Did anyone manage to listen to it over the Internet? I brought my laptop with me in hopes that I would be able to record the Internet stream of it, but I couldn't figure out how to get it to work.
Thanks to crazyanimallady and elhortez for coming to the show.
( set list )
John Fuzek encouraged me to sign up for some shows at Brewed Awakenings in Wakefield, but having looked at a map I think I will give this a miss, unless someone feels like making a pitch for me doing this. These shows are on Saturdays from 8 to 10 pm.
I think there were a total of about 20 or 21 people there (including me and the other performers), a mixture of friends of mine, friends of djswifty's, relatives of one or the other of ours, and some other miscellaneous people (my downstairs neighbor, etc.). I think that this is quite likely the most people who have ever been in my apartment at the same time!
I went on first and did about a dozen songs, mostly originals (or songs where someone else wrote the lyrics which I then set to music). Watching Killer Robots Eat Your Head was a big favorite, and "Pumpkin, Mrs Farnsworth" also got a nice reaction. The set list was something like this:
- Kitten Knitting Blues
- Ezra's Song
- Watching Killer Robots Eat Your Head
- Tear My Stillhouse Down (with Chris Monti on backing vocals)
- Hybrid Car (with Chris Monti on harmonica)
- Molesting Yarn
- I'm A Guy
- Pickle Postcards
- "Pumpkin, Mrs Farnsworth"
- Walking Stick Making
Having the show in my apartment worked pretty well. MC Copulation was in danger of colliding with one of the light fixtures (because he's over six feet tall), but he didn't, so that was OK. I sort of made a mess of distributing the chairs, but people figured out their own solutions to this problem.
Also, I made some CDs this morning of random recordings I've made over the past couple of years and sold five of them for $5 each. I have a couple left over.
My wrists feel totally fine right now for some reason. Who knows?
At the end of the night djswifty carted away all my old MST3K tapes, so that's one less thing I have to find room for!
Anyway, it seemed like everyone had a good time. I certainly did!
Sleep time now. Good night!
Things went really smoothly; everyone showed up on time, the soundman was very good and the sound checks were quick and efficient, etc.
A few people from snbprov showed up: neau, her husband Brian, and christychristy, which was awesome. Francis (the bass player from Chris's other band) and one of Chris's sisters and some of her friends also showed up. It was quite an enthusiastic crowd! (Though not a very big one; I think the snow probably didn't help.) Thanks to everyone who came.
Despite all of this, I was really nervous on stage -- I haven't felt this freaked out performing in a really long time. I'm not sure why that is; maybe just because AS220 is pretty different from the other venues we've been playing at, which are primarily bars or coffee shops rather than musical venues. But I think I still played OK and apparently my nervousness wasn't really evident to the audience.
The set list:
- Leaving In The Morning (by C. Monti)
- Green Mountain Blues (by C. Monti)
- Roommate Blues (by J. Haller)
- Low Land (by C. Monti)
- Lady Luck (by J. Haller)
- The JCBFI Blues (by C. Monti)
- Editors at War (by A. Weinberg/J. Haller)
- "Pumpkin, Mrs. Farnsworth" (by C. Bennetto/J. Haller)
- St. Louis Blues (by W.C. Handy, arr. Monti/Haller)
- Hybrid Car (by J. Haller)
- The Local Expatriate (by C. Monti)
I think it was a pretty good set and it really built up to a climax at the end. It would have been nice to have a few more upbeat songs, so perhaps I should try writing some more sometime ... Theoretically we made a recording of tonight, but we don't know yet if it actually came out. (We've had some bad luck in that area recently.) If it sounds good it will probably go up on the Killdevils website sometime in the near future.
Tomorrow (well, Monday, so I guess technically today) I have hip-hop band practice starting a noon and going on until 4 pm or so, and then I have a solo show at Billy Goodes in Newport starting around 8 pm (Chris has another commitment for the evening), so the musical madness continues!
We played from 9 to midnight, which we split into two sets, and one of the customers requested a song that we were actually able to play (Bob Dylan's Desolation Row. Between sets and after the show people said nice things to us, and the owner was encouraging. Even unloading all the equipment at the end of the night didn't seem too painful.
I mostly played my keyboard, but at the beginning of the second set I pounded out a few solo instrumentals on the upright piano they have there. Avoiding the sour notes was a little tricky, though. (I was thinking about offering to pay to get the piano tuned so I wouldn't have to bring the keyboard on future shows ... I still might do it, but I'm leaning towards not.)
