Showing posts from September, 2010

The Dark Side and Sgt. Peppers Lonely Heart

Please Pleaserock Me played Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band (Beatles) in its entirety last night, and opened the show by playing The Dark Side of the Moon (Pink Floyd) synched up to The Wizard of Oz, thus fulfilling the stoner myth of The Dark Side of the Rainbow!

Is it wrong of me to have enjoyed the Pink Floyd so much more than the Beatles?  I know it's sacrilegious to put anything in front of John, Paul, George, and Ringo, but Pink Floyd means so much more to me personally.  I lived on Pink Floyd in high school, so any chance to play their stuff resonates with me much more deeply.  
The Dark Side went over well.  I played well, though at one point I guess I was pushing my horn so much into the microphone that I nearly knocked the stand over.  Oops!  Got a little excited.  I tripped a little bit on the timing of the Money solo--I just can't hear seven beats in a measure, I guess.  Other than that, things were solid.

Sgt. Peppers was almost a letdown--The Dark Side was cont…

Canzonetta (Gabriel Pierne)

Here's  Canzonetta by Gabriel Pierne in its entirety.

Saturday, Sunday, and even Monday


Saturday's first gig was an afternoon spot at the Midtown Arts Festival for Main Street Exiles.  We played, strangely enough, in the parking lot for the old Loca Luna, where I spent many a night sweating (and sometimes freezing) while playing salsa music.  The club has moved, but the parking lot remains!

We played pretty well.  It was fun to be on the big stage, and I liked being able to walk off the back when I wasn't playing.  The crowd was ok;  it's hard to imagine anyone wanting to stand in a parking lot in direct sunlight in the low 90s.  It's still hot in Atlanta!

We had a good time.  Once it was over, I drove home and loaded equipment into my truck and headed on to my second gig, a Yacht Rock gig for the Chattahoochee Riverkeepers.  Before you ask, I will go ahead and say that I have no idea what they do to/for the river.  From what I can tell, they're rich and they like to eat barbecue.  I know I have supplied a link to their website, but this doesn…

Thursday and Friday

I'm back!  I did not get on the computer at all yesterday.  I feel so out of touch!  It's like I was roughing it (except for the iPhone).

Thursday afternoon we (Yacht Rock) finally received the good news...we won three awards in Creative Loafing this year!  Readers' pick for "Best Local Overall Music Act" and "Best Cover Band," and critics' pick for "Best Excuse to Get Drunk With Your Dad."  It almost makes the photo shoot for the award worth it.  Almost.

Thursday afternoon I did a quick recording session for Mark Dannells at his house.  He has written some music to be submitted to the show Dexter, and brought me in to add some life to his synth horn parts.  The stuff sounds magnificent!  Mark Dannells is a genius.
Thursday night was Caddyshack night at the 10 High.  We showed the movie and played our usual stuff.  I only missed one entrance because I was watching the movie!  Oops.  
We dressed for the gig...mostly in golf inspired or movie i…

Rolling Stones and the Dark Side

I played with Main Street Exiles last night, continuing our month long residency at the 10 High in Atlanta.  It was fun, but damn was it loud!

We used a different (I guess they're now the regular guys!) drummer and keyboardist.  The drummer was Derek Murphy, who sounded terrific.  I think he holds his breath when he plays, though.  I'm not sure if that's a criticism (what difference does it make to me?), but watching from just offstage, that's the way it appeared.  Maybe he's not.  It's just something I noticed.  Some guys look like they're working harder than others.  He sounded great, though, and played on a really pretty vintage Gretch drum kit.

The keyboardist was some kid named Patrick who played air guitar on a cowboy boot and wore his tie around his head like it was a headband for the second set.  Not impressive!  His girlfriend had really nice legs, though, and he brought more people to the gig than I did.

I waited all night to play the solo on Miss…

Saturday and Sunday

Yacht Rock played the Mercy Lounge in Nashville, TN, Saturday night--our first time on our own (not as an opening band for someone else).  It was a huge success!  Different numbers were tossed around, mostly hovering around 400 paid.  Great news!  Everyone played well.  I think we really rose up in the moment.

The van picked me up and most of us rode up together (Nick and Pete went up earlier in the day).  It was a fun trip.  We got up there, loaded in with great efficiency, and soundchecked in about forty-five minutes (were were about forty-five minutes late in arriving, so it all evened out!).  After a quick meal at some no name Mexican restaurant, we returned to change clothes and then hit it.

