Showing posts from April, 2011

The Prom, Part 2

We (Yacht Rock Revue) took the prom show to Nashville Saturday night.  We loaded up the van and took off.

The crowd at the Mercy Lounge was ok…maybe a couple of hundred?  I won't bother to guess why it wasn't more.  Easter?  Who knows.  The people who were there were pretty enthusiastic, so it was cool.  The sound was pretty good, though as before, it got super loud on stage.

I reviewed all of my stuff Friday night and felt good about it;  still riding the calm confidence of the previous weekend.  My only big flub was coming in two measures early on I Can Dream About You.  The whole intro sounds like little two measure things.  I guess I miscounted.

Maybe it's the style of the music, but I just can't find Mark Cobb these days.  More precisely, I cannot get my stuff to fit into his groove.  I don't know why, but what I was playing just didn't feel like it laid right.  I tried leaning forward on the time, and that didn't do it.  I tried laying back and lettin…

Double Thursday

Thursday was a Yacht Rock gig away from our usual 10 High thing…we opened a series at the Havana Club.  I think the idea is they're trying to draw people on Thursday nights, so they booked a series of cover bands (beginning with us), and offered free booze to see how it works.

The gig was pretty bad.  We should have never set up, based on the first hour that we were there.  The sound guy appeared to be on his first night in the room--I mean, we were set up and waiting, and he was just barely getting started putting out mics, and THE DOORS WERE OPEN!  I mean, too late!  Our soundcheck never happened--we did a really bad line check (where he attempted to get the monitors going, but ended up putting everybody in everybody else's wedges).  I, for one, had at some point had a line for my electronics (keyboards, EWI), a line for the sax, and a vocal mic for the flute.  I had a wedge in front of me.  Eventually, all that got cut down to just a line for all my gear (with the sax runn…

The Prom

I was sure by Saturday night my head would explode.  Too many new parts jammed into my head too quickly.  Somehow, I came through just fine.

A couple of hours of practice on Friday night left me feeling pretty good about my situation, and I still felt good on stage at the Variety before and during soundcheck.  I had played through every song on the setlist by the time we finished our preparations--I was ready!

The first set went really well for me.  Once again, I had that very aware feeling that I was playing well--kind of like the voice in my head was content to just sit there and listen.  Every song that came up was no big deal.  I had no issues, no major space outs where I couldn't remember the next chord.  In fact, I was kind of chomping at the bit--I was anticipating the next section before I got there.  Pretty cool.

We came off stage and changed into our 80s movie costumes.  My costume (I was assigned a character) was Viper from Top Gun.  I looked exactly like my Dad (minus…

Dress Rehearsal

Thursday night was the big dress rehearsal for the gig this Saturday at the Variety Playhouse.  I tried to balance getting plenty of sleep, taking care of errands, and practicing the stuff until I couldn't get it wrong;  not so successful on Thursday afternoon.  I had a small meltdown in the hour or so before I left for the gig, and I got so tense I couldn't play or remember half the stuff.

We set up and fiddled through stuff at soundcheck.  I was kind of poking at things I could sort of play and aggravating the growing knot in my shoulder.  Once we got going on the gig, I quickly settled in, though.  I was actually playing pretty well!  There were flubs and stuff I forgot, but I was pretty even keeled about it.  The only disaster was Maniac, and that was only because I didn't move well from section to section in the song.  On break, I felt kind of relieved.

The second set was not so hot.  We began with the Top Gun Theme and moved directly into Danger Zone.    I forgot abo…

Tuesday Night Trio, Wednesday Night House Music

I had a trio gig Tuesday night.  Yay!  It was another party for Microsoft developers.  We played at a house turned club called Metropolitan--we were on the front patio, dueling pianos were in the front room of the house, the DJ was in the upstairs…there was probably somebody else in there too.  Anyway, the front door was open and the dueling pianists were super loud--annoyingly so.  We had a hard time hearing each other because of the volume they were putting out.  Mix that with the traffic, and it was a noisy environment for a jazz gig.

We would have done my tunes, but I figured that between the steady breeze and the impending darkness, it would be best to not try and deal with charts.  I called standards instead, except that I don't really remember too many because I never play them, so I was a bit rough!  Sorry about that.  I made more than enough mistakes.

I did the gig with Louis Heriveaux and Kevin Smith, who did their usual excellent job.  The gig was supposed to be a four …

Monday gig

Yacht Rock had a Monday night gig this week--some sort of private party for some people who, quite frankly, were ready to party!  We got in there (at the Crown Plaza Ravinia), set up, ate, and let 'em have it.

