Friday, December 31, 2010

Mark Cobb!

my view of Mark Cobb
Wooo!  The final Yacht Rock performance at the 10 High was fueled by Mark Cobb last night.  What a ride!  From the first note, he was pushing the band along with the kind of musical aggression I love.  I can't say enough about how much I enjoyed playing last night.  It was superb.  I think the entire band responds to the drummer, and after several gigs of mellow, we really came out and attacked.

The room was as full as last week (which is to say, really crowded!  I couldn't get across the room on break).  I suppose all these people just started partying a day early.  They were well behaved, and seemed to be paying attention to what we were doing (which is nice);  not a lot of shouting out songs not on the set list.  The women directly in front of me slowly progressed from having fun to black out drunk, but they made it all the way to the end (and didn't steal my pea coat, which I'd left on the speaker between us all night--oops!).

I think I played pretty well.  Because of Cobb, everybody dug in pretty hard on their stuff, and my hands were hurting a little by the end of the night.  Not playing for a few days has left me out of shape, I guess.  My face is a little tired, too.  New reeds don't help!

I'm still tinkering with my stuff--I tried a different synth sound on What a Fool Believes, but I'm still not satisfied.  It must have some kind of a sweeping filter thing that makes some of the notes jump out.  The basic sound was good, but the spiking notes were painful.

On Steal Away, I'm trying to add in the bass line in the chorus.  It's kind of sparse, and I can do it when I don't consciously think about it.  We were ripping through that song last night, and all of the sudden I could do it!  I was congratulating myself (and mentally applauding my left hand), when it suddenly dawned on me that I was never changing the chord in my right.  Duh…that was pretty stupid.  I think I'll have it tonight.  My right hand is playing eighth notes, and I just needed to figure out where to begin the little eighth note bass line thing.  I'm real close.

Saxophone wise, I was ok.  I didn't have much going on for Biggest Part of Me or Takin' it to the Streets.  I wanted to play something great, but nothing came to me.  Same thing with my alto stuff…nothing bad, but I didn't have anything new to say.  I tried.

My man Mark Dannells was absent tonight due to a Greater Vavoom gig at Smith's.  Shannon filled in and played well, though he has some sort of mental hangup on Hey Nineteen.  He played some horrid crap in there.  It's like he's playing the right stuff on the wrong string, or he's a couple of frets away, or something.  It's all in his head--I've heard him play the entire intro to that song a whole step down before.

If Dannells had been there, the night might have been about as perfect as a 10 High gig could be.

Last gig of the year tonight!  We're at the Park Tavern.  Come see us.

Monday, December 27, 2010


I played my two church gigs yesterday.

The first one was pretty much just another shot at the stuff we did Christmas Eve, so that was fairly easy, though we did add God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen (with a sax solo) in kind of a rockabilly style.  It's always funny to me when somebody says "we'll do it 'big band' style"--I know right then that it will be NOTHING like a big band.  I think they're trying to describe that the eighths will not be even, but it will not be a shuffle, and it will not swing.  If a guitar player says it, he's probably referring to the "big bands" like the Squirrel Nut Zippers.

This time it was doubly funny because the drummer had no idea what to do with either style (big band or rockabilly).  Nice enough guy, but the drumming part is not happening.  Also, kind of annoying how he demonstrated his commitment to the drums by carrying a drum pad and sticks with him on break so he could mindlessly bang on it.  We needed some groove out of him, but never got it.

The leader of the second church gig called me right before I left to ask if I was still planning on going.  I guess there were grave concerns about the weather.  I went and she went, and we played the gig.  It turned out to be a lot of fun!  Without the other people in the group, we were free to play.  She played piano and sang, and I did my thing.  Easy.

I cannot for the life of me play in tune right now.  I "feel" close, but not exactly in tune, but I can't hear which way I need to go.  I wonder if my sense of it is more heightened and I'm always this far out, but normally can't hear it, or if I'm just really bad at that moment?  It feels like half the instrument is flat and half is sharp.  I'm all bad.

