Sunday, December 28, 2014

My Top Albums of 2014

PCarlson FlushingAve WIlliamsburg 2014

What a year of music! Between some awesome concerts and surprise music releases, 2014 proved to be the year of comeback tours and promising new faces in music. Here are my favorite new albums of 2014.

Robert Plant and the Senstational Spaceshifters - Lullaby ... and the Ceaseless Roar. Plant's tenth, and possibly, best solo album was released on September 8th to wide praise. The album captures his successful journey away from Zeppelin and his embrace of deep American blues. Faves: Rainbow and Poor Howard.

U2 - Songs of Innocence. U2's thirteenth album and surprise release, this one was seemingly either loved or hated. As I listen to it more, it is slowly becoming one of my favorite U2 albums. It's a mixture of those sounds of innocence, the Boy days. But again Bono tackles tough issues such as controversial events in the Troubles, re-wrote song lyrics based on current events, and even addresses himself and where he has gone in life. Faves: Sleep Like a Baby Tonight and The Troubles.

Umphrey's McGee - Similar Skin. The eighth studio album form this Chicago super jam-tronic group is nothing short of the embodiment of jam-tronic music today. The constantly touring band, known for their face melting shows, hit the mark with this album. But do yourselves a favor, go see them live. These songs become an amalgam of old and new Umphrey's with their always welcomed cover built in. Faves: Puppet String, No Diablo, and Bridgeless.

First Aid Kit - Stay Gold. These Swedish folk sisters took the airwaves - and video waves by storm with the release of their hit, Silver Lining, their album (a tribute to Abba) Stay Gold began to climb in popularity. The album is rich with folk sounds and their golden, harmonious voices. Faves: Silver Lining and Stay Gold.

Vance Joy - Dream Your Life Away. The Aussies have again given us some great new talent. His catchy song Riptide, released before his album, helped the momentum of his popularity. The songs are simple and melodic - his videos are unique to say the least. Faves: Riptide and All I Ever Wanted

Hozier - Hozier. You remember when you first heard it. You thought it was Elton John or maybe even someone covering Sir Elton. But no, this uber talented Irish singer gave us one of the best songs of 2014. This was the best review of Hozier's debut that I found: Simon Harper of Clash magazine commented that
His voice, more poitín-sweetened than whiskey-soaked, caresses delicate melodies and rougher rhythms alike with confidence – it lingers compellingly in the creeping blues of 'To Be Alone', whispers prettily in the folky 'Like Real People Do', and preaches fervently in the ragged R&B of 'Jackie And Wilson'.
Faves: Take Me to Church and Angel of Small Death and the Codeine Scene. His video for Take Me to Church is just as important, openly tackling the issues of homophobia and the importance of love.

Nicole Atkins - Slow Phaser. Nicole created this masterpiece on her own Mercy Me record label - and it packs a large punch of sounds you might not have expected to hear from this Jersey girl.
Slow Phaser is a dark, desert disco rock album made during a year of wandering about in city alleys, broken shores and snowy Viking lands,” said Atkins. “I wanted to turn the lights up just enough to dance through the darkness. It's a welcomed new approach and I welcome more songs about her journeys.
Faves: Girl You Look Amazing and What Do You Know.

George Ezra - Wanted on Voyage. Upon first look, you don't expect to hear Ledbelly or even Johnny Cash come out of this charming British boy's lungs. But behold, George's voice is big and soulful. His freshman album is getting critical acclaim and they are already hungry for his second album. Faves: Budapest and Listen to the Man.

Paolo Nutini - Caustic Love. While Scot Paolo has been around awhile, it is his April release that has people talking. He is now my Scottish Otis Redding.  His third album is jazzy and soulful and flew up the UK and Irish charts. You can find him on constant rotation on XM's Sirius Spectrum. Faves: Let Me Down and One Day.

