Pizza Blues and Streaming Churches
Hope everyone is doing well. I FINALLY have a little bit of downtime this afternoon, so I figured I would write an entry to get everyone up to speed about past happenings and upcoming Summer plans. So much for a Spring, seemed like we went right from coats to shorts! I'm not complaining though, screw the cold.
So to get up to speed, after I posted last the CAB and I were really excited to finally have a "proper gig" with our good friends and "touring mates" Blue Alien Mystic! I had booked a gig in Poughkeepsie at my old friend Pat's place My Place Pizza at the end of April and after a show cancel due to shitty weather in Feb and having to cancel our Norwalk show in March due to a scheduling conflict, I thought "Finally! We are going to play live again!" Besides playing that open mic at Billy Beans before, the band and I have not played a show since way back in August 2017!
But wouldn't you know it...ANOTHER CANCELLATION!
Turns out, after some great detective work by our trusty guitar slinger Benny, we discovered there was an issue with the venue and after trying to pull it together last minute, all of us decided that It would be too risky to play and would rather wait until things are 100% settled before we played there. Pat, being the cool dude that he is understood and we hope to re-schedule like we did with 33 Golden.
Didn't make me feel any better though to be honest...
The one thing about being in a band that I never liked was the booking of gigs especially these days in the " Music Business". In past projects, I was always more than happy to just sit back and have other members of the band take the reign on that aspect and book shows while I just showed up. Back in the POS days both Pete and Steve were great at it, they booked 99% of the shows, even a cross country tour to support our album and they did it old school with phones and maps! Looking back on those days I'm amazed how they did it and I totally took that for granted back then.
Even with the guys/gals in Split Decision today. I walk into practice and I'm literally handed an itinerary with gigs booked solid all the way up to October! I'm so grateful that not only do I not have to chase after gigs with these guys, I get to just help load in/out the gear, show up, plug my bass in, stand in my "rock and roll cubbyhole" on the stage and tear it up with these awesome folks!
However, now with my own music/band It's pretty much up to me to do the booking and these days It's not an easy task to say the least (at least not for me). It's a lot of scouring social media contacting venues, following-up and begging for slots and when you finally do get a response? You get replies like "well, how many people can you bring?" or "We can't pay you, but we will give you exposure" or when you get there you get the old "well, you can play last at midnight" because some other band either can't or doesn't want to do it and the next thing you know you are playing to the bartender and 2 friends in a huge empty cavern.
Especially at my age, you are sometimes juggling home schedules, packing your car full of gear, driving all over, unloading, setting up then waiting, waiting, waiting to play. You finally play a set, you get your food/bar tab to pay and you are breaking down and getting home at an ungodly hour.
With me personally too, the problem I always ran into was while waiting in a bar/club for hours to play what do you do? Drink.....next thing I knew, I'd be up on stage already half in the bag and that's NOT how I wanted to be. I promised myself when I started this band I would say to myself NO beers at practice and NO beers at gigs. Before I knew it I broke that rule slowly and surely.
So now with a new album, new singles, new drummer and a new killer band lineup I was so looking forward to getting out there and playing at least once a month thinner, sober, energetic and putting on a big show to impress the masses! However, 2018 did not start out great gig/band wise. Our shows were being cancelled or postponed left and right, practices were getting cancelled and I found myself feeling sorry for myself and taking it out on myself by drowning myself in bad habits.
However, It was an old friend that helped me get out of that funk (once again) and exposed me to something I never really considered.
So once the Pizza Party gig was cancelled, my pal Barry reached out to me via text a day or two before the weekend of the show we were supposed to have and texted (and I'm paraphrasing) "Hey, so it's not a total loss why don't you come down to the church my wife runs and we can each do a set here? We can hang out, live stream it on Facebook and just have some fun" I figured it's not a "real gig" and nobody will be there, but at least we get to hang with our pals, play a set, have a few laughs and not sit home feeling like a chump. So, I reached out to the CAB, everyone was down and off we went to Katona to play in the House of God!
Now I'll admit, I have tried the Live Stream before but I never could execute it properly. Most of the time it was last minute, the angle sucked and I kind of gave up on it. However, good ol Barry had it set up already with his phone and by watching him (since they played first) I was able to see what he was doing and he helped with how to do it on Facebook. Of course Blue Alien Mystic crushhhhed it they sounded the best I've heard and their new drummer fits them perfectly!
After they rocked, we did a quick gear switch with some of the stuff, set-up, I hit the live stream on the Facebook and we did the set we were going to do in Poughkeepsie. We did the two new songs, along with some of the classics and considering the last minute thing, I was happy with how we sounded. We had fun like we always do and thought "eh...that was neat" and after we finished I grabbed the phone to make sure it recorded OK and I was shocked.
We had over 350 views of the show already and a ton of comments!
Afterwords, we were talking and I was thinking. If we played a show at a bar, most of the times if we are lucky maybe 30-50 people tops would of seen us perform. Doing this, which really was a last minute, one angle, guerrila style thing we barely promoted we were seen by over 5X the amount of people and from all over the US who might not be able to see us. That lifted my spirits quite a bit and I hope down the line we get to do again and actually put some more production and what not into it. Also solidified the fact that these days, most people would rather sit on their couch, eat nachos and watch a concert sometimes in their PJ's and that's OK sometimes too.
See for me as a musician and also a fan, nothing beats the feeling of playing in front of a crowd or seeing a performance live. Some club all sweaty, the amps blaring and the charge of a band you dig playing their hearts out for you and you interacting and responding to the music. Sure sometimes it's late, you're dealng with drunks, getting pushed around and getting annoyed so I can see the luxury of watching from home. However, we cannot be content to never leave the house we NEED to support original live music!
Speaking of which, if you check out the upcoming shows link we we have special acoustic performance with our pals BAM and Moonlight Inititave on 5/26 back at Freight House Cafe, as well as our makeup date at 33 Golden in June!
I'm hoping that these will be the launching pad for the band to play more and more gigs in the coming months. Lots of plans for the new album I'm finishing up that I hope to execute as well too so thanks for listening! Who knows, maybe I'll be able to find representation this year for shows, fingers crossed and of course always open to suggestions.
Much Self Love,