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#2- Arrica Rose and the ...'s at Crane's, April 8th, 2009

So, this show was actually a week ago tonight, but I think it's still fresh enough in my head to qualify as eligible for a kick-off entry.  The thing that sticks out in my head is that I'd been sick all week leading up to show day.  Had to cancel a rehearsal on Monday, which I NEVER do.  That meant we had one rehearsal and it was just a few hours before the gig.  Plus I was still a little swimmy-headed.  

Anyway, I played my '06 P-bass, which is pretty much all I'm using for anything these days.  Brought the Boss tuner and my
Sansamp DI and left the rest of the pedalboard at home.  Arrica's music is quite  mellow and doesn't really call for any crazy effects, which was perfect since I didn't particularly feel up to lugging extra gear around.  My pedalboard is growing like a weed and getting heavier and more obnoxious to haul around every day.  Also, Crane's has a house bass rig so I didn't bring my amp or a cab.   Definitely a bad call.   I had a  conversation much like the following when I saw what I was about to plug into;

Me: "Cool, so I can use the bass amp?"

Soundguy: "Yeah, sure, just don't turn it up too loud.  You gotta find the sweet spot or it rattles really bad."

Me: "Rattles?"

Soundguy: "Yeah, three of the six speakers are blown.  But they're on the bottom so you should be okay."

Sigh.  Can't remember what make or model it was but it doesn't matter.  Funny thing is, he was right.  It had a sweet spot where the tone was manageably "not horrible".  Of course, as I mentioned, we're playing really, really quiet, folky, beautifully mellow music, so I didn't have to push it that hard.   Still, FAAAAAAAAAR from ideal to say the least.   Bottom end was weak, mids were slightly distorting (in a bad way) and I spent the night managing it more than playing through it.  

The gig actually went pretty well considering I was sick, underrehearsed and playing through a crappy amp :).  The trick with this band is to wear the minimalist hat, keep it simple and supportive, concentrate on note-lengths, tone and time, all that good "less is more" stuff.  Note-wise, I played almost mistake-free as far as I can recall.  Not super creative or expressive, but my time was good and I think I played competently and appropriately.  Probably a solid B from a strictly-playing perspective.  Still, it's one thing to play the right notes, another thing to get in between them, make em sing a little more and I didn't really get there.  The band was great as usual,
Ryan (drums), Marc (electric guitar) and Arrica (acoustic guitar, vocals) always make my job easier.  Oh yeah, one of the highlights was breaking into a quick chorus of "Still of the Night" with psychic drummer Ryan, right after Arrica made some random Whitesnake reference.  Rawk!   

I did feel a little awkward onstage that night.  Sometimes I can't find my Appropriate Body Language, and this was definitely one of those nights.  That's a weird trip for me, cause mostly it's not even on my mind but once in awhile I can get a little uncomfortable.  I found myself looking at the ceiling more than usual, awkwardly changing my stance, just not feeling good in my skin.  Maybe cause I was still a bit sick, not sure.  Maybe cause I did a lot of harmony singing and wasn't feeling super rehearsed on that front.  Sang pretty well I thought, but still.  Had a
Maker's on the rocks before the show to help relax, plus whiskey is usually a good "drink for the sick".  Maybe I needed a double.  

Borderline, The Sunshine Again, We Can All Be Flawless, Memphis, Porcupine in a Petting Zoo, Paper Hearts, Tragedy, Uh Huh, Little Wars.

The Patio
Oh yeah, they friggin' closed the patio at Crane's!  Doh!  I heard they may reopen it in the Summer, but who knows.  Hope so.  
Kirsten and I totally dig the vibe out on the back patio there, tiki torches, boothes, it's a cool hang all the way around.  Best part of the club, easily, if you ask me.  

Random Observations
Here's a final Bass Thought; I've been mostly playing with a pick for the last few months, which helps my time and the attack of my tone but somehow doesn't feel as connected to the instrument as finger playing does.  I expect a shift back soon.  In fact it's been happening already in rehearsals this week.  One of these days I'll figure out the right pick-to-fingers balance.  

Wow, so much more to say, but I'll save it for another day.  I have a feeling I'll find my shorthand eventually and will be able to condense these entries significantly.   Or who knows, maybe they'll get longer...




Hey Stranger!

I enjoyed the show at Cranes, I think that room has a nice and intimate vibe. "Tragedy" is also beginning to grow on me even more than when I first heard it :)