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last night


The Bear Jew

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So my "brit-poppy" band played a last-minute show last night in Philly.

 

Question:

Why do so many bands suck so bad and behave so unprofessionally?

 

I mean... we played with two other bands who couldn't have been less pro. The first band was on a national tour from California, and they just blew. Well, they were "indie," so that kind of excuses them from looking cool or playing in tune. I was hoping they just "looked" like a mess but would bring it all together in a beautiful way onstage. No luck. Not only were they sloppy, they also did stupid, unprofessional stuff like tune their guitars for five minutes at a time while they were onstage during their set. How fucking hard is it to keep a guitar in tune, for crying out loud? And, if you need to tune your guitar, how about letting someone TALK while you get that together? Ya know... while you're staring at your tuner and twisting pegs, have the fucking bassist say something -- like the band's name, where you're playing next or even a fucking JOKE. SOMETHING. Nope. This dildo just stood there and looked at his shoes. The guitarists just stood there and tuned, and nobody said anything. Then, in the middle of the set, the drummer got up and went to the bathroom. No lie... well, at least it happened while the guitarists were on one of their five-minute tuning breaks, so he didn't hold up the set. They were whiney and awful. They'll probably sell huge in a month or so. They were, however, very nice guys who let us use their gear...

 

See, my band was told that we didn't have to worry about bringing gear, so Jason (the singer/guitarist) just brought his guitar amp, and Drew (the drummer) and I just brought the bare minimums -- I brought my bass, cables, tuner and he brought his cymbals, snare, pedals, etc.

 

Well... I borrowed this bass player's amp (a Crate head with a 4x10 cab) and it sounded like ass. The bassist didn't want me to touch his EQ or volume. Hence, it had ZERO definition or punch. When he wasn't looking, I snuck in some top-end on the graphic EQ. Still sounded like crap, but at least it had some cut. Drew borrowed the drummer's kit, and it also sounded like ass. MMMMM-MMMMMMM... Chock full of ASSY goodness. Keeee-rist. Awful. We somehow made it sound like something other than vomit and did our thing. Funny how everyone who had left the room during the first band's set came back and stayed in the room during our set...

 

We got done and took our few items offstage. To be a sport, I took the bass amp offstage and helped the "Dulltone" bassist hump it into their van and thanked him for the loan. I didn't mention the EQ. I figure he probably won't notice anyway.

 

The last band had two huge guitar amps, a keyboard with a huge rack system and a bassist with a tiny practice-sized amp. One of these things is not like the others... Poor boy was drowned out. Jeeeeez.

 

They were horrible. Sounded like Styx without the fun "Mr. Roboto" elements. They took forever to set up, and then they blew. Ick.

 

Anyway... the booking people liked us, and so did the bartender, etc. The small crowd liked us. We sold some CDs. And... I was home by midnight, since we skipped out before the last band finished. I was pretty sure it wasn't gonna get any better.

\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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Love your updates. Keep 'em coming!

 

BTW, you'd think that the bassist whose amp you used would pretty easily be able to re-create the same EQ and volume settings (perhaps they've never heard of pencil and paper?!). That's wack, man.

 

Sounds like when all was said and done you made out okay even having to use all that assalicious gear.

 

Peace.

spreadluv

 

Fanboy? Why, yes! Nordstrand Pickups and Guitars.

Messiaen knew how to parlay the funk.

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To be fair.. the bassist whose amp I borrowed told me he thought he was about to blow a speaker, so he didn't want me to pump the volume too much... but the EQ thing... man, I don't know. At least he was nice enough to let me use it. Whenever I let someone use my bass rig, I just tell them to give it a shot without adjusting the EQ, cause the way I have it set up, almost every bass sounds pretty sweet. If they need to tweak some stuff, I can always get "my" sound back pretty easily. I really didn't get what this dork's problem was. Anyway, I can't bitch too much. At least I could sort of hear my bass, which is more than I could say for the guy in the last band.

 

But yeah, we did OK in spite the assy gear. We're pretty lucky -- our drummer plays well enough that he can make shit drums sound cool simply by virtue of his fine abilities. Folks just think the ass tones are his "sound." As for me, as long as you can hear the bass, I'm OK. I play pretty basic stuff, so I don't always need a high-end rig to get a sound... I'm not picky. I just need to be audible, and on a snowy Wednesday night, I'd almost always rather take a risk and use someone else's rig rather than drag my own to a last-minute show.

