Buckethead

Discussion in 'Music Discussion' started by CriedWhenBrucieLeft, Aug 20, 2015.

  1. Forostar

    Forostar Ancient Mariner

    Cool. I only know a few others. Cried recommended this one to me.
     
  2. CriedWhenBrucieLeft

    CriedWhenBrucieLeft Version 4.1

    I actually didn't. We were discussing something about melody & I mentioned Buckethead; you said "some beauitiful guitar work here" & posted a link to Monument Valley. You found it all by yourself...

    Question for you @SixesAlltheway, since you seem to consume a lot of different music & I've seen you mention recently that you read multiple music blogs etc. What do you actually think about Buckethead's album release rate over the last three years; putting him context? For listeners new to him it must be very, very difficult to know how to approach 200+ Pikes. I'm curious what you think.
     
  3. Forostar

    Forostar Ancient Mariner

    Man I indeed did! Oops.
     
  4. SixesAlltheway

    SixesAlltheway (slow heavy metal music playing)

    Sure. It's a very difficult task. At first I attempted to find out what the most talked about pikes were and go from there. Now I'm more seeing it as a pot luck kinda thing. I pick something that looks appealing and take a chance. it might end up being so-so or great. I actually like that approach more now, it's like buying your ticket for the raffle, you might end up with something unexpectedly good.

    I must say it's very clever marketing. Especially with the image and the story and everything behind the pikes. The many releases also speaks to my collector gene ;) Hard to say if it's a little too obsessive really, but I can't really speak of that yet since I haven't heard many pikes yet. But if the majority of pikes are only so-so and poor in quality I'd say it was a bit of a rip off....but I can honestly say that I've liked the two I've heard so far. Also I reallly like the fact that it's not full albums but mini eps that you easily digest in a small sitting or on the go whatever.

    Also there's something to be said for a guy like Buckethead who works so much and is so productive. It must be cool to follow as a fan what he's doing from week to week. Also the fact that he seems to be of the opinion that music is meant to be shared and just get out to whoever is willing to listen. He doesn't sit around and "perfect" things for years like making an album.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2016
    CriedWhenBrucieLeft likes this.
  5. Forostar

    Forostar Ancient Mariner

    Arcade of the Deserted contains heavy riffing in two songs (one of them is way too long). I do not like Bucket's heavy riffing. It gets dull very soon in my ears. I think that his melodic work is his strength. Thus, Forostar says: a bad album. The opening track has some wonderful things going on though.
     
  6. CriedWhenBrucieLeft

    CriedWhenBrucieLeft Version 4.1

    Good points. I think the approach, irrespective of whether you like the end product, is indeed quite interesting. The EP format also works for me too. It's meant to be a ride, literally. People talk about falling off the Pikes ride i.e. failing to keep up with either listening &/or buying his releases. It's viewed pretty humorously, as I think it's kind of meant to be. Some people get upset that they don't like everything by their favourite artists; but the Pikes have been pretty varied & it would be pretty hard to think they were all amazing. The one thing that continues to amaze me is what other people say is their favourite; it's super varied. Some people name-check Pikes I thought were pretty poor & don't like others that I think are some of the best instrumental guitar music I've every listened to. There's lots to choose from.
    I tend to agree with you. The problem is he's just one guitarist playing with bass & drum machine. This isn't Heavy Metal. Metal is about bands, about the whole package; and Buckethead just doesn't have this. His choice. I think he has the chops, but it's not really what he excels at. His melodic lead play (& solos proper) are his strength; I think he blows everyone else away in that department. He also writes a lot of "pretty" music which I also quite like e.g. his acoustic stuff. His trend recently has been to go very stripped back. Personally, I like it; he's really putting it all out there, letting you hear his guitar playing unfiltered. But, you can have way to much of that. And as interesting as it is, it doesn't necessarily make for good music. Also, as you mention Foro, some of his stuff is way, way too long & not that well structured or, frankly, interesting. He can certainly do structure; but sometimes I think he just doesn't care about song format enough.

    Give this a listen then Foro; there's a nice balance to this album of heavy(ish) and atmospheric/melodic...

     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2016
  7. Forostar

    Forostar Ancient Mariner

    This one is fantastic: Backwards Chimney (the second album Sixes mentioned). Heard it earlier today and really, really liked it a lot. He was one fire!

    I am bit busy in the upcoming week but will try to listen to Old Toys a.s.a.p!
     
  8. CriedWhenBrucieLeft

    CriedWhenBrucieLeft Version 4.1

    Aye, 'tis a fine piece of work. I could listen to this type of guitar playing all day long...
     
  9. SixesAlltheway

    SixesAlltheway (slow heavy metal music playing)

    Yah. That's the best of the two overall. Very listenable.

    Opener is very good but what about Cavernous? I thought that was a highlight myself. Very mellow and some great playing. Floyd-ish in places.
     
  10. Forostar

    Forostar Ancient Mariner

    My son loved that stuff as well when I had it on this evening. Bucket does that type of stuff on several pikes (I believe), doesn't he Cried? Not that special (anymore) imo. Maybe I'm spoiled but let's say I've heard better in that vein.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2016
  11. CriedWhenBrucieLeft

    CriedWhenBrucieLeft Version 4.1

    What one did he love, Old Toys? If so, I don't think Bucket's really sounded like this that often. By not special anymore; do you mean generally, or just for Buckethead? Okay, I'm going to keep recommending until you guys get bored here! :p

    Next up, something atmospheric. Don't expect this to move briskly along. Sit back, relax & let it wash over you...



    EDIT: Wait a minute, I thought you you said this wasn't that special? :D
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2016
  12. Forostar

    Forostar Ancient Mariner

    No, that post was a reaction to what Sixes said:

    On Pike Doors: Hey I still need to finish the rest of the Old Toys album. I can't keep up. ;)
    But Pike Doors will be the next one!
     