In the first set, Kenny Loggins' keyboardist Scott Sheriff sat in with us on two Steely Dan tunes.

He played and sang well, but the really AWESOME thing was that he played on Bencuya's keyboard, so Bencuya came over and played on my keyboards.  I honestly didn't pay much attent…

Park Tavern

Rumor has it 1,000 people came to the Park Tavern last night to see us play.  I'm not sure what 1,000 people looks like, so I assume it's true.  There were lots of people crammed into that tent to see us.

We did the Beatles tribute (Please Pleaserock Me) to kick things off.  It went pretty well.  Fortunately for us there were a fair number of people there at the start of the show;  hopefully that will translate into more of a crowd at the next show at Smith's Olde Bar.

After that we did a set of Yacht Rock.  No major problems (though I did have some moments of uncertainty).  My alto reed felt so good I wish I could have played that horn all night.  It was really rippin'.

The aftermath:

We're off to Nashville today.

Roswell Mill

Yacht Rock played a private gig last night for Ogilvy at Roswell Mill.  Not a bad gig at all, and it kept us from playing the 10 High.  Plus, it was over right when the 10 High would have started, so we got out early.  PLUS it took me 10 minutes to get home.  Nice!  Gigs on my side of town are rare.

We set up and soundchecked.  Right from the start, my computer crashed (what's up with that?), and I had a bad cable on one of the keyboards (the sound would come and go).  I troubleshot biggie.  The laptop...I don't know.

Everything else was cool and the sound was pretty good.  Nothing was really loud because we were outside, so I liked that.  Pete even had me in his monitor up front.  Did I win some sort of award or something?  Nick made the comment after the gig "your rig was really in the PA tonight."  I'm not sure what that means.  I kind of want to be pissed about it, but I'm not sure why I would be.

We went and killed off an hour in the "ba…

Aquarium Gig!

Last night I did a House Live gig with Jeff and Wayne at the Georgia Aquarium.

The gig started with me playing solo saxophone for an hour in the main atrium.  About five minutes into the gig, they asked me to move one foot to my left--"closer to the table with the imaginary couple enjoying your music!" the guy said.

I answered "They'll soon be filling my imaginary tip jar, I hope."  No luck.  Our parking did get comped, though.

After that, I joined up with the other guys in the ballroom.  Not much to report;  it was kind of a dull, low volume gig.  I couldn't hear the track well enough to even know what key I was supposed to be in.  We had fun, though.

My soprano is officially in need of repair.  I was using one of my less favorite reeds, and it felt dull and resistant, so I carved on it with my pocketknife.  When that failed to do the trick, I tried a new reed.  Same results--dull and resistant.  So I tried my number one reed--same result!  Must be a le…

Sunday stuff

Yesterday was my usual pair of Sunday church gigs.  After a not too late Saturday night (asleep by 2:30 AM?), I was back up at 6:45 AM to get a move on.

The first gig is always a little "seat of the pants," but this time it bit the band in the butt.  We were supposed to allow the flags to process silently (in remembrance of September 11), and once they were in place, then begin the first song, but we forgot about the flags.  So in front of everybody, Rev. Randy whipped around and cut us off--like you'd yell at a dog or something.  Ouch!  Wake up!  The second song started, but the words did not come up on the screen, and Rev. Randy was hot under the collar again.  After that, there was a brief video to be shown.  One of the screens had only audio.  Rev. Randy was thoroughly pissed at that point (also because he was the star of the video?).  Anyway, that set the tone for the entire service--run away!!!!
Since this gig is a hard blowing situation, I used it to break in a f…

Yacht Rock on the set of Die Hard

The Yacht Rock Revue played a benefit for the Mito Society.  The gig was on the eighteenth floor of the Terminus building in Buckhead.  Here are some pictures:

We played well.  I can't really think of anything horrible happening.  It was very nice to Mark Bencuya back on stage with us.  It's not the same without him!
The room, as you might imagine, was pretty horrible for listening.  Concrete and glass...hmmm...looked cool, sounded bad.
We debuted Reelin' in the Years last night.  It was a little rough;  maybe a little tense feeling.  We ran it at soundcheck and then played it during the gig.
My goal last night with the gig (other than to keep my mistakes to a minimum) was to try not to look at my hands when I was playing keyboard.  I've gotten much better about it, but I made a conscious effort to keep my head up and trust my hands.  For the most part, I was good.

We watched a really big thunderstorm roll through.

Here's the view over the back edge of the stage.  …