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MP3 Meantone - Roller Derby Girls

A swampy, swift kick in the teeth of graveyard blues. A duo of fretless, slide guitar and drums unlike no other.

5 MP3 Songs
BLUES: Blues-Rock, BLUES: Slide Guitar Blues

This is primordial, crust-shifting swing — a slashing, thrusting imperative, featuring Meantone''s fretless (and customized) slide guitar and Young Brett''s two-drum kit, along with "throat" (Meantone''s voice). At 2:19, "Roller Derby Girls" is a good candidate for a time capsule, because it so concisely embodies the elemental connection between rock (blues) music and sex. It''s built with a monster call-and-response guitar riff and a shuddering, theatrical vocal that conjures The Cramps'' Lux Interior, starting with the pep talk/count-off, "Hey, Young Brett, you like them roller girls?" "Yeah!" "Let''s give it to ''em — one, two, three, four…." It''s probably best to clear the room of kids and small animals.

David Pence is the host of Radio Junk Drawer, heard Wednesdays from 3 p.m.-5 p.m. on community radio station WMPG (90.9 and 104.1 FM; https://www.tradebit.com).

MEANTONE plays fretless, slide guitar in a tuning called 1/4 comma meantone. Unlike equal temperament, sharps and flats are not the same. Meantone uses 31 notes from this tuning. The meantone tuning is more natural and closer to just intonation (nature''s tuning), with it''s major thirds perfectly in tune and it''s minor thirds extremely close. What makes this tuning even more unique is it''s flat fifths at 697 cents as oppose to 702 cents in just intonation. The quest to be perfect, but not being able. The search for something better but not quite getting what you want. Isn''t this what the blues is all about?

YOUNG BRETT: Plays bass drum, snare drum, high hat and splash. He doesn''t have much time and is still confused about Meantone.


Roller Derby Girls, Meantone

Meantone make the sort of music that doesn’t necessarily lend itself to hyper analysis, but the more I listen to this five-tune EP (and Meantone’s Original Graveyard Blues, from last year), the more fun it seems. It’s mean and dark in the way a guy in a gas mask might intuitively make music, but it’s not mean-spirited. Thus, when you’re told the Roller Derby Girls, “They crush your heart/They crush your very soul,” it’s easy to intuit that that’s a good thing. And, for music nerds, there’s something to Meantone’s fretless guitar, paired only with Young Brett’s drums (like Eggbot, Meantone is a guy and a band, both).

And the included video here is worth the purchase alone, with great footage of the Roller Girls (kind of like the Suicide Girls, in that they have lots of tats and are hot, but instead of getting naked, they punch other women while roller skating in a circle competitively) in action (including a brutal takedown with about 20 seconds left), some clips of Meantone and Young Brett carousing with some gals on the Geno’s stage, and, best of all, Meantone taking a mean clothesline (twice), dished out by roller girls. It’s a weird combination of cool and slapstick, but it’s a work of art in its own way.


People who are interested in R.L. Burnside T-Model Ford Hound Dog Taylor should consider this download.
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