two places at once night

 

 

now playing: blake allen, rough mixes from upcoming album

 

 

blake dropped by last night to pick up an ADAT tape with some of my parts on it for the record and dropped off roughs of three songs…i don’t know if it’d be possible to have picked three more different songs to have gotten started with. one of them, “frogs”, is a bluegrassy number that i busted my balls on…i played the bass and snare drum parts, as well as mandolin and dobro. i think there may have been banjo on this track at some point, but i don’t hear any on the mix. i do know that i spent a lot of time getting these cascading notes to sync up on the outro, and it sounds pretty cool…although one of the parts is missing from that section, i think.

the second song, “the wind”, is written from the perspective of a man on death row making peace with himself and his love…it reads almost like a letter. i played a lap steel part on it that sounds more like a pedal steel than a lap steel, and listening to it now makes the hair on my neck stand up. it’s a haunted song, and the part fits it all too well.

i think of warren zevon when i hear this song….

“starin’ at the ground…a penny up, a penny down
i wrote you a letter, baby…i’m leavin’ this world today…

lay me in the ground…my love – let the sound of the wind speak to you…”

the third song, “eliza”, is probably the least finished of the lot…there are some issues, i think, over the placement of the drum loop that i hope he manages to resolve – it’s a great song, and it deserves a great treatment.

so tonight, i need to deal with some computer issues for a couple of customers – i had planned on trying to do some moving tonight, but i don’t see that happening until the weekend, at best. i want to have jamie over to deal with the carpet soon, too, so that we can get dylans’ room squared away and get everyones’ room done.

whereas i haven’t been able to say this with any semblance of confidence in the past month, i’m pretty sure that we’ll be completely out of the old house by the end of this weekend.

i’ve gotten four hours or less of sleep every night this week, so i could see myself fading early tonight…but somehow, i doubt that’ll actually happen. i really need to get the studio started, and i’ll probably make at least two runs to the house before i make my computer run later tonight.

i had envisioned a longer, more personally involved entry today…but i’m just not feeling very chatty, i guess.

i did encounter this brief editorial on the pages of the NY Times today, though:

————————————————

July 21, 2004
Desperadoes

Something went awry at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas last Saturday night. Linda Ronstadt did what she has done at several concerts across the country this summer. She dedicated the song “Desperado”- an encore – to Michael Moore and urged members of the audience to go see his new movie, “Fahrenheit 9/11.”

Elsewhere, audiences have reacted to the mention of Mr. Moore by cheering, booing, walking out and sometimes glaring at one another in parking lots. At the Aladdin, a few audience members tore down posters, threw drinks and demanded their money back. According to one person who was present – William Timmins, the Aladdin’s president – it was “a very ugly scene.” Mr. Timmins promptly made it even uglier. He had Ms. Ronstadt ejected from the premises.

This behavior assumes that Ms. Ronstadt had no right to express a political opinion from the stage. It implies – for some members of the audience at least – that there is a philosophical contract that says an artist must entertain an audience only in the ways that audience sees fit. It argues, in fact, that an artist like Ms. Ronstadt does not have the same rights as everyone else.

Perhaps her praise for Mr. Moore, even at the very end of her show, did ruin the performance for some people. They have a right to voice their disapproval – to express their opinion as Ms. Ronstadt expressed hers and to ask for a refund. But if their intemperate behavior began to worry the management, then they were the ones who should have been thrown out and told never to return, not Ms. Ronstadt, who threatened, after all, only to sing.

————————————————

this gentleman makes a good point…one that i’m surprised i didn’t come to myself, as a musician – how is it that the entertainer is chatized for the behavior of the audience? if i were a venue manager or a talent booker, i’d probably be just as inclined to perhaps extend a “no, thanks” to an act that i found belligerent, or who saw fit to provoke this kind of behavior in an audience…for instance, i doubt that the promoter who brought the who to cincinnati’s riverfront stadium in 1979 was terribly eager to add their city to the bands’ itinerary the following year. it took bob dylan over 35 years to return to the newport folk festival after having his electric band booed offstage there on the day i was born. likewise, i doubt i’ll be seeing great white listing any club dates in rhode island in the near future…or any reappearances of justin and janet during the superbowl.

my point is that if a performer or entertainer does something during their show that a promoter deems offensive, they typically deal with it in a businesslike manner and simply refuse future bookings. i don’t think that linda ronstadt did anything to warrant being escorted off the premises in simply dedicating a song to a controversial figure. i think that the fact that the wingnuts in the audience reacted in the completely uncivilized manner that they did is the crux of the matter, here.

as i said yesterday…i take a certain degree of pride in my rather confident assumption that had the ideological shoe been on the other foot, the audience behavior would’ve been markedly different. if she’d dedicated “you’re no good” to john kerry, i mighta been taken aback by it, but i wouldn’t have thrown drinks from my table and proceeded to trash the place.

i think i’m a little more grownup than that.

i gotta wonder, though…

should i start worrying about being held responsible for the behavior of the lesser species who show up for my bands’ gigs?

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