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Yessongs and Basslines

Photos courtesy of Binky Griptite

Photos courtesy of Binky Griptite


In this weekly WFUV feature, our DJs and staffers reveal three things that make them happy these days. Binky Griptite, host of "The Boogie Down" on Saturday nights, might have traveled the world as a musician, but he's most content fixing up his apartment, listening to vintage vinyl, and reaching for a bass guitar.

My apartment
I am basically a homebody. I like to be in my house as much as possible. I didn’t get much of that while I was on the road for 20 years with Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, but now that I’ve been off the road for the past few years I’ve been settling into full-time living in Brooklyn. My apartment is a rental, but I’ve been here for three years and recently spent some time making my backyard nicer. I even talked to my landlady into some kitchen renovations, so I’m happy with the newness.

The bass
I sometimes view playing bass as a hobby, but I am actually a professional bassist. I played bass in Antibalas from 1998-2005 and performed on three LPs, under three different names. I even played on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" with Radiohead drummer Philip Selway. But the bass is still a vacation away from my main job, as a guitarist. I enjoy being able to be a bass player. This October I did quite a few things. I played days behind Cochemea of the Dap Kings as he performed his new album, All My Relations, at the Sultan Room. I’m also the musical director, bassist, and producer of a live recording for Lee Taylor, a new singer and songwriter, which is happening in Williamsburg at a small cozy spot as well as recording for Anant Pradhan’s new project.

Classic rock LPs
Of course I play records on "The Boogie Down" on Saturday nights! And like a lot of guitar players of a certain age, I grew up with classic rock on the radio. But while I’m very accustomed to listening to classic rock on the radio when I’m driving, I don’t usually listen to rock at home. I also don’t own a car at the moment, so not much rockin' goin' on. Now that I have a turntable in my living room, as well as my studio, I am rediscovering how useful classic rock records are when cleaning the house and I love it. I listen to early Yes records with no apology whenever I want.