Monday, August 30, 2010

#43 Vu Ultra Bar on 8-29-10

I got a haircut before the show. I decided to 'try some stuff out' on my hair, and let my girl go for it with the clippers. The results were amusing and pleasing.

This trip back to the 'Vu Bar' was very nice. As said before, the art community up here in Santa Clarita is very supportive. It's an odd place, kind of remote, allowing for a lot of time to kill. I envision more metal bands popping up here than anything else, but I haven't confirmed this is the case.

We had a few deodorant samples with us (for reasons we'd rather not say here) so we gave them away, although Castro had wanted me to engage the audience in a 'dance contest' in order to 'win' the deodorant. The crowd was even more supportive than last time, and we received nice compliments on our tone choices on the Micro Korg.

Besides the art on the walls, and the art battle we played with the Oceanographers.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

#42 The Joint on 8-28-10


I have a preconceived bias against a club like the Joint. I feel it is one of those 'sceneless' clubs, where bands think they will 'make it' by booking a 'showcase' where 'industry' will attend. We were pleased to be playing two nights in a row though.

The stage is very high, and this is great. The sound man was direct and to the point, and delivered FANTASTIC sound on stage.

This was the first show incorporating the Micro Korg. It made me feel like ditching the bass altogether and just playing keys.

I closed my eyes during the bridge of Sea Legs and when I opened them again most of the crowd had left. They were there to support the previous band.

Some of us lingered to watch the final band of the night, a thrash/metal band. They all looked the part except for their bassist. Not only did he stand there mortified, staring at his bass most of the time, he was wearing an bright red Incredibles shirt and baggy jeans while the rest of the band looked street/metal.

We played with A Flavor Of Love, Creature Company, Great White Buffalo and The Arsenal.

Friday, August 13, 2010

#41 Downtown L.A. on 8-12-2010

This show was supposed to be at an artspace downtown. The night before the show we were informed that the building owner did not want a show to occur, so lots of scrambling took place to have it moved.

The new place was the bottom floor of another building, one that already had its own art and vendors. So, the 'stage' was located just inside the door, and art was squeezed in wherever it could fit. If I'm correct there were 3 separate fresh-baked cookie vendors, which is probably 2 too many for one small cramped location. There was no power to most of the building, and the one working outlet was behind the DJ, and we were told not to use it. Instead, we got our power from a gas-powered generator, rented from Home Depot. There were 2 people who were in charge of the event, but it was difficult to get things answered resolutely. I decided to assume the 'stage manager' role, just to make sure everything went well, at least regarding the live music.

We had parked a couple blocks from the venue, so we had to roll our gear down the street.

The first band was Stepfather, and I made sure things were set up as well as possible, with monitors, etc. I was reminded how long setting up sound equipment takes. Stepfather were in the middle of what might have been their 3rd song when one of the coordinators said the music had to stop. Apparently a man playing acoustic Spanish guitar had to play NOW. Bands would be permitted to resume after 9:30, and could "play as long as they want." I rushed in to tell the singer before they started up again, and he was less than pleased. He yelled into the mic, "We're done, come see us at a real venue. Fuck you." And then he stormed out. I was bummed.

So, Spanish guitar man played his set in front of the DJ table, and it was time for us to play.

We were in the middle of our set and a trio of colorful dancers came to the front and danced for a song or two. It was amusing at first, but I started to worry that they were going to dance between us and the audience for the rest of the show. They didn't.

After us was Vanaprasta, who we invited to be a part of the show. They started to play, and were stopped almost immediately by the coordinator, the one who made Stepfather stop. She was worried about the noise and cops, as it was now after 10 pm. I was outside for this, but when I found out I was pretty annoyed. We were told playing wouldn't be an issue after 9:30. So, we closed the doors, and this coordinator went on and on about the complications of having moved the show, and running the event, and worrying about the cops coming any minute. Michael and I did our best to continue talking to her so Vanaprasta could finish. We succeeded.

I was quite relieved, and had pulled of some kind of show. In fact, I must have handled something somewhat correctly, as the singer from Stepfather has invited us to play a show at his gallery. And another guy who saw us play offerred us a show as well.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

#40 The Echo on 8-3-10

This show was part of the International Pop Overthrow. It is a yearly music 'festival' put on by a man named David Bash. There were 13(?) nights of IPO at various clubs around Los Angeles. I'm not sure what night we were. What I do know is that there were 7 bands on the bill, and that's a lot of bands.

I had misgivings about the show, which is probably why it went the way it did. We were using mostly their back line, to assure quick transitions between bands. I couldn't get the bass rig to sound quite right though. Wayne was smart and brought his own amp.

Our set felt a bit rigid to me, and I was having trouble loosening up. We were on our 4th or 5th song and Mr. Bash gestured 'one more song.'

What? Huh?

Yes, I had failed to realized that the back to back listings of the bands meant we had a 20-minute set. A short set. Uncomfortably short. The only shorter set we'd played was at SXSW in 2008, which was maybe 17 minutes.

So, we finished our last song and I stumbled off stage a bit shellshocked. I stood near the merch tables, not quite angry, not quite sad, but feeling very odd indeed. An older man came up to me and said, "Great set, but that's a terrible name. I'm sure I'm not the first person to tell you that!"

What? Huh?

I was caught completely off guard, as if in slow motion. I mumbled something about Wayne having questioned the name once or something or something. He said, "Good set though" and walked away. I shouted some vaguely confrontational, "Did you just say that to me?" but he was out of earshot, and I felt even more defeated. I went for the front door, and took a walk.

The rest of the night was dispersed, but when leaving I was handed an envelope with money for the CDs we'd sold (we did?).

I don't ever recall feeling quite like this at a show.