 

As for the band from Cali... well... they're on a very small label, and I predict they're not going to set the world on fire anytime soon. For the record, they were very sweet and pleasant fellows, but they really sucked musically and weren't very pro at all. They were touring in a mini-van, fer cryin' out loud, if that tells you anything. The bar we played isn't exactly the Taj Mahal, either. It's a dirty little bar in a nothing part of town that nobody really frequents. We took the gig because we had nothing better to do and we wanted to have the booking agent owe us a favor.

\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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Oh, man. I have a gig coming up involving gear sharing in early Feb. Five bands in a church hall, which will be temporarily named "the Ark". However, it'll be me sharing my bass rig with some dudes from out of town. I guess I have sort of the reverse fear of lending good gear to some nitwit who will unplug his cable at full volume or spill coffee on my amp. Here's hoping for some professionalism...
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Don't count on the professionalism, dude. You might just wanna remind anyone borrowing your gear of the basics -- turn off amp before unplugging, no liquids near the amp, don't stand on this amp, no smashing shit into my amp, I'll fucking kill you if you break this amp, etc.

 

That works for me. I haven't really had a problem yet.

\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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Erik... I'm just curious... what is your definition of 'brit pop'? What does this side project of yours sound like? When I hear 'brit pop' I think 'Beatles...'

:cool:

DX

Aerodyne Jazz Deluxe

Pod X3 Live

Roland Bolt-60 (modified)

Genz Benz GBE250-C 2x10

Acoustic 2x12 cab

 

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I will be doing some gear sharing tomorrow and on the day after as our band has its 1st (and 2nd) decent gig with the current lineup. I will be using my head through the other band's Ampeg 2x15" cab (and with head I'm referring to an amplifier :P ). A bit of a shame that I didn't get to try out my new rig (2x 4x10") as a whole in a non-practice set-up, but it just didn't make logistical sense to bring it along as the other band we're playing would have brought their rig along anyways.

 

Speaking of the gigs, I'm quite anxious to see how people will react to our playing live, the feedback we've gotten from our CD has been so positive that I think we'll do well. And we've practiced our asses off polishing every detail of our playing for quite some time now, so I'm pretty confident that we're gonna do ok. It's been way too long since my last gig so it's really nice to get on the stage again...

 

Edit: I forgot to mention that I also enjoy CMDN's tales from the wide world of giggin a lot, keep up the good work!

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Danymalx...

Sorry to leave ya hanging on my definition of "brit-pop." I'd say this band sounds kinda like a cross between Stereophonics (ok, they're Welsh), Radiohead (totally British), The Catherine Wheel (also Brits) and Husker Du (yeah, I know, they're from Minnesota.)

The band is called mean ether . IMO, it's very easy on the ears. Oddly enough, the singer/guitarist for this band isn't a big Beatles fan. Of course, he's only 26, so his roots in music are kinda newer than the drummer's and mine (we're in our 30s).

 

Pernax...

Just a thought... you might just wanna use the other band's whole rig rather than bringing your head and risking a potential mis-match in speaker impedance. Good luck!

And thanks for the support.

\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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Sound like a good mix of sound... I like all of the bands you mentioned ecxept The Catherine Wheel, whom I have never heard... and Husker Du, being from Minnesota they may as well be Canadian, which as close to Brit as you can get, right?

(That's a joke, by the way... got nothin against Minnesotans or Canadians... grew up in Canada.)

 

DX

Aerodyne Jazz Deluxe

Pod X3 Live

Roland Bolt-60 (modified)

Genz Benz GBE250-C 2x10

Acoustic 2x12 cab

 

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Originally posted by CMDN:

Pernax...

Just a thought... you might just wanna use the other band's whole rig rather than bringing your head and risking a potential mis-match in speaker impedance. Good luck!

