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Ups & Downs... Reality Sucks Sometimes


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Hey folks. I don't usually initiate threads here, but my gigs last weekend made me pause for a minute this morning. Let me preface this by saying my band is an all-original, touring act with independent releases. We do everything (booking, recording, touring, etc) ourselves. Our only support system is us. This past weekend found us both loving and hating life within 24 hours. Friday night: I left the day job early to meet the boys for a two-hour drive upstate. The club is a wacko coffee house frequented by late-teen/early 20s punk rockers. The sound is basically two mains and two monitors on the stage. We got a one-channel monitor mix, so three of our four vocals were basically catch-as-catch can. The stage is an old boxing ring, so the whole thing bounced when we moved around on it. In spite of this, we had a blast there.... the crowd was HYPED and really got into it. Our lights looked awesome, we sold tons of stuff (CDs and T-shirts, etc) and we even had teenage groupie girls following us around. A great night -- the kind of show that made us realise why we started playing in the first place. Saturday: Easy gig in our hometown. The travel time is 15 minutes. We know everyone at the bar -- we've been playing there for years. It's a pretty nice place, and famous people have played there when they were up-and comers (I Mother Earth, Everlast, Rage Against The Machine, Nirvana.) The sound there is usually great: big monitors with an 8-channel mix, nice mains, sturdy, good-sized stage. Since we haven't played at home in a while, we had a really nice crowd there to see us. All good stuff, right? Then things started to suck. The regular soundman flaked out and didn't show. His alternates were unavailable. The doorman wound up calling a friend who "sort of knows" the system there. Things got started about an hour late, so the owner was acting like an asshole because he thought he was losing sales without live music. Then one of our lights kicked the bucket when we plugged it in.... When the replacement soundman got the system up, he was afraid to give us any sound through the monitors for fear of "blowing them out." So we heard NOTHING onstage -- no vocals. Then he forgot which fader had the bass signal. That took another 10 minutes. Finally, we got to play. I promptly broke a "low-E" string on my #1 guitar during the first song. I jumped offstage and grabbed my #2 only to find that (even though I JUST tuned it) it is now WILDLY out of tune. My tuner picks this moment to freak out and fail to track notes. When it finally allows me to tune, the guitar is STILL out -- I guess I somehow managed to hit the "calibrate" button, and the sucker just sounded terrible. Finally, I got the bassist to "give me an 'A,'" and I got in tune for real. We managed to get out another 8 songs before our time was up. UGH. Welcome to my world. One night we're on top of the world and can do no wrong. The next night we wanted to crawl under the sidewalk and hide.

\m/

Erik

"To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting."

--Sun Tzu

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Botch, Yeah. The scouts were probably there on Saturday with $100,000. cash for us as a signing bonus in their briefcases. As soon as they heard my guitar tuned to Q-sharp, they probably ran out the door. Like I said, sometimes it sucks to be me. Oh well... there's always this weekend.

\m/

Erik

"To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting."

--Sun Tzu

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Just write it off as a bad dream. Usually, so many things can't go wrong at once unless it's in a dream, right? So, you must have been dreaming. :D :D At least, that's the way my "selective memory" would choose to remember it...
"Cisco Kid, was a friend of mine"
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"The definition of a samurai is the ability to live through death" Ogami Itto This weekend kick some ass. Encouraging words from one rocker to another. take care Erik, Jedi

"All conditioned things are impermanent. Work out your own salvation with diligence."

 

The Buddha's Last Words

 

R.I.P. RobT

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Erik, Dude, I feel for ya. Sometimes it just happens that way and there aint a damned thing you can do about it. Even the best preparation wont/cant help in a situation where multiple unforseen things happen. Jedi - Wasnt that quote from Itto Ogami? I could be wrong, but I think that was his name. If not, then I stand corrected. Is the series still continuing? ikestr
...hertz down low....
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[quote]Jedi - Wasnt that quote from Itto Ogami? I could be wrong, but I think that was his name. If not, then I stand corrected. Is the series still continuing? ikestr [/quote]Yeah, ikestr, the name in the movies is Ogami Itto, the name in the comics is Itto Ogami. It's confusing. The movies have six installments to my knowledge, but I think there may be more. The comics have been compiled into little booklets and are distrubuted monthly. They're on Volume 17. Good to see another fan. On another thread Erik was trying to say how we(Erik and myself) both were weirdos for loving these types of things. You see that Erik. Ikestr here knows of the Lone assassin that travels with his son, the treacherous "Lone Wolf and Cub." Having a little fun. You guys take care, Jedi

"All conditioned things are impermanent. Work out your own salvation with diligence."

