Friday, December 08, 2006

Got it covered

anyone who plays music will tell you straight up: there's absolutely nothing more flattering, satisfying, heartwarming, etc. than having one of your pieces covered. in the past, i've walked in to my friend Tony's room to find him playing a song by my band, Stay Fucked, on his bass and been really delighted, but that's about the extent of it (Tony is, by the way, actually the bass player of the band now, so go figure). until now.

something really crazy happened the other day. i checked my email and there was an message from this dude Sam Garrett, who's a really phenomenal young Baltimore musician. he plays guitar in a sick math-rock band called Yukon that SF has befriended over the past year (definitely check them out if you like heavy and complex shit; their myspace page is here) and he also does really intense solo music under the name Hex Screw. anyway, so suffice it to say, i really respect this guy as a musician. i knew he was a fan of SF's music, but the contents of this message were almost more than i could handle.

there was, Sam wrote, a file attached, containing a recording of a group of ten-to-14-year-olds covering a Stay Fucked song; apparently he had taught it to them while teaching at a rock & roll camp of some sort. anyway, playing the mp3, i was blow away--the arrangement was considerably different (and altered and extrapolated upon in a really cool way, i might add), but there it was: the song that Joe and i and Andres had strung together in some tiny Williamsburg practice space in our spare time; the riff that i had sung into a tape recorder a few years ago and finally got around to teaching to Joe; etc. etc. the concept just blew my mind, i have to say. obviously i wrote Sam back immediately to thank him profusely.

i've thought a lot about how one gesture like that could keep me going for ten years or more. the fact that anyone gets anything out of what we do, remembers it for even a second, actually likes it enough to mention it to someone else, let alone teach it to them, is simply astounding. Sam wrote me back, saying, "Those kids fucking love you guys." well, holy fucking shit. that's all i can say to that.

i definitely have a complex about kinda not thinking about myself as a real musician. i'm basically self-taught, can't read music, don't have virtuoso chops, etc. etc. and SF hangs around with all these unequivocal geniuses; their opinions to me are like the gold standard--it's just so awesome to be respected by people you respect. so thank you, Sam, and thanks also to those kids who learned the music. it's just a real cool thing all around.

here's both the Stay Fucked version of the piece in question and the "Rock Camp" version by the kids:

Stay Fucked - Torso View of TK

Stay Fucked - Torso View of TK [Rock Camp version, abetted by Sam Garrett]

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