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Moderator: D-Mod
Mar 05, 2024
In Everything Else
Photo: Joni Sarkki Just got the hideous news. Don't have details. Don't need any Just ... fuck —————- Maybe it’s just me. But when a human vanishes, trying to acknowledge it with mere words feels like the ultimate fools errand. Still, I know it counts for something to express our most sincere compassion for all those who loved the vanished one. And we do. But mostly, we acknowledge to them that such unfathomable loss resides in a wordless, silent void — and that we will just sit with them there for a while —————————————————————— Jim had a stunningly prolific musical life. In fact he was perhaps the prototypic ‘SD collaborator Iceberg’. The education, experience, achievement, and artistry of most everyone who played with Donald and Walter rendered the label of “sideman” a hilarious, inside joke. Many saw but tiny tips of the mighty, massive talents mooring those few hours of magic on stereo or stage And shameless fan-girl that I truly am of all SD collaborators, I will still share my humble opinion that when Jim joined the band, the final tumbler clicked into place; the secrets to presenting SDs music in its fullest flower were finally click-click-click-unlocked. And fan-girl nerd that I am, I could tediously dronesplain for hours on the particular whys, the picayune wherefores, whereby I imagine that locked was picked — how a particular individual contribution synergized into a band’s Group Mind. I could also share how Walter understood, with the deepest gratitude, the centrality of Jim’s sensitive contribution to the heart and intention of Circus Money, and how only Jim could have inspired a loony idea (unrealized, alas, because of lack of time) that Walter and Larry had for those last few hours in Avatar; an idea inspired solely by their faith in Jim’s ability to leap tall, ‘impossible’ musical challenges in a single, fluent, beautiful bound. All perhaps for another time. For now … just a silent void in which unfathomable loss resides
Jim Beard 1960-2024 content media
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Moderator: D-Mod
Feb 29, 2024
In Everything Else
For those who celebrate: Two Against Nature was released six (calendar) years ago,  February 29, 2000
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Moderator: D-Mod
Sep 25, 2023
In Everything Else
I'm loathe to send you on a scavenger hunt through a teeth-grindigly bad TV commercial but... does anybody else recognize anyone/anything here? Maybe I'm just truppin'.
Nothing is Everything  content media
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Moderator: D-Mod
Sep 03, 2023
In Rarities & Unreleased
He already had the paper: notebooks filled with couplets, bits of prose, punchlines without the jokes ... even a poem-let or two. He'd written a bit with DF c. ‘85 and had been producing albums since the same year [full WB credits here](http://walterbecker.com/wbmaster.html#production).    As the decade advanced, he tricked out a sweet add-on room with a midi deck + keys, acoustic wall treatment, and all the CPUs and RAM that island money could buy. And Lo, in the middle of the Pacific — “kinda isolated from the musical community at large” — his DIY experiment began. “… and I started writing some instrumental pieces,  and I thought...” (in a less-than-convincing tone) “… oh,  this is nice …" [from the 11 Tracks of Whack EPK](https://www.walterbeckermedia.com/forum/street-legal/11-tracks-of-whack-epk) We believe we've now heard all (most?) of these instrumental fantasias, pulled from dusty cassettes labeled with crazy nonsense names. “And eventually I started to write some tunes...  that had some lyrics to them”. [the EPK again] But before this merger, he also advanced at least one of his midi instrumentals a step further: he convened a small group of live musicians to run it down, in a studio, on the mainland. And we've got an audio. We’re still nailing down the precise time, place, and personnel of these run-throughs (we have two major hypotheses), and will  update this page once all the details are in. We may also post the audio itself, so stay tuned. But we wanted to tell you all about this interesting footnote to the dawn of a new creative era, yet another life for a cool cat named Walter, who had 9.
