Inside Outside Lands - BassPlayer.com

Inside Outside Lands

ONCE REGARDED AS A SANDY WASTELAND AND A WORTHLESS STRETCH OF REAL ESTATE, San Francisco’s Outside Lands—much of it now preserved in the city’s Golden Gate Park—proved itself to be musically fertile ground in the 1960s, when its grassy patches absorbed the vibrations of Phil Lesh and the Grateful Dead, Jack Casady and Jefferson Airplane, Peter Albin and Big Brother & the Holding Company, and David Freiberg and Quicksilver Messenger Service.
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Fretless and fun-kay, Fishbone’s Norwood Fisher was on point with his Warwick Star Bass II (and 5-string fretless Warwick Alien) for his band’s set, which included a killer cover of Chuck Brown & the Soul Searchers’ Go-go classic, “Bustin’ Loose.” ONCE REGARDED AS A SANDY WASTELAND AND A WORTHLESS STRETCH OF REAL ESTATE, San Francisco’s Outside Lands—much of it now preserved in the city’s Golden Gate Park—proved itself to be musically fertile ground in the 1960s, when its grassy patches absorbed the vibrations of Phil Lesh and the Grateful Dead, Jack Casady and Jefferson Airplane, Peter Albin and Big Brother & the Holding Company, and David Freiberg and Quicksilver Messenger Service. Fifty years on, the land’s low-end legacy is reinforced annually with an influx of talent—old and new—for the Outside Lands festival. Here’s a glimpse of this year’s action in Fog City.

On bass, vocals, and guitar [gasp!], Dumpstaphunk’s Tony Hall does it all. ’Phunk fingers! Nick Daniels digs into his Tobias 5-string to kick off Dumpstaphunk’s set.

After a last-minute cancelation by D’Angelo, Nile Rodgers and Chic stepped in, turned up, and threw down a slammn’ set of disco-funk with Jerry Barnes slinging an Atelier Z Guitar Works 4-string. One dapper dude, Kevin Smith exemplified taste and style on his custom Blast Cult One4Five with Willie Nelson & the Family Band.

On his custom Modulus, Flea and the Red Hot Chili Peppers kept the crowd toasty with a heated set of RHCP hits.

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Outside Lands

ARMED WITH A PHOTO PASS AND INDUSTRIAL-STRENGTH EARPLUGS, I charged in front of the crowds to capture these shots at San Francisco’s second annual Outside Lands festival. Find more at bassplayer.com, and check in next month for interviews with Ben Kenney of Incubus and Senon Williams of Dengue Fever.

The Cribs' Gary Jarman On Melodic Punk Rock

LAST YEAR WAS A BUSY ONE FOR Cribs frontman Gary Jarman; his melodic post-punk brood with brothers Ryan and Ross released its fourth album (featuring “newbie” bandmate Johnny Marr on guitar), he married his girlfriend Joanna Bolme (bassist for Quasi and Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks), and he went under the knife for a surgery on his vocal chords. Yet judging from his band’s demanding tour schedule, the Yorkshire native (and Portland resident) shows no signs of slowing. On a recent stop in San Francisco, Gary took a few minutes to talk punk rock, warming up, and the joy of a well-crafted countermelody.

Ted Dwane: Babel On

BELA FLECK LIBERATED THE BANJO FROM HILLBILLY stigma when he—with the assistance of a Wooten or two—proved its potential as an apparatus of art on par with anything played on the world’s finest Strads and Steinways.

Eric Avery: Sound Tsunami: Ocean Size Subhooks Return To JANE’S ADDICTION

STALKING THE STAGE LIKE A caged cat, pounding his low-slung PBass with a sneer solidly etched on his face, Eric Avery seems like a man with a lot on his mind. Between 1985 and 1991, the Jane’s Addiction bassist crafted some of the catchiest subhooks in modern rock. Since rejoining the seminal alternative rock band earlier this year, he’s been on a quest to make it all sound better. On a recent stop outside San Francisco, Avery sat for a spell with BP to talk about the perils of low end, the importance of punch, and his practiced methods for attaining balance.

Bulgarian Bass : Tambura

BEHOLD, THE BULGARIAN BASS TAMBURA. THIS CURIOUS BEAST FROM THE Balkans has a long, fascinating history stretching all the way back to the 6th-century Central Asian steppes. Well, sort of. As it turns out, nearly all of the geetar-type things we now sling on stages share a common ancestor known to organologists—those who study musical instruments—as the long-necked lute. Unlike the short-necked Arabic ’ud (which spawned the Spanish lute, and later, the guitar), long-necked lutes ruled supreme among the Turkic tribes of Central Asia. When the marauding hoards dropped down into the Balkans in the 6th and 7th centuries, they brought with them this type of axe. It’s a legacy that can be seen today in instruments like the Turkish saz, the Greek bouzouki, and the Bulgarian tambura. It seems that foreign invaders aren’t always all bad . . . .