Also, the Christmas carols kicked my butt.  I could remember most, but never all of a melody.  When we did God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, I played lots of extra notes not because I was embellishing, but because I was screwing up.  Same thing happened last night--I knew most of What Child is This, but I played lots of funny stuff around it.  I hate that.  It's kind of like screwing up The Star Spangled Banner.  Everybody knows when you play a weird note.  You can't hide.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Gigs

What a weekend!  I did a bunch of church gigs over the Christmas holidays.

The first couple of gigs were mainly flute (and a little soprano) at a church I used to play at.  They brought me in to help cover some of the extra services they were having.  It was super easy, and a lot of fun.  Most of the songs were Christmas carols, and most of the people I played with old friends (other than the douchebag pianist who mistakenly thought it really funny to mimic my flute warm ups).  So yeah, it was cool.  We laughed a lot.

The third Christmas Eve gig was at my usual first gig on Sundays.  That one was fun, too, though a little annoying that they had us show up an hour and fifteen minutes early, and then we mostly stood around until the service began.  At one point, they turned out all the lights and everybody held candles--I was thinking, "This would be a great picture for my blog!" but I didn't take it.  It was pretty cool, though.

I was super amused by one spot where the leader said, "I'm going to play during this part.  Don't feel like you need to play.  If you want to, you can, but if you don't, that's good."  Twice he stressed being gentle.  His request sounded to me like "Don't play unless you ABSOLUTELY can't stand it."

I laid out.  The guitarist laid out.  Three BEATS into the song, the bass player was in, doing his Jimmy Haslip impersonation!  Actually, that wasn't bad, but then the drummer felt like he HAD to play, and I thought it really squashed the vibe.  I was amused, annoyed, and smug all at once.

Christmas morning, I did two more of the flute/soprano services at the Christmas church number one.  Same stuff, same fun.  There were lots of people there who were very happy to see me, which I appreciated.  Hopefully they'll be able to find some money in their budget to see me more often!

Sunday is back to normal.  It's been a nice weekend of something different.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Twas the Thursday Before Christmas...

Weird.  I thought nobody would turn up at the 10 High.  I thought it'd be really dead and we'd play one set and go home, or we'd all trade instruments or something, but instead it was more packed than it has been in months!  I guess the "nobody has to go to work tomorrow" argument won.

It was kind of a strange gig.  Nick, Pete, and Cobb were out, so we had Ganesh on drums, Greg on lead vocals, Vanessa on Pete's vocals, and Danni on bass.  The ol' switcheroo.  That left me, my man Mark Dannells, and the Great Bencuya to hold it down.

It's an entirely different thing when Greg fronts the band.  With a different line up (say Kevin Spencer and Ganesh), there's an effort to kind of stay in the same zone as the regular guys.  Greg kind of takes it and says "I'm driving!", and away we go.  It's fun because he puts his own stamp on it.

The set list had about a million songs on it.  We burn through tunes a lot quicker with subs because there's less banter in between.  We might normally play a dozen songs in a set--last night it was more like sixteen.  It really became a grind about a halfway through.

Speaking of the set list…oops.  I didn't do any preparation (such as reading the set list) ahead of time, and there were a couple of songs that REALLY bit me in the ass.  For instance, Magic…no clue.  I knew the first two chords of the string part were A/D resolving to D, and then…hmm (turns out it was a minor 2-5 to E minor).  I really need to start over and learn that one.  The other one that I sucked on was the beginning of You're So Vain.  Remember how I died on it at Halloween?  Same issue again.  I choked real bad.

Other than that, it was pretty unmemorable.  Mark Dannells and I rocked the hell out of the bridge to Brandy.  Ganesh swamped the entire boat by turning the beat around on Escape (Pina Colada Song).  I should mention that we played one verse reggae.  Ja.  I had something to do with that.  I played Jingle Bells during the breakdown in Jive Talkin', evidently only loud enough for Dannells and myself to hear.  Good enough.

