Saturday, December 19, 2009

It's the Little Things...

It has been a while since I blogged. I commend those that are able to do weekly or daily posts. Apparently, I do not have the time management skills that they have, or I recognize my life, despite being a rockstar (hahaha), is relatively boring: wake-up, workout, work, come home, play music, sleep…repeat. Maybe it is that I lack the ability or desire to make the mundane interesting…maybe I am building a fortress of excuses around me and none of them really matter. What matters is, I haven’t been blogging, but I am now.

Last night was the debut performance for my new band, So Much Closer. I don’t really have any intentions on rehashing the show…there will be picks on Facebook and a YouTube video. At the end of the day, it was a gig something I have been doing since 1996. The fact that it was with a new band that has tons of potential certainly heightened my level of excitement, but as I reflect back, all my mind remembers is what we need to fix. The curse of every musician I believe: our stage volume is out of control…we are using amps to compete with Patrick’s drumming when we should be using the house sound. Unfortunately Swans’s amp cannot keep up with Chris’ and pushing mine to that level causes me to lose the clean tone of the Clara. The one song I didn’t start took off like a jet fueled GTI and lost its natural groove in the process, instead it sounded like a train wreck of beats and big vocals. Other than that there were only slight hiccups where someone lost the 1 or introduced a new chord. All and all, probably 35 minutes of tightness and 5 of what just happened.

What I really wanted to talk about was the venue, odd name that caused more questions than I care to deal with when promoting a show, but the coolest venue I have played in a LONG time, The Library. Now, outside of the Firebird, which we are working on, and a few blues clubs, I am pretty confident that I have played every room in St. Louis, not to mention I have some road time as reference. The Library is not awesome because it has the best sound in the world (although it was stellar) or because the stage is the biggest and newest (it is not).
The Library is awesome because the little things and their staff.

Everybody there seemed equally excited to see the show, like they were there for the show too, like they took a job there not because they needed a job but because they wanted to be around live ORIGINAL music. So many times the employees at music venues make me feel like just another tip, particularly the slicker/prettier venues. Sure they may be rocking the look, exposed tats, a piercing or two, but they do not bleed and sweat for music. From Porsche behind the bar to Todd at the door to Sheri who booked it to Tom (from JTS Audio) running sound, everyone was totally cool.

Now the little stuff, they had a back stage! And, it was organized for bands. You could tell the people working there had done this before. So many venues I have played, the stage is an after thought, even the Old Rock House which is totally amazing and probably has the best stage/sound in town, did not think about load-in and storage. There is nowhere but the stage to put bags, cases, coats, etc. Plus back stage The Library had Fruit and Vegetable trays for us. The only other venue I have played at that did that was The Pageant, just the coolest sentiment. Even though girlfriends of the band probably ate more of it than we did, it showed total appreciation for what we do, and that…that means everything to me.

So what has the Library done by doing this? Earned loyalty, and not just as a musician but as a patron. If I am looking for something to do on a Friday or Saturday, guess where I am going to look first, The Library. When I book a show there, I am going to promote it like Kid Rock promoted shows back in Detroit. When it comes time for me to do a CD release party, guess where I am going to try to book first? The Library is the correct answer. Off Broadway used to be this venue for me when Connie owned it and Jen was behind the bar, but now I cannot even get Steve to return an e-mail…so Library, you got my support, the support of my band, and everybody we brought loved it, so they will be back!

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