now playing: blake allen, “ghosting”
i finished up my RAM business and got out the door at a little after 6:30 last night so i could sprint to the house, collect my barebones gig rig, and drive to downtown philadelphia to play with nik at the new world cafe live upstairs room. it was the second time within the span of a week that i had to do it, and i wasn’t terribly pumped at the prospect of playing last night, honestly…this whole week has been preoccupied with the huge backlog of crap at home that i’m trying to get through, and it’s been hard to think about much else of late.
it was a decent gig, though…the room strikes me as having a pretty pretentious air, not unlike the new grape street – it seems like the music rooms in philadelphia are all chaing the central perk vibe at the moment. gimme the good old north star bar vibe anyday, man. now that’s a music room…but it’s in a part of town that people feel less than comfortable parking their cars, and as such it’s hard to draw people there for most bands.
i’m not down with the whole “shiny, happy” approach to putting together a music room. now, don’t misconstrue this as an opinion that every club should have that wonderful, piss-soaked-floor vibe that CBGB has, nor do i think it’s a punk ethic or an indie thing…but i think that when you walk into a place like the new grape or the world cafe live upstairs room, it doesn’t exactly emphasize the fact that there’s music going on. when you walk into the back of the north star, there’s a stage at one end of the place and there’s a floor in front and tables and chairs around it…the room isn’t bare, but it’s not so chic that it distracts ones’ attention from the stage. nor does it create the living room ambience that everyone seems to have an erection for these days, which is poisonous from a live music standpoint.
the only reason the gig gets a “decent” rating is that i thought we played relatively well…i turned my little “wolf in sheep’s clothing” princeton amp towards the wall and cranked it up, because i was apprehensive about pointing it out and setting it up at the volume that i would have to use to get the necessary tone from it…but as it turned out, that wasn’t really necessary…i could’ve probably put it up on a chair and cranked it, because the room soaked it up rather well. i didn’t have my volume pedal, though – it’s in my road case in the back of the stone road trailer this week. i rely on that thing a lot– i’m definitely going to have to get another one, or maybe two more, so that i have spares.
overall, though, i did feel pretty good about the performance…and having leigh goldstein, our keyboard player, back in the fold was really nice, too.
of late, i’ve been scouring my “archives” of recordings, putting together what i hope will be a somewhat representative audition demo – i’ve found a few pretty cool things, and i’m tracking down a few other things that i’m going to mix into a three or four minute segment that hits on a little bit of everything i do. i may end up just writing an instrumental of some sort and recording it – something that’ll cover all my bases. as it is, though, there is a bunch of stuff that i’ve played on that i’d like to either augment something like that with, or at least make available on a request basis.
it’ll be a nice project for my short retirement period.