That was it.  Good crowd means good money, and good money is the best Christmas present of all.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Creston Sonata

Not much going on…it's vacation!

Here's a video I made earlier in the week.  It's the first two pages of the Creston Sonata (Op. 19) for Eb Alto Saxophone and Piano.  I played this sucker in high school, but it still kicks my butt.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Triple Double

It's been a while since I've blogged.  My apologies--vacation has (kind of) started!


Thursday:  I played two gigs.

The first gig was a little trio gig at Dolce in Atlantic Station with Louis Heriveaux (keyboard) and Kevin Smith (bass).  It was a nice little gig--they had us separated from the crowd, up on an elevated floor behind the bar, which meant that we wouldn't be competing with them to hear ourselves.  I'll admit, it also makes for a better recording!  There was a clear half-wall in front of us, which helped as well.

The crowd was bussed in.  They were expecting four or five hundred people (according to the contract I had), but maybe one hundred fifty turned up on a cold, rainy night.  Most of them sat down, ate, and left!  There must have been a club or something upstairs.  Anyway, two hours into a three hour gig, the bar started shutting down.  Two and a half hours into the gig I was on the phone trying to tell the party coordinator that the room was totally empty and there was no point in us staying!

Playing-wise, I was pretty good.  It had been a month since my previous jazz gig, and I was kind of concerned about where my command of the vocabulary would be.  It turns out I was fine, though I had some really bad moments trying to remember the heads to some tunes (we played standards so I wouldn't have to deal with bringing charts and a music stand).  Louis was on fire--he was harmonically aggressive, reworking lots of these tunes.  I really dug that.  Whenever he and I have played together, I've always hoped that he would push me a little bit more past the conventional harmony, and this time, there he was.  Check out the out head of Wave if you want to hear where he was at.  Jeez!  This gig was a ton of fun.

The second gig was the regular Yacht Rock gig at the 10 High.  Playing two gigs like this is always fun because the first always gets me loose (physically and mentally) for the second.  Every sax solo on the 10 High gig sounded like it was coming out of a machine gun--it was like I was still ripping stuff from my jazz gig.

That said, I played sax on the first tune of the gig, and then nothing until I did four or five late in the second set.  It's become much less of a sax gig than it used to be.  I'm not complaining, though.  I think I'd be bored if I was just hanging out waiting to play Baker Street.  For me, this gig is much more about working on my keyboard playing.

This gig had Ganesh on drums and Kevin Spencer subbing for Nick.  At the last second, Mark Dannells decided he was dying, so Shannon subbed for him.  We were boarded by the pirates of smooth!  It was fun--the Schooner guys have their stuff figured out.

Friday:  I played two more gigs!

I went to bed a 3 or 4 AM after getting home from the 10 High.  I was up at 7 AM so I could be at the scene of one of my church gigs--we'd be contracted to help beef up the children's winter concert.  So…the middle school choir was on my right;  the middle school band was on my left.  The rest of the band was behind me.  For some reason, my music had gone missing, so it was just me standing there behind a microphone!  It was pretty easy, though.  I mean, I'm just improvising anyway, so the chart doesn't make or break it for me.  I did turn around and check the chart of the guitarist behind me, just looking for the ones where I played soprano instead of tenor.

The second gig was with Yacht Rock at the Mercy Lounge in Nashville.  I met the van around 3:30.  We rolled in a few hours later, set up, ate and played our Christmas show.  It went pretty well.  The sound is always good there, but this particular time it wasn't quite so loud on stage, and so it was that much better.  The crowd was decent.  It seemed pretty full.

We stayed at the Hotel Indigo again.  I got the room to myself--sweet!  I really dig this hotel.  Too bad I was so tired by the time we finished, I went straight to bed.

Saturday:  One gig!

