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Showing posts from February, 2012

Rehearsal and Recording

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It's almost March, so it's almost time for the Yacht Rock Revue to play U2!  We had a rehearsal for a couple of U2 shows coming up--one on Thursday and one on Saturday.  Easy stuff for me…mostly hand percussion, with the occasional one handed keyboard part.


After rehearsal, I made my way over to Madison Studios (where Exocet Studios used to be) for a recording session with Paul Poovey and Eric Alexander.  We did a horn section thing for a Yacht Rock original called Can't Wait for Summer.  I think it turned out well.  Famous last words:  How's this going to take three hours?  It's one tune and we have charts!  Oops.  Peter Stroud produced, though we had a few other "producers" in the room also helping steer the ship.  Russ Fowler engineered.



I put a couple of solos on the tune too.  I think I've mastered the art of not quite nailing it…got close a couple of times, but I couldn't quite get to the end of anything.  Boo.

At least the bari was done in …

Children's Museum, The Fifteen Minute Gig, and Live from Deep in the Cave

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Saturday:  the Yacht Rock Revue played a benefit for the Children's Museum.  It was our second year doing this gig.  It was just about the same as the year before--crappy load in, weird room, trouble with the PA, crowd loved it.


I had a good time, and I played well.  My flute solo on Lowdown was better than usual.  I heard from Pete that my sax solo was breaking up in his monitor, but my friend who was at the gig didn't hear this.  Hopefully it was just in the wedges.  I had ear plugs in, so I couldn't hear the PA over the resonance in my head.

I found some good passing chords to play on the chorus of Go Your Own Way (I'm playing a wurly part that doesn't exist on the record).  The basic chords are D minor, Bb, and C.  So I'm adding A minor around the D minor, F around the Bb, and F and D minor around the C.  I'm giving it my best Bencuya impression!  I've been trying different stuff during the past couple of months, and this combination seemed to work …

40 Watt, Smith's

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The past two nights have been a break from the Yacht Rock grind--we played Zeppelin and Pink Floyd Thursday night at the 40 Watt in Athens and the Beatles Friday night at Smith's Olde Bar in Atlanta.

Thursday:  not much playing for me.  I played tambourine on Rock and Roll and flute in the beginning of Stairway to Heaven.  Dark Side of the Moon has a decent amount of saxophone stuff, but I'm just reading stuff off the page.   Feels like I'm filling in the blanks.
We ended up with a hundred people in the crowd.  In a room like that (especially when they're not right up against the front of the stage) in doesn't feel like there's anybody there.  Everybody was sitting down watching the show, and though they liked it, they didn't give off much energy.  It made the gig feel kind of flat to me.  That said, it was a something different, and we weren't in a stinky basement, so it was worth it.


Friday:  Please Pleaserock Me played Sgt. Pepper's and then an en…

Ashes to Ashes

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I had an Ash Wednesday church gig tonight.  It really sucked.

It was at church gig number two, in their parish hall.  That room is no fun to play in because the speakers are in the ceiling and the band is in a little nook off to the side.  The sound inside the nook is completely different from the rest of the room.  To mix sound, one has to walk most of the way to the doors to room in order to hear the speakers.

Tonight, I couldn't get hardly any volume in the house without pushing the master fader almost completely up.  When the band really got going, the mixer would hit the red and send a distorted signal to the house.  At one point, the priest came over (after putting ashes on everybody) and said, "I think it's clipping."  Ouch.  Interesting that he wouldn't say "breaking up" or "distorting."  I guess in a way that makes it worse;  he might actually know something about what I was doing.



My guess is that the amplifiers that power the speake…

More Good Stuff

Church gig number one went pretty well.  Maybe I was still riding some of the energy from last night, but I felt pretty plugged into what was going on.  The rehearsal seemed kind of casual, and then suddenly we had to run upstairs to play without having gone through everything.  I think we kind of winged it on some stuff--there was a lot of music in the book today.

Here's something from the first service:

Mt Bethel, February 19, 2012 by David B Freeman

Tremendously phallic waveform.

In the second service, we accompanied the big choir for one song.  When we went downstairs to rehearse it, I brought my clarinet.  Mid song, the band leader called me over and said, "this should be sax, not clarinet!"  I said, "I'll tell you about it later."

Upstairs, I told him that because the choir director hates my saxophone, I played clarinet for rehearsal so she wouldn't notice me.  During the actual service (when she couldn't do anything about it), I let wail with …

Ain't Misbehavin', Closing Night (for me)

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I played my final night of Ain't Misbehavin' with the Atlanta Lyric Theatre tonight.  Great stuff!


