dear mercury…

…might you happen to be in retrograde at the moment?

Just wondering because this has been a rather interesting weekend so far. Yesterday the Leviathan Brothers had a performance at an organization’s national convention. I had emailed our tech rider (a band’s list of technical requirements for the sound engineer) to the organizers so that it was perfectly clear what we needed. I even called them the day before to make sure everything was understood, and they said “sure, everything is set.” Let me say, compared to most bands, our tech requirements are pretty minimal– all we ask for is a decent PA system, a couple monitors, and a few mics (we even supply our own DI boxes).

So, we arrive at the convention location (a hotel) only to find a stage, a podium, and… nothing else. Not even a PA system. I finally track down our contact person, and mention that “I happened to notice there’s no PA.” She looks at me with that “oh shit, I fucked up but I better not let him know” face, and says “oh yeah… you guys need that, huh? Just give me one moment.” About 10 minutes later she introduces us to the hotel staff who will take care of our sound needs.

“Hi, my name’s Miles.
“Hi, I’m Guy”

“Hi Guy,” (it sounded funny saying that) “Well, all we need is a mic for Sean, an input for Sean’s DI box, an input for my DI box, and maybe a mic for the drums.”

Guy stares at me for a second. “OK, well. I don’t actually understand what you’re saying. We don’t really deal with bands hardly ever, so… what is this DI box thing you’re talking about?”

After explaining to him what a DI box was, it seemed like everything would be ok–they did have a small mixer and PA system. That is, until we started playing. It seems the hotel only owns ONE speaker, and it’s only slightly bigger than a breadbox. Hardly enough for someone to give a speech through, let alone several keyboards and two samplers. The sound coming out of the speaker was distorted and sounded like ass, and because there was nobody manning the mixing board, we couldn’t try to fix the eq until we stopped playing. And you know, there’s nothing quite like staring out at a room full of people who are paying absolutely no attention to your music.

Oh, and what’s the deal with people who think they can just walk up to a band in the middle of playing and have a conversation? This lady comes up to me while I’m playing, and says “hey, do you guys play like a samba or something uptempo? Cause I’m going to teach a samba class and I want to show people my samba dance.” How do you respond to that? “You’ll have to wait and see,” was all I came up with. This was right before a drum solo was coming up. Hey lady, do you happen to notice that I’m, oh, slightly preoccupied at the moment?

Anyways, that was yesterday. I also got an email from a friend and great musician informing me that my gig today was cancelled. It wasn’t his fault at all, UCLA totally fucked up and publicized the wrong time. Then I remembered that I had turned down a well-paying gig because it was at the same time as this cancelled gig. Oh well, that’s life.

And now, I just found out that my Leviathan Brothers gig tomorrow is cancelled. The promoter changed the venue last minute and couldn’t tell us for sure what time we were going on. So we were like, eff that.

But you know what? It’s all good. This is all just a part of the game, and I’m learning to expect it. If this post sounded dark, it really isn’t–I’m just venting playfully and really things could be much worse, like if I lived somewhere like, oh, Burma. Anyways, sorry for the long post!

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Published in: on May 17, 2008 at 2:23 pm  Leave a Comment  

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