I'm familiar with some of those, and not so much with others. However, I haven't listened to any of them in quite some time. Thanks for the recommendations, I'll be checking them out.
China. . . . let's see. It has a lot of good and a lot of bad. The food here is amazingly good and extremely cheap, there are always things to do no matter what day of the week it is and the girls are really cute in many ways; especially when I hold my "免费拥抱" (free hugs) sign. I also love Mandarin Chinese and I'm exposed to it every day here, which is nice. However, there aren't very many freedoms here, especially on the internet. There are multiple web sites that are blocked; some that I can't find a reason for (such as Facebook, ImageShack, etc.). Also, especially in Shanghai, it's very polluted and crowded everywhere. The drivers are terrible here (or the driving at least, I honestly can't tell which people are the good drivers and which ones are the bad drivers). Buses, bikes and motorcycles don't think traffic lights apply to them and the bigger vehicle always has the right of way no matter what. What's Wales like? I've never been there. To be honest, I have no idea how much Wales I have in me, all I know is that I got it from my mom.
I'm technically not currently in a band, but when I get back to the States, one of my friends and I are going to reunite and at least play together, but we might gather new members as well. I'm also going to do my usual and look for a big band that needs a bass player (there always seems to be at least one in need).
You should have your friend teach you some bass, even if it's only once a month or less. If you work on and master what he teaches you, no matter how long it takes, you will continue to get better. Also, since there's not much that can be done online, if you have any theory questions or general questions, you can ask me anytime.