Greetings from Toronto!
Well, the past two nights had sound issues for me. It’s an interesting study because I had a blast in Ann Arbor but had a miserable time last night in Pittsburgh.
In Ann Arbor, the stage was so small, and for some reason the stage plot was changed around so that my amp was next to Mike’s. This is a dangerous scenario because musicians always want to hear themselves the loudest and when the amps are that close together, amp wars can ensue.
In this case, I relied heavily on my monitor. The sound from the monitor is not the same as hearing the amp. It’s more brash and not as full sounding as the amp, but I can’t really do anything about that because if I have Rachel (our monitor tech) fill out the sound, the guitar will feed back more easily.
The room was small and packed full of high energy folks who were bouncing and moving and sending all kinds of energy back up to the stage, and so we had a great show even with the sound issues.
Afterward, we went to a 24 hour diner where we met Annie, Afia, Jamie, Jeremy, Jackie, Mike, Cormack, Dave, Sarah, Brennan, Luke, and one person I can remember.
Last night was probably the hardest of the tour for me. The room was echoey, there were buzzes and RF hums in all the instruments and there were power issues. I couldn’t get a nice tone out of my guitar to save my life and I was playing way to hard, even breaking a string. I was trying to create melodies and everything I came up with sounded like Mary Had A Little Lamb to me. Mike’s amp died during the first set closer and we stopped after the first verse of the song and took a break, finishing the song as the second set opener.
Second set was better than the first, but for me, not much better. Couch Lady was the highlight, kind of a bluegrass tune with a latin sort of beat. This tune ended up being one of the train wrecks from an earlier show and has always issues staying cohesive, but last night we nailed it, start to finish.
Afterward, we started the ride to Toronto. After everyone had gone to bed, Mike and I played acoustic guitars together for hours. We wrote a pretty interesting progression and came up with a bunch of variations on it. The original progression is in 9/8 time and one variation had us subtracting one beat per measure. Pretty cool sounding.
This morning we dropped off our merchandise at Cheryl’s house in Buffalo (to avoid paying taxes/duty on it) and crossed the border. That was interesting. They were really digging for stuff, asking me about some trouble I got into in 1975. But they did let us all in after not too long a wait, and so here we are in Toronto.
We have a day off, and then a one set show tomorrow night.
There are only three shows left!
I wanted to talk about time. It’s crazy how fast the month has gone by. I think some of it has to do with doing the same thing over and over again every day, and I think some of it has to do with losing the structure of the week.
I read Catch 22 in high school and I remember a character in the book who was always making himself as bored as he possibly could because time passes slower when you’re bored, and he figured if time passed slower, his life would seem longer. Perhaps this is why the month has gone by so fast, because it has certainly not been boring!