"In many disciplines, for the majority of graduates, the Ph.D. indicates the logical conclusion of an academic career." Marc Bousquet

Friday, April 15, 2011

Random Stuff I LIke About Being in a Band

Tonight, we have our first show since Halloween. As I mentioned in an earlier post, we took a hiatus to record an album, now in its final stages of production, but we are now more or less ready to start performing again. The show tonight came up by chance -- not something we sought out (we wanted to wait until we had the album or at least the Kickstarter ready to go before actively promoting ourselves as a live act again)-- and is at a venue we've played a number of times before. We've headlined there, and, in fact, the Halloween show was there. It'll be a fun night -- being onstage is fun, as I've said before, and hanging out with the group is fun, too.

For your amusement, here's some random stuff I like about being in a band:
  • Wearing crazy clothes I bought while still in college and never thought I'd wear again. Nevermind that after the Halloween show, to which I brought a bottle of absinthe to share backstage, I barely made it home before barfing all over my vintage green velvet mini skirt. For tonight's show, I've got a gothy little wine-colored dress that I can't believe still fits.
  • Seeing the look on the sound engineer's face when he realizes there are 15 of us performing. They know what to expect at the venue we're at tonight, though there's one sound guy we like better than others and we don't know if he'll be doing this show or not. Admittedly, it is really challenging to get all of us a proper mix that balances the different instruments. Somebody almost invariably gets drowned out.
  • Seeing the look on the faces of musicians in other bands playing the same show when they see how many of us are performing. In the words of one artist we opened for, speaking to the audience at the opening of her set, "Let's give it up for The _________, everybody! Weren't they great? And holy shit, I've never seen so many fucken people onstage at a show!"
  • Hanging out backstage. Not every venue has a cool place to relax before and after performing, but the venue we're playing tonight has a killer green room. Tattered plush antique couches with broken legs (so the couches are closer to the floor so you can slouch and sprawl with greater ease), a tall ceiling, muted lighting, posters galore, coke (er, make-up) mirrors on the coffee tables. The predominant colors are red, black, and beige. It's very atmospheric.
  • Hanging out backstage with bandmates. We're an eclectic bunch -- engineers, writers, artists, retail workers, bureaucrats, teachers, accountants, a few professional musicians. We don't get together that much outside of practices, shows, and the occasional birthday party, so catching up with everybody and shootin' the shit over the free food and beer that come with performing make for a good time.
  •  Twenty-something, thirty-something, whatever. I'm not the only thirty-something in the group, but I think I may be the oldest one. And there are more twenty-somethings than thirty-somethings -- and a few of them are quite young. But I guess what I like about getting together at shows is that I don't have to pretend to be a grown-up (which I'm convinced I will never become) or anything else. 
Well, it's a slow day, so there might be another post coming later, but I'm going to go grab some lunch for now. Maybe we'll be on tour and visiting your town one of these days!

(Image: A performance a while back, before I -- and several others -- joined)

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