Ray LaMontagne - Supernova. I have often described Ray's voice as a full body massage for my soul. His fifth album is my favorite. It's a varied sound for this New Hampshire Native. Compare 2004's song Trouble to 2014's Supernova and you can see that he's trying to get out of his musical safe zone and what people expect. Songs like Lavender are brimming with 70's grooves and Airwaves reminds me of a Loggins and Messina B-Side.  Faves: Supernova and Drive in Movies.
Mary J Blige - The London Sessions. Another album leaked online, this reminds everyone of early 2000's Mary, with it's pure R&B grooves. It's simple, truthful, and a welcome back to some pure R&B sounds from Ms. Blige. Faves: Therapy and Nobody But You.

Buffo's Wake - Carniphobia. When they reached out to me and said, hey, can you take a listen to our album? I knew I started this blog for the right reasons. This Brighton Beach UK gypsy punk band is - unique. And I love them. Their debut album, Carniphobia, lives up to all expectation. This is how I described them in the blog: Imagine you are the central character in an Edgar Allan Poe story. Now, add some accordions, a carnival, a Gypsy Punk soundtrack, and have Tim Burton direct it all. Welcome to Buffo's Wake. Faves: Merrick and Sold to the Circus

I hope you've all had a great 2014 - and I cannot thank you all enough for the reads and feedback. Here is to your hopes, dreams, and a musical 2015!!!



Monday, December 1, 2014

Drowning Man

 Five seasons ago the world met Daryl Dixon. A character not in the comic series, The Walking Dead. While he auditioned for the role of Merle, Norman Reedus won over the writers and created Merle a brother named Daryl. In season one, we met an angry redneck who hated just about everything. We didn’t “know” Daryl. As the seasons progressed, we got to know Daryl just as Daryl was beginning to know himself.

Now, most of us figured he was just as much of a jerk as his racist brother. Why on earth would anyone be upset that an ass like Merle was missing? But when you think about it, that ass was all Daryl had. It was the only type of family he understood. Enter Rick Grimes.

Rick was patient with Daryl. Even when Daryl went off and pouted in a tent on the Greene Family Farm in Season two, Rick let Daryl be Daryl. As a sheriff in King County Georgia, I’m sure Rick ran across a lot of Daryl Dixons. But just like a beaten down dog, with respect comes respect.  As Daryl saw that law enforcement and people in general were not bad; that a nice gesture was not a trap; a mistake didn’t get you a beating, he began to join the group. Rick could be seen as the father figure to Daryl in the earlier seasons, but now they could be considered brothers.

When Andrea accidentally shot Daryl, around the same time millions of hearts were broken with the episode Cherokee Rose (Season 2, Episode 4), we see a once beaten down Carol try to thank Daryl for his kindness. A kiss that looked as painful as any switch Mr. Dixon used on them, Daryl looked so uncomfortably painful at any gesture of kindness,  probably because it seems that once Daryl has something nice, it’s taken away.
While Daryl’s father and brother were abusive, we only know that his mother died tragically in a fire set by her own cigarettes. We don’t know if she cared for Daryl, but we’re pretty sure she was beaten as well. We saw Daryl open up emotionally with Carol, holding her back when Sofia was lost.
We do know that Daryl does not like quitters. We see him comment negatively anytime they come across someone who gave up and committed suicide. This brings us to Daryl’s relationship with Beth Greene. Beth was a weakling when he met her. She was looking for that easy way out when all hell was beginning to break lost on the farm. A 180 from Daryl Beth was sheltered and the world was too harsh, sad, and hard for her.  But like Daryl, Beth had to change to survive. The prison was her training. When it was just Beth and Daryl after the prison falls (Season 5, Episode 4, Still), Beth knows she won’t get a sympathetic ear from Daryl. She even says to him I know you look at me and see another dead girl.  But Beth fought and even got Daryl to talk a little - get a little angry. He opened up to Beth and that forged a bond that he's never probably had.
But why do we love Daryl Dixon? It is our empathy and sympathy for those tragic characters. Think back about how you felt about John bender (Judd Nelson) in The Breakfast Club.

