****** Musician's Meanderings******
Steve Hashimoto's Journey Journal – News From the Trenches – 06-22-2003:
Let us now praise laid-back leaders. Just got off a marathon Lenny Marsh gig,
and he's got to be one of the mellowest leaders I've ever worked for. The gig
was especially chaotic, and sort of threatened to crash and burn several
times, but in part due to Lenny's attitude (or, more accurately, lack of) and
partly because the band was pretty over-qualified, it was fun and the party got
saved. Because Lenny let the band play its way through the rough spots we
continued to be interested in making music rather than just getting it over with.
The gig also had three pretty amazing examples of client cluelessness, any
one of which should have killed the party. Things were going pretty well, and
we'd had the dance floor filled for about 20 minutes and were about to really
notch it up a little bit more when the bride's father bounded onto the stage,
stopping the countoff for the next tune, and said he had a young lady who'd like
to sing with the band. So naturally all momentum came to a halt while we
tried to figure out what we could do with her, before finally agreeing that we'd
need to have a conference during the break (all she knew were Celine Dion tunes
and country, and we just weren't that sort of band). That took about five
minutes and by the time we started playing again the dance floor was empty.
So we took the next break to figure out one tune she could sing that we could
also play; evidently Celine Dion has covered When I Fall In Love. Well, I'll
give it to her, the girl could belt, but that was about all she could do.
Picture a deaf Ethel Merman -- I thought the speaker cabs were going to shake
apart and the chandeliers were going to shatter. And she had no idea of when to
come in, or concept of pitch or time. Betcha she auditioned for American Idol.
Here's a tip to all well-meaning relatives of talented amateurs -- stop it.
You've created a generation of vocalist-cyborgs who can only imitate what are
already lowest-common-denominator singers, and who flourish in the current
cultural climate of "anyone-can-be-a-star-if-they-REALLY-want-it-bad-enough". Well,
maybe you can be a star, but it doesn't mean that you're any good.
And finally the clients had a friend burn a "Special mix" CD for them, which
was defective, but they insisted on the sound guys continuing to try to get it
to play, resulting in a lot of dead air during our last break. And of course
several of the guests got all bent out of shape because none of their favorite
tunes got played.
But I had a great time, so thanks, Len.
This week Steven Hashimoto will try to be as mellow at:
SUN. 6/22: at CUSTER STREET FAIR, Chicago and Main Stage, 1-2pm, with John
Temmerman's Jazz Obsession Quartet (Temmerman, sax; Steve Ramsdell, guitar; the
late Steve Magnone on drums). A big thanks to Bob Fahlstrom from Jack Hubal's
band for sticking around to cover when Magnone got hung up in traffic on
Saturday (John's a pretty mellow dude, too).
TUES. 6/24: at QUENCHERS, 2401 N. Western, 9:30pm-1am, with Sueños Latin-Jazz
Quartet (Steve Eisen, sax; Bob Long, piano; Heath Chappell, drums). It's kind
of a jam session, horn players, guitarists and percusionists mostly (although
if you've played piano or drums in the band before you're welcome).
THURS. 6/26: at GATEWAY BAR & GRILL, 7545 N. Clark, 7:30-10:30pm, with
guitarist Pat Fleming.
FRI. 6/27: I think there's a Lil' Cow Band gig in the morning somewhere; then
later on at THE UNDERGROUND WONDER BAR, 10 E. Walton, 8-10:30pm, with The
Robin Kay Band (Robin, vocals and demure demeanor; Pat Fleming, guitar; Paul
Coscino, keyboards Rick Vitek, drums; Luiz Ewerling, percussion); then, as usual,
even later on at THE GREEN MILL, 4802 N. Broadway, 1:30-3:45am, with The Green
Mill Quartet (Barely Winograd, bari sax; Bob Long, piano; Rick Shandling,
drums) for The After-Hours Jam Session.
SAT. 6/28: another jobbing date with Lenny Marsh.
SUN. 6/29: a gazebo gig with Souled Out, the ever-growing r&b horn band (12
pieces at last count). I'm not completely sure, but I believe it's from
6:30-9:30, at 25th Avenue and Belmont.
Early gig warning: Sueños Latin-Jazz Quartet at Pete Miller's Steakhouse Fri.
and Sat. July 4 & 5.
Need to fill Sat. July 12 and 26 with some sort of financially meaningful
activity. Call me at 708-222-6520.