Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Tour 1.26-1.28.06 (police chase, family reunion smell, sarah hits the roof)

This will be short because I am way behind on booking for a spring break tour (I’m still not sure why I’m touring Indiana and Illinois on Spring break…but that’s another blog for another day.)

Anyway, last Thursday was Christopher Pizza in Nashville. I had been practicing a little the previous few days, a rare thing as busy as I have recently become, and so I was feeling pretty good about the show. The turnout was bigger than I anticipated, and even though we were packed in like (insert funny and intelligent metaphor here), it was a great time.

So I guess it’s about time to tell you that I have undertaken the task of documenting my journey as an independent artist with a video camera (the old kind that uses analog tapes and has a viewfinder protruding from the back…vintage). I’m afraid to know what it will turn out like, but I began my day Friday with the camera running while I was driving to pick up Sarah (www.sarahpeacockmusic.com) and leave for Auburn. It sure it will end up looking like a police chase…

After a 5-hour drive to Opelika (just next to Auburn), we set up at 8th and Rail. Now for those who have never been there, it is quite possibly the coolest bar I have ever entered. I’m not sure how old the building is, but it is old. (Though not as old as the 90-year-old birthday party that was happening during load in…no joke. We got some odd looks from a few of them. I told Sarah it smelled like a family reunion…she threw up…not really though.) Anyway, they had old wood panels, hardwood floors, an alley in the back that must have been shipped in from San Francisco….shoot, they even had vintage toilets…I think. It was like Cheers, but cooler.

After the show I let Sarah pack up the gear because I had a couple of fans ask for one more song. What can I say…I’ll do anything to please a listener…and avoid load-out…sorry Sarah...

It was after 1:00 AM when we got on the road and headed to my parent’s house in B-ham. We were both sleepy. Sarah was a little concerned about me staying awake, but after while I put in the ear-buds, cranked up an audiobook (Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace), and told her to go to sleep. She did, and the best part of the evening was the huge pothole we hit getting onto I-459 from I-65. It was about 4:00 AM and Sarah jumped to the ceiling, certain that we were off the road and about to die. I laughed…then went back to sleep myself…

After we arrived and got a good morning’s sleep, I spent time visiting family and getting ready for another show. That night we were at the Cambridge Coffee in the Villages (off of 280 in B-ham). It was our first time there. The sound in the little corner where we were set up was terrible, but the crowd was great. (Kudos to my sis for bringing the John Carroll crowd.)

Now I’m not one to try things on the fly, but I got this crazy idea to record the audience clapping as part of my loop on “Before There Was Time.” It hit me during the first chorus and so I worked out the logistics in my mind during the rest of the song. At the end, when I always loop and build the final chorus, I got things going, killed my floor monitor (so as to avoid feedback), spun my mic to the crowd, and hit record. I wasn’t sure if it was going to work, but when I was finished and turned my monitor back up, it was there! Sweet.

So that’s about it. So much for being short.

Until next time…


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