Maybe it’s the desire to find something good in someone bad. The tragic character’s flaws are usually caused by some awful experience and deep down inside there is a gifted, caring individual that can be freed from the bonds of their past abuse.
This is why we love Daryl Dixon. We’ve seen him suffer, watched him heal, but damn, Sofia and Beth make us feel even more  sorry for this guy to seem to take two steps forward and is pushed ten steps back.
When Norman Reedus posted the instagram of the U2 song, Drowning Man, I knew someone was going to die. The lyrics, just by reading them could bring a person to tears. But the background of the song makes Norman’s choice even more beautifully poetic. When War was recorded, U2 was at a cross roads – The Edge, Larry, and Bono were all very religious, Adam Clayton, not so much. The reference to a drowning man is Adam’s faith and Bono and the boys trying to save him. Is Dayl Dixon at his crossroads, drowning in the question of why he allows himself to care so deeply for anyone.  
Drowning Man
Take my hand
You know I'll be there
If you can
I'll cross the sky for your love
For I have promised
Oh, to be with you tonight
And for the time that will come

Take my hand
You know I'll be there
If you can
I'll cross the sky for your love
And I understand
These winds and tides
This change of times
Won't drag you away
Hold on, and hold on tightly
Hold on, and don't let go
Of my love

The storms will pass (the storm will pass)
It won't be long now (it won't be long now)
His love will last
His love will last...forever

Take my hand
You know I'll be there
If you can
I'll cross the sky for your love
Give you what I hold dear

Hold on, hold on tightly
Hold on, hold on tightly
Rise up, rise up
With wings like eagles
You run, you run
You run and not grow weary

(take my hand, take my hand)
Hold on, and hold on tightly
Hold on, hold on tightly
To this love...last forever
To this love...last forever

Take my hand  

Friday, November 21, 2014

Love One Another~George Harrison

The nicest thing is to open the newspapers and not to find yourself in them ~GH

Love One Another -- Those were the final words of George Harrison, The Quiet Beatle, fifteen years ago this November 29th. George is my favorite Beatle. His ability to stay so positive enlightens me.

George didn't write much as a Beatle - but, I personally think he wrote some of their best songs: Something, While my Guitar Gently Weeps, and Old Brown Shoe. It wasn't until after Beatledom that the real George Harrison was revealed - he was funny, true to his beliefs, a talented gardener and he could write beautiful, meaningful songs.

He beat Bob Geldof to the first "super concert" for humanitarian relief. The Concert for Bangladesh was held in August of 1971 at Madison Square Garden with Starr, Clapton, Dylan, Preston, Russell, and Badfinger. He used the power of music to do something good (this good also included trying to keep Clapton alive for one more weekend).

When I get angry, frustrated, uptight, usually all three when I am on the subway, I throw on some Harrison. I wonder if he knew what impact his life and music would have on others. He gives me peace on earth -- and my fellow subway riders should thank him.
The recent documentary on George is  a revealing glimpse into this Beatle. There was  also a preview in Rolling Stone that included and interview with his son Dhani, whom at one point in his childhood was convinced his dad was just a gardener:
             He's probably laughing at me, says Dahni, saying "That's what it's supposed to look like. You don't build a garden for yourself, right now - you build a garden for future generations". My father definitely had a long view.

The love and light that George Harrison brought into this world is definitely seen in The Concert For George. His many friends gave the perfect tribute to this man, this musician and even comedian.

When I think of George Harrison - I think of love and of peace. I also see someone who would have been happy just tending to his garden. I also think of the final scenes of Goodfellas (had a deja vu moment with this in Bay Ridge -- but that is another blog post).

I am partial to this Harrison song -- this version is one of my wedding songs:  

Saturday, November 15, 2014

In No Particular Order

It is no secret that I love the band U2. While as of late I have questioned their sticking with the same sound for way too long, I refuse to give up on them. So I went on what Larry Mullen Jr would call "A musical journey." I have gone back into the songs that no one particularly knows (thank for the idea, Rolling Stone).

So in no particular order...

Miss Sarajevo
While this song was released on the 1995 Passengers album (a U2 side project with Brian Eno), it found its spotlight in the concert Pavarotti and Friends. The song is a tribute to life going on during war in Bosnia. More specifically, life and beauty continuing during times of ugly war. It's chorus of Here she comes borrowed from Here She Comes, Miss America,

Love Comes Tumbling
This is perhaps one of my favorite U2 songs. Recorded in 1985 for the album Wide Away in America, it gives you a hint at their new sound that is evolving into what will eventually become their signature Joshua Tree sound. I don't know if it is the mysterious and echoing sounds or Bono's haunting voice, or Adam's bass line. (the video I used below is from an obvious Larry Mullen Jr fan).

