some fun recent gigs

By emith | May 26th, 2009

some fun recent gigs

Los Osos, CA

We also played as a trio with John Goux on electric guitar at a lovely little local establishment called the Sweet Springs Saloon in Los Osos, CA, opening for John’s nephew’s band, the Wadsworth Bluff Rats (we would give you a website and all that but they don’t have it up, or a finished recording yet - but they are great, so keep your ears and eyes out!).

If you’ve never been up that way from LA (or down that way from SF), the central coast area is quite lovely and definitely worth a leisurely drive. Just don’t mind the siren warning signs in the vista point parking lots…(We thought they were designed for tsunami warnings, but no, in fact they’re designed to let you know you’ve just been fatally irradiated from the nearby nuclear plant, woo hoo.)

The highlight of the evening was being asked to autograph…no, not a photograph…no, not a CD…not, not someone’s cast (although a cast was indeed present that evening, on the leg of the lead singer of the Wadsworth folks)…no, wait for it…Ashley’s homework. Yes, Ashley, if you are reading this now and your teacher doesn’t believe you…here it is, your proof.  Ashley’s teacher has had the fine inspiration of requiring his or her students to obtain the oh-so-visceral experience of music rendered in the wild, in its natural habitat, down at the watering hole. All hail Ashley’s teacher.  Your local touring band (yes, the oxymorons) thanks you for your support :).

Home Sweet Studio City Home, CA

The next day, we played as a trio again, this time with our friend and drummer/percussionist Wendysue Rosloff. Continuing the trend of excellence, Wendysue’s been around and about and played with lots of assorted folks as well. However, this particular gig, at the Oyster House in LA, was a night straight out of a “Saturday Night Live” skit. We get there, and a couple has just started to eat dinner in the exact spot where we would be setting up to play. So we have to wait a while. Finally the couple leaves, and we hustle to get the sound system set up. Everything plugged in, ready to go, start to sound check…and nothing. Unplug, replug, twiddle knobs, change cords, hit reset buttons…nothing. Stevie starts freaking out that he’s managed to blow both speakers at once on the last gig, while simultaneously grumbling that that’s basically impossible. It’s all very strange as power is clearly going to the speakers, indicated by the blue power light, but no sound is coming out. The bartender, seeing we’re having trouble, casually asks if we’d like to plug in behind the bar. No, no, we’ve got power to the speakers, it can’t be that. Stevie breaks out screwdriver and starts twiddling with anything that can move. Other bartender swings by, also casually references the plug behind the bar on his way by. At about this time, Wendysue arrives and starts loading in the drums. She puts them right in the middle of where Stevie’s trying to re-run all the cords, and he gets all agitated and starts to lose it. Right at about this time, a fellow musician who’s played at the club comes by, takes one look at the outlet in the corner where Stevie’s put the speaker power cords, and says “you didn’t plug it in THERE, did you?” Bizarrely, apparently there’s some strange voltage issue with this particular outlet, that allows it to provide the appropriate amount of power to make the blue LEDs work, but not the appropriate amount of power to make the speakers work.

So, we get things straightened out, and start playing. Naturally, we’re now late starting the gig, so we’re getting the evil eye from management. The first set goes well, despite the fact that we’re throwing everything but the kitchen sink at Wendysue, including lots of stuff we hadn’t prepared her for at all. Still, we’re all amped up from the long drive back and the near disaster with the sound system, so we played what were probably the fastest versions ever played of some of the songs in our set…almost as fast as C’s old punk band she used to play in… By the second set, it’s getting kind of late, and most of the folks left are pretty deep into their food and/or their cups, and not paying a whole lot of attention. Wendysue breaks out a heartbreakingly beautiful Latin tune and changes the lyrics in the middle to “I peed on the floor” just to see if anyone is listening. Carol is listening, and nearly pees on the floor herself. After that, the gloves are really off, and we start playing some of the most ridiculous, funny, off-the-wall songs and versions of songs we’ve ever done (among them, a half-baked a capella version of “So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish” (from the movie “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”, including mismatched and misheard lyrics)…yeah, guess you had to be there…but there will be more, come again in July…

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