Saturday, July 25, 2009

Cancellations, frustrations, machinations...

So the two gigs I previewed in my last post, the apartment party on 7/16 and the Tilted Kilt gig on 7/18 were cancelled. The apartment party because Greg was still recovering, and the Tilted Kilt because they had new owners. So all gigs with them are cancelled, meaning we don't have another public show until - get this - SEPTEMBER!

Which is fine by me. Public shows are nice to have friends come, but they tend to pay really crappy.

Not enough time to write music or do anything creative musically, and even less inspiration right now. I don't know why this is, but it's extremely frustrating.

The tracks are coming along well - we should be ready to go with at least five of them at the next show. It's exciting...and scary. And I need to invest in some really good rechargeable 9v batteries, because buying them over and over is not only environmentally insane, but EXPENSIVE.


Monday, July 13, 2009

H1N1? Seriously?!!

So in the past couple of weeks, here's been the deal with the band:

Scene One:
We played up in Killeen, and saw a lot of our favorite people from up there - both the awesome staff (including the great waitress-who-I-managed-to-forget-her-name but who decided to actually work on her day off because WE were playing), and our great friends/fans who made the trip up there. It was a fun show, though a little weird.

Scene Two:
We played a 4th of July party for the same awesome lady who hired us last year - but this year was a little fucked up. Why? Well, Greg had just returned from a trip to Florida to take a cruise with family, and it seemed like he had a good time but was a little under the weather. Add his "coming down with something" to the BLISTERING heat (it was 104 degrees that day), the fact that our covered stage was situated facing the setting sun, a few unfortunate hot dogs, and well, it was a rough night. Oh, and did I mention what it turned out Greg had? A little thing most people know as "swine flu" - H1N1. He's been sick all week, sometimes worse, sometimes better, but he's going to be okay. I feel horrible for him, but I'm thankful I didn't get it. Fortunately he had basically zero contact with people at the party (he was usually off laying in the trailer, trying to save energy to finish the show, which he did as much as he could, and he's a real trouper.

A nice side note was that while he was tearing down his stuff, I kept playing - did acoustic solo stuff for the remainder of the show. Here's what I played:
Don't Stop Believin'
Hotel California
Baby One More Time
Cheap Sunglasses
Brown Eyed Girl
and maybe a few others - I can't remember.

It was fun, and people really enjoyed it (from what I could gather).

Scene Three:
Because of Greg's illness, we were left sort of scrambling for someone to be at the ready for this weekend's big wedding gig - it was a big payer for a kind of high-profile person - so we wanted to make sure the show could go on even if Greg was still too sick. Enter (or more appropriately, RE-enter) Rob Wade.

Yes, our dear departed drummer Rob came through for us this weekend - we called him early in the week to find out if it was even possible for him to make the trek to Austin to come play with us if necessary. As it turned out, he was available - and actually excited at the prospect of playing a show again. The money didn't hurt, either. So Ned sent him the setlist and he got to work, and we hoped Greg got better, happy to have a great back-up plan. Come Thursday, Greg's fever came back a little, so we had him make the call, and he said to get Rob to do it. So having no idea what to expect from a guy we hadn't played with in over a year, who really hadn't been playing all that much himself since he moved from Austin, we nervously all got set up for the show. We ran through a few songs as a sound check at the beginning, and it went surprisingly well. Save for a few moments during the show, no one who even sees us regularly would have any clue that this wasn't the "regular" band. Rob did an EXCELLENT job, and the couple who hired us were VERY pleased with our performance. Greg's still recovering (baby steps), and we hope he's all better soon.

For a variety of reasons, we're still not running the backing tracks yet, but they are coming. And if things go well enough, we'll be identifying more songs that could use the help and just fleshing it all out. I plan on tracking bass and backing vox on the "acoustic" songs I do with the band, and we'll go from there.

Thanks to Greg for trying so hard even though he's suffering from our current plague, to Rob for driving all the way down here to play with us again (and for investing the individual practice time to get everything together this past week), and to our clients for being so awesome to us. Honorable mention goes to the staff at the Stephen F. Austin Intercontinental Hotel for being great, too.

Public gig at Tilted Kilt on 7/18 (come see my ever-so-sexy headset mic). Private party at some apartment complex (I don't know which one) on 7/16.

And I am really going to start booking my acoustic show. After sitting in with Alon and half of "More Cowbell" last Tuesday at Molotov, I find it just stupid that I'm not doing that. I LOVE just strumming a guitar and singing - I love the creativity involved in coming up with interesting ways to flesh out arrangements of songs with just one guitar and one voice. It's rad, and I'm actually pretty damn good at it.

It's a gift, and I find it sort of shameful that I don't share it with more people (and have them pay me for it...)

Until the next outbreak...