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Moderator: D-Mod
Sep 03, 2023
In Everything Else
Recipients of our Sept 3 Newsletter read all about our “Goodwill Giveaway” pilot program We pretty much know it’s a tacky idea. But we want to know — we need to know — how tacky? Here's our poll collecting your votes You can also leave your free-form comments there, so make yer voices heard! Remember, the fate of Goodwill Giveaway: The Sequel may well rest in your hands. 4/24/24: Inquiries, acknowledgments, etc. have finally slowed to near zero (remember, Wieners were selected from Newsletter Subscribers — only a tiny fraction of whom frequent these WBM boards). So I think we can officially call this first tranche a wrap. Thanks for playing! Will there be a Sequel? Time (and some other stuff) will tell...   General Notice: The return address PO Box is wrong. Long (embarrassing) story. Don’t waste a stamp 🫠 Wow!: Looks like some % of The Mainland US Goods have already dropped. Maybe we caught the USPS on a good week 🍒 PS: learned that sending an 8x10 flat cello package "by regular mail" from Hawaii means...IT GOES ON A F***ING BOAT! 😤, Uh....No Thanks to that. Lately: Even as we speak, a decrepit USPS is busy mishandling, mangling, misdirecting, and misplacing the Giveaway goods, lord save us. <—- Wieners will get (?) a parcel festooned with these. Ignore them at your peril; packaging is tighter than an SD rhythm section 1/31/24: Response Deadline for Round 2 drawing is Thursday, Feb 8, 11PM EST. I suspect some of my notification emails are gettig caught in Spam filters so please check your Junk/Spam folders 1/14/24: With the holidays over and most everyone now reunited with their email, contact with selected Newsletter subscribers begins later tonight (HST)! [Check your Junk/Spam folders too]. The mailing includes instructions for how to claim an item, with a response deadline of Friday, Jan 19, 11PM EST. Those who reply as instructed before the deadline will receive a randomly selected item via USPS. (If you receive a mailing and do NOT want an item, simply do nothing; another subscriber will be selected for contact after the deadline passes).
Just How Tacky? content media
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Moderator: D-Mod
Sep 03, 2023
In Everything Else
Image: Jon Neidert(https://jon-neidert.pixels.com) Doubtless you know the sad news from Maui. The phrase utter devastation has been overused to breaking. But that’s pretty much it: Utter devastation  --  and devastating heartbreak.  Most of the world knows Lahaina Town as a quaint, delightful tourist mecca. But Lahaina was home for over 12,000 Kama'aina, many of whom worked as backbone for the “hospitality” (tourist) industry. It was also once the capital of the Hawaiian Kingdom, and has been witness to — and survivor of — wave upon wave of quasi-colonial stressors relentlessly seeking to extract, not plant: to earn, not invest. In many ways, Lahaina holds the historical, cultural Braveheart of Aloha.  With the exception of over 100 lost souls (and counting), Lahaina’s amazing people are still here. But everything else is leveled: businesses, cultural and historical artifacts, homes, too many beloved pets — now nothing but ash.  Upcountry also suffered grievous losses in the (relatively) smaller wildfires during the same period. Although the rest of the island  —  including the Becker burg  — was physically untouched, the ripples of dislocation and disruption (along with waves of grief, confusion, and anger) have quickly engulfed us all. Anyone who's moved to help can visit  MauiNuiStrong (https://www.mauinuistrong.info/)for some ideas. From my local vantage point, emergency and short-term goods and supplies appear well stocked, thanks to the generosity of all. But now the real work begins: clean-up: rebuilding: somehow reconstituting a new Lahaina while fending off the vultures. With that in mind, you might especially consider local, grassroots groups who, long after the alphabet agencies decamp, will be on the front lines for the long haul. The Maui United Way (https://mauiunitedway.org/disasterrelief)(not the National United Way!) and Boots on the Ground (https://bootsonthegroundmaui.com/)are but two of many for your consideration. Note to potential visitors: all other areas of the island are most definitely ‘open for business'(https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/2023/08/31/how-to-visit-maui-respectfully-wildfires/70719807007/)  and rely on your spending to survive. And if you do visit, perhaps you'll consider donating some of your time in Paradise to one of the many restoration activities and projects available to vacationers. Mahalo Nui Loa
Maui Strong content media
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Moderator: D-Mod
Feb 20, 2023
In Rarities & Unreleased