After the show we went to a diner and I had some pancakes. So today I am very tired. Also I want more pancakes.
Billy Goode's is kind of amazing. I looked at their schedule and they have music seven days a week, which is pretty rare, and they don't charge any cover.
Unfortunately getting a show there is like pulling teeth, but hopefully now that we've played there twice it will become easier ... we'll see. (Chris is supposed to call them today to try to schedule another show.)
( set lists )
The answer is, yeah, it was pretty accurate. There were times when there were a bunch of people in the coffee shop, but nobody I knew (with one exception), and the vast majority of the time there were six or fewer customers.
The exception was one of the science teachers I had in junior high school, who didn't know I was going to be playing there but happened to stop in with his daughter and enjoyed our playing and then told me I looked vaguely familiar. He requested that we play a Grateful Dead song, so we played Dire Wolf, and he was pretty psyched and asked for our information and said he would recommend us to people he knew and suggested some places we might try to get gigs. Yay junior high school science teacher!
The evening came to a slightly depressing note. We made a total of seven dollars in tips. Also, we were told at the beginning of the evening that we had twelve bucks credit for food, so we each got a sandwich, I got a couple of sodas, and Chris got some coffee. At the end of the evening we were told that it was $12 total, not $12 each as we had assumed, and so it turned out that we owed the coffee shop $6.84, giving us a tidy profit of eight cents each. Oh well.
Then I got to listen to the Red Sox lose to the Yankees on the ride home (the final home run was hit just as I was pulling into my parking space). Waah!
Still, the show overall was fun and what little feedback we got was positive, and I think we would have done a lot better had we not been competing with the baseball event of the decade. I wrote to the proprietors after I got home and let them know that we were interested in doing another show if they wanted to have us back.
The set lists:
Sweet Home Chicago
Rider on the Rain
Early in the Morning
Early In The Morning
That's All Right
Big Road Blues
Before You Accuse Me
Thorn In Your Side
2nd set (as best as I can remember)
The Local Expatriate
It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry
Bright Lights, Big City
Johnny B. Goode
(This is about a show on Thursday August 8; I finally got around to putting together some notes about it tonight. I'm also posting these little commentaries on the Killdevils website, which may or may not be a great idea, but there it is.)
We had performed at this place previously, and although the crowd had been small there had been some people who seemed pretty enthusiastic about us, so we had hoped that word of mouth would get around and the crowd would be a little bigger tonight. Unfortunately, this turned out not to be the case. The owner is still willing to have us come back, but it would most likely be for a percentage of the take or something along those lines rather than the flat fee structure we've had previously. Ah well ...
Despite the small size of the audience, there were some enthusiastic folks there, including a guy who asked for our card and then told us our name wasn't that good. He might want us to play at a party he throws.
After our last show here I had noticed that over the course of the night I managed to get a blood blister on the tip of my right index finger. Tonight, I was able to determine what was most directly responsible for this phenomena; it turns out that I'm plucking pretty hard on the slide solos I take on Folsom Prison Blues, and, well:
Other things we learned:
- Pool tables are really heavy and kind of tricky to set up.
- If you have an air conditioner situated over a smoke-eater, and moisture drips from the air conditioner onto the smoke-eater, then an electrical arc may form, resulting in a loud zapping noise which can provide hours of entertainment for all.
While we were playing one of the last songs of the night, a gentleman came over and tried to strike up a conversation in which he requested that we play Tangled Up In Blue, a song Chris had played about fifteen minutes earlier. He later offered us ten dollars to play it, and finally upped the offer to twenty, but Chris politely declined. As near as I could tell the audience member did not take this personally and instead appeared to take this as some sort of symbol of our incorruptibility. (But I think we were just feeling wiped out -- don't tell anyone.)( Set lists )
Music on the Parkway, brought to you by the Mount Pleasant Crime Watch. FREE OUTDOOR SHOW from 6-9 pm.The plan was:
- Chris would do a solo set.
- Then he, i, and another singer/guitarist/songwriter would do a rare electric show (Chris playing lead electric guitar, the other guitarist playing acoustic rhythm guitar, me playing piano)
- Then a set with Chris and George Hardy on acoustic guitars with Edward Demille on drums.
