Showing posts from December, 2012

High Beams

My AM church gig didn't happen…they were reinstalling the carpet in the sanctuary.  The current carpet was "defective."

My PM church gig included the service before ours--a doubleheader.  Nice.  Two shots at everything.

Not much to report playing-wise.  Evidently, the church is trying to save money by not turning on the heat (thank you busty coed in the third row for reminding me of our chilly situation for an hour).  Yesssssssss.  The cold made tuning difficult--every time I picked up a horn, it was ice cold and twenty cents flat.  Nooooooo.

Christmas with Dan

I played two Christmas services at the church where I play my PM services, both in the parish hall/deadest room on the planet.  It's the one with the band in the little nook off the main room, and the band plugs into the wall and the sound comes through speakers in the ceiling.

Both services were fine, but in the second one, I started playing around with the reverbs on the mixer, especially with the "cathedral" sounding one.  In one song, I had one of the vocalists at a normal reverb level and the other (who was singing a counter line) totally wet, and the piano somewhere in the middle.  As vocal one gradually made her way to the same part as vocalist two (Silent Night), I washed her and the piano out, too.  The song eventually distilled down to the two vocals.  It sounded great in my headphones.  I was pretty happy with myself, even if no one else in the room noticed it.  Dan (Lanois, of course) would've been proud of me.


Yacht Rock returned yesterday (Sunday) from a couple of holiday shows in Nashville.

Friday:  we played a private party at The Bridge Building, just across the river from downtown.  Super cool venue that's only been open for a couple of weeks.

The room where we played was an acoustical nightmare.  We were surrounded by floor to ceiling windows in a two story box with exposed I-beams and a concrete floor.  Needless to say, it was loud and washy.  Looked great, sounded not so great.

The attendees made this gig look like a Carrie Underwood look alike contest.  What do they put in the water to make all of the women blonde?

Speaking of which, this gig created a new rule for me, effective immediately:  NOT UNLESS SHE'S TOPLESS.  Some dude requested Hey 19, and we obliged him.  While we were playing, he then tried repeatedly to get his date to get on stage and stand next to me while I was playing for a picture, like I'm the Wille B statue at the zoo or something.  Really, dude--not…

The Day After

I staggered home from the Variety Playhouse, put all my gear away, took a shower, and went to bed for a few hours.  Shortly thereafter, I was up again to make my way to my AM church gig.

I played everything I brought--two hymns on flute, a song on tenor, an song on soprano, and the closer on clarinet.  Matt had me on a large diaphragm condenser this week--I don't know if it sounded any better, but I felt like it sounded better.  Bigger microphone, bigger…sound?

I went home and slept all day.

My PM gig was in the parish hall--the cathedral choir had a concert in the main sanctuary (shows you how much they like our mass when we can get kicked out of the church for something of this level--would they do that to the 10 AM Sunday mass?).  Anyway, the parish hall sound is usually a horrible place to play--it's really dead, the band is in a little nook off to the side of the room, the speakers are all in the ceiling, and there's no headroom in the system.  I guess somebody finall…

Holiday Special 2012

Last night was the Yacht Rock Holiday Special 2012, once again back at the sold out Variety Playhouse.  This year featured a horn section of Jordan Shalhoup (from the Schooner), Paul Poovey, and Eric Alexander.  Great playing!

Wow--what a show!  Some things were sloppy/horrible/temporarily catastrophic on my part (Hip to Be Square solo, All Night Long intro, parts of Santa Claus is Coming to Town, Raspberry Beret), but I played good solo stuff on Good Thing and L.A. Lindsay, and got lucky when I screwed up the recorded solo on She's Gone and improvised something decent on my own.  Take that, Joe Farrell.

Congratulations to everybody at Pleaserock:  Nick, Pete, Kristen, Esther, and Nackers--for putting together a hugely successful event!

Holiday Party #3

Yacht Rock played another holiday party, this time at King Plow.  Another chance to practice before the big night at Variety Playhouse!

This gig was a three setter.  First two sets, we played to a mostly empty room while everyone at the party was in the other room (around the bar).  Finally in the third set, they came in and danced.  Better late than never.