One of our goals here at WBM is to provide a peek into the processes of creating music which is, at every stage — from infant idea through shrink-wrapped adult — nourished by revision, refinement, and experimentation. At the player level, arguably no Whack-era tune received more exploration, in feel and arrangement, than did Becker and Dean Parks' Cringemaker. A true survey of this vast terrain would require an aural version of a topo map….but we’ll sketch it out by planting just two ranging rods here [both to be compared, of course, to the shrink-wrapped version on 11TOW] Photo: Amanda Parks ------------------------------ This first clip is a run-through from the crew at Hyperbolic Sound in Maui, with John Beasley on the venerable B3. I labeled this audio “Swamp Cringe” in my files, which you may or may not understand after listening. No man can control that, y'know. Dean Parks - Guitar || Adam Rogers - Guitar || John Beasley - Keys || Fima Ephron - Bass || Ben Perowsky - Drums || Walter Becker - Vox ------------------------------ BONUS ALT-TAKE: This is an instrumental of the same keys-forward arrangement, but has several hallmarks of an actual “track take” (which are to be distinguished from the more casual or exploratory “run-throughs with vox” like the audio clip above). By Download Only ------------------------------ This second clip is a run-through from the truncated Signet Studio experiment. Although it’s not radically different from what you’ve heard before — except for an outro of crazy couplets — it may be of interest as we all continue to ponder the compelling (but often opaque) issue of a writer’s progression through the iterative process of choice — as in W's ultimate preference on Whack for either his “machine” versions, or tracks from the Maui band. Interested to read your thoughts ... (Provisional: some credits may be corrected) Dean Parks - Guitar || Bob Sheppard - Sax || John Beasley - Keys || Neil Stubenhaus - Bass || John Keane -Drums || WB -Vox
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Moderator: D-Mod
Feb 19, 2023
In Everything Else
Ted gave so much to so many during his obscenely short life. He was a magnificent, preternaturally talented musician of course — but he was also very funny and warm and … well, there was just something in his nature that put him at the center of so many of the best stories, moments, and memories I have of our years sharing a space. But what I really want to say is this: I’m so grateful for the time I spent in his company, and I was truly, deeply honored to hear him play each and every night. For all my running around trying to get a decent pic of everybody each touring season, every once in a while a pretty great shot would just fall into my lap. I sometimes feel as though Ted simply willed this image directly into my camera. Later that summer, his parents turned up at a show in t-shirts sporting this picture. Our warmest thoughts go out to his family, and to everyone who loved him.
Ted Baker
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Moderator: D-Mod
Sep 03, 2022
In Rarities & Unreleased
Stars imploding The long night passing Electrons dancing in the frozen crystal dawn Here's one left stranded at the zero crossing With a hole in it's half-life left to carry on …and because this inky Maui midnight shakes the memory as a madman shakes a dead geranium *, it seems right for this snake to eat its tail and double back to the beginning of the after. The first video I posted after Walter passed was of a Grimes arch top, the dinner table, and him — doing his best to recall an amusing ditty from the depths of memory. Today we post the live version — his encore from Slims (April 7, 1995). That night, he had all the verses. Enjoy. * T.S. Eliot Video by Matthew Kerns, using the AI program Mid Journey And hey, here's Matt with more on his most productive journey through The Uncanny Valley:
Girl Next Door To The Methadone Clinic
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Moderator: D-Mod
Mar 02, 2022
In Everything Else
... but She could use a lot of help right now WBM policy says “No Politics”. Luckily this post is not about the P-word It is about addressing the unimaginable suffering of an obscene and growing humanitarian crisis. It’s already unthinkably horrible. It’s going to get a lot worse. While there are many “Ways To Help” lists are out there, we’ve selected a basic collection from The Washington Post, which has removed its paywall so that anyone can view it. How To Help The People of Ukraine Edit: For those who wish to do a deep dive into charitable organizations and initiatives before giving, I highly recommend Charity Navigator, the data-driven nonprofit evaluator I personally use for my annual planned charitable donations. They even facilitate donations across multiple organizations with a single checkout via the "Giving Basket" interface. Their page for the Ukraine humanitarian crisis is here. Слава Україні Віруй та молися
They Say God Protects The Innocent ... content media
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Moderator: D-Mod
Feb 20, 2022
In Rarities & Unreleased