At one point, I looked out at the crowd and they were doing the electric slide to Kiss on my List.

Another good, solid gig, and once again I had the thought mid gig--"Hey, I'm really not screwing up at all!"  I'm not sure if it's cool for me to kind of be astonished that I'm not butchering a bunch of songs I've been playing weekly for a couple of years now, but whatever.  It's kind of cool--it's like inner peace.  "Man, I'm really doing this and it's actually working!"  I feel like I'm fitting in well with everything that's going on around me.

Ganesh subbed for Mark Cobb on drums, playing the red Vistalites again.  He sounded great!  I really think the sound of those drums suits his playing style perfectly (much …

Saturday and Sunday

Saturday night I had another House Live gig--same guys as earlier in the week!  We played a networking reception for Microsoft at the Omni downtown.  Super easy, and we were done at 9!  Can't beat that.

I shot a couple of videos from the gig.  Note to iPhone users:  don't use the front camera to shoot video!  Not high quality!

My idea in playing this gig is to focus on the stream of consciousness and the velocity of the line--there's really no climax because the background is pretty static.  At times, it can be pretty mindless until I come across another idea to mangle.

Sunday was a day of church gigs (and mowing the yard).  Lots of crying in the first one.  A couple of singers got pretty emotional while they were singing.  I was fine.  Church gig number two was kind of sleepy.  Evidently there was some issue with the piano microphone, and emails were sent and opinions were expressed.  I plugged it into the mixer and it worked fine.

Another busy week of 80s crap.  So far I…


Last night was the regular Yacht Rock gig at the 10 High.  We had a better crowd than the previous few weeks, but they showed up (almost en masse) about halfway through the first set.

Pete's on vacation this week, so we had Kevin Spencer covering for him, and Cobb's out so Ganesh was in (on a red Vistalite kit!).  Ganesh sounded really good.  I'm not crazy about his regular kit, but the Vistalites sounded perfect, and matched his style well.  I dug it.

I played really well--it was a pretty mistake free night.  It was kind of surprising.  I also got off a couple of pretty good solos (on two brand new reeds).

We substituted Lonely Boy for Who Can it Be Now (and I was happy).  Much more fun for me to play.  Surprisingly (or maybe not), I was able to pull it out of my butt.  I wish we played that one more often.  That song was followed with an audible--I Just Want to Stop--which was easily the roughest song of the night, but I did ok.  I remembered more of it than I thought …

The Return!

Still alive I am.

Friday:  Big Beatles show at Eddie's Attic, home of the acoustic guitar strumming folk hero.  I guess Nick has enough pull to get us in there.  Anyway, I knew it would sound really great because the sound guy (Shalom) is top notch and is also a freak for the Beatles, and sure enough it sounded great and we listened to weird bootlegs the entire time we were setting up.

The Beatles stuff is still pretty hit and miss with me, and the fact that I'd been feeling the depression revving up in me for the day or two before didn't help--I was pretty non-commital about the show.  I played as hard as I could;  gave it my all.  Maybe it's the fact that I'm always playing and then sitting a couple out, and then coming back and doing hand claps, and then going and sitting, but I never feel like I'm part of the band.  I'm the favorite hired gun.  The feeling was compounded by the fact that the stage was small and we (the horn section) stood off to the side…

Can't Stop/Can't Sleep

Fear not, blog readers…I shall return!  Last week was nightly gigs, and when it finally ended this Monday (yesterday, technically, though I am still awake), I had to chart out ten new tunes for a Tuesday morning rehearsal.  The blog will continue soon!  I need to sleep first!

Double Shot

Yacht Rock did two gigs yesterday.  We had an early gig at the Apparel Mart and  then our usual 10 High thing.

Oddly enough, I have never in my fifteen years of wandering around Atlanta played the Apparel Mart.  Never been in there (though the ring on my finger came from there).  It looks like a giant hotel lobby full of stores--this is accentuated by the fact that it has the same interior architecture as the Marriott downtown (or is it Hyatt?).  Anyway, it looks pretty cool.

We were collectively a bit daunted by the acoustic possibilities.  Would it be an mess of washy echoes?  Surprisingly no.  It felt really dead on stage.  I guess because there was nothing for the sound to directly bounce off, it just kept going.  After a couple of songs, we had ourselves balanced out pretty well.

The gig began with me in a Benadryl haze (the pollen is wearing me out right now).  We played for an hour and a half (and it felt like it) to a curious crowd.  After playing two saxes, two keyboards, E…