 

The Buddha's Last Words

 

R.I.P. RobT

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We'll have to wait for Erik to get back to us about that venue, but if I'm correct in assuming which one it was, I know exactly what that night was like. When the staff of that place shows up sober and in working order, it can be a great place to gig at. But when things go bad there, they go really bad. It's always been like that at that venue. I've had both my best gigs and my absolutely worst gigs at that place. The one cool thing about that bar is that, if you really rock out, the bartender will comp you drinks for the whole night. The staff has a true appreciation for music in that regard. But for a FOH soundman to no-show/no-call on a Saturday night is major league fucked up at any venue. Unfortunately, it happens to be somewhat typical for a lot of the Philly rock bars. Music is supposed to be this fun thing. But years of dealing with venues who's staffs are suffering from "head-in-ass" syndrome will take the fun out of it, and make you appreciate your day job. I hate to say that, but I'm becoming a realist in my old age I guess. That taken into consideration, I have to say that Erik and his band have some serious cajonés and a passion for what they do to be slogging through that shit the way they are. Props to 'em. E

Eric Vincent (ASCAP)

www.curvedominant.com

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Does the "regular" soundman come with the venue?If so you guys should get your own . I don't often advocate violence but if you track down that soundman and kick him in the goolies, you will feel much better...
I once had a quasi-religious experience..then I realised I'd turned up the volume.
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Hey All.... Thanks for the kind words of encouragement. I was definitely a pissed-off puppy last Saturday night, but I got SO many compliments about how well we recovered from the situation. Many attendees said we "rocked." Haha! By the time I got the gear situation in hand, I was certainly playing with a lot of ticked-off passion, so maybe they were relating to that. You guys would have been cracking up if you have heard me screaming at my guitar -- I was going, "YOU SUCK! YOU FUCKER! YOU FUCKER!" I sounded like Dennis Hopper in "Blue Velvet." Curve, The venue in question is the infamous Pontiac Grille on South St. (which was once known as J.C. Dobbs.) You're right about the place -- We usually have good shows there. The system is nice and crisp, the staff are all my friends (I used to work there!!!) and we almost always draw a really sizable crowd. The soundman who didn't show is a really old friend as well, so I don't think I'm gonna kick him in the 'nads. He'll feel bad enough that he screwed us. He's actually a super guy, but he screwed up this time. I found out later that he didn't show because he had a tour (he's also a musician.) He supposedly had his nights covered, but nobody knew who his replacement was supposed to be. Needless to say, the owner was a little peeved. I sure hope he still has a job when he gets back. I'm planning to make up for all this nonsense tonight. We have a show right in our singer and bassist's neighborhood. Should be about a zillion people there. Vengeance is mine, sayeth the worm. Oh yeah -- there actually WAS an A&R guy there Saturday night. I'm serious. He callled me yesterday. Said he was impressed in spite of the sound and tuning bullshit. Funny ol' world, huh?

\m/

Erik

"To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting."

--Sun Tzu

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[quote]Originally posted by CMDN: [b]Hey All.... Oh yeah -- there actually WAS an A&R guy there Saturday night. I'm serious. He callled me yesterday. Said he was impressed in spite of the sound and tuning bullshit. Funny ol' world, huh?[/b][/quote]Sometimes overcoming adversity shows that you can be counted on to fight through problems instead of folding and going home. Those are qualities that club owners and promoter-type people would probably value. Knock 'em dead tonight !! :thu: Tom

www.stoneflyrocks.com

Acoustic Color

 

Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

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[quote][b]Curve, The venue in question is the infamous Pontiac Grille on South St. (which was once known as J.C. Dobbs.)[/b][/quote]Kathy James owned JC Dobbs, and sold it off to the current owners. It was Dobbs when Pearl Jam, Nirvana, et al and countless Philly bands played there. I played Dobbs with more bands than I can remember. Even before I played there, I did FOH for a band there when I was still in high school. The place has faded a bit since the Dobbs days, but it still rocks. I recently did a solo acoustic show there. After my set, the bartender fed me so many Jamisons that I barely made the 4 feet from the door to the cab without falling face-down onto South Street. God Bless that place. E

Eric Vincent (ASCAP)

www.curvedominant.com

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