Winter Vacation - Day Ten

Ten days already, wow! And in honor of that fact, I got up at ten in the morning. After working a little on Chinese translation while allowing everyone else a little more time to sleep, I headed downstairs to prep the practice room, only to realize that we didn't have an electric guitar. Carl was to bring it back last night when he returned for the Chinese Movie shoot, but we called him off. No guitar. So I headed up to pick it up from him at work. Meanwhile, everyone got washed up and ready to get some lunch with Katie Hooper.

Hooper has played a small but significant and recurring role in my life. Katie is sharp and cool, and she came out to my wedding on a dare, and we thus appointed her Master of Ushers, to supervise the thugged out ushers we had chosen, Eric and Bryan. She took control and did a clutch job. She danced with Phat Carl. It was a magical night.

Anyway, this time around Katie didn't get back in touch until 2:30pm. We continued last nights risk game in the interim, while it got uncomfortably late. When Katie got in touch, we met her at her place, checked out her apartment and got a late lunch/early dinner at UNO's. It was nearly five by the time we got home. No time to practice! We packed up the cars, Katie gave me a lightning haircut (she's the official TMINM stylist in addition to her usher supervision duties), I rinsed that off, and we were on the way to AS220.

AS220 is in the heart of the recently revitalized downtown Providence, RI. It's look nice, sort of small town big city. The venue was very cool, similar to Modified, but more fun, with a red velvet curtain behind the stage. The upper two stories are gigantic with no less than twenty apartments for artists in residence. I shot some pre-concert footage in and around the venue, and some interviews with the key participants.

We soundchecked quite unimpresively and left our gear on stage, since we were first up, our time slot moved to 10:00pm. Carl came late, and Jeremy very late, just shortly before we went on. Jeremy came straight from his meeting, so he was wearing a striking textured black suit, with a blue shirt and red plaid power tie. Probably the most memorable element of the band on this evening.

It was a lot of tensionm leading up to the beginning of the set. I excused myself to the hallway and jumped around for a while to try to loosen up. Then I went up the staircase and jumped all the way down to psych myself up. It's just a huge hurdle to get up there and start the first song, especially this first song, Implode, a pulsating indie-metal kick in the head. Gripping the pick and making yourself go from zero to sixty is extremely difficult.

So it was at 10:00pm that we took the stage, stared at each other for a while, then made ourselves go. Implode, then Homo Sapien, a mocking punk stomper. Come & Gone was next. What was supposed to be a break from the loud first two songs was more of a not-so-engaging let down. Good Conscience, one of our typical jilted indie-pop songs, was next and picked it back up. Pity Versus Sympathy went well, too. Last Resort, Part I was next, again, a slower song, and more of a let down, as far as I could tell. After that we went into two non-JLA songs. Room 203, Part I is a jazzy crooner that got positive response, and Such Things To Such People, one of my favorites, has just the right dynamic to convey the emotion of the song. We closed with Children 2, and really rocked it out at the end of the song.

Of course, it's tough to judge the show having been on the stage, but I was impressed with everyone else's performances. Carl was solid, Micah was explosive, and Jeremy got the words right, by and large. I'm acutely aware of my own failings, of course, though Angie and Katie said they didn't see any obviosu mistakes. To me, they were all too obvious. Of course, everyone had the same sentiment at the end of the show, that they didn't do too well, but everyone else was good. To me, it's a moral victory to have been on the stage with three other people playing the songs, bringing TMINM to life. Really, no expectations beyond that.

Now, let me tell you more about Micah. Micah doesn't really play a four-four time or standard pop/rock backbeats. He's all-style all the time. It's a vigorous experience. Further, he's so incredibly talented, he'll go off and do a roll in a different time signature only to return exactly on point to the song proper. This is great except that not being as emminently talented, it always throws me off a bit.

We hung around for The Quiet Life and Shumai, both excellent. At the end of the night, I told the house to split our money between the other bands, since I didn't feel that we had done well enough to take anything when the other bands were more deserving.

Angie had a strong disappointed reaction to the show. She thinks it could have been better, and that we didn't live up to our potential. Katie thought the music was solid. Both expressed that the real weakness was our lack of engaging stage presence. I sort of leave the presence part up to Jeremy, but we're going to focus on doing all the right things on stage for the next show. In observing the other bands, it became obvious where we had fallen short. There's just the standard things you have to do. Hi, we're The Moon Is No More from the far flung corners of the continental United States, and all that. Introducing songs, telling jokes, introducing band members. I worked out some good jokes for the next show. Try this on: "I'm sorry we're late, we broke into Gillette Stadium and stole all the razors." Eh? Maybe not.

The trip home was rainy and foggy, and we had a late snack, some tea, and off to bed.

1 comment:

Jeremy said...

I can attest to what Josh is saying about going from 0 to 60 and I'm sure it's even harder for him, since he's the one that has to start the song. But you can imagine the feeling of having been on stage only once in your life, and here you are again in front of about 35 people, most of whom you do not know. At the first show that we performed at we knew basically everyone that was there. Not so at AS220.

It was a pretty cool place and they had great whoopie pies. Though they weren't the traditional BM WP's they were still of high quality.

As far as the performance goes I was really disappointed with us. At the same time I'm really proud of us all. It's a strange feeling. On the one side I feel that we could have done so much better, we could have been so much more (and I'll take my share of the responsibility here). On the other hand, just the fact that we were up there playing these songs that were written in 2001 and haven't been played in ages was extremely exciting.

I do get pretty nervous on stage, so I had asked Josh to do the talking. He didn't do much, but I understand that I kind of put him in a last minute bind. Having gotten the jitters out I feel like I can step up to the plate better at this next show. I just have a good feeling about it.

For one thing I'm going to ditch the Green Bullet mic. It just didn't work. I was straining just to hear my own voice (which always means that I'm going to be off key, more than usual). Plus we were getting feedback through the mics. I switched over to the house mic for the final three songs and it was much better.

My singing was pretty awful. My timing was definitely off at times. I know that probably played a part in throwing Josh off. I couldn't count on my fingers how many times I had came in late so Josh had to go through an extra rep of the main guitar riff. This was happening on almost every song.

Anyway, I'm sure that Josh will add some live tracks to the 727Records.com Media section so that people can download them.