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I am a Los Angeles-based twentysomething. I have a profession, and I have a secret life in music, and this blog isn't about any of that. I like Blogger because I can't read what you're thinking.

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Friday, November 12   >>

U2'S THE EDGE, JACK WHITE, AND GUITAR PHILOSOPHY

Rock documentary It Might Get Loud profiles the inspirations and guitar techniques of Jack White, Jimmy Page, and The Edge. The set-up is fairly simple: Get three guitarists from completely different musical backgrounds to talk about their sonic personalities.

While Jimmy Page is hands-over-fist synonymous to classic rock guitar and, generally, what most people perceive to be "rock guitar," his segments were rather dull, and I found myself really moved by the stories and background of U2's The Edge and Jack White.

I left watching the film with such a tremendous amount of respect for Jack White and his sneaky way of bringing Delta blues to radio music. He is so loaded with soul and bluegrass pain that his channeling roots music doesn't seem at all disingenuous. There was one piece of the film where he explained why he loves to "battle" his instrument by detuning it, beating the shit out of it, and acknowledging its flaws, all in the quest to make the hurt in his songs seem much more real due to the strategy in his performance.

I have NEVER heard of such a thing, and knowing that some artists make their craft difficult for sake of communicating their adversity is something that, frankly, both scared and astonished the shit out of me. Amazing.



That isn't jamming. That is screaming.

----

The Edge, on the other hand, is one of those controversial guitar figures who traditionalists love to shit all over because his style is less about technique, and more about sound engineering. That "U2 sound" is so proprietary to the band because The Edge pretty much found a few pedal combinations that simply worked, and he capitalized on it.

With The Edge, it's all about finding toys to plug his guitar into. Ultimately, this makes his goal about achieving a landscape for a song, and ...that's it. He fully admits that his guitar parts are, in great deal, easy (just a few plucked strings that combinators and pedals translate into these insane arpeggios and stereo panning note parades.) But it's authentic. That's what is most important.



6/8 into 4/4. Kind of brilliant.

Re: The Joshua Tree sessions documentary -- 50% of recording The Joshua Tree went into recording this song. Producer Brian Eno almost sabotaged some 3 weeks' worth of studio work to begin from scratch due to his frustration with it, and was literally held back from pushing the red button. True story. Eno said so. That's fucking nuts. Weeks on a song!

I'd say there was *kind of* a pay-off in that one.