Some of you may be familiar with the bootleg 11 Tracks of Outtakes, which purports to contain “demos” of various Whack-era tunes. (In actuality, these “demos” are often just whatever intermediate version of something the purloining party decided to slip into his pocket that day). This Outtakes boot includes a “Medical Science Demo” which is a near-final version of the cut that eventually ended up as a bonus track on the official Japanese release of 11TOW In honor of W’s B-day, we post an earlier but still “mid-level” demo of the tune, with no vocals. And thanks to Matt for the accompanying slideshow that won’t let us forget our current Medical Science nightmare :-) There is in fact an even earlier (earliest?) demo of this tune that’s not available to us right now; if and when I do “reacquire” it, we’ll add it to this page. But this version is a pretty good representation of the bones he settled on for the final CD version I’ve also included below some of his early brainstorming lyrics — where he’s working out rhymes and couplets, zeroing on wording choices, and working over segments that he’ll later stitch together into cohesive verses and choruses. Listening to Walter’s tapes as he’s writing a tune — a process also observed IRL — one thing you hear is while the basic track loops and he “free sings” his melody over it, he’s mainly scatting, but occasionally drops in a phrase or couplet. At some point he stops the loop, and you hear him writing in his notepad…and the next time the track loop starts, he’s now got a few more couplets…then another pause in the track, the sound of notebook rustling and writing, and then another looping track where larger segments of the lyrics have taken shape. And thus he fills and tweaks and constructs his way — updating and editing notebook pages as he goes — into one hell of a tale. It’s also always interesting for me to see his “asides” in his notebooks, or at the end of a computer file. These are often bits that he probably never means to turn into a lyric, necessarily, but are thoughts or images or expressions that set a mood, or especially, express an attitude. Watching him write (alone and with DF) you can see how these sometimes-extensive “emotional/attitudinal backstories” can play a very large part in the eventual construction of such psychologically deep, cohesive, and resonate narrative “voices”. (Teaser: We’ll see quite a bit more of this sort of thing in our next “Deep Dive”, now under construction) And speaking of the Medical Science lyrics: It’s occurred to us, as it may have to many of you, that we’ve heard songs of this general topic many times from Walter; Danger Zone, Darkling Down, and any number of other songs are narrated from within this particular maelstrom. But this time, he’s no longer in the morass himself, but has come out the other side. Now, he’s out of it, he’s past it … and observing pitiful others through the lens of experience. Thus, his commentary is soaked with knowledge of the all-too-certain outcome, the utter impotence of intervention…and, above all, with a sharp-edged anger and bitterness about what he’s watching as it all goes down. I’ve always found this lyrical stance particularly powerful and moving. Matt wisely observed it’s sort of like Couchriders In The Sky … but without any of the latter’s empathy and warmth. So when you queue up the final CD version, “Put your little snowshoes on. Then ask yourself: Is you or is you not The silly twit that time forgot? And prepare to hear One more sour disquisition (Put yourself in his position) [Click lyric pages to enlarge. Note: In some browsers, once you click the pic below and get it on a page, there are enlarge arrows on that page. SMH]
Medical Science (Demo) content media
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Moderator: D-Mod
Feb 14, 2022
In Everything Else
Thought I’d share a clip of an artist and a song that Walter loved. The artist is the sublime Marvin Gaye. But the song isn’t one of Gaye’s many Valentine-appropriate paeans to “erotic fantasies” (Gaye’s phrase) but rather an amazing live rendition of his iconic What’s Going On? —with a segue into his What’s Happening Brother. This 1972 performance in Chicago was released as part of the 1973 documentary Save The Children, and is interspersed with non-performance segments. It can be found on YouTube in several edit variations. But this clip, IMO, shows what needs to be shown. Some folks think What’s Going On is all about the studio production — the layered vocals, the echos and effects, the strings, the “everything is everything” ambient chatter — and while all these production features and more do indeed weave themselves into a tapestry of emotional innovation and power, this live rendition reveals the song, and Gaye’s gargantuan talent, in all their “naked” glory. But the real V-Day gift for Walter is the appearance of his absolute bass hero: the great James Jamerson. Seeing him in an occasional two-shot, and hearing him so beautifully audible throughout, is a rare treat. Happy Valentine’s Day, Walter. And may all those who mark the day find something that opens the heart ... and someone to share it with.
