Well, here we are. It was a tortuous migration, but IgnoredByDinosaurs (the blog) has reached version 5. I think it’s version 5, let’s see there was Blogger, then WP, then Drupal, then back to WP, then back to Drupal, and now this bad boy, so I guess you would call this one 6.0.

This blog is now run by a system called Jekyll, a “site generator” that’s written in Ruby. What it does is take a bunch of text posts and runs them through a couple of different templates and spits out a full site of static HTML, since that’s mostly what a blog is anyway. It’s a compiler for your website. No webforms, no databases, no security updates. Just plain old HTML, like back in the good old days, but less hassle and more fun! I would have stayed with Drupal but honestly, it was just way too slow. This being just HMTL, without 119 database tables being joined by 200 different queries to display a blog post will be about a thousand times faster (literally).

So anyway…

Bass influences

I’ve been reading Kyle Hollingsworth’s recent blog posts with great interest. It’s always fun to see if who you think was an influence was truly such, but nobody ever posts these kinds of lists about themselves. Now that I’m on the verge of no longer being a defunct bassist, but rather a funct bassist, I thought I take a look back and see if I could boil it down to five bassists who pretty much wrote my play book.

Long story short, I can’t. There’s a few non-bassists who have given me more ideas than many of the bassists I’ve grown up with. So here goes.

#5 Cliff Burton

I know, it’s pretty fashionable to say Cliff instead of Jason, especially in light of the fact that it was Jason who actually inspired me to start playing the bass in the first place. After years and years of begging my folks to let me be Lars and buy me a drum set, and years and years of begging the band director to let me be Lars and play percussion instead of trombone, I finally gave up. I guess I figured the bass line on “The God That Failed” was pretty cool too, and strangely my folks were immediately agreeable to a bass in the house. So I sat in the basement and played along with every early 90’s grunge and metal record that I had.

However, it wasn’t until a lot later that I realized the depth of the influence that I had absorbed many years before I even began playing. “…And Justice For All” was the first tape I ever bought and the first CD I ever bought a few years after that. It was literally almost all I listened to for a four year period between 5th and 8th grade. I didn’t know anything about music or it’s place in my future life, but in hindsight I learned everything I ever needed to know about harmony from that record. Most of it was written either by Cliff when he was alive or in his memory shortly after his death and his highly educated, dramatic, baroque influence is all over it. “To Live is To Die”, “The Frayed Ends of Sanity”, and “Eye of the Beholder” are all masterpieces. When the black album came out and there was neither a double bass drum nor a multi-movement epic to be found on it anywhere, somewhere in my 8th grade brain I was deeply let down. It wasn’t Cliff’s bass style that sunk in so much as the style of composition.

It’s so nice to write. Thanks for reading.