Tagged: Stevie Wonder

Let Me Tell You About Chach

Every winter, when I travel home to West Des Moines, Iowa to celebrate Christmas with my family, I also take part in a “reunion concert” of sorts with some old friends from high school. Fourteen years ago, just before packing up my bags and heading to Berklee, I teamed up with some other members of my high school jazz band to find a way to get into bars without a fake ID. The solution? Start a funk band. And give it a really bad name.

At first we were called Pushin’ Chunky. Then we were D.I.M. (Drunkards In Motion). Several years ago, we somehow transitioned into the rather unfortunate moniker, Chach. Our name may change a lot, but the set list never really does. Stocked full of quintessential bar-funk-soul-r&b-band standards such as Sex Machine, Superstition, Everybody’s Everything and Pass The Peas, it’s three hours of music that we can pull off on an annual basis… without a single rehearsal. Consistent? Yes. Tight? Eh. Tight enough.

Chach - Circa '95 - Excuse the shirts.
Chach - Circa '95 - Excuse the shirts.

Loop #104

In preparation for this year’s Chach-fest, I’ve been brushing up on the ‘ol funk chops. Today’s loop is one of the many Kenwood-esque grooves that will be making the annual appearance down on Court Avenue. Two measures, some swung sixteenth notes and an open hi hat on the “one”. It’s what the best bar bands are made of. And yes, it looks like I finally quit the drum replacer habit.

Preview Here:

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95 BPM

Gruss Loops on Primetime TV!

My good friend, tv and film composer extraordinaire, Will Bates, just informed me that some Gruss Loops will be featured tomorrow night on VH1’s live special, Divas. The show is being hosted by the shit bat-crazy one and only, Paula Abdul, and will feature live performances from Cindy Lauper, Jennifer Hudson, Kelly Clarkson, Miley Cyrus and the first person l think of when I hear the word “diva”, Stevie Wonder. I was wondering when Miley and Stevie would finally work together.

Paual Abdul
Paual Abdul

Anyway, sandwiched between Paula’s incoherent rambling and Stevie’s diva-ing, listen for some beats from Gruss Loops Volume III (now available in the back issue store) as well as a mix of fills and breakdowns from previous packs.

Slaughtering Stevie.

Every 2.3 seconds, somewhere in the world, a song by Stevie Wonder is slaughtered. From the bar band in Akron, Ohio to the wedding band in Pasadena, California, classic songs such as “You Are the Sunshine of My Life” and “I Wish” are being taking out back, waterboarded and then hacked to pieces in such a horrific manner, even Jeffrey Dahmer would wince.

Stop the madness.
Stop the madness.

I’ll admit, I’ve taken part in such crimes. I was young and needed the money. At the time, my only options were to wear a tuxedo and murder timeless songs or get a job at Guitar Center. It was an easy choice, but one that still haunts me to this day. I often wake up in the middle of the night screaming, then roaming the bedroom, looking for extra scraps from the catering table.

Cold-blooded killers.
Cold-blooded killers.

Loop #39
Today’s loop is a Stevie-esque groove. My hope is that you take this beat and slaughter your own version of Stevie Wonder tunes in the private confines of your own home. If I can prevent just one person from performing a bad cover of “Superstition” in public, I might start sleeping peacefully again.

Preview Here:

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87 BPM