I'm a little late with the recap of the last show, but hey, it's only rock and/or roll. We played another acoustic set in the backyard garage (or "theater" to hear them tell it) at Goodbye Blue Monday. I really love that venue. During the Summer they barbecue burgers and such out back, and the scent of grilled goodness drifting across a stage during a performance of twangy acoustic music is absolutely copacetic.
The night was interesting musically to say the least. GBM has two stages, so I won't allow myself to sound foolish trying to describe everything else that went on. All I can say is that if you want to hear a wide variety of music, a lot of which will surprise you with its weirdness, then GBM is the place to go.
Our performance was pretty good, as far as I could tell. Audience response was enthusiastic and I noticed a handful of people breaking away from conversations with their friends to come listen, which is always a nice silent compliment. There was even a cute short-haired girl I'd never seen before who sat right up front, but I couldn't find her after the set. C'est la vie.
I'm still getting used to performing acoustic on stage, especially without any kind of monitors. We had one hilarious screw-up where I forgot the entire second verse of our new song, "Company War Song". I mean seriously, I completely blanked out. I couldn't recall for the life of me what the first word of the verse was, which would generally jog my memory, or even what the gist of it was in the narrative of the song. Even better, after the set I finally remembered the words and they were the lines the name of the damn song is drawn from! "If you want the fox, I will hunt it / Company war song; blasting trumpet." Of all the lines to forget, the title line? And the story gets even dumber because that was the last song of the night. Fortunately, we had enough time to scrap it and perform a cover of the Replacements song, "On the Bus".
A quick rundown of the set, as if it really matters to anyone: "The City's Little System", "Asleep in the Road", "Magic Spells Don't Work", "I Want That Light", "Company War Song". We also performed a new unnamed instrumental, as well as covers of "Cactus" by the Pixies and "On the Bus" by the Replacements.
I've found that I really enjoy playing acoustic sets. I know that may seem strange coming from a guy who traditionally tortures turntables and mangles electronics and calls it "art", but people who know me in NYC have no idea how traditionally most of Hosey's music is borne into this world. I've mentioned before that we started out as youths making pretty typical guitar rock. We never stopped writing in that manner, we just re-imagine chords as samples, program crazy drumbeats, and basically try to get as "out there" as possible in the studio. Playing acoustic lets us show off the embryonic form of future Hosey tracks.
There's something else, something I noticed when watching country singers. These guys can command a stage all by themselves. Just a man, his voice, and a guitar. There's something maybe a little old-timey about it -- I prefer to think of it as timeless -- but there's also something so direct and engaging. Sometimes I feel like my wall of electronics and turntables is a barrier to hide behind.
Another thing I won't lie about: having to drag 150+ pounds of equipment to a show when you're just two people gets old fast. Having to only carry a single acoustic guitar is very nice. "You mean I can walk on stage, stand in front of this mic, and just go? Sign me up! And then I can take a $2.25 train ride to and from the venue, meaning the twenty bucks I earned is actually $15.50 net profit?! Cha-ching. Drinks are on me, cowboys!"
A big "Thanks!" goes out to Matthew Kimmelman and Meghan Fuentes for the photos!