V-Day Offering to my Favorite Ghost content media
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Moderator: D-Mod
Nov 06, 2021
In Everything Else
WB's "Outbound Notebook System" — predates the first Mac Laptop by a couple of months
Early(iest?) Adopter content media
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Moderator: D-Mod
Sep 29, 2021
In Everything Else
The 55: The premier NYC jam and hang dive bar, if ever there was one. Before Donald and Walter went there to hear a certain Keith Carlock play with the Wayne Krantz Trio — and the rest, of course, is history — I went there on my own and heard a certain Keith Carlock play with the Wayne Krantz Trio. Mind Blown, natch. But well before even that — in the mid ‘80s, to be exact — I was among fellow patrons enjoying the scene and the great music there. Keith may have been but a southern skin-bashing whippersnapper at that point ... but the ground was being well-tilled for his arrival and indeed for decades more of major music history -- not to mention continuous general ribaldry and joy. There’s really no spot like it in the city, and its storied place in the socio-musical bedrock of NY music is unrivaled -- in my experience anyway. Hell, it’s even next door to the freaking Stonewall, for pete’s sake! But now as is the case with so many cherished establishments and institutions, The 55 is struggling to survive. I ask you to consider visiting the 55 Bar website and/or their GoFundMe page and, if you can swing it and are so moved, toss a couple dineros towards preserving this utterly unique spot in the life of the city that never weeps. Even "a quahta" would help. But may I suggest: a buck three-eighty might be an appropriate amount Thanks, D
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Moderator: D-Mod
Sep 15, 2021
In Everything Else
(cf snl )
More cowbell!  content media
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Moderator: D-Mod
Sep 03, 2021
In wbuniversity
The library of Walter Becker University includes a Master List of WB Credits which includes a Discography. Here’s the Discography. Want to discuss it? Have at it here.
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Moderator: D-Mod
Sep 03, 2021
In wbuniversity
The library of Walter Becker University includes a Master List of WB Credits, which includes those for Lead Guitar. Here’s the lead guitar credits list. Want to discuss it? Have at it here.
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Moderator: D-Mod
Sep 03, 2021
In wbuniversity
The library of Walter Becker University includes a Master List of WB Credits which includes those for Bass Guitar. Here’s the bass credits list. Want to discuss it? Have at it here.
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Moderator: D-Mod
Sep 03, 2021
In wbuniversity
The library of Walter Becker University includes a Master List of WB Credits which includes a list of Songwriting authorships. Here’s the songwriting list. Want to discuss it? Have at it here. NOTE: also see the pre-existing Brill Building Becker Forum, which includes discussion of some WB-penned songs recorded by others
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Moderator: D-Mod
Sep 03, 2021
In wbuniversity
The library of Walter Becker University includes a Master List of WB Credits which includes a list of WB Guest Appearances. Here’s the Guest Appearances list. Want to discuss it? Have at it here
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Moderator: D-Mod

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