Thursday, January 14, 2010

Gig Notes: Soul Track Mind-TC's Lounge Wed 1-13-10

Wish we had him last night.

Beat don't lie. I co-opted that phrase from NBA player/sage philosopher Rasheed Wallace's famous "Ball Don't Lie".

I wrote about it here-6 months ago.

Last night's gig was not good.

We had major tempo problems and dropped beats. We all made mistakes, but beat don't lie. When the drummer stops in the middle of a solo and I have to count us in, there is a problem. When the drummer still makes mistakes on the same songs we've been playing 2x a week since May, there is a problem. When the lead singer has to constantly turn around and scold the drummer about tempo, there is a problem. On the band stand, we all made mistakes. My hand slipped on the fretted board a few times, so did the guitarist's hand. Keys, horns even the lead singer we all made mistakes, but the drummer has made the same consistent mistakes over & over & over again. A house on a faulty foundation cannot stand.

As I was getting fired from the band, I had a frank (and not so subtle rant) about talent and focus. About if a person has "it" or not. A musician needs to have self-awareness of how they fit in a situation. If you haven't played the trap kit since high school, you go to college for music business and play percussion, then move to Austin-how do you expect to keep up with a professional weekly gigging band? The band is too advanced. A drummer needs time in the woodshed-build limb endurance and independence, work on keeping steady time, etc. If a musician is in over his or her head, the right thing to do is to bow out. Plus, lessons never hurt. If you are serious about getting your chops up, you can go to talk to great drummers at gigs, ask around for teachers. If you don't have bread for lessons, there are DVDs, You Tube.

STM had a nice build up of funds, things could've been worked out to help. But when the singer says he values loyalty (which is "do things the way I want even when I have no idea what I'm doing") over talent, one can see the issues that will arise in the future.

When I was at Berklee College of Music, I went as an alto sax major. I worked hard, practiced all the time, transcribed music, listened to all the greats (my fav alto player is Cannonball Adderley), yada, yada. As I was in those sweaty practice rooms, it dawned on me that I didn't have "it" as a sax player. I couldn't get all the sounds out of my head into my fingers. I was taking bass lessons with Ed Friedland outside of Berklee (He's in Austin now, when I buy a upright later this year, I will study with him again to get my chops up on the upright). In those lessons, I saw the light. I felt a better connection to music through the bass. I repeated my study habits for the bass and the results speak for themselves.

This all from my point of view, of course. I could be wrong, but I don't think so.

Random gig notes:

1. I only took one bass-Clyde ('78 Fender Jazz). The '08 P-Bass is getting set up by Mr. Chuck from The Bass Emporium
2. Crowd was made up of mostly friends and was less than last week. Plus, when announcements are made from the stage, they're falling flat. No album recording, not other big gigs lined up after January 23 with T-Bird and the Breaks.

"Something happening here, but ya don't know what it is. Do you, Mr. Jones?"