Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Introducing The Band ...

Saturday night, I went to see my friend Jay's band, Everelle.

If you have a friend in a band, you know how it is: You turn out to see them partly because you dig the band and partly to pad the room, because if bands draw a crowd, bands get asked back, and if you're in a band, gigs are good. They, you know, give you a reason to be in a band.

So there I was, and partway through Everelle's set, I turned around and saw Lance, one of my other musician pals. He's the drummer for The Hoyle Brothers. He joined me at my table. As we tried yelling at each other over the post-Everelle band, Lance said, "You know, we could go in the other room where it's not so loud."

So we did. And he started talking to someone and I decided that it was time for me to head home, because I am old and it was nearly midnight. Jay insisted on giving me money for a cab. I protested. He crammed it into my hand.

I walked up to Lance and gave it to him, asking him to sneak it back into Jay's pocket. That Jay, always a Gallant, never a Goofus.

Anyhoo, I had threatened to blog about the opening band (I haven't and I won't; I figure, hey, they're getting up on that stage and doing their thing and they really believe in their music, so even if I don't dig it, who am I to rip on 'em?) and Lance told me to send him the link if I did.

And while we were on the subject of my blog, I asked him if he'd listened to any of my tunes. (He knows I've been recording.) But he hadn't, so I handed him a copy of my tunes. I always keep a CD in my purse. I never know when I might need it.

Monday morning, he wrote to say "I listened to your CD. I see no reason why you can't get a band together (piano/bass/drums would do it, with the right players) and start doing some shows. Your voice sounds great, you've picked good songs and I think it'd go over well at places like Katerina's. Do keep following that muse and letting folks like me know when you're out/about. This demo, methinks, would be enough to get you in some doors for performing, for sure."

To which my reaction was: "Gaa! A band?!"

Nevermind that I have no idea how one goes about putting together a band, but surely, I thought, it's too soon to take that step. Shouldn't I be logging more time in the studio? Shouldn't I be downing scotch and mustering up courage to perform at open-mic nights?

Of course, the answers to those questions are "Um, YES!" (Brian and I talked yesterday and will pick a day to record next week.) But friends have piggybacked on Lance's idea and suggested that I'll learn a lot by performing with musicians. So I suppose I can do both the recording/open-mic-ing and band-forming in parallel.

Just as soon as I figure out how to form a band. Suggestions are welcome. Do musicians post want ads? Or do I just accost musicians on the street? "You there! The one lugging the upright bass! Looking for a singer?!"

4 Comments:

Anonymous Alison said...

Word of mouth?

Craigslist?

Local arts paper?

*gulp* MySpace?

That's all I got, since I've never tried to put a band together. But good luck!

9:35 PM  
Blogger elizabeth said...

um, yeah, I've got no suggestions, just encouragement. follow your dream, find a band or make your own. too cool. =)

11:31 AM  
Anonymous Ethan said...

It depends:

IF you want complete and total creative control, and have a grand vision that you want to assemble the right players to help express, place ads looking to start a band. This means people will audition for you.

IF you want to perform live, answer ads for established bands looking for a singer. You may not have loads of creative control, but you'll be in on the act and gaining experience. You will be auditioning for others.

DO NOT place ads in the Illinois Entertainer, if it even exists anymore. Craigslist might be better, but just bear in mind that band ads have a high flake factor, either "wanted" or "available". But if you're focused on the goal of performing live, there's no such thing as a bad audition. I met some interesting people when I tried to get a band together some years back. How about a guy who played flamenco bass?

Furreal. He ended up starting a band with a guitarist who used to work with Joe Walsh.

7:50 PM  
Anonymous Dave said...

Forming a band is something for which there's no blueprint. You may want to find a flexible bunch of players which can change depending on availability and size of venue. It's hard to keep a true band happy unless you're playing a lot. My 'band' varies from a single second-guitar player to the full deal. and I pick songs at the last minute depending on the nature of the gig.

That said. You should put some of your music on your blog.

The easiest and best Widget I have found is from reverbnation.com.

If you want to see what it looks like it's up and running at davetutin.typepad.com

12:09 PM  

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