Friday, June 05, 2009

Booking the Band

Charles here – you, wherever you are.

Frequent readers of this site know that I work at Dixon Schwabl, an advertising, marketing and public relations firm here in lovely Rochester, NY. Lately we’ve had a lot of pregnancies in the agency with new babies popping out every couple weeks or so. Yesterday, to celebrate this grassroots Baby Boom, we held a “Family Stimulus Party”. Actually, it was just a convenient excuse to throw a party. The highlight – for me anyways – was a performance by Job Order, a ska/rock/pop/party band made up of employees (and one honorary employee) of Dixon Schwabl. Take a guess who was on tenor sax.

I bring this up not just to show off but because this morning, (it’s now 5:45am on Friday) I feel a lot like I do six months after I launch a new book. That thrilling moment when you’re on stage is comparable to the rush you feel when your book first hits the stands, but now, hours after my ears have stopped ringing, it's quite similar to that lull that descends the further you get from the big launch. You look back at the fun you had and wonder if it will ever be that good again and you want it to happen soon. But more than anything, you want to jump right back in and start with something new.

Yesterday before the “gig” (that’s a term we hip musicians use – it means “performance” – non-musicians should refer to it as a “show”, man), I brought in a CD with 20+ new songs I want the band to consider. Granted, according to The Rules, I get to formally suggest only two songs, one of which the band will accept and add to the repertoire. (This last round I somehow managed to sneak 2 songs onto the set list – the Ska-J version of Minnie the Moocher, and a ska version of You Can’t Always Get What You Want which was similar to the version done by Band From TV.) For some reason, these new, as yet unpicked, unpracticed and unperformed songs were more interesting than the songs we were about to perform. It’s just like the feeling that many (most?) authors experience about three-quarters of the way through the book they’re working on, when all these ideas come about the next book they want to start, even before they are completely finished with the last one.

I’m sure the band will take a few weeks off from practicing, but I bet that every one of the band members is secretly itching to jump right back in and start over with new stuff. And I bet that each one has great memories about the show yesterday, but they have bigger hopes for the next gig. My bandmates may not be published authors, but right now they know just what it feels like.

[And because I know you want to know, Job Order is Shad Froman on lead vocals, Kathy Phelps and Wayne Gormont on lead and backup vocals, Bruce Rice on lead guitar, Bob Hotchkiss on rhythm guitar, Mike Sperber on bass, Matt Bielewicz on keyboards, bongos, harmonica and hand cymbals, Will Bower on drums, Mike Schwabl on vibraslap and yours truly on tenor sax.]


Anonymous said...

Charles, you sounded great yesterday! -Bruce

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