Trash, Trampoline, and the Party Girl
Rarely played and most known for it's live version on Under a Blood Red Sky, Trash Trampoline, and the Party Girl is most commonly known as Party Girl. It is possibly one of the few U2 songs about silliness and fun.
Rewind to Fleet Week in Midtown in 2003 in a place called TJ Keanes. The hubby and a friend were trying to find all the Grateful Dead songs on the juke and I was rehashing lines from Some Mother's Son with Brian Mallon. Lots of Guinness and lots of the whiskey. The next day, while I was retreating to the couch, this song was played very loud and on repeat by my one and only.
 The Wanderer
Zooropa was not one of U2's most successful albums, but I think it is one of their most creative. Joining forces with Johnny Cash, the song is sad, contemplative look inwards at ones life. Using Cash, who had his demons, solidified the greatness of this song.
Stay (Faraway, So Close)
You can probably tell by now that Zooropa is one of my favorite U2 albums. Stay (Faraway, So Close) is a gem. Bono was going through his Frank Sinatra obsession phase with this song - and it was also the time they partnered with Wim Wenders (who went on to make a film of the same title).
The video is gorgeous as the band plays angels walking amongst us.

Lady with the Spinning Head
One of U2's B sides, it could be a song about a roulette table. I think again inspired by the Sinatra-Vegas lifestyle, this song is simply catchy with it's la la's, techno teases and signature Edge guitar.

Pop was the home of Please, a song Bono described as "It's essentially about fundamentalism, political or religious. Religious fundamentalism is where you get to shrink God; you remake God in your own image, as opposed to the other way around.:  Similar to Achtung Baby's :Love is Blindness, this song talks about the love of nation, love enough to kill. It was released during the Northern Ireland Peace Process. 

 'Cause love is big and love is tough
But love is not what you're thinking of

It would be September of 2001, when this song would seem foretelling and make this song relevant again.  
Streets capsizing
Spilling over
Down the drain
Shards of glass
Splinters like rain
But you could only feel
Your own pain
The end of the song, with the build up and the Apprentice Boys like drumming, my own opinion, is very reminiscent of the Parades that bring violence each year to the North.

The Ground Beneath Her Feet
This is possibly one of my favorites and probably the least well known of the U2 songs. From their sad trek into moviemaking, this song is from the Million Dollar Hotel soundtrack. Soundtrack was phenomenal, the movie was abysmal.
The song builds like the desperate love that seems lost. A nod to Rushdie's novel of the same name, the song uses lines from the novel. I myself have borrowed from this song. I love the song as well because it as close to the old U2 that we have heard in ... forever, which is since 1988's Rattle and Hum.
One Shot of Happy (Two Shots of Sad)
U2's tribute to Bono's good friend Frank Sinatra is simple and beautiful. They should really do this more often. It can be found on the b-side to If God Will Send His Angels.
Spanish Eyes
And I love the way you're mean to me
And I need you
Bono doesn't write many love songs to his wife Ali, but this might be the best (I am not really a fan of The Sweetest Thing).


Friday, November 14, 2014

Name Five Songs You Couldn't Live Without

Nikki Sixx from Motley Crue is one of my new writing  inspirations. I don't know if you have checked him out lately, but he is constantly challenging his fans - asking questions, opinions, and sending teasers and quizzes. This question stumped me: Name five songs you couldn't live without.


Being a person with over 10,000 songs on their iPod alone I turned the question into: you can only chose five songs to listen to for the rest of your life - what would they be and why?

Instead of songs first, my mind went to bands. which five bands/singers could I not live without. Easy:

Led Zeppelin      U2      Jeff Buckley      Beatles      Stevie Ray Vaughan

Yes there are runner-ups and I could have cheated to say Band Aid is my fave band and cover Bono, Sting, Boy George, Phil Collins, Duran, George Michael -- you get the point.

