Sunday, June 29, 2014


Yacht Rock played someone's birthday party last night in Roswell.  We were in a room unfit for a band.

Personal highlights/lowlights include the heel coming off my shoe, me watching the Braves game on the TV instead of playing about half of the penny whistle solo on Call Me Al, and...I don't know.  I not interested in being at this gig at all.  It didn't help that we played over half the night to an empty room.

The Braves won, by the way.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Eddie's Attic

What a cool gig!  Greg and Nick from Yacht Rock played a gig last night at Eddie's Attic in Decatur which featured their original songs.  The rest of the band (plus or minus Jason Nackers and me) backed them.  It was refreshing to play some different songs, and also to play without the polyester and sunglasses and the YRR schtick.

I played keyboards and a couple of songs and flute on a couple;  I also played saxophone on two of Greg's songs.  It felt like I was REALLY loud on both, but it sounded too good for me to back off.  I'll be interested to see if somebody got audio or video of either to hear what it was like out front.  One was a Sanborn-ish alto thing and the other was a growly Clarence Clemons tenor.

Bencuya's original Cartoon Butterfly was also on the list, and he asked me to play piano in addition to the flute solo.  The adrenaline flowed freely on the piano part, but unfortunately, it caused me to pretty much throw up when I switched to flute.

The highlight of the night for me was hearing Nick play a couple of Y O U songs solo, both of which were mesmerizing.  Fantastic stuff.

Thursday, June 26, 2014


Yacht Rock played a private event in Philadelphia Tuesday night.  I have no idea what it was for.  We flew up that morning.  Hans flew up to White Plains, NY, the day before and drove our gear down to Philly.

Check your phone.

The gig was right inside the front doors of the Museum of Art (the Rocky steps museum).  We didn't have the opportunity to go outside, unfortunately.  It would've been a cool picture of the the seven of us doing the Rocky pose.

The inside of the hall is beautiful and not at all acoustically friendly.  Not a good place to put a band!

The first set started out slow, but the crowd got the hang of it.  By the second set, they were into it.

No problems with my laptop on this night.  I guess that was some sort of random glitch.

My hotel room had a bug problem.  That's my pillow right there.

We flew home Wednesday.  Check your phone.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Please Come to Boston

Yacht Rock played Boston (Cambridge, specifically) for the first time Friday night.  Wow!  Depending on who you talked to, it either sold out or came close (443 people out of a 500 capacity).  Hopefully that will become the next stop on our regular trips to the Northeast.  It was a great night for the band.

The day didn't begin well, however.  We had brought all four keyboards home for an Atlanta gig the night before, and when we checked in at the airport Friday morning, Delta welcomed us with a $200 PER KEYBOARD charge for oversized and overweight items.  There was no arguing with them either.  Nothing like beginning the day $800 in the hole.

Once again Delta arbitrarily interprets the rules--the same four keyboards that we flew from White Plains to Atlanta on Sunday (for $0 extra) now cost us $800 to fly from Atlanta to White Plains.  Can anyone at Delta explain that?

So...we got to White Plains, and hung out for about an hour while Pete and Nick went to retrieve the van and trailer.

The drive from White Plains to Boston was supposed to take three hours, but with traffic and construction and Friday afternoon, ended up taking five.  Ouch!  Quick load in, set up, and soundcheck.  Fortunately, the crew at The Sinclair was awesome about helping us get our gear in the room.  Set up and soundcheck were painless.

Mark Cobb and I took a quick walk around Harvard.

The gig began with a heart attack.  My computer (the brain for my EWI rig) had gone to sleep and wouldn't wake up.  I spent the first few songs (counting down to Hey 19, the first song for which I needed the EWI) trying to play keyboard while diagnosing the problem.  If I couldn't get it to wake up, I figured I'd play Hey 19 on tenor, and then I'd be able to deal with it on the break (or decide what to do about Africa, Rosanna, and Lido).  After frantically hitting the space bar and the power button several times and unplugging and replugging everything, I was about to faint from the adrenaline.  I flagged down one of the crew offstage and said "See if you can get my laptop to turn back on!"  He picked it up and it turned back on.  What the hell?  I plugged everything back in and it worked fine.  Five or six songs later, I'd finally calmed down enough to play the rest of the set.

The remainder of the gig went well--a terrific first night in Boston!  The crowd was a bit heavy on dudes (many of whom were losing their minds with every note we played), but I'm sure it'll even out in the future.  The Sinclair is one of those rooms like The Hamilton in DC where the sound is great, the crew is great, the crowd is great...we'll be back.

