Saturday, April 25, 2009

Another Step...

I finally did it: I booked an out-of-town solo gig. Freddy and Kendall are touring to support Kendall's new CD and, when I heard they were doing something in Rochester, I kinda... got a spark.[*] So a couple days ago I was chatting with Freddy and said, "look. Let me join you for this." And he agreed.


Artistically and musically I'm ecstatic. I'm really flying high on this notion of getting around and performing more - independence! I think it's a good step for me. I mean it's not _exactly_ the route I want to be taking for myself but it's definitely a huge leap in that direction.

But as the person with the insecurity complex who now has to _PERFORM_?!?

Yeah, I'm a tad terrified. meep!

I mean I have been getting much better. The last couple visits[*] to the open mic felt pretty good. I wasn't perfect, of course, but I was in my element - I felt like I was in control. It's a far cry from where I was back in NYC or even here just a year ago. Plus I'll have Freddy and Kendall's presences to draw upon.

But yeah... I'm still dealing with my stage fright already. *heh*

Logistically it will be tricky, too. I'll have to bus it up on the day of the show (arriving in Rochester in the am) then leave pretty much right after the gig. I just *can't* miss much work right now. Nor do I have much time to lose here in Philly with the BoLW stuff.

So yeah, I'm curious to see what my physical and psychological states will be like. I have a feeling I'll hit that, "this is what it is" sort of mentality and relax enough to give a good show. I mean I think I'll be okay though of course not as FUCKING STELLAR AMAZING as I expect myself to be.


I'll hit a couple open mics before I leave and see if I can polish up some of the material. I rarely expect to perform so my memory for lyrics is often... interesting. *heh* I mean my memory in general is... interesting. :/

But after this? If it goes well? I still want to get to Boston and do something there. Austin and San Antonio are on the list of places to visit, of course. So is San Fransisco.

God, I so want to travel more. I also want to get some of these other things off the ground - the improv stuff, the live sampling...

But first things first, I guess.

  • Okay. My primary impetus is to see Chris and Steve. I haven't seen either of them in 4 years. Then after that are seeing Freddy and Kendall and performing.
  • I'm not counting the time I tried my electric bass. That was just *NOT* meant to be that night. Ugh.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Moving forward...

Last Thursday James, June, and I all got together for a rehearsal for the upcoming Bears on Liberty Weekend gig. I have to say I'm both excited and terrified.

James and I have been performing together for 3-4 years now. 99.9% of that time we've just been a duo. (Really the only time we did something with a full band was for Can't Get A Date!) So there's been a fun sort of freedom and looseness we've had - especially for me. There's a bunch of songs that I haven't really solidified my own playing.

With a band? Gonna change.

On the nice side of the line I'll have more freedom. Being the sole accompanist has meant I've had to establish the groove, keep it going, *and* keep things interesting behind James. Adding drums and bass will really let me lay off and allow more shaping of the song arrangement-wise.

Of course... this means I really have to *think* about how the song is supposed to go, too... *heh*

Anywho, rehearsal was interesting. June is coming at most of these songs very freshly - hearing stuff that James and I have been doing for ages and often bringing something incredibly different than what's going on in my head. At times it's a bit of a crunch. I know there are a couple things here and there that *I* want.

But overall it should be fun.

Fumes of Burning Bridges, for example, is probably going to be significantly slower or more laid back in tempo. With drums this is fine - with just guitar, probably not so. But I was totally *NOT* finding my usual rhythmic grooves. LOL. I'd crash into them and be all, bwah?!?! Of course, now that _drums_ are there, I can lay off rhythmic fills and focus on something more lead-esque. (I'm still not too much of a lead player, tho...)

And I'm curious to see what will happen with some of the more rock-esque tunes - Exchange of Hearts for example. I really want to pull out something *much* more rock. Of course I will _REALLY_ have to re-think my playing. But that's also fun for me, believe it or not. :)

The drawback, of course, is that it means it's going to take a little longer to get everything together. Ah well. MUST. ROCK. BEARS!

Friday I started something that I've been meaning to do for a while. A couple weeks ago I stumbled across a craigslist posting by a guitarist looking for jazz cats to jam with and brush up skills. I'd started my own post of something similar but had never managed to finish and post it. So stumbling upon his was something I couldn't pass up.

Anywho we finally got together Friday before my round of lessons. We both spent some time sorta feeling each other out musically and re-explaining what we were looking for - that we both felt a need to hone our chops more. Then we pulled out the fake books and sorta dove into it.

We ran through mostly basic standards - Blue Bossa and a couple others I don't remember off the top of my head. He's pretty decent. I have a bunch of things to work on. He encouraged me to take some solos to which I declined. I explained that I'm MUCH more concerned about working on my walking and comping, my counting and reading.

By the time we were done I'd gone through an interesting revisiting of my jazz bass side. I'm not as adept as I want to be and certainly NOT as adept as I feel I *need* to be. But I'm not as bad as I once was, either. I have made significant progress from my high school days.

But of course there's a lot further to go!

What struck me most, perhaps, was just how _energized_ I was after our jam session. I mean cloud nine and all that cliche crap. There's just nothing like getting out and DOING music for me - even if a rather unstructured and informal jam like we had.

As a bonus, I ran into one of the guitar teachers at the school. He asked me a bit about what we were doing and I told him what was going on. He told me he and I should jam, too, sometime since neither of us has students till later. I agreed with him and while we didn't make any further plans I definitely plan on following up!

I guess the next step is just to start bringing in other musicians and then getting out and throwing myself back on to the stage...

I think that's what's exciting me - feeling like I'm pushing myself forward instead of just wallowing in my own self-pity marinade. I've spent too long thinking about this and not *DOING* it.

I'm still terrified, of course. There's a lot of stuff I don't know well enough. And, as a teacher, I feel even more... insecure.

But it's time to move myself forward. Time to push myself for the goals - performing more live music and *gasp* maybe even making money!

In more monetary terms, I'm also trying to be more cognizant of facebook and ReverbNation and stuff in terms of my solo 'career'. I want to get the two covers up - "You Only Tell Me You Love Me When You're Drunk" and "I Kissed a Girl". The former being more important to me.

I want to do these right so I started looking into the compulsory license issues and...

I'm a bit confused. And terrified. Again.

*sighs* What's especially frustrating is that I don't really plan on making any money through either of them. "I Kissed a Girl" was definitely more for just the fun of it. No further plans really exist in my head. So do I really need a license to just stream it?


The Pet Shop Boys tune, on the other hand, is something I want to keep in the repertoire. I don't plan on doing much of anything else with it recording wise but... I suspect it will be more important to keep on top of this one legitimately.