Okay- from the top:

Led Zeppelin. Many would immediately say Stairway to Heaven and so do I - but why?  The song has so much to offer. You have the acoustic beginning, slow, inviting, romantic. you feel as if you are walking up the stairs of a castle staircase lit by giant wall sconces. then jimmy page turns on the amp. The song begins to come alive and plant begins singing about hedgerows and pipers and queens. plant truly was a lord of the rings nerd -- and I love it. But wait. Page seduces us with the amazing solo building building building until .... the golden god puts us over the top, pushing the limit until we can't take it any more. The song, breathlessly quiets again, whispering in our ear. My close second, is The Rain Song ... a song with ups and downs but minus the hobbits, rings and hedgerows. Here is a great cover of the song by Heart

Moving along: U2. Okay this was tough since U2 has so many different vibes. I am a fan of all u2 but more so old U2. the pure, oft cold notes of the early Edge are my favorite. Yes, I am a fan of mullet bono. I am torn on this one. I love the sultry smooth, bass laden Love Comes Tumbling (the love song i prefer in my screen play if i ever finish it) but think those notes of I Threw a Brick Through a Window captures the real and young U2. It captures the angry, young frustrated at the world U2. Edge's solo in this song is different than many but is still signature edge. this band had no idea what was in front of them at this point.

Oh next - Jeff Buckley. Who can ever forget where they heard his angelic voice for the first time? If he would have lived, he would have shown us a thing or two about how music should be. I reserve this spot for that song -- the song we never heard from Jeff. I would hope it would be performed with Joan Wasser and Robert Plant.

Beatles:  Pop, psychedelic, groundbreaking, trippy. I hesitate to pick my real faves since they are all really John or George songs (Across the Universe or Something) so I will go with A Day in the Life. This song is filled with so many references of the time, from the crashing of Tara Browne's car to Timothy Leary. The middle piece by McCartney somehow oddly fits in - but so out of place and happy go lucky about everyday life....woke up.

And Stevie Ray: I still chase your ghost. I will never not go see someone play and yes I have my list. a gifted guitarist lost in his prime. he put so much of himself in his music - he lived every chord, every note. there are the standard Pride and Joy or House is Rockin, but Life Without You is the one that gets me. his guitar truly sings in the solo - his emotions evident every time he played this song. 

So this is my list - not shocking but missing many musicians I love and songs I cannot fathom every not knowing.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Jeff Buckley ... Everyone's Lover

Jeff Buckley was best described the other night at the Annual New York City Tribute as everyone's lover. That statement could not be more true. Everyone at Arlene's had their "first time I heard Jeff" story, akin to comparing our first night to a sensous lover. Everyone knows where they were the first time they heard his angelic voice.

Jeff Buckley 1966-1997

What I loved about the event that Robert Urban puts together each year is that it isn't just a carbon copy of's songs that Jeff performed and
loved. Starting off with Zeppelin's Kashmir and The Rain Song, the night continued with incredible artists such as Elijah Black, Tracy Stark, Randy Jones, Jason Morris, Tanya Holt, Marcus Simeone, and Gretchen Reinhagen. We heard Everybody Hear Wants You and Mojo Pin covered by Tara Lynne, some Dylan, some Billie Holiday, and Maya Solovey and guests performed gorgeous renditions of So Real, Lilac Wine, and Lover, You Should Have Come Over.  The biggest surprise was hearing Yard of Blonde Girls, covered beautifully by Mike Linkens. Hearing Hallelujah as a duet was simple something none of us had EVER thought of and it was nothing short of magical and Jeff would have loved it.

So another year goes by and more folks are discovering the wonder of Jeff that we have all known and loved for years. His mystery will always draw people to him, his famous father deepens the enigma, and we will always wonder what would have become of Jeff. I couldn't imagine where Jeff would have taken us if he had lived to be 48 ... guess that's why he'll remain our Mystery White Boy. Happy 48th Jeff.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

I Haven't Forgotten About Yinz All

Greetings all ... I haven't forgotten about you all. I've just been very, very, very, very, busy at work. Very. Busy. But I still have gotten to shows and book signings. Eventually I will post about some amazing Robert Plant shows, the Freedom at 20 Concert with Hugh Masekela,  Vusi Mahlasela, and Dave Matthews, and meeting Joe Perry.