The number one fan of the man from Tennessee...

The next day we drove back to White Plains (which I think only took four hours this time), dumped the van and trailer, and flew home--without any gear this time.  TSA did take my backpack apart--I always wonder what they think when they're looking at my ear plugs and saxophone mouthpieces and  spare batteries and USB/MIDI convertor.  The agent said something about my miniature screwdriver, but I couldn't understand her.  Something about how in the future TSA was going to inspect everything in my backpack, which they've never done in the previous fifteen trips.  I'm guessing that just like with Delta, it'll be random--the roulette of traveling with any kind of musical gear.  Goodie.

Friday, June 20, 2014

In Direct Sunlight

Ugh.  Direct sunlight.  I'm not a fan.  Yacht Rock played a gig--a private party of some sort--on the west side of town.  We were tucked in a corner, outside, no stage, no cover.  It was brutally hot at load in.  I was really pissed about letting my gear fry in the sun for several hours, let alone playing a gig out there.

Fortunately, right as we began the sky got hazy, and that kind of saved us.

The crowd looked good, but they were kind of indifferent to what we were doing.  Maybe they were just curious like they'd never seen us before.  Anyway, not a lot of love.

My favorite part of the gig was when a passing train's brakes started squealing at the beginning of Maneater.  Kip thought it was feedback and began frantically searching for it.  The squeal was a B (Maneater is in B minor).  Really loud!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Northeast Trip

Yacht Rock returned home yesterday from a short trip to the northeast with very successful gigs in Washington DC and New York, including our biggest audience to ever see us in NYC.  Very cool.

Wednesday:  We drove all day.  It's too far to drive to DC and play a gig.  Late in the afternoon, we stopped in South Carolina and ate lunch at a random Mexican restaurant, and considered the consequences of touching a fence that might or might not have been electrified.

Thursday:  There's a crappy Holiday Inn in Maryland.  We woke up there.  Off to DC for our gig!  First, a Chinese restaurant for lunch:

We played The Hamilton, one of the greatest venues we've ever played.  Beautiful room, great sound, fantastic staff.  We had 517 people (in a room that holds 600) on a Thursday night.  It's a win!

Friday:  The drive from DC to NYC takes...4 hours?  5 hours?  Even when you get close enough to start taking pictures, you're still an hour or so from the gig.  The traffic is horrible, and every lane change is a dare.

Anyway...Brooklyn!  We're back.  There's nothing about the Brooklyn Bowl that isn't cool.

Brooklyn Bowl has the best fried chicken ever.  Ever ever ever ever ever.  Delicious.

Another good gig!  710 people there to see us--our best crowd in New York City ever.

I was set up pretty far forward--a much different vantage point than usual.   Normally I'm not witness to what's happening right up against the stage.

Our friend Danny who runs The Hamilton in DC was in Brooklyn for a wedding, so he ran sound for us.  Yes!

One thing that definitely sucked was that there was a late show following us--meaning we had to hurry up and get out.  We had a great gig, played an encore, and then ran upstairs to change back into our street clothes.  Security backed the crowd up about twenty feet from the stage, and everybody got to watch us frantically pack up and load out.  Boo.

Once we loaded out, I had a chance to hang out with one of my favorite and most talented classmates in college, Chris Hiatt.  I hadn't seen him since we finished at IU.  He now lives in Brooklyn with his family.

Saturday:  lunch near Woodstock (NY) with Robbie Dupree.  So cool!

We played a wedding at a remote location in the Catskills--kind of Hudson River valley Deliverance.

We didn't get our rider, and the food was terrible.  This chicken was the ying to Brooklyn Bowl's yang.

This gig could have been a major letdown after the two previous evenings, but the crowd was really into it from the first song.  Not too bad for a wedding.  Nice dancing.

My evening ended with Monkey watching Paula Poundstone YouTube videos.

Sunday:  we drove to White Plains to fly home.  The counter agent for Delta gave us some trouble with Bencuya's Fantom (weighing 59 pounds).  Eventually she got it straightened out.  We used the Silver Medallion baggage weight limit argument.  The language on Delta's website is pretty clear, but she still needed 10 minutes on the phone.  Meanwhile, the line behind us backed up almost to the door.

Come on, Richard Anderson!  Get it together!

You'd think after this week's pictures of John Pattituci's bass being mangled and Rick Springfield's guitar splitting open that the airlines would be a little more cool with musicians...

The rest of our gear is staying in the Northeast until our next gig--Friday in Cambridge, MA.  I've never been to Boston, so I'm really looking forward to this one.