Tuesday, April 08, 2008

the trio

im slipping. i didnt write yesterday. not one single word. it wasnt that i had nothing to write about, its because i was simply too hungover.

on sunday night we had a band play at the bar. we've been booking a lot of music this year, with me coordinating the DJ nights and another guy handling all the live bands, and so far things have been going ok with it. the DJ nights are going good, and the bands have been fun and entertaining.

well, that is, they were until sunday night.

first, the band was 45 minutes late. this isnt the biggest issue and none of us were put off about it in the least, but in the overall summery of performance, it should be mentioned that they started off on the wrong foot, because it went downhill from there. now, sundays arent the busiest night for us, but they arent as dismal as mondays by any stretch. the reason we book bands on sunday is because its one of those nights that, with a potential boost, could be consistently successful for all involved. barring, of course, that the band we book doesnt suck balls.

it was a three piece band even though it was supposed to be a four piece, with two guitarist and a bassist. they were all middle aged guys, in their 40's or so, sporting salt and pepper goatee's and funny hats. i was told they would be playing jazz but what i heard could be called many things, jazz not being one of them.

they immediately launch into what i thought was some sort of ethereal trantric meditation song, complete with floaty , harp-like guitar strumming and the singer moaning and wailing in the microphone for what seemed to be 45 minutes [but what i was later told was simply a five minute vocal warm up]. at this point there was a decent amount of people on the stools and all patrons seemed willing to indulge the band in their strange journey through "space jazz fusion" or whatever. my barback was not one of these people. she just kept walking back and forth behind the bar, a look of utter confusion attached to her face, and saying "i dont feel comfortable. whats going on?"

then they launch into a series of songs that sound like the kind of music that would be played during dream sequences in bad, dialog free, european movies that were filmed in all sepia tones and are about old ladies that makes cookies for the neighborhood cats or some shit. at first i was willing to go along with it, ive been known to like strange, obscure music and this, if nothing else, could probably fall into the category of strange and obscure. but after a while it devolved from strange and obscure to tragic and comical.

then they took a break.

most bands take about a 20 minute break between sets. but most bands arent almost an hour late and then show up wearing weird hats and do vocal warm ups on the microphone for five endless minutes. this band took nothing less than a 45 minute break, ensuring that most every single customer could escape from the bar without seeming rude for leaving in the middle of a set. by the time they got back up to play there were five people still there, and of those five i think three were band members significant others.

now, to say their music was bad would be somewhat misleading. they seemed like ok musicians, and the singers voice wasnt off key or grating. and to say it was boring would also be an inaccurate description, because boring is unmemorable, and this was anything but forgettable. no, their music was just plain bizarre. and not in a "wow, ive never heard anything like this before," way that could even remotely be considered praise. no, this was bizarre in that, "oh my god did that old lady just throw raw hamburger meat at me" way. you remember it, for sure, but you dont want to.

what was most annoying about this band was that they truly thought they were doing us a favor by gracing the bar with their unforgettable songwriting talents. obviously, the singer, at some point in his life, was told that he was a "genius" and needed to "share his wonderful voice with the world." im assuming it was by his mother. he was absolutely in love with his god awful lyrics and painfully mediocre vocal stylings. i could tell this from the way he kept warbling notes for much longer than he needed [think: christina aguilera] and from the tone of voice he used when he leaned into the microphone, cleared his throat, and asked "can someone get me a glass of water," as if his delicate vocal chords needed maximum lubrication in order for him to complete the next 10 minute tuneless epic. of course, his middle aged groupies then promptly stormed the bar and demanded our biggest glass of water and to be quick about it as he wouldnt start again until he had wet his parched lips.

by the time they were half hour into their second set i was completely blown away by how miserable they had made the bar. usually i can just ignore music in the background and occupy myself with thoughts of porno or bacon, but not this time. every few minutes i had to stop what i was doing and say 'wow.' it was that bad. so bad i was impressed by how bad it was. after a while i think the owner just sort of told them to wrap it up [and in response to this they all whispered to each other and then had a good laugh into the microphone, rudely explaining to their legions of fans that it was a "private joke," they were engaged in] and they played one last, god awful song.

of course they didnt immediately leave afterward. no. they stayed at the bar for AN HOUR past closing, drinking wine with their groupies and giggling in their stupid ass hats. so i had to stay and drink myself silly after they left, just to reach a state in which i could reflect on the night and maybe - just possibly - think i had dreamt it all. clearly this logic just lead to me being hungover in the morning. and there you have it, my excuse for not writing: the pure awesomeness of the four piece trio's unchallenged suck not only ruined my night, but the next day as well.

oh well.

shit, i planned on writing more but i have to do some actual work. until manana.


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:gray matters: by jkg is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at downtownalleys.blogspot.com.