And there is so much music to come! Culture Club, the annual Jeff Buckley birthday tribute, and planning for New Year's with Elton John, mi familia Gogol Bordello, not to mention several night's with Railroad Earth, and planning for next year's music festivals.

It's also almost holiday time, so don't worry, we'll be looking at some of those classic, and not so classic tunes. I am also going to share my thoughts on why I am starting to cringe when I go to concerts -- or rather, when I go to watch people film the performers I'm trying to watch. We're at the tipping point folks. Love your opinions on this.

And now for something completely random

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Control Your Life Through Insanity

Control your life through insanity ~Cliff Burton

Bass players. The ones always left in the dust. Akin to background singers, you don't realize you know or sing a long to more of their parts than to the lead. I happen to love the bass and the fine folks to play it. Without the bass, the song is not complete. So here in NO ORDER are some of my favorites - the underdog of the music world - here is to the bass player.

Bobby Dall - Poison

Okay, so sort of no order. Bobby is where my bass crush started.  It was Bobby's neon green BC Rich bass, the constant cigarette in his mouth, and THAT melody. Call it the pre-Justice Metallica syndrome, a lot of bass is turned way down and you can't appreciate what it really gives to the songs. And that hair --   

Berry Oakley - Allman Brothers

The signature of Whipping Post is Berry's opening bass line. In his 24 short years on this planet, he created some of the most memorable bass riffs of the jam scene. As a founding member of the Allman Brothers, he laid the foundation of a band that will see its touring end this year.

Tal Wilkenfeld

I've seen the Aussie play with the Allman's and Jeff Beck. You will lose your soul to her bass lines. She is smooth jazz and soul.  She's played with the who's who of rock: Jimmy Page, Sting, Prince, and Eric Clapton to name a few.

Carol Kaye
You don't realize you've heard this woman dozens of times. Have you heard LaBamba? Sloop John B? River Deep Montain High? Or watch shows like Kojak, Hogan's Heroes, or the Cosby Show? That is the infamous Carol Kaye.

Charles Mingus
One of the most prolific bass players of the 20th century, he personified  racial tensions into melodic, haunting, jazz songs. He was not only a bass player, but a composer, creating dozens of well known jazz recordings.

Gail Ann Dorsey
You like David Bowie? Then you know Gail. She performed bass and sang with David Bowie for many years. She's also played with the following artists: Boy George,  Gwen Stefani, , Seal, , ani difranco and Dar Williams.

Ryan Stasik
The bassist extraordinaire band co-founder from Umphrey's McGee, he oozes cool, plays hot, and fashions a stache that Magnum PI would pay for. Did I mention he ALSO loves Pittsburgh sports as much as yours truly. He' given UM some of their tightest, funkiest bass lines to songs like 1348, In the Kitchen, and Mantis. You like Metallica, the Grateful Dead, and Hall and Oates ... check out Mr. Stasik and Umphrey's McGee.

Ian Fraser "Lemmy" Kilmister, bassist and coun-founder of Motörhead is a no-nonsense, slightly unintelligible rock god. You can thanks the Beatles for Lemmy, as they were his first inspiration. While writing some of rocks most well known songs, including some for Ozzy Osbourne, it would be Motörhead's cover of Metallica's Whiplash that would win them their first Grammy and Whiplash was inspired by Motorhead!!!  How fucking cool is that Cliff Burton?? Mind blown. \m/ \m/

John Taylor - Duran Duran
John is more than just a pretty (really really pretty) face, he is co-founder and creator of some of the most famous 80's songs. Rio, Hungry Like the Wolf, Union of the Snake ...take a close listen at that bass riff. He can also be found writing and acting while he isn't catching up with Duran on tour.

Rachel Bolan - Skid Row
One of my first crushes, Rachel, sweet Rachel, you brought us Youth Gone Wild, Piece of Me, nose chains, and a thankful look back that we didn't get on that motorcycle as tempting as you were (one motorcycle doesn't work with two friends who understand not leaving your wingman).

Nikki Sixx - Motely Crue, Sixx A.M.
Nikki Sixx has become somewhat of a hero to me. He admits his mistakes, is a gifted photographer, writer, musician, and family man. He's open about his past and is ready for his post-Motley Crue future. He is the writer behind most of Motley's hits. 

