So it's been a while... seems like the typical way these things go. You start off with the intention of posting everyday, and within days or weeks you've begun to neglect your new blog. Oh well!
So I've started picking up a few more students, and I'm on track to never have to get another day job again! I have been concerned about how young some of my students are. Having to teach a 5 grader can be a little nerve wracking. I don't want to make her do boring scale exercises the whole time, but then again should I really be teaching her "Crazy Train"? I thought that maybe working with her on clavé would be cool, but is that too advanced? I don't know. I just know I have to figure it out by Monday....
My new group Tank! played a couple of shows this week. In the rehearsals leading up to the shows this joke got thrown around:
Person One: What's the name of your band?
Person Two: Jazz band.
Of course this is one of those jokes you just have to experience during a six hour rehearsal. While we all had a great laugh with this one, something dawned on me during the second tune of our first show this week. I'm onstage and we break into the tune "Tank!" (from which we've obviously derived our name) and I realize that there's no way we could be called a "jazz band" or that even the music we're playing could be called "jazz". It's too loud and it rocks too much. I think we've begun to capture that punk-like aesthetic exhibited by players like Marc Ribot. Not that we're on that level, but I think we've begun tap into that attitude while playing some pretty difficult music.
I want to thank Dave Esmond for putting the show together. I was only able to catch the very end of his set, but it's obvious that he's a very good player that serves the tune rather than his own ego. He's also got a great tone! You can check him out at Home of Squirt.
We played yesterday at the UW Terrace. It was an interesting gig. It was definitely the first time I could hear our vibraphone player onstage! The sound guys there really are fantastic. So, yesterday was probably the hottest day in Madison so far this year. Absolute hell on stage. So we get through the first set and take a break. After our set break a storm rolls in over the lake. While this may not be an issue for a lot of bands, it was for us. We're in the middle of a tune, in fact I'm in the middle of a solo, and I'm really getting into the moment. Suddenly, the wind picks up and music stands, etc. start blowing over! Well, that's fine and good right? Except for the fact that I don't have the tune memorized, and my music is blowing all across the Terrace! Thankfully, there were some very kind people that grabbed what they could and passed the sheets back to us. We were able to finish the tune and get loaded out before it started to rain too badly.
I also have to thank my good friend Sean Gillette for reminding me to write my thoughts here. He just started a new blog here. Stop by and say hello sometime...