Monday, March 20, 2006
Saturday Night French Fry
After several years of playing, it’s hard to remember all of the shows clearly. Hell, it’s sometimes hard to remember the last night’s show. For me, the outdoor shows are my favorite, and it’s when we do it for ourselves that it is the most meaningful. I admit, getting on stage in front of a big crowd is cool, but jamming on a patio under the trees and the stars surrounded by friends new and old is the best. No worries about microphones (except for Conor, whose got a great mobile sound rig) or PAs, upstairs neighbors, or how many friends we can invite to see us play.
The music was great, I think, and I had a blast. Any disagreement from the rest of you? Sandy wasn’t in good health and didn’t have much energy, but he still blew fine brass. We stood in a circle like we do when we practice and the sound environment was great for me. Hearing everyone naturally and directly is the best way to craft a whole sound. It was fun singing without microphones. I found it easier to listen to the sound inside my head and modulate it more precisely. True, not everyone there heard our singing as clearly as they would if we were in a pub, but I think the product was quality. Such pride, eh? I’m just trying to work on singing while keeping the rhythm going.
TC’s got a description of the party where we performed, and you should definitely check that out if you haven’t already. I’ll just say that I’m glad he didn’t tell us that Mathew Lien might show up. The tension of waiting for him to arrive would have been too much. I can’t say that I’ve ever met Lien Xiansheng, but I have a copy of the first CD of his that was released here. A Taiwanese friend, who got me back into playing percussion, by the way, gave me a copy of Lien’s album. I can appreciate all music, but I have to say it wasn’t something that grabbed a hold of me. To each his own. What is more interesting about Mathew is how he ended up being a pop star in Taiwan. (Apparently he doesn't like tellin that story all the time. I seem to remember someone at a music industry conference mistook his family name for Chinese, and the rest, as they say, is history.)
I was waiting for Will in the Taipei Main MRT station last week and realized that I was standing next to a giant poster of M. Lien advertising Taiwan Beer. I moved so that I was standing right next to it, and tried to pay attention to see whether any passers-by did a double take – Me and M. Lien do bearing a passing resemblance. He, of course, is known for his wolf chic. I, if I say so myself, and more of a Shar-pei shui ge. Dogs one and all.
Oh yeah. Or P.S. We were not the only act at the party, as TC mentions, Jason, formerly of the Incriminators duo performed as well as our good friends the Saltwater Crocs, or what is left of them. Josh and Brent came down after their time in the studio (a.k.a. Brent’s office/den). They’ve been busy on a project to record some of their original songs from the Salpwalper Crocs (inside joke) era. They graced us all with three numbers from their repertoire. Josh’s Fat Girls testimonial/tribute caught the place on fire, Bob Dylan’s something or another stoked the blaze, and then Brent’s Mesopotamia burned the place to the ground. I heard two girls raving about the beat singer and bitching song. According to one correspondent on the suspension bridge during Mesopotamia, the 30 backup singers on the chorus made one hell of a racket. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that Rodney the baby father, drummer for the Crocs, had enjoyed the show from his balcony just across the river.
It looks like I may be building a new instrument. Someone turned me on to a new instrument – the rhythmstick. It was apparently invented by Dizzy Gillespie. I’ll do some research and see how the fun/work ratio looks.
No information on upcoming shows. There are some dates and venues being talked about, but nothing we can say with any certainty. For the Ramblers, it’s back to the woodshed.
Posted by thumper at 10:35 PM