Blog # 62: Post bad gig.
I usually don't blog impulsively, but I'm in a certain mood this morning. I played a gig last night in NYC under my name with a band playing my original tunes. Once I made all the calls and knew who was playing the gig, I tried to schedule a rehearsal. We had an email chain that was 20 messages long, until we accepted that we weren't going to get a chance to play before the gig because everyone was so busy and the band would have to read my tunes on the gig. I emailed them their individual parts, full scores of the music and mp3's of the tracks from other gigs.
We had a pretty good turn-out, and people seemed to like the music, but to my ears(because I wrote it), it was sloppy, stiff, and sounded like we were all reading. The music we were playing wasn't even that complicated(no mixed time signatures or super crazy changes). I remember playing and trying to build my solos, and feeling like the rhythm section wasn't listening to me. It was pretty frustrating and while in life its almost impossible to get me mad, it seems that music is the one thing that can do that for me when its not going well. It pisses me off when people play my music wrong because in my mind it makes me look like I can't write.
I've been thinking a lot about my 'minimalist-jazz' project, which will be my next record and I think it might be time to put it on the back-burner or make it a 'studio project'. Unless the band is rehearsed, the music doesn't sound right. I think I'm going to write more lead-sheet-type tunes that bands can read without rehearsal, and if we DO get a chance to rehearse, than I'll dig out some of my more complicated stuff. The good news is I have a band called 'Red Light Growler' that plays some of this music in a more rock setting and RLG is a well rehearsed unit. New York can be a frustrating place for a composer, everyone is doing so many gigs, its almost impossible to get your band tight and rehearsed. On most gigs in New York, all the musicians are reading. It sucks. I would rather see a well-rehearsed band of no-names, than an all-star band stumbling through complicated music.
It seems like there are 3 options:
1)If you want to play more complicated music, rehearse.
2)play simpler stuff that the band will be able to read on the gig
3)Hire some REALLY great musicians(and hope for the best)