Preemptive Post-Apocalyptic Musical Challenge: Turn Off The Juice!


Now, I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but I do believe that curiosity killed the cat and that we humans are the cat.  Curiosity is great.  Why, I remember a few gals in college (DePaul University, FTW!) whose -ahem- curiosity was incredibly educational (and fun) for this innocent bloke from the sticks.  Now, I certainly have no problem with curiosity between consenting adults, but the truth is that we humans can never do anything in moderation and our ceaseless curiosity to see what happens if we let computers run everything is going to be the end of us.

Look, if even Bill Gates is worried about this, then we should probably start smelling the coffee, too.

"Artificial Intelligence" is thiiiiiiiiiiiis close to capturing humanity's ability to lie.  Do you know what shit will hit the fan when we can no longer trust our own computers?  GAME OVER.

What does any of this have to do with music and your band, you ask?

When we have to bring down the grid to kill the machines, let me tell you, your synthesizer will still look as snazzy onstage at the Metro but it won't work for shit because, duh, we had to, you know, do away with electricity.  Thankfully, guitars, drums, horns and pianos will work just fine without electricity and women will still be moved to dance to those savvy bands able to adjust to an "unplugged" world.



Even if the machines don't enslave us anytime soon, going "unplugged" is still a great way to become a better musician, band, or singer.  Whether we like to admit it, amplification, distortion, and a wall of digital effects are often crutches lesser musicians rely upon to hide their deficiencies.
Hello, auto-tune anyone?

"But I'm in a Cookie Monster metal band..."

Yeah so?  If you can name one acoustic act where the singer wails like everybody's cookie-loving muppet, then I will eat my hat.  You get to be the first.  Do it now and you'll be huge, truth be told. "Cookie Monster Country" is the future of music.

All half-joking aside, going acoustic for an hour or so every rehearsal might never lead you to go unplugged onstage anytime soon, but it will literally force you to become better as players and as a band.



Plus, once you get used to it, it'll be fun.

To do it right, I mean REALLY do it right, you and you're band need to turn off ALL the fucking juice in the room.  Sure, leave the mini-fridge plugged in, no need to get crazy, but DO turn off all iPhones, laptops, amps, monitors, recorders, and lights.

Wait, even the lights?

Yes, the lights, too.  Get some damn candles, people.  You'll be amazed at how atmospheric a few candles can make a room.  You'll know when you've succeeded at "creating a mood" when women actually start wanting to hang out in your rehearsal room.  

Bands who rely heavily on samples, drum machines, and treated synths are basically fucked, but a real keyboardist will already have an acoustic

The first thing you'll notice is that there are some things going on performance-wise that you had no idea were happening.  Like maybe the bass player and rhythm guitarist are hitting a note at different times that they need to be hitting together, or somebody's harmony vocal is flat, sharp, or they're singing the wrong lyrics altogether.



The second thing you'll notice is a complete lack of nuance on everybody's part.  Playing all-out leaves no room for subtlety so you find yourself projecting - playing to be heard.  This applies not just to metal, but to all live bands.  Yes, even to you, Polkaholics.

Drummers will finally find a use for those brushes they've had in their drum bag forever, enabling them to work all sorts of new shades into their playing.  They'll also realize that those busy multi-tom fills that sounded so great when Neil Peart did them sound ridiculous in the acoustic environment. Sure, you can still pull them out for effect when needed, but this newfound subtlety will become addictive to any musician striving to be the best, most expressive ARTIST they can be.

Hey, even Kurt Cobain and Nirvana went "unplugged"
Loud/quiet/loud may have worked for Nirvana, and the Pixies, and Big Black, and Naked Raygun, and Pelican, but there is SO MUCH ROOM left in the sonic spectrum to work real magic as a musician and band.

And here's the best part: When you plug in again after having done your acoustic exercise, you will play that much better and SOUND that much better.

Longtime fans will come up to you at your gigs and ask, "What did you guys do? You sound amazing!"

And if and when the grid goes down, you and your band will stand atop the post-apocalyptic landscape as the bringers of "Heavy Maple Thunder".

You're welcome.

Superior St. Rehearsal Facility

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