There are shows that are tough; there are shows that are fraught with problems and technical difficulties; there are shows where no one is there to play to. There are also shows where not only does it all work out, but you have a damn good time too. Saturday night at The Central was a prime example of the latter.
Our good friends in Tiny Mountains were celebrating front-man Robb Mirsky’s birthday and were kind enough to ask us to play. The Central is the perfect little spot for such a shindig—big enough to fit a small crowd, but small enough to be cozy, with great beer on tap and good eats too.
The first club show with my new Godin 5th Avenue Kingpin, this was also one of the first shows we’ve actually played with our trusty Roland Jazz Chorus JC-77 amp—felt good to have a reliable and loud tank up on stage with me. Of course, my homemade pedals were acting up as always—no fault of their own, mind you. I simply forgot to plug good ol’ Santa Wahs in at all. Technical difficulties keep us mega-rockstars humble.
As always, Laura was rock solid and even got a few verbal jabs at me between songs (she owes me more than a few by now). This was also the first show with her kick drum mic (a great Craigslist score), something we’ll be using a lot.
Photographer Karol Orzechowski (http://decipherimages.com) almost caught a tambourine to the chin in my exuberance, but still managed to take these great shots:
Picking up where we left off earlier this week, here are the rest of our favourite moments of the year (in chronological order). Oddly enough, these all take place in the final stretch of 2010…
5. Going Analog
This one may sound like a vague hippie sentiment, but it’s not. Digital is great—we sometimes just like to get away from the computer. Case in point, this year we started demoing on an old cassette 4-track, but then came across a great setup including an 8-track Fostex R8 reel to reel recorder with tons of tape and a huge matching 812 mixer. A bit of crazy glue later and we had an entire reel of new demos, including the live demo of our new song, “Tortoise.” Most of this is probably gibberish to you non-gearheads (like Laura), but I assure you, it’s awesome.
Song Written Upon Getting Cut by the Argos (CFL Sessions cover)
Stan & Georgie
Aren’t You Glad (Beach Boys cover)
Ahh, Project 165. Our home away from home. We’ve played there 4 times and at least thrice have brought far too much gear for the intimate space. This time we finally got it right: acoustic guitar and small keyboard rounded out by tambourine and glockenspiel. No PA, no soundcheck, no blinking lights.
There’s something intimate about performing without a microphone. Aside from not having a mic stand in your face, its’ like a middle-man has been removed and you can communicate with the audience directly—no disconnect. That’s what this night was all about, as other Project 165 regulars, Tiny Mountains, and travelling troubadour, Pat LePoidevin, all made excellent use of the intimacy.
Of course, it’s also amazing when you don’t have to worry about your half-broken amp conking out, homemade pedals not doing what they are supposed to, or keeping time with loops recorded on the fly. We really ought to do this more often…
Here are some photos taken by Joey Bruni (check out that stage!):