...from the Road
June 21
the Coffee Hag - Mankato, MN
Getting There.
     I have learned not to complain about the signs of decrepitude that my beloved vehicle has been showing recently.  Sherry's car, an '83 station-wagon that sports decorative wood side-paneling, just gave up the ghost.  I think that she'd only owned that car for a couple of months.  That's too bad... I was just getting used to the way it would talk to you as you drove.  "A door is a jar", as it was often fond of saying, along with a few other heart-touching and endearing mini-phrases.  Requiem in pace. 
     So anyway, due to Sherry's current car-less state we started our journey about 30 minutes south of Rochester.  Which, ordinarily would have been fine, except that neither of us really seemed to know just how to get to Mankato, or the radio station where we were to be interviewed, from Spring Valley.
Talkin' Interview.
     Showing up half an hour late to a live interview, even when you've called ahead to warn them, is never cool (much less professional).  The DJ was more than understanding though.  We chatted for a while and went through a "get your bearings tour" while the last song finished up.  The second that we went live his voice dropped about a full octave.  This was a veteran.
     The interview went well.  We talked a bit about our styles, influences, what we where up to... nothing too in depth but good, interesting stuff.  It was funny to see how different our answers were when we were asked about our personal song writing process.
     Because we were late we didn't have enough time to play a couple of live songs like we had planned so they just played a track from my cd.  It was an odd feeling, hearing that song and knowing that it was being sent out over the airwaves into the random speakers of random people.  To my knowledge this is the first time my cd has received airplay.  That is until Clear Channel purchases the rights to it next year...
The Gig.
     Hindsight is never 20/20.  At least for me it isn't.  I still have a partial view when it comes to looking back at things in the past.  It just ends up being a different view from when it actually was happening.  In my mind this gig seems very tarnished.  It was a rough start.  We had just put new strings on about 30 minutes before the show and the raging humidity did not help them settle in tune.  We must have tuned about 20 times during those first three songs.  After the guitars settled down we still had to calm down
ourselves... but we did end up getting back on track.
     The show was packed... and not just by our standards.  Probably about 30 to 40 people in all.  Much of the crowd were friends of ours from camp that had driven the hour to see us play on their night off.  It's always good to see friendly faces.
Notes to Self.
     Don't show up to a live radio interview 30 minutes late.
     Don't put new strings on just before a show.
     Humidity sucks!
Best Member of the Audience.
     Every once in a while you'll get a guy in the audience who seems to be convinced that he is receiving a private concert.  He will banter with you in-between every song, shout out various slogans during the music, and just generally make a fool of himself. This behavior makes it very difficult for the performer to connect with the audience or for the audience to feel a part of anything communal.  Instead everybody is just thinking about how much they wish this guy would shut up or go to the bathroom for about 2 hours.
Musician's Mathematics.
     raging humidity + new strings = performing songs in quarter tone tunings
     biggest audience to date = worst performance to date
Coolest Moment.
     I actually sold a cd.  This is the first one I've sold at an actual concert.  That's a boost.
Culinary Highlights.
     After our mad dash to Mankato through the clogged one-land highways of Southern Minnesota and our shortened radio interview we actually had some time to kill.  A bunch of wings at BW3s and a glass of Cabernet certainly helped to calm our nerves.  And then, as if one dinner wasn't enough, off for a quick appetizer with Sherry's aunt.
Two Truths about Food & Adults.
     1.  If you're ever playing within a 30 mile radius of someone you are related to they will surely want to grab
         a bite to eat with you.
     2.  Adults need to have either food, coffee, or alcohol around in order to relate effectively.
The Summary.
     All in all, it was a disappointing show from our standpoint.  You go into every new gig with so many expectations and most of them seem to be hopefully, if not realistically, grounded.  Maybe it's better to do like Kurt Cobain and just
know that every show is going to suck.  That way, it will always turn out better than you thought.
say something worthwhile.
the ever industrial downtown Mankato