Friday 7-Nov-2003

Having been an introvert for most of my life, it sometimes gets a little weird now that I'm in the extroverted world of pop music performance. The other day I picked up a magazine from the pile of incoming mail at home and flipped through it idly to scan the contents... then flipped back as I realized one article began "What does a classical musician turned rock/pop musician systems administrator at Harvard Business School..." Wait - that's me! I'd forgotten about the woman who had interviewed me at the Music for People Art of Improvisation workshop last August - it was the article she wrote for their newsletter.

And then there's the line in the ad Myke (more about him in a minute) has been posting looking for a keyboardist for the band (yes, I'll tell all below): "...Featuring notable members who have worked with other quite-happening Boston bands past and present (e.g., Science Park, Shelley Winters Project, Paula Kelley, & more)..." - that's me contributing two of three "notable" band contacts. I'm starting to relate to some of the things Meredith wrote in her journal entry after her band opened for the B-52s in July, like about people stopping her afterwards for her autograph.

Okay -so what's this about a band?

In early September I answered a Craig's List ad for band members. The author, Myke Weiskopf, was looking for guitar and keyboards, but mentioned he already had a cellist on board. So I dropped him an email saying "Hey - I'm not what you asked for, but since you're open to string players could you use a violin/viola sometime?" I listened to some of his demos and really liked his style. So we've had several rehearsals since early October, with a somewhat changing cast of players: the cellist and a lead guitarist each came to one rehearsal and then decided not to continue. We're still looking for a keyboardist (visit the band's website if you are interested!). The band's name is The Rescue Party - here we are in our current configuration:
The Rescue Party

Mike Rubin - Bass

Myke Weiskopf - Guitar, Vocals

Betty - Violin

Keith Pierce - Drums

We sound fairly good for having rehearsed only three times so far. You can hear a short clip of us doing one of Myke's songs, Lay You Out in Lavender, on my Performing page, or download it directly by clicking here.

So far my biggest challenge has been arranging things so that I can hear myself play. Unlike guitarists, who have frets, or other instruments with fixed notes like pianos, string players cannot play in tune if we can't hear ourselves! My recording of the 2nd rehearsal depressed me because I was out of tune much of the time. But it was our first rehearsal at JamSpot with a full drum kit and soundproofed room, so we had been really pushing the volume (the audio mic had started feeding back due to the overall level). Rearranging where I placed my amp, and talking with Myke so that we got a balanced level at the next rehearsal seems to have solved my hearing issue.

We need some more work before setting up local gigs (though we do have an out-of-state gig scheduled for March 20, 2004 at The Galaxy Hut in Arlington VA!), but if we can continue regular rehearsals we should be ready by early in the new year. Then I can start thinking about what to wear...


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