Since the show was going to start at 6 pm, and I figured that Chris would probably be able to use some help setting up, and since I normally work until 6 pm, I elected to take a half day of vacation today, so I got off work at 1 pm. This turned out to be a good thing.
This morning, someone tried to steal Chris's car at around 8:30 am, and while they were unsuccessful they damaged the car's front end and the car made funny noises, so he was reluctant to drive it until he had someone check it out. So it was decided that at 3 pm I would drive everything over in two trips, the first trip transporting Chris's guitars and Ed's drums, then me returning alone to get my keyboard while Chris started setting up. While we were driving over, it was raining on and off, which caused us some concern, as the show was outside and we wouldn't really have any cover. However, when we got there we had a little discussion and decided to try putting the show on anyway unless it started raining in earnest.
Driving back to my apartment, I got slightly lost, and coming back, I got stuck in traffic for a while. I ended up getting back just before 6 pm, where I learned that the third member of our little combo had decided not to play (Chris said that his decision was based on him getting lost on the way over, the threatening rain, and the fact that there was a TV truck there.)
With help from some of Chris's friends my keyboard was set up quickly and I did a soundcheck with Chris that turned into a full set of music -- we ended up playing from around 6 pm to around 7 pm, to a fairly appreciative audience. At 7 pm it started raining pretty hard and we had to turn everything off and cover it all with plastic. As the rain got worse, we decided it was time to throw in the towel, and we (along with about twenty of Chris's friends and family who materialized to help) broke everything down and packed them away.
Then it was home to change into something not soaking wet and to put the keyboard out to dry, then over to Chris's to join the throng there for beers (or in my case Dr. Pepper) and relaxation.
In about ten minutes the news will be on and I'll get to see if we're in it or not.
All in all, for something that was almost a complete fiasco, the show went pretty well.
( The set list )
Update: Piano is A-OK. Whew! But we didn't make the news. Oh well.
Update #2: Major props to crack soundman Shawn Harris for getting us set up and broken down quickly and generally for keeping us from getting electrocuted.
The place we played in didn't have an entertainment license, so the owner had insisted that we do nothing to promote the event (no posters, etc.) We were allowed to tell friends and family members to come.
The place was really not set up for music at all; it was essentially a pool hall/bar. Chris and I ended up wedged into one corner of the room behind one of the pool tables, me with my guitar and piano and Chris with his guitar and PA. There was also a hockey fooz ball-type game which played rollicking little tunes (like the William Tell Overture and the Charge song) every ten minutes or so, which we nonetheless managed to forget to unplug between sets. Fortunately it was pretty quiet, although it was pretty audible during one of our quiet songs ('Dear Someone'); I had to move away from the mike so people wouldn't hear me laughing.
Although we weren't allowed to advertise the show, the bar owner did put up a notice saying we would be playing. There was a very small crowd, and he thought people might have been spooked because they saw that there was going to be something new and they weren't sure if they would like it. He was interested in booking us again, though, so Chris told him that maybe he also shouldn't promote the show next time.
Despite all of the above, and some major feedback problems in the first set, things went pretty well, especially as the evening went on. During each of the sets there was at least one really drunk guy who was very enthusiastic about us. The first one told us that he used to play piano himself, but he quit when he got married eighteen years ago and had only started playing again recently. "I'm trying to get my soul back," he said. I wasn't sure what the appropriate response was, but thought it probably wasn't "Good luck with that!", tempting though that was. This same guy remembered seeing Chris at an open mike earlier that week and told Chris that he had been hoping to have some luck with a woman he met there, but it hadn't worked out. "She could have ridden my face all week," he said. We murmured sympathetically.
For the last set, the drunk guy was this young guy wearing a tie-dye shirt, who gave out a whoop and jumped around in joy when we started playing 'Folsom Prison Blues', and who later shouted encouragement at us during our solos in 'Bright Lights, Big City', to the extent that I had trouble hearing what Chris was doing and ended up fumbling around a bit in the middle of one of my solos. After the show, he came over and admired my piano, saying,
I want to jam some fuckin' Für Elise on that motherfucker, you know what I mean?I nodded and repeated the phrase to myself in my head until I got a chance to write it down.
Another odd thing: Someone requested a song, and we actually knew the song and how to play it. (It was a Grateful Dead song called 'Dire Wolf' which we started playing about a week and a half ago.)
So as I say everything went pretty well, particularly as we got paid. I'm going to be a wreck tomorrow though.
( The set list, for those who care )