Changes of the Monkey


Ch ch ch changes…Year of the monkey

We, the blues band had an engagement again at the Overheat club. It is kind of silly to call it a band, since it is mostly the Doc and I, with whoever happens to sit in on drums, if someone does. I called it the “Matsuo Blues band minus one”, since then that is what the Doc has been calling it. Except he will add Matsuo Blues Band Minus One Plus One, depending on if someone is sitting in on drums. :-/

He thinks it is cute. I think it is lame, and sort of corny but that is just me, because I have an attitude. Japanese are big on kawaii (cute)

 
We had another showcase at the club as I said, this time I arrived as the act before us was sitting up. Perfect. I did not have to sit through all the others. There was a fair about of people there that night. It was billed as a charity something. Ok, so we get up and I am told we have 10 min. Ok, I did not pay that night so, whatever. We played with him starting, then he says your turn. Ok, I had given him a song I wanted to do before starting, written out, we have done it before a couple of times…poorly. So I figured a chart would help him remember. He did not want to do it, he did not feel comfortable he said . Ok, I said. Not big deal. Anyway I so I picked another song out of my head storage, a funky blues. We played it well with the stand n Drummer. I thought we were finished afterward. However we were asked to do an encore. I gave him the nod to pick a song. He picks the same song I just did, and tells me not to do it funky but to do the way he likes it, and tells and shows me how to sing it. I was out raged and embarrassed! However being on stage, I put on my Japanese smile, took a breath and did as told, not asked, but told.
 
I was ready to quit right after the show. However, it is not good to do emotional things out of anger. So I did not. When asked by him, if I had a good time? I did not go off, I said calmly, up until you embarrassed me. I did not mean to, he said, I thought the people would like it. I believed him as far that went, he does not have that kind of heart to be mean. Un-thoughtful, yes, mean no. I was still pissed though at the way it was done. However my rational voice was telling me, stay cool, just chill it maybe just a cultural misunderstanding or something. So I went home and ranted to LZ. Who thought I should quit, for several reasons looking at the whole big picture.
 
After a couple of days and a lot of thought, I calmed down, and decided I need to change my attitude. Not expect anything, just flow with it, it is his band and our playing goals are different. Also I will make other plans for myself. To me this is a dead-end band, and is only good for practice, and getting known.
I asked the owner of the club, Chicago Rock, where we no longer work at what he thought of the band, to get some feedback on the musical quality of the band. I sent him an email, I was never answered. LZ said he would not. It is not his personality. She was right, but I thought I would ask anyway. Nothing lost by doing so just for another opinion.
 ——–
I did get a big shock the other day when I was told by the Doc that the band had been accepted to play at a local Blues street festival this spring. That was a big shock! Even to the Doc. He showed them a video of a song we did live at a hospital, him singing. One of the few times we sounded decent, at least to me. We even ended together 🙂
He was surprised, I was surprised, the drummer was surprised. The bands that I have seen listed there for other past years have all been pretty good. I do not know what this committee saw. Maybe being a “mixed” band had something to do with it. Japanese, American and East Indian.
 
The Doc mentioned there was another event at the Overheat this past Sunday, said I was busy, I went to Kyudo. It was more enjoyable. So he performed alone with only the stand-in Drummer. He loves to play, it is one of his good points.
 
Meanwhile I have been giving some thought to my own musical path. I have been toying with the idea of some fusion blues music. I contacted a couple of good players I know from the states, a drummer, Bass player, and Trumpet player. They all live in the same area, kind of far from me, but which is near a club that has a Jam night we have attended before. I told them I was putting together a small group for some experimental music sessions, where they interested. Now I need a Jazz Guitarist. All said yes! I am looking at around the end of the year. That will give me time to put together just what I want and improve my keyboard skills, and Shakuhachi and see about recruiting a Shamisen player. It should be different and fun.
 
On another “note” I had band practice today with what I call the Kishiwada Kyudo Kai Music Ensemble. 
 
 
 
 
We play a mix bag of songs, a lil Jazz, pop, standard, R&B, Enka. We had practice all afternoon at a place that has rooms to rent for Karaoke. It was fun, we had snacks, they give free soft drinks and coffee /tea. It was interesting to have even a couple of watchers from the dojo there as well. the Kaicho and another student. 
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The Ensemble is made up of two Renshi, a Godan and lowly me the Baby San-Dan. It was fun. This is what serious people who want to sound good for the public do, practice in some form or another. We have a show coming up in April at one of my favorite spots, Snafkin. I was just there a couple of weeks ago and sat in with a trio. That was fun. I think I posted that. If not oh well.
 
This weekend coming up on Sunday I have a session with the Ozaki Jazz Society. It should be interesting. I will step outside my comfort zone, and sing some Jazz, play piano and only do just one Funky blues to get my groove on.
 
So anyway, yeah, the year of the Monkey is bringing some changes. Gong Xi Fa Cai!
 
 
Have a joyous and safe new year.
 
 _/|\_
 
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