And thanks for the support.[/QB]

Actually we've covered all the gear-related things (among others) via extensive email correspondence, so no worries there. The cab will be an Ampeg SVT Classic 215, and I'll be using a SWR 750x head, so on paper everything should be ok.
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Back when I was gigging a lot, there were about 4 or 5 bands that always played together. We all practiced in the same rehearsal studio, so we all knew each other. We bassists would just decide on a rig to play through to minimize time and help the sound guys out a little. Of course, we all knew each other and we were all rather professional. I was always hesitant to let someone I didn't know use my gear. I would talk with them first and find out about him/her. If the guy was a prick, no way. A band came in from out of town to play a gig with us and they had a girl playing bass. She had this enormous Ampeg rig that looked amazing. Well, they were delayed in traffic, so, to sound check, I set up my amp. She got there, saw my amp and then proceeded to haul in her Ampeg. We were short on time, so I went ahead and used my amp. After hearing my amp, she hauled her Ampeg back to the trailer and asked if she could use my rig. Being the nice guy that I am, I said sure. Besides, she was hot and played a Stingray, too.

 

I have no idea what my point was. I guess I just wanted to post something.

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I'm a little guy (5Ft 5) but before I amp share (with folks I don't know) I walk up with a witness and state the facts. No liquids, Blow it you pay fo it! If you don't I'll track you down. My children will track your children down, my childrens children will......ummm, you get the point! So do the others ;)

 

Other than that I'm very approachable :freak:

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Originally posted by CMDN:

Question: Why do so many bands suck so bad and behave so unprofessionally?

I've been wondering this exact same thing for years. It's even worse right now because it's "cool" to play poorly... so any no-talent ass clowns can get a gig.
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CMDN, what does age have to do with musical tastes? I'm only 18, and I love the Beatles...I'm actually listening to Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds right now... I also like Buddy Holly and Chuck Berry, both waaaay before my time.

 

As for gear sharing...I have an SWR LA-12...I ain't worried about it. Now once I get that new amp (once I can afford it) it might be a different story. Actually, it will be a completely different story. No one will touch without me watching them!!! Hahahaha!

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Patrick...

Chill. I wasn't dissing younger folk for their music tastes. It's all out there -- you are either exposed to stuff or you're not. Our man Jason (the singer/guitarist for this band) grew up in a time period and in an environment where "modern rock" of the time period was prevalent. He's from a small town. Therefore, the big, popular, hip radio stations in his area didn't play Beatles stuff -- not the stations he liked, anyway. None of his friends liked The Beatles (since they were from similar environments). His parents never got into The Beatles -- they're country music and jazz fanatics. Hence, he didn't hear a lot of Beatles music. He grew up hearing Guns N' Roses, Soundgarden, etc. Later, he became enamored with late-'80s British "melancholy" music and semi-obscure, underground "college rock" artists. That's why the songs he writes are kind of a mish mosh of Husker Du, Juliana Hatfield, Radiohead, Stereophonics and The Screaming Trees. His ignorance of The Beatles is a product of his youth, his environment and his ensuing musical tastes.

 

Now, I, being about six years older than he, grew up in a household enamored with the music of the '60s and '50s. Some of my earliest musical memories are of The Beatles. Most of my friends in High School loved this era of music as well. So my formative music years were full of The Beatles, etc. As I got older, I was exposed to a lot more different stuff -- hardcore, jazz, metal, etc. Then I worked for a music magazine, and this further expanded my musical horizons. That's why I know so much worthless information about music...

 

Obviously, you hang in a different circle than Jason -- your environment gave you more Beatles than his did in spite of your youth. You're lucky. I had to force Abbey Road and Let It Be down his throat. Now he kinda gets it.

 

I had no intention of dissing younguns' musical tastes. I recently met a 16-year old girl who is totally obsessed with The Beatles.. she has every bootleg, poster and album you can imagine... she owns every Beatles video or DVD. Of course, her parents LOVED the '60s. It's all about exposure...

 

Anyway...

yeah.

That's all.

\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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Originally posted by CMDN:

Question:

Why do so many bands suck so bad and behave so unprofessionally?

Maybe these two things go together?

Maybe we should all be greatful - these pains-in-the-butt prove our worth.

 

I'd probably be generous sharing equipment (hasn't really happened yet). I think the warnings given above are smart, and I'll use them (Cup, should I keep a picture of my daughter with her "angry" face to help make the point?).

 

Great topic, and great CMDN story (as usual).

Cornbread - posting a good story is welcome!

 

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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