monster teeth) had some un-4/4 in it? While in my single digits, my brother played this album over and over and over, shaping my tender consciousness. I didn't catch the odd meter at the time... shame on me... but I do think it planted an odd seed or two.

Check it out - the guitar solo is in 7/4 and the same riff repeats at the end but its in 4/4 - pretty cool, this gives it a dropped beat, circular feel which sometimes can be found in this genre (straight-ahead rock).

Your Oddness,
BetZe (Simmons) Tune in