Everything I'd messed up last night was right tonight.  I had a great time and was able to enjoy the show instead of panicking about whatever was coming next.  Too bad opening night had to be my rehearsal, but I was a thousand percent more comfortable on this one.  I know I played WAAAAAAAY better than last night.  It was suddenly an easy gig!

One of the most important changes I made between last night and tonight was to better situate my instruments.  Rather than keep my sax stand off to my right, I put a clarinet peg between my feet and kept my alto in my lap.  Much faster!


Here's how my opening (How Ya, Baby) sounded tonight.  It seems like my iPhone doesn't like snare drum.

How Ya, Baby by David B Freeman

I had a wonderful time.  After the gig, I was so excited, I probably would have done a victory lap around Marietta Square if it hadn't been raining.  I was r…

Ain't Misbehavin', Opening Night

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I subbed in with the Atlanta Lyric Theatre last night, playing the show Ain't Misbehavin' at the Strand Theatre in Marietta.  Super duper fun show!

The book is mostly clarinet, with occasional alto.  I practiced the hell out of the book and played along with the cast recording--I felt good going into it, even though I wasn't fortunate enough to attend any rehearsals.  The speed of the transitions was really tough, though.  There's almost no dialogue between songs, so as soon as one ends, you have to be ready to go (sometimes grabbing the other horn).  That part kicked my butt.  In a couple of spots, I turned to pick up my saxophone, and when I looked back at the music, I'd lost my place, so a few things went flying past me.

It was a really fun show, though!  I don't get calls for stuff like this…wish I did.  I love it.  To top it off, I got to see some really awesome old friends--Eric Alexander, Andrew Fazackerley, Jeff Macko, and the one and only Scott Glazer

Yacht Rock at The Ivy

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Yacht Rock played The Ivy in Buckhead again last night.


It felt like we were playing in a train station.  It was crowded and noisy, and the people could not have cared less about what we were doing.  Too bad, too, because if they'd paid any attention they would have noticed Mark Cobb empty his head of all the drum stuff that was building up.  We witnessed the open handed high hat, the Ringo hit hat thing, playing on the bell of the hi hats, the Purdie fill in various permutations, a few moments with the beat turned around and then back, some crazy fills incorporating the stuff on his left, and a bunch of other stuff I can't remember at the moment.  He was even played one handed so he could pose for a picture.


Hopefully I can avoid getting sucked into watching Purdie videos for the rest of the day.

I played pretty well (except for the Little Jeanie, which I practiced and still screwed up).  I had some keyboard trouble with my Fantom--it freaked out in a couple of spots.  It da…

Tuning!

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On the heels of the successful Yacht Rock tour, I dragged myself out of bed really early Sunday morning to make it to my church gigs.

Church gig number one was a bit odd.  I received an email late in the week saying we were playing both services (double money!), but we had to be there a half hour early (boo!).  I showed up with all my horns, only to find out that we were playing the entire service with the orchestra (a few strings added to a concert band).  I ended up playing the oboe parts on soprano sax.  Unfortunately,  I was seated in the back next to the low brass, so the flutes and clarinets played the oboe cues on their parts;  I assume they didn't hear me.  No oboe, no problem.

This gig did offer me the opportunity to concentrate on tuning for my soprano--looking for the spot where the left hand can be in tune and I can lip down the right hand.  Fun.  At least that gave me something to do.


Just for the sake of bitching, let me also mention that we're still on the "…

Another Long Ride in the Van

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The Yacht Rock Revue returned from another successful northeastern tour Saturday night.  Along the way, we played three successful shows in New York City and Washington DC, ate good food, and annoyed each other quite a bit.

We started out Tuesday morning, driving all day and into the night before finally stopping on the north side of Washington DC.  We stopped to eat in Richmond.



Wednesday morning we drove from DC into New York City.  Our first gig was at Dominion NYC, a really cool room on Lafayette.  Great stage, great equipment, and a great sound man.  They even helped us drag our gear in.  Total pro situation.


After soundcheck, we ventured out in search of food.  Gaia was closed, so we ate at Katz's Deli.





This show was a Please Pleaserock Me (Beatles) show;  we played all of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band for the first set, and then a second set of more Beatles favorites.  Big fun!  Unfortunately, we had twenty people show up to witness our awesomeness.  Too bad--w…