Showing posts from February, 2010

Surrounded by Fish

Yacht Rock played the Georgia Aquarium last night.  It was an extremely easy gig...I think we ended up playing one hour and a half set and it was over.  The sound was great and the crowd was good looking.  What more could you ask for?  Well...when you're playing at the Aquarium, those things would be "can we load out through the parking deck instead of the loading dock?" (the answer was yes), and "will the parking be comped?" (again, the answer was yes).  That's tough to beat!

Just another Thursday Night

Last night's Yacht Rock gig was very plain.  I'm not sure if it was the lack of enthusiasm from the crowd or the absence of Mark Cobb, but the energy in the room was a bit low.  The playing was fine (more so in the first set than the second).  It could very well be that we were just flat.

For me, it was a pretty decent night.  No equipment problems last night, which leads me to believe that I have solved the mystery of my laptop.  It seems more "awake" and responsive...that seems like a strange thing to say about a machine!  What I mean is that when I bump the space bar to wake it up (so I can check what number is my next sound), it comes back up much quicker than it has in the last year.  One other thing that seems to be working better:  some of my sounds have a lot of delay (think the synth solo in Rosanna), and it seems like those delays start to add up over time and eventually overload the processor (and make my whole rig sound like it's underwater).  Hitting…

Sharing Music

I've been thinking the past the couple of days about the personal risks of sharing music--not sharing like "I'll burn you a copy", but sharing like "hey, I really like this song, please check it out."

In speaking with a friend, I made mention of a song by David Gray that I like.  My friend blasted the song--hated it!, but the lasting result of our exchange is that I feel like I've exposed myself as a person with inferior musical taste.  I'm not sure why.  I like the song and I like David Gray, and my opinion is just as valid as anyone else's.  Music is such a personal thing--when I'm saying I enjoy a song, I'm saying that it means something to me;  it speaks for me.  I have great respect for my friend's musical opinions--maybe I don't know what I'm talking about after all.

A strong response condemning that song feels like it is also a condemnation of me.  How can I not flinch at the next opportunity to talk about music?

Yachting on Monday

Yacht Rock did a rare Monday night gig tonight at the Capital City Club in Brookhaven.  It was an extremely low key event, so much that I don't have much to say other than it was pretty loud and the room was (and is) acoustically awful.  We played a handful of tunes we hadn't seen in a while (Sailing and Too Hot) and a couple we wandered through at soundcheck that didn't even make it on the gig (I Keep Forgettin' and Human Nature).  I hope to see them again.

Perhaps the only excitement at the end of the night was the argument a few band members got into with the valet.  When Pete loses his cool, you know you've crossed the line!

Downtown Yacht Rock

Yacht Rock played downtown at Ventanas last night for a private party.  If you're familiar with the space you're probably asking "Where?"  The put us in a tent out on the balcony (this is a picture pretty much from where I was on stage, but inside a tent).  It actually fit pretty well, and the fact that we were in the tent meant the room was nice and dead (and we could lay into it without offending anyone).  The gig went very well.  We had Ganesh Giri Jaya subbing for Nick on the front line, and he did an excellent job.
It appears that I have solved my computer problem.  My laptop screen was freaking out the other night (it went all Poltergeist on the Rock Boat, too), and after scouring the internet for a solution, it was suggested that I reset the PRAM.  I won't pretend that I know what that is, but the idea in resetting it is that some power management things get out of wack over time, and you reset that to get everything cleaned up.  For me, it involved poppin…

Lots of Music Crammed into a Couple of Days!

The last few days have been stuffed to the gills with music!  It's fun, but it also feels like a roll out of bed, grab the gear I need for the next gig, and head out the door.

Wednesday night was the inaugural Please Pleaserock Me gig, which is a Beatles tribute put on by the same guys who do Yacht Rock.  We packed a whole bunch of people into Smith's Olde Bar and beat 'em over the head with good stuff.  Here are some pictures:

The next one is March 31.  I hate to say it, but you're stupid if you don't attend.

Before the Beatles gig, I had a terrific jazz gig downtown for some sort of weird doomsday convention.  Some of the vendor booths had things like new/improved body bags (where you can suck the air out so the bodies don't decompose as quickly!), and decontamination tents and showers.  Weird stuff, and I'm sure they were hoping to book a jazz trio like us.

