THINGS I LEARNED AT LAST NIGHT’S SHOW:
1) I am HIGHLY distractable.
Not only was I unable to ignore the bizarre presence of not one, but several flash photographers (as much as I’d love to lead you to believe the paparazzi make a point of showing up where we do, this is not, in fact, remotely true), but I think I was actively sabotaging any great shots they may have had. I reflexively look away, down, close my eyes, make pained expressions. Anything to avoid the possibility of a good photo.
And, in the meantime, I am botching piano parts left and right, forgetting what phrase, verse, song we are playing. I see J’s roommate and am singing the “Berg slept in a hot dog” song in my head. I am contemplating possibilities that have arisen in my life just that morning. I am watching people walking in the door, balking at the cover charge. And I am f$%#ing up royally! (Fortunately, no one appears to notice, or at least they are too kind to acknowledge that they do).
This will not do. How can I give a genuine performance if I’m not even hearing (I mean REALLY hearing) the songs? This must be what it’s like to perform on Broadway, singing the same damn songs (even good ones, no matter) night after night, trying to remember that you ARE Jean Valjean or whatever and not thinking about whether or not you left the iron plugged in as you beg God via falsetto to bring your son-in-law back alive from the battlefield. Such is the struggle.
2) People in this town do NOT go out to see live music. And definitely not on a work night.
So maybe no more non-weekend shows. It’s disheartening to have three really great acts together in a swell, little club and to not be able to fill the room (or at least make it cozy). The crowd that did gather was generous and focused and generally having a great time (and thankyouthankyouthankyou A, H and P – our biggest fans – for coming out again and again. It means the world). But with all the hard work the bands put in to prepare for these shows, and all that undiscovered talent waiting to be unveiled to the masses, it just kills me that the citizens of this town seem generally uninterested in such things. In the future, we’ll be attempting some nontraditional gigs in hopes of reaching new audience.
In the meantime, I challenge you all to get out of the house one, two (by GOD maybe even 3 times!!) this month and catch a local band or two. Get some recommendations, browse through Myspace music (you can search your area by genre and listen to samples to pick out a band you might like), and explore your local music scene. Be prepared to listen like you would at a larger concert for a national act; these kids aren’t cover bands playing background music. They’re artists who really want you to hear not just what they’re playing, but what they’re saying as well. (That said, organizing a cornhole tournament in front of the stage, cheering overzealously for the football game on the bar t.v., and shamelessly making out at a front-row table are all strictly prohibited.)
(And now… Two HIGHLY RELEVANT 😉 episodes of Dinosaur Comics just for you….)