We got back to Atlanta early in the afternoon, which left me a couple of hours to prepare for my Sunday stuff (songs to be learned!).  That night, I played a Wild Wing gig with the Schooner.  They played really well!  I'd left my microphones in the van, so I used whatever they had at the bar, and it worked out fine (and got me out of there that much faster).  The band was playing well together--when they're gelling, they sound really good!

Sunday: Two gigs!

Sunday morning was my usual church gig.  I was worried about this one because one of the songs they wanted to do was the Trans Siberian Orchestra version of Carol of the Bells, and I couldn't figure out how to make it work with our instrumentation.  That version has maybe three guitars and three synths, and we're much more of an acoustic band.  When I listened to the mp3 of it, I couldn't even figure out what part I should be trying to hear, and I would get frustrated and give up.  Fortunately, they had a piano reduction, so I kind of worked off that at the gig and it was fine.

That group is finally coming together.  We may finally be figuring out how to work together.

I was home for around twenty minutes before I had to leave again, this time to a Yacht Rock gig.  We played a jewish wedding.  It wasn't too bad.  We learned a couple of songs (Sister Christian and Come On Eileen--EWI violin!).  The break room at the temple had some amusing posters.

I wonder why it is that every gig I do with Yacht Rock, we never end up playing for the full four hours.  Somehow, Pete and Nick are able to convince the people that it's not in anyone's interest for us to play while the people are eating, so on a four hour call, we probably only end up playing the final two and half hours.  I only mention this because the previous band I was in always played through dinner, and we had to fight with the people about the volume, but the band leader would insist that the people were paying for four hours of music and so we had to keep going.  Doing it this way makes so much more sense--when they're ready to party, we're ready to play.  It makes the gigs so much less aggravating.

I was home just after 8 PM, and in bed soon after that.  Yeah…nice!

Yesterday (Monday), I was going to try and catch up on things like my blog, but I ended up just taking the entire day off.  I did some half hearted practicing and broke in some reeds, but really….I did nothing.  It was good.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Yacht Rock played a holiday party for Turner Sports yesterday in Centennial Olympic Park, next to the ice skating rink.  I was really worried about the weather--yesterday was one of the coldest days in Atlanta (I think we tied the record low for December 14).  Not only does my equipment not fare well in the cold, but my hands and feet hurt when it gets like this.

We were in a tent (with sides) and heaters, so it wasn't too bad, though if they'd closed a few more of the flaps it would have been more comfortable.  The sound guys had the flap on their side open--why?--but it happened to be on Bencuya's side, so that was ok with me!

We got dressed in the shed where they keep lawnmowers and stuff…

The gig itself was super easy.  Because of the cold, nobody showed up!  They were expecting five hundred people, but Nick estimated only about one hundred fifty turned up.  We started a little late (waiting for the tent to fill up), and ended a little early.  Two sets.  When party planners plan parties, why do they let the visual aspects (ice skating!  a band!  a buffet!) overrule the obvious weather concerns (it's December! we could all die from exposure!).  It seems like somebody does this every season…the same kind of thing happens in the hottest part of the summer with similar results.

Oh well, no big deal.  It was a fun gig, the sound was great, and the band was happy.  Everybody helped me load out, which was super awesome.  I was home forty-five minutes after the last note.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Loose Ends

Park Tavern Santa

Monday night was the company party for Pleaserock at Park Tavern.  A good time was had by all, and Jack started ice skating.

Here are a few YouTube videos from last week's appearance on the Regular Guys.

Bencuya, our new keyboard tech, and me

Monday, December 13, 2010

Almost Back to Normal

Yesterday was the first day in a week that my hands weren't sore when I woke up.  I guess it's from pounding on a keyboard more than usual, but I could hardly stir my coffee in the mornings.  After an hour or so, the strength would return to my hands.

A recap of the past few days!

