Overheating in Jan
It maybe that I forgot, hmmm, anyway, last Friday I got a message from the Doc that the Band, he was scheduled to play at the Overheat Club/bar again the next day as well as end of the month. Ok, works out I am free.
After working on Sat, doing a winter sail with as the Captain in a practice day sail with the Tajiri /Aoki Yacht Sail club. It was a miserable day for me. The weather was good for sailing, fairly steady 11 knots or so wind, with medium gusts. Sea were fairly smooth and on the right heading we zipped along even under a reefed sail. It was a comfortable ride. However , there is always a however ne, it was a cold wind! I was dressed for it being cold, but even then I was chilly. I hate winter sailing! However that is another story….
I made my way to the club after work. I found out before leaving we were not first up playing. I relaxed some since there was no need for me to rush over. As it was I could have hung out at home for even longer. It was at least another 1.5 hrs before we got called. Most of the other acts are cute , but kind of boring to me. Tonight there was another blues band. They were good! The singer, not so much, but the band was good. To me, put us to shame. They did a couple of song we do, so I got to compare directly. They did four songs. All songs pretty tight and ended together, started together. That in itself is a big deal. What made it worse in my eyes is they had the same instrument setup and sounded better musically. Funny the lead singer stand it was his first time playing blues in front of a “gaijin”, so he was sort of nervous. Hahah funny.
There were a few other couple and single performers up before we went up. Different types of music. There was a Monkees song in Japanese I enjoyed, because I like the song.
Finally we went up. The Doc. Asked someone to sit in on drums. Nice that is a big help! I was pleased and the drummer was good. Solid, steady, a good foot, easy to “feel” the Doc did a song, then put it on me to sing. The thing about doing these is one get no time ro warm up, bam you are on. I had been chilled the whole day, my throat was being weird and dry. I was asked to sing, now rather than later since we only got to do 2 songs. Ehhhhhh! That was a surprise. Ok i said, I will sing now. I quickly picked a song since the other band did one i had planned on. Having had a large Shocho whilst waiting, I chose the wrong key so it was a bit vocally awkward on top of everything else. It took me a bit to get things vocally n place. Since there was another band of the same style, I had to do well. Like having a sailboat next to you on the water it is an automatic race, this became in my head an automatic battle of the bands. 🙂
There were a few rough spots in the performance, but mostly it was ok…considering.
At least not face losing. It is different playing in front of a bunch of other musician than playing in front of people just out for the evening. Speaking of people just out for evening, there was a group of friend there from Pakistan. About 6 of them, i think one of them was married to the Japanese with them. They sat in the front tables right next to the band. They were all pretty stoned faced, maybe because they felt like strangers in a strange land. One of the performers remarked jokingly to them they were sort of scary, just sitting and looking cold faced. Then mimic them. They laugh, a bit at that. But yeah, I understood how he felt.
Ok, so over all the evening was ok, parts boring, parts interesting, our playing not too embarrassing. Once again got to see some different players here in the Southland. I believe we are supposed to play again end of this month. I will plan on picking two songs better and making sure about the key. I know I will have to sing at least one. What I need to do it do a song in Japanese at least one verse.
There are two things I noticed here in Japan about Musicians at these clubs,
1. It is very acceptable to use sheet music for playing. In the states, no no no, once in a while is ok, more so if you are playing for someone else, but not for your own band.
2. The attitude is different about playing just to be playing. Hard to explain that one. In Short, good or not it is acceptable just to get up a play, to do your best. Seems like many of these open mic type things are more like a live Karaoke.
I have been asked to come jam with the group at Snafkin end of the monty. This is the group with the female Sax player, it was fun with last time. This time I will be more prepared to tape something. We sounded good last time the small bottle of sake helped I am sure, still these guys are good players. I want to play something cool. I would love to get with them on a more regula basis and do some songs, even though they have a Bass players and do mostly Jazz.
Also there is the Kyudo musical ensemble. That has been postponed until April as the club is booked until then.
I also want to get with the ladies who do the Okinawan music again. I would like to do some bass with them as well as some Shakuhachi. I think the songs are simple enough that I could play Shakuhachi ago with them. The Shamisen part is very simple, so perhaps I can improvise also following the basic musical score. Well later anyway.
Snafkin is still my favorite venue, I like the vibe there. I have not said anything else about having the Doc play there again. It is kind of nice not being “his” bass player. Hmmm ego? Yeah, sound like it. Oh well. Sometimes it is ego that drives us to improve. It can be a good thing. As it is said, sort of in Zen, everything is neutral it is how we perceive, use things that make it good or bad.