As usual, I recorded it, so here's the evidence:  

Here's a picture of Louis Heriveaux (pi…

Bach Partita excerpts

Here's the flute stuff I recorded the Monday night.  My blog wouldn't let me put two different media players in the same post.


As you can tell by the fact that I am not around updating this blog as often as I used to, things are crazy busy right now.  Here's a quick off the top of my big bald head recap:

Friday was a House Live gig (me on saxes and flute, Wayne Viar on percussion, and Jeff Burnisky as DJ), playing some sort of private function downtown.  I recorded it so you can get some idea what it sounds like  (though you can't hear the DJ very well--poor microphone placement on my part!).  Here's a picture:

This was a fun gig, and we ended up getting free food at the place across the street!  Baja was good!  Here (hopefully) are mp3 clips:

Saturday was a benefit for the daughter of Blackberry Smoke drummer Britt Turner.  Yacht Rock played a couple of songs at the Peachtree Tavern.  I've never been in there before!  I probably will never go in there again!  Here's a picture (that's me in the background between the guitar and bass):

Sunday night was my usual church gig.…

Technical Difficulties

Last night's Yacht Rock adventure was (for me) plagued by gremlins, or technical difficulties, or "AAAAA!  MY SH** IS F***KING UP!"

My first major issue dealt with my saxophone effects pedal.  There was way too much noise in the channel--a flat ton of hiss.  I'm not sure why, but I tried swapping out cables and that didn't cure it, and I tried bypassing my effects pedal (plugging the sax directly into my mixer) and that cured it, so I think that maybe the output jack has gone bad.  I won't know until I can set it up at home and check it out.

I put the pedal away since I assume it's messed up.  I was checking it with my tenor, so I ran from my receiver directly into my board, which cured the hiss.  Strangely, though, the gain was jacked way up.  I assumed that the gain from the pedal had been helping me up to this point, so I didn't sweat it.
We started the gig, and the first or second tune we played, I had an alto solo, and when I switched on my alto…

For the Love of Practice

I got a ton of practicing in today.  It was wonderful.

Half of my students today were either sick or randomly absent, which left me a couple of hours open this afternoon.  While dealing with the ones who were there, I had this thought:

 if I could teach my students to love practicing the way that I love practicing, I bet I could love teaching.

Andrews Upstairs

Yacht Rock was back in Atlanta for a Friday night gig at Andrews Upstairs.

Andrews is transforming from a live music venue to a DJ, and they have done some remodeling to accommodate more people.  The stage has been radically transformed--the multiple levels and nooks and crannies have been removed.  It made for a tight fit for the seven of us!

We played well considering the stage setup.  I was all the way stage left;  then Bencuya, then Greg, then the Cobb with Nick and Pete directly in front of him, and then Dannells jammed in the opposite corner.  It was a tight fit, but we made it work ok.
Being next to Bencuya made me a bit apprehensive.  If there's one guy who would know when I was not playing something exactly right, it'd be him.
I think the next time we play Andrews (and maybe just in general), I'd like to split my sax line off from the rest of my stuff.  In general, I'm only playing saxophone when I'm soloing, and it'd be cool to be able to put some in…

Cabo San Lucas

Yacht Rock played in Cabo this week (February 2-4, 2010).  I had a gig Monday, February 1, so I stayed up a little later than usual and slipped out the door at 3:30 AM to pick up Nick and make our way to the airport.
We flew to Denver and then on to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, where we landed to a light rain (and massive flash flooding!).  After dropping our stuff in our rooms, we went to lunch, and then spent the remainder of the day acting like rock stars on a day off in Cabo!  (mucho tequila).
The actual gig occurred the following day (Wednesday).  We played a private function for the Young Presidents Organization--I believe they were all young millionaires.  They were into it from the moment the doors opened and enjoyed every note.
The band played pretty well considering the circumstances.  The keyboards were not what we'd asked for, and we played standing up (I'd asked if they had piano benches or drum thrones, and I guy came back with a bar stool).  The sound guys (all ten o…

February 1 Trio

Tonight I had the pleasure of playing a trio gig with Tyrone Jackson and Kevin Smith.  It was a meeting of the minds...Tyrone's piano playing challenges me like no one else in town.  I usually come out of gigs with him feeling like my brain is mushy!
This gig was no different.  Right from the start, I was totally focused on what he was playing to me, and it stayed that way for the whole night.