Friday:  The big Yacht Rock Holiday Special at Park Tavern.  Two shows, both sold out.  Maximum awesomeness.  The venue was cool…we were upstairs in that acoustical nightmare;  Schooner was downstairs in front of the fireplace;  ice skating outside on the patio.  I think all our fans had a wonderful time.

Nick had a new white three piece suit.  I'm so jealous.  It's got me shopping.

That room…ughhhhhh…we were set up in front of all that glass, which always makes for a horrible musical experience, and Friday was no different.  It looks great with the lights and the city in the background, but it felt like somebody had a screwdriver jammed in each of my ears!  I had two choices on stage--turn down and hear everybody else (and guess at what I was playing), or turn up and hear myself, but not be able to hear the band over my amplifier.  I tried both, and failed at both!

Bencuya said he had so much trouble hearing that he had to take his ear plugs out.  I noticed that Cobb actually put some plugs in!  His mom would be happy.

It definitely made me aware of how much my ear is involved in playing--even the keyboard stuff, where I'd/you'd think that I would be playing more literally "this chord, this chord, this chord."  I thought that's the way I was doing it, but in subtracting the sound, I couldn't remember if I was supposed to to hold a G or F on the chorus.   I think I played some really horrible stuff!

The other oddity of playing in that room was that some of my stuff sounded really out of tune, and I am not talking about saxophone issues (I only played sax on two or three songs per show).  The upper octaves of my synth sounded horribly out of tune--like more than a quarter step.  How is that possible?  It was an acoustical problem, not wrong notes.  It really freaked me out.  Things that I knew I was playing correctly sounded so wrong that it would make me second guess myself.  It was really bizarre.

my ice skates

Mark Dannells!

Anyway, everybody said it sounded good out front, so I guess that's all that matters.  Hopefully Bencuya's recording of the performances won't get me fired.

Nick is having a good time
In between the two shows we all went out on the ice rink and sang We Are the World.  I did two laps before we sang.  Not too bad!

All in all, an awesome night for us.  Nick and Pete really put together a great show.

Saturday:  Yacht Rock played a wedding at Greystone in Piedmont Park, a new venue right on the lake.

The room looked like it could be another problem (shoebox, hard surfaces), but the it turned out to be a great spot for us.  The stage was big (so we weren't right on top of each other), and the acoustical panels on the walls ate up the bad reflections.  Everything sounded great.  It restored my faith in my playing!

For their first dance, we were asked to play Supertramp's Give a Little Bit.  Cool with me!  It's got a nice little sax solo in there:

I hope we keep that song--if Nick can stomach it.

The batteries on one of my sax mic transmitters died…changed those out.  Later on in the gig, my EWI started blinking, so I had to change those out.  Six batteries just like that!  I was kind of relieved that the EWI batteries finally gave up--I spent too much energy worrying about them dying during the Friday show (but strangely not enough to just switch them out for fresh ones).

The gig was over at 11, and we were out of there at midnight.  Yay!  That was great.

Mark Dannells is blue but awesome

Sunday:  Church gig number one is finally finding a groove!  No disasters, no confusion.  I think it helped that we played Christmas carols for prelude music, so there was no guessing about what we were playing or where we were in the music.  Cool.  We played more than usual, but it was no big deal, and I was more awake since I'd gone to bed a little earlier than usual.

Church gig number two was fun.  There were two songs sung over drones--it's Advent, and so there seems to be lots of minor key drones.  On one, I played flute--lots of bends and flutters and sound effects to kind of fill it out.  

On the second drone, I played soprano sax--lots of false fingerings and overtone kind of things.  I must be in an overtone kind of mood.  We played The Biggest Part of Me on Saturday night, and my solo at the end had the same sort of overblown/overtone kind of stuff happening.  I guess it's kind of in my ear at the moment, though I don't know why.