Cliff Burton - Metallica
One of my favorite bassists of all time. Cliff brought the bass to the forefront of the band. He made the bass sound like it was the lead guitar. After his brother's death, he promised he would practice and become the best bassist player for him. I think he fulfilled that promise. What would have become of Cliff if we had not lost him in 1986 at the age of 24?

Phil Lynott - Thin Lizzy
Yet another co-founding band bassist. Phil was also lead singer and songwriter for the band known for their songs such as Whiskey in the Jar, Boys are Back in Town, and Jailbreak. This Irish band was diverse not only in culture but in religion as well - making them a ground breaking no-borders type of rock band.

Les Claypool -
Primus, Frog Brigade, Oysterhead
THE man ... what a funky, slappin' bass this man plays. We all met him in Primus, the unforgettable sound of that funky bass revved up like Jerry's race car. And yeah, don't forget - it's good ole Les singing the South Park intro.  He can also he heard with Stewart Copeland and Trey Anastasio under the guise of Oysterhead (pig mask and all).

Flea - Red Hot Chili Peppers
Michael Peter Balzary ... who??
FLEA! He is perhaps one of the most influential bass the world. His style of bass slapping and funk jamming has been copied and imitated across all spectrums of music. Not only is he the co-founder of RHCP, but he has played in numerous other bands lending his talent, he acts, he runs a music conservatory for underprivileged kids ... AND - he runs marathons! What is not to love about the man?

Rhonda Smith
Her style definitely has Flea and Les Claypool inspiration as well as her own jazzy touch. She's played with Jeff Beck and Prince and can hold her own as you will see with this clip. She's a singer and songwriter who has not only played with George Clinton and Chaka Khan, her own band Karma Deuce has toured worldwide.  

John Paul Jones- Led Zeppelin
No, you never think of John Paul Jones when you think of Led Zeppelin. He's the Ringo Starr of Zep. But behind all of Jimmy's riffs, Bonzo's beats, and Roberts shrills, you'll here this -- pure rhythm bass tying together all of the hedgerows of Mordor.

Sting - The Police
It's no secret I love Sting. Love his attitude, his perfectionist ways, his philanthropy, and I love his bass. He is true Brit, an artist, and can actually write a good biography. What I also like about the man is that he takes chances both musically and in life. Carry on Sting.

Krist Novoselic - Nirvana
Sounding like a broken record, Krist is a the bass player and co-founder of Nirvana. See - bass players will get you places. His life post-Nirvana has included becoming involved in politics and simple farm living. He does occasionally play with former Nirvana member, Dave Grohl and Foo Fighters.

Tommy Shannon - Double Trouble
While Stevie Ray did (rightfully) take all the limelight, it was Tommy keeping up diligently with Stevie.

Jeff Ament -
Green River, Mother Love Bone, Temple of the Dog, Pearl Jam
This basketball-loving bass player from Montana was a key player in the two bands that would help grunge evolve into what eventually became Pearl Jam. How?
Green River - Seattle band. Jeff was joined by Stone Gossard. Band breaks up and Jeff and Stone meet the most phantasmorasmic frontman, Andrew Wood ❤️, and form Mother Love Bone. Andrew goes to Olympus and Jeff and Stone meet up with Mike McCready and are asked by Andrew's roommate, Chris Cornell,  to sing some of Andrew's unfinished songs with him in a band named Temple of the Dog. At the same time Jeff and Stone were auditioning singers for their next band and they liked this guy Eddie Vedder - who sang Hungerstrike with TotD, everyone loved it and {mindblown} Pearl Jam was born.

Andy Fletcher - Depeche Mode
Another co-founder and bassist, Andy Fletcher's role within the band is always touted and speculated ... In a key scene in D.A. Pennebaker's 1989 documentary 101, Fletcher clarifies these roles: "Martin's the songwriter, Alan's the good musician, Dave's the vocalist, and I bum around."
He has essentially done everything (even produce and manage) but sing.

Oh yeah, and don't forget this chap!
Paul McCartney - The Beatles, Wings

Take a listen to McCartney's incredible, seamless bass line on Rain.