Holiday Party #2

Yacht Rock played another holiday party last night, this time at a showroom for a carpet manufacturing/sales company downtown.  This party was populated by super hot women in six inch heels.  They were everywhere!  Fantastic.

For us, this is mostly a rehearsal for Saturday--a few extra reps before the big day.  It was, for me, the chance to try playing some of these new songs without horns.  Not too bad.  I'd give myself a B on them.

Trio Gig in Alpharetta

I played a nice little trio gig in Alpharetta this afternoon with Kevin Smith on bass and Nick Rosen on keyboard--a combined grand opening and holiday party for a company.

Other than the crazy screaming kids, it was a really good gig.  I'd only done one gig previously with Nick--this one was quite a treat.  I really dug it.  Kevin was terrific, as usual.  We played my originals, with the exception of a few Christmas tunes.  I love playing with these guys.

Here's the audio:

Rehearsal for the big Yacht Rock show this coming Saturday went pretty well--all my horn charts had little issues, but everything worked.  I spent last night and tonight editing and reprinting everything.  I'm finally done!

Charts and Odd Meters

I was shut out of my AM church gig this week.  Oh well…slept in…I would've liked to have made the money.

Most of my day was concentrated on finishing horn charts for next Saturday's big Yacht Rock Holiday Show at the Variety Playhouse.  We're going to have a horn section, so I've been cranking out music.  There are eighteen tunes all together;  I have fourteen finished and printed out.  That leaves four to put in Finale.  At around three hours per tune (transcribing/arranging/inputing), that's a lot of work.  The deadline/rehearsal is Tuesday morning.

My PM gig was not too bad.  I've discovered that panning the acoustic guitar and piano opposite each other makes each more audible (since they are both playing in the same octave much of the time).  The only other thing worth mentioning is that we had two songs with random odd meter measures thrown in.  The first of the two was in six, but every fifth or sixth bar would be in seven (I think this was to satisfy a w…

Rob Henson!

Yacht Rock played a holiday party last night at the Hotel Intercontinental in Buckhead.

What otherwise was a snoozer of a party was memorable for the presence of Rob Henson, subbing on bass (Greg Lee was subbing for Nick on the front line).  Several of us have known Rob since college, and he still has the same intensity and aggressive playing that he was known for at I.U.  It was super fun to share the stage with him again.

This party was a huge production--multiple rooms, a DJ, karaoke, a blues band, and us.  It was a huge and expensive event--I wonder how many of the attendees would rather have had a Christmas bonus instead of this lavish gala.

The sound company had some trouble with the audio--I played all of Lowdown without the flute microphone on (you'd think a forty-something guy would say, "Hmm, there's something missing in this song!"), and lots of things were coming and going in the monitors.  I think they'd had enough of us by the end of the night--th…

Sea Island

Yacht Rock was in Sea Island Monday evening for a corporate gig of some kind.  Not the greatest circumstances, but still a pretty good gig!

One of the toughest things about this particular event was that we didn't spend the night, so it was drive five and a half hours, set up and play the gig, tear down, and drive five and a half hours back.  Fortunately, Hans (our sound guy for the event) was willing to drive both ways and run sound.

The other complication at this show was the weather.  We were outside on the edge of a marsh, on a stage with no covering (thankfully, no rain!).  Upon arrival, we had to deal with sand gnats, which we were told were all wings and teeth!  After the sun went down, the gnats went away, but we then had to deal with cool temperatures and high humidity, which meant that all of our gear was dripping with condensation.  Not the best situation for electronics!

Bencuya was out for this gig, so we had Eric Frampton subbing for him.  Cool!  Because of sub, ther…


No gig Saturday night made Sunday morning a little less painful!

My AM gig was pretty solid.  We played two traditional hymns (flute) and two contemporary songs (tenor).  Easy stuff--the worst of it was the twelve or so page turns in one of the latter.  After the break, we played the closing song (clarinet) and that was it.  No problems.  I'm lovin' it.

My PM gig was also fine.  Several of the regular songs become spoken responses during Advent, so this was a shorter gig, playing-wise.  I panned the guitar away from the piano, and I think that helped with the sound--when they are right on top of each other, it can be difficult to tell them apart (right hand of the piano vs. the guitar).  I think spacing them out helped the mix.