One more big week of gigs and then things slow down.  I'm looking forward to practicing more regularly again.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Thursday Night Tune Up

Last night was supposed to be the final tune up for the Second Annual Yacht Rock Holiday Special, but Nick felt himself getting sick and decided to take the night off (turns out Cobb had diarrhea and projectile vomit happening last night, too), so it ended up being just another night at the 10 High.  K Spence in on lead vocals and Ganesh on drums.

Is there such a thing?  This one was really good, especially in the first set.  We were really going for it.  I was having a great time, playing well.  Everybody was playing well.  All my stuff sounded good and felt good.  I got through Lonely Boy with no issues (mental or otherwise).   Even Dannells seemed satisfied with himself.

Dannells is awesome.

Just like last week, the cold arctic air coming down the stairwell made my horns unhappy.  Both instruments had potato chipped reeds when I picked them up, and I had to quickly rehydrate them to return them to normal.  Why is it that I only have to do that once, and then they're ok?  The potato chipping thing only happens one time per gig for me, no matter how long they sit after I flatten the tips out.

We went on break and I sat down and got really sleepy.  Not tired, but sleepy like my contacts were bugging my eyeballs and I wanted to take them out and go curl up somewhere.  Alas, the show must go on!

The second set was pretty good, too.  I remember Bencuya playing a really cool synth solo on Lowdown, and evidently Han's pitch shifter mutilated what I was playing in the PA on Baker Street (I couldn't hear it over my on stage sound).  People stayed until the end, and they were not disappointed.  It was fun, and we made good money.

Tonight's show at the Park Tavern should be awesome.  Usually I kind of dread these special ones because I feel pressured and unprepared, but I'm confident I'm going to nail it tonight.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


I've spent the past few days preparing for the Second Annual Yacht Rock Holiday Special coming up this Friday at the Park Tavern (tickets still available for the early show, but the late show is sold out!).  We learned some holiday songs and some new Yacht Rock songs.  It's gonna be good.

We did a rehearsal Tuesday night.  What a difference a year makes!  Last year, I was struggling in my attempts to do anything useful on the keyboard--very much gritting my teeth and holding on for dear life.  This time, I am a much more comfortable.

I practiced the new stuff a ton--I pretty much had it all memorized going into the Tuesday rehearsal, so I had no problems.  Things went so well, in fact, that I impressed Bencuya with one of my synth parts!  I was showing Cobb two missing measures, and I ripped off the bridge for him, and Bencuya said something like, "Holy shit!  That sounded REALLY good!"  How 'bout that!  I feel like I never have to play it perfectly again since he heard me.  I almost called Brandon on the way home to tell him the good news.

Wednesday morning, we did a live performance on the Regular Guys show.  It went well, though in the back of my mind I was cognizant of the fact that I was playing keyboard on the radio, and if I crashed and burned, many many many people would hear it.  However, it went fine.  I had no mistakes that I can recall.  We did Wonderful Christmastime and Imagine a Jump (Dannells sang the hell out of it!).

Wednesday night I did a Schlock Rock performance--my first years.  Schlock Rock is Jewish musical parodies of popular songs.  So, there was La Bamba with Hebrew words (about something Jewish).  There was a song built on Lady Ga Ga's Pokerface.  There was a song by "The Kosher Police" about keeping kosher, sung to Every Breath You Take.  There were Beatles melodies with Hebrew lyrics.  It was bizarre.

Lenny Solomon played an old DX7!  I texted Bencuya "A working DX7!"  and then it cut out during the first song.  Oops.

Thursday morning was another Yacht Rock rehearsal.  Same kind of thing--I feel better about this gig than I have about any other Yacht Rock special event.  I'm ready to kick ass.

Monday, December 6, 2010

So Schoon Me

I played another Yacht Rock Schooner gig last night--a holiday party at a country club.  Hans on sound!  Not much I can say about it.  This one was three sets of music, so the sax stuff was really spread out.  I think I only played two tunes in the last set.  It was super duper easy.  In a way it was kind of boring, but it was nice to take it easy.