  13. Forostar

    Forostar Ancient Mariner

    I have been thinking about how Buckethead might do his recordings. It is so much (last October, he released an album everyday!!!), that he must have a pattern he got used to, making it very easy to repeat a recording procedure.

    Since he doesn't have much time for creating ideas and recording them properly, he's probably recording (close to) everything he does.

    This is in my view the trick:
    He does not make detailed rhythm patterns in advance. I think he records over some simple beat or even metronome. As soon as he's happy with the music, he (or someone specialist) works on the rhythms. It may sound unnatural to do the drums as the last thing (although maybe I am conservative), but I think it is the most efficient way, when there is so much released output, and when you listen to the type of (progression of the) songs he makes.

    Doing such detailed drum patterns in advance costs a lot time when there's no proper music present. OK, in theory he might know everything he does in advance, but it is very unlikely. The length of a track, and everything he does is hard to predict, also for him. You hear him improvise.

    Before he starts recording guitars, I think he only decides on the tempo and the kind of beat, depending on a backing guitar track he might use. Then, during the recording he improvises. Depending on how the song goes, he can adjust the drums to the tension and subtlety of his playing.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2016
  14. CriedWhenBrucieLeft

    CriedWhenBrucieLeft Version 4.1

    Lots of people have speculated about this. As an aside, the album-a-day gimmick last October should be quietly set to one side. Some of those albums are him scrapping a chicken over his strings for half an hour etc; file these under the musical categorisation "dark ambient". They're not utterly worthless, but I never liked Buckethead's drone/sound albums anyway. It was for Halloween...
    Probably. He certainly must have his own studio. Keep in mind, he hasn't done anything else (e.g. touring) since late 2012.
    Yip, that's what most people think. Dan Monti (Del Rey Brewer) is credited with drum programming & bass on many of Buckethead's earlier albums (in the mid-2000's); no reason to think otherwise for the Pikes. I always thought the bass playing (bar the funk/slap stuff) was all Monti. However lately, having listened to some of Buckethead's early stuff (where he's clearly credited with the bass parts), I'm not so sure. Buckethead might actually play quite a lot of the bass parts. Some of the more 90's amateurish sounding "beats" (i.e. not intended to sound like a drummer) are all probably Buckethead. On those sorts of tracks I think he's probably responsible for most of the parts.
    I agree that it is slightly unconventional, but that he does record the guitar parts first. I think there are hints there with track fade-outs & the like. Oddly, on earlier albums like Colma the drumming sometimes sounds no better than programmed but was actually a drummer i.e. Brain. I agree he's improvising quite a bit though. It's not to everybody's taste but it's what I find quite exciting about his work to be honest. I mean, there are solo improvised sections with little evidence of recording breaks that go on for 10+ minutes. Having said this, many tracks, to use your words, really are just backing tracks (of no merit on their own) being used as a prop for his lead playing. Sometimes that's fine, but it's quite repetitive. The Pikes is an ungodly mix of quality both in terms of actual playing & recording; I think this is deliberate though. As I think we've discussed previously, he also likes to use synth/keyboard as backing. He has a pretty 80's sound which I really like.

    You listened to Pike Doors yet? ;)
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2016
  15. Forostar

    Forostar Ancient Mariner

    On right now! Halfway Door One and I love it.
    I like that Tangerine Dreamy synth. Simple? Yes. Atmospheric? Hell yes. And the man brings lots of variation. Even when he uses the same notes, he approaches them differently. Great echo in this particular lead playing.
     
  16. CriedWhenBrucieLeft

    CriedWhenBrucieLeft Version 4.1

    It is simple, isn't it? And dreamy is an apt description.

    I'm assuming you thought Old Toys was just so-so since you've skipped mentioning it! :p
     
  17. Forostar

    Forostar Ancient Mariner

    Well, I was not impressed by every track on it. There were three or four of minor impression. The opening track has great soloing. It's an often used chord scheme, but incredibly catchy and he does the most with it. I like the second song a lot as well. Especially the second (chorus?) part. Mount Shasta is too sweet for me. It's the kind of tension I am not that excited about when it is repeated so often. It's the chord progression probably. Oak Island has a regular computer game rock riff (Joe Satriani does that a lot). It still has another cooler chord progression, a bit like in the first two songs, but that simple rock riff kills it for me somewhat. The last two are more so so, although the very last isn't that bad. But less than what Buckethead is doing on Door One imo.

    edit:
    Monument Valley, Backwards Chimney and Pike Doors are my two three clear favourites at the moment.

    On Pike Doors:
    Door Two is that often used chord progression again. But I am lucky that I like that one, and this one starts very cool. Intense from the first word go. The soloing is breathtaking again. Door Three is an nice little closer. I feel it could have been longer, but Buckethead does not want to make longer albums for the same money. ;)
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2016
  18. Niall Kielt

    Niall Kielt Pulled Her At The Bottle Top

    So the GnR April fools was the first time I saw Buckhead play anything. Not sure Ive even heard him play (unless hes on Chinese Democracy, in which case Better is the only song ive listened to more than once).

    So I youtubed him, got a live version of Soothsayer. Fuck, the guy can play. Listening to Crime Slunk Scene now. Not following the tracks, just listening. Im diggin it so far.

    I avoided him for years cos of the bucket, didnt like it when I first saw it and never gave him a second thought. Silly me.
     
    CriedWhenBrucieLeft and Forostar like this.
  19. Forostar

    Forostar Ancient Mariner

    Haha same here. Non serious behaviour tends to "obscure" talent sometimes...
     
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  20. Niall Kielt

    Niall Kielt Pulled Her At The Bottle Top

    Never judge a musician by his bucket. Apparently.
     
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