Category Archives: Basslines are sex

Gene Page, Hot City (Atlantic, 1974)

Gene 1

I officially hold office as the mayor of Know-It-All City, including the unincorporated areas of Anxietyburgh, Self-Loathing-Ville Because of my Undying Irrational Love of the NFL, and Feminism Township. When I put on my slinky blouse the color of delicious orange sherbet, however, I feel like I could also run Hot City like a real boss.

This record is far better than I thought it would be (sorry, Gene! Sorry, Barry!) and fills my apartment with lots of excellently throbby bass and string action. Get it.

(Not sure why I’m just not that into Don Renaldo/Philly Int’l strings, but I adore Arif Mardin’s and I have Unlimited Love for Barry White/Love Unlimited Orchestra strings. I am a complex creature.)

Paul and Linda McCartney, Ram (Apple, 1971)

Ram 1

Goddammit if I don’t love a singing bassist, plus Paul and I share a similar reverence for and complete fucking worship of black music, but the fact is he’s always seemed pretty bitchy to me and I can’t get past it. (Michael Jackson bought your shit? Here’s your bottle and blankie. Welcome to the music business.) The first 2 minutes of “Band on the Run” are pretty sweet but then I change the station, I can guarantee I’ll never buy a Wings record, and I laugh and laugh when I think about the musical year 1971 – Ram came out in May, upon which John Lennon said OH OK BITCH HERE YOU GO and released Imagine in September. Still, this is a sweet, harmless record with a cover that I’ve been itching to recreate for a while now. I also don’t regret buying this stuffed ram ‘cause now I can finally do that Black Sheep cover.



Can You Dig It? The Music and Politics of Black Action Films 1968-75 (Soul Jazz, 2009)

Comp Can You Dig It 1264“Not half, not some, but ALL my cash. Because if she don’t, I’ma put my foot

dead in her ass.”





Black Heat (Atlantic, 1972).

Black Heat 1-2

“Aw girl I know it’s dangerous to look directly at an eclipse but I can’t help but stare at CELESTIAL BODIES, youfeelme” – my future husband. Hopefully he’ll appreciate the fact that his wife and the RZA have the same taste in records. Hopefully.


Ohio Players, Contradiction (Mercury, 1976).

contradiction 3-2

Have you guys ever played a spirited round of “The Westbound Ohio Players were the best and here is why/No no you fool the Mercury Ohio Players were the fucking best and here is why”? When I’m drunk, this game is raucous and fun. When I’m not drunk, it’s the worst, and the people I’m playing against are always insufferable and don’t listen even though I make REALLY GOOD POINTS. (The situation’s the same when you play “Strata-East vs. Black Jazz” and “Human females collect and actually know shit about records: yes or no”: participants get heated, feelings get hurt.)

Anyway, I don’t have a solid position in the debate – it depends on whether I’m drinking rum or vodka and the evening’s phase of the moon and how Kobe’s knee is coming along and whether or not I’ve just listened to “Far East Mississippi”  – but I do know the song order on Contradiction is all fucked up (sluggish side A should be switched with banging side B), the guys sure rebounded nicely from their Junie split, “Far East Mississippi” is my cut, and yes, still, even after all these years, I will not hide the fact that I’d lovvvve to share the same astrological sign as Sugarfoot given my feelings about bass, but I’m still happy to be a fabulous Arian like my guys Satch and James. (Drums n’ horns are my side boyfriends when bass is out of town.)

The Brides of Funkenstein, Never Buy Texas From a Cowboy. Atlantic, 1979.


I believe the expression is “The bigger the headache, the bigger the pill.” Less popular but no less true is the expression “The bigger my love for Dr. Funkenstein, licensed administer of ear-canal narcotics including but not limited to rubbery bassline antidepressants, the greater the likelihood that I’m willing to forego monogamy and share my groom with my other sister-wives so we can blow the cobwebs out your mind.”

I wish George would give women a little wiggle room when it comes to roles – we are backup singers and side-project wives, and that’s it – but if I complain I’ll get kicked out of the family and he’ll easily find another fake wife to hit in the protons and make sure her hips keep moving. Having to share Dr. Funkenstein with some other ladies is better than no Funkenstein at all.



The Commodores, In the Pocket. Motown, 1981.

photo 4GODDAMN RECORD DOESN’T FIT IN MY POCKET, COMMODORES. YOUR ALBUM NAME IS STUPID. The handclaps and entire chord progression in “Lady” make up for it, though! I love youuuuu! xoxo.

[Besides, they’re most impressive OUT of the pocket, in front of a crowd – just like my man (or, more accurately, my mom’s man) Randall Cunningham! And, sigh, even though I’m a Raider fan I am contractually obligated SIGH to mention the unfortunately-tatted Colin Kaepernick when it comes to good scrambling QBs. I’m sick of the 9ers but Kap is pretty agile & smart; I’ll give him that. Plus at least he’s not my SWORN MORTAL ENEMY Philip Rivers, so there’s some silver lining.]

Special thank you to my personal Tom Jackson/Shannon Sharpe/Chris Berman/Deion/Jimmy the Greek (minus the obesity and the thighs comment). 

Minutemen, Double Nickels on the Dime. SST, 1984.

photo 2(1)Saw a bumper sticker that said, “LIKE MOST MUSICIANS, YOU’RE FOLLOWING A BASS PLAYER.” Mike Watt would probably cringe at that because being a solid, nice, socialist dude means you don’t think you’re any more important than the other members of the band. But c’mon. We all know about my feelings for bass. (Sam Jones is my boyfriend, remember?)

This one will never get bumped as often as anything on SteepleChase or Curtom or whatever but it’s one I am fully aware I should have as a human being with functioning ears to share with the children of the future. #MikeWatt #BASS #plaidbuttonups #JesusAndTequila #CCR #

DoYouWantNewWaveOrDoYouWantTheTruth #GodBowsToMath #DBoon #GeorgeHurley #jamecono #SSTRecords #RaymondPettibon #SanPedro #ArtPepper #Blu  #windshieldwipers #Toyota #hometowns #beachcities