I had lots of people asking me why I wasn't playing.  "Putting out the vibe."

Earlier in the day I played my morning church gig, which seems to have kind of calmed down from the chaos of a few weeks ago.  We were spread out along one edge of the stage due to an orchestra concert that night, so I was very far from the piano.  It was me and drums, as far as I could tell.  At least I finally found a place to sit down!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Saturday Schooning

I played a gig last night with the Yacht Rock Schooner--just saxes and flute--for a holiday party at the Cobb Energy Center.  It was really sweet being that close to home.  20 miles round trip!

It was pretty easy, but as always, it's really weird to not play the other parts of the song the way I'm used to doing in the Revue.  I spent about half the gig sitting off to the side of the stage, playing games on my phone.

The band sounded pretty good, though the mix could have been better.  You'd think (if you were a sound guy) that a band with two keyboards must have a significan amount of keyboard stuff going on in the music, and maybe you'd want to hear that in the mix?  The times that I was out front (when not playing games on my phone), it was all drums and bass.

Other than my lack of faith in the sound production, it was good.  I played pretty well, and I was home before midnight.

I took my attire inspiration from this video of David Sanborn playing with Paul Simon.

Friday, December 3, 2010


Usual Thursday...I redeemed myself on Lonely Boy.  I experimented with the difference between vibrato  and leslie on my organ stuff.  Not too much else happened--my awe inspiring setlist (complete with clip art) was about all I had.  It was a weird night where it seemed like I couldn't get my levels set quite right--too much of this, too little of that.  I'm trying not to set my stuff up wide open, but when I stand up (to play saxophone, for instance), and I don't get the feeling that I've got any kind of volume happening.  Even Nick asked me if my sax mic was on.  Hmm.

I will say reeds are old and soft, and I played Baker Street sooooo flat.  I would've needed a hacksaw to get up to pitch.  Soft reed, and then all the cold air blowing down the stairs hit my horns.  Boo.  Time to start breaking in a new batch!

So much for that.  In the mean time, check this out (with fellow IU alum Sara Caswell on violin):

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Beatles vs. Stones

We played a AWESOME gig last night.  The Main Street Exiles were rockin'--best gig I've ever played with that band.  Please Pleaserock Me then took the stage, and played the best gig we've played in a long time!  Great stuff, great set list.  Even the crowd was great.  I had a wonderful time.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Protec's Secret Glue: Vomit

I had a rehearsal yesterday for the upcoming Yacht Rock Holiday Special (Friday, December 10).  We also went over the Beatles stuff for the Please Pleaserock Me show (tonight at Smith's).

I used my bari sax at rehearsal...I opened the case for the first time in probably six weeks, put the thing together, and got ready to wail.  As I drew my breath for the first note, I was nearly killed by the smell of...puke?  I don't know.  My horn smelled like somebody/something had thrown up in it, and then baked it.  I nearly died.

When I got home, I washed the mouthpiece, the neck, the mouthpiece cap, my hands.  Total sterilization.  I squirted some mouthpiece disinfectant into the neck and left it there.  But where was the smell coming from?  It turns out my new Pro Tec baritione saxophone case is glued together with barf.  I Febrezed it and dumped an entire box of baking soda in it, and it's currently outside sunning itself.  Here's hoping the odor is eliminated, or there may be trouble.  Funny that I did a google search, and I'm not the only person who has dealt with this particular problem.

I did a House Live gig last night at Ventanas.  The usual many more pictures of that place do I need?  Nothing else of note happened, though I did notice my effects pedal was very uneven--some sounds were much louder than others.  This morning I checked it out--I used a TRS (stereo) to XLR (microphone) cable, and only some of the effects were only coming through on one side of the stereo, while others were both.  Oops.  Gotta use a TS (mono) cable to a DI to an XLR, even though the quarter inch output says stereo.  I guess you've gotta be stereo on the other end, too.  Live and learn.