The musings, politics, frustrations and triumphs of an extrovertedly introverted musician from Philadelphia, PA.
Next shows: Blue Scheme: Wed., November 12 (blue scheme on last), Grape Street Pub [Manayunk], w/Lazlo and Secret Society, 105 Grape St., Philadelphia, $5, 21+, Doors at 9:00 pm
Wed., November 19 (blue scheme on first) Malokai's/Club 218 South [Center City], w/TBA 218 South St., Philadelphia $6, 21+, Doors at 9:00 pm
Fri., November 21 (blue scheme on second) Tokio Ballroom [Center City], w/Wellstar and Heather G 122 Lombard St., Philadelphia $5, 21+. Doors at 8:00 pm Yellow Brain: Saturday, December 27, Fergie's Pub, 1214 Sansom, Philadelphia, 9:30pm
It feels funny to have been away for so long. But summertime often seems to be a good time to take a hiatus from dreaming of schemes, and instead just, well, scheming.
I mean that in the best possible way, of course.
Life has been relatively straightforward, in the most unstraightforward of ways. I have a talent for making the most simple things and tasks more roundabout than turning right three times just to go left. All the same, I'm talented (lucky?) enough to dismiss complexities with hardly more than a twilight yawn.
Though I'll write in more detail in coming entries, the past few weeks have generally been related to music or carousing. Usually both at the same time.
The Yellowbrain show at State College was a blast. Actually, we were in the town of Julian, a short distance northwest of State College. We stayed at the home of the incredibly hospitable John Mangan, which was also the venue for the show.
The following week, Blue Scheme and Yellowbrain played a show in Elverson, PA, a boulder's throw from Pottstown. Including those two bands, seven bands played the day. And though the turnout wasn't especially high, the quality of the bands certainly was, as was the effort of John Cole, who put the whole festival together.
Yellowbrain had a slightly different vibe at State College compared to Elverson. Though we're working on actual "songs" again, those two shows were completely collectively improvised, with the exception of opening the State College show with a tripped-out version of Equinox. We really emphasized the jazz and ambient sides at that first show, and for the second one, we really brought out the drum-and-bass and rock angle, although we didn't abandon the jazz and ambient. I'd attribute that to the presence of Rob T, the guitarist. He brings a definite edge to the group, and often helps to push our other aspects into the forefront. Pete G, the drummer, also had a little more strength in his arm, with yet another week of healing following the accident/incident at Fergie's.
We were also asked to fill in after a band cancelled at Fergie's, although just Pete, Keith and myself played that show. Dan Kaufmann, an excellent singer/songwriter with a soulful voice, opened the night and he also sat in with us at points throughout the night. I got to sing Say, Say, Say and Isn't She Lovely? (I needed to redeem myself for butchering this at that karaoke night) with him, which was fun, although I still don't know all the words.
Thank goodness for lyrical cheat sheets, provided by your friend and mine, the Internet.
Blue Scheme had a solid set at Elverson, though we had to skip a couple of songs for the sake of time. I found out the hard way that the mic cable was short. Well, perhaps the medium way. The hard way implies that I caused some sort of horrific accident, some sort of musical Hindenburg. But I couldn't really move around the stage like I wanted to. Oh well. It's good to be able to be emotional and compelling while boxed into a smaller area. So I continue to learn.
The Scheme continues to mix the demo/album/EP. Five songs are done, seven to go. We've got another session on Thursday. A couple of the finished songs may need a bit of touching up, but nothing major. My vocals could be better, but I'm always going to think that. All the same, the next time, I'll have to make sure to get a CD every time and listen to it through headphones at home. That way, I can note those places where I go a hair out of tune, or get a little scratchy, or where it just sounds plain and simply wrong. Not that I want it to sound produced and processed to hell, but I'd like them to be as close to perfect as possible. I'm a closet perfectionist—what can I say?
:: Anam 11:55 AM [+] ::