Friday, May 26, 2006

The Show Party

I am thinking about my upcoming "show party".
I have been trying to get a band together for over a year now, and it became clear to me that I needed a goal for this. A target gig. Something to organize the band around and focus everyone on.
So I decided to create the event myself. I am having a party at my place. People have parties for all sorts of reasons - graduations, birthdays, book publishing releases (hey! - I didn't get one of those!) This will be a show party. A party specifically built around putting on a small concert. I’ll invite about 100 people or so. The band will play and hopefully, a good time will be had by all.
I haven’t played on stage with a band in many years, so I’m really looking forward to this.
I've given some thought to how and where to set up the 'stage' fopr the band.
I could set up the band in the back yard, but then the noise might trouble the neighbors. I will invite the people on either side, but I’ve never met or seen the people behind our house, so I can’t include them. Also, the date will be Aug 5th, so it may be very hot – too hot for people to sit comfortably, even in the evening. Or it could rain, or be too windy, or whatever. Outside parties are fraught with risk because the weather is unpredictable.

So for now I’ve decided to have it inside the house. In the so-called “greatroom”. This is the central open room with 25ft ceilings around which most of the rest of the house is centered in this style of house. We’ll be in front of the tall windows and fireplace.

I plan to open the window blinds for the third song called “Under a Texas Sky”. I have done a little research and found that the sun will set at precisely 8:22pm on that day. So the show will begin at 8:00. The opening intros, explanations, etc. plus the first two songs should take until about 8:18. That way, the song "Under a Texas Sky", should be ending just as the sun is setting behind us in the actual Texas sky. Hey - I’m looking to create a moment, here!
There will be stage lighting, and a fog machine, and a decent-size double PA system. Also, I will be recording audio into Pro Tools AND video with 5 cameras. 4 cameras on tripods, and one roving mobile one. Joe, the film producer has agreed to come to make the video for this.

I have already created the set list of songs. They are all my own original tunes, of course, except one. I wrote a cover version of Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me”. Hers is a very piano-oriented one and it’s beautiful. Mine is very guitar-oriented, with a completely different chord arrangement. I treated it as if I were writing my own original song, but I just already had the vocal lyrics and melody.

Here is the setlist:

First set
1) You Make Me Feel Good
2) Best Day of Your Life
3) Under a Texas Sky
4) I Can’t Make You Love Me
5) We Will Be Alright
6) Diamonds In Her Soul
7) Anthem

Second Set
8) The Sun Through the Trees
9) Honeymoon Suite
10) Second Wind
11) Goodbye
12) Just Before the Storm
13) The Visions of Nostradamus
14) Yavanna Smiled

Encore: (if needed)
It Seems Like Only Yesterday
The Best Day of Your Life

I have already created CD's of this setlist, for the guys in the band to practice to.
We’ll have Joe on rhythm guitar, Mike on drums, Ryan on Bass, and myself on lead guitar and vocals. In addition, I am creating backing tracks to provide the other instruments that I put in my recordings but cannot have live, such as keyboards, harmony vocals, extra guitars, extra percussion, flute, whatever. This will be synched with a click track played ‘backstage’ for us to synch with. It seems this is what a lot of bands do these days.

Anyway – it should be great fun. In the meantime, thinking about it and planning for it is on my mind a lot.


At 5/26/2006 6:49 PM, Anonymous Igor said...

A friend of mine once settled in the land of Swiss cheese. (it was long ago). He and his wife bought the house (you wont believe the amount of red tape for a foreigner to buy a property in that german speaking canton.) Upon arrival, they decided to introduce themselves to the neighbourhood by hosting a party. They found out all the applicable neighbourhood rules regarding parties, printed the nicest invitations they could think of, and delivered them personally.

The party seemed to be great success. Everybody did show up, most with presents to the new neighbours. Everyone expressed only welcome and good feelings. It was fun until the police arrived. It turned out that some neighbours who left early, promptly called police to complain about the party. The police was very welcoming too. And the police station was extremely clean and neat.

At 5/26/2006 7:36 PM, Blogger Val Serrie said...

How strange!
They were invited to the party, and left early, and still complained to the police?? And having a party was considered such a terrible thing that the police actually brought them into the police station??
Well, Igor, be glad you live in Toronto. The cops are a little more friendly and understanding there. If the cops come to your party, invite them in and offer them a beer... ;-)

At 5/26/2006 8:15 PM, Anonymous Igor said...

Yeah, I like Toronto cops a LOT. after Russia, where police is an official criminal organization, it's a huge relief. (Russian police joke: a new police recruit was summoned to the station chief: hey, why don't you show up to receive your salary? oh, do I get salary??!!! of course, you fool, what do you think? Well, I thought - I was given a gun, so I am on my own....;-)

As for my friend's story - it was small village not far from Zurich. People are very nice, but also VERY xenophobic. As long as you are a guest - you are having a ball of your life, if you want to become a natural - that's another story. You have to be born there to be accepted as "one of us", - as I got from his experience.

The police was really nice, they quickly realized what had happened (ie nothing), but my friend's wife had to go to the station to fill in paperwork, sign protocol of "the accident", etc. Later, they applied to clear the record, as no charges were brought forward - which was done in the same prompt manner. Ordung!

They did fit nicely into the village life eventually.

At 5/27/2006 6:38 AM, Blogger Val Serrie said...

I have heard before that in Switzerland, they do not allow permanent immigrantion. That you can only live there for 6 months at a time. I worked with a man from Germany who tried to emmigrate to Switzerland, and that was the rule he had to live with, so he left.
He said the same thing - that it's a beautiful country, and they don't mind people visiting there, but they don't want to increase their population. They want to keep the status quo. They will interact with the world, but they will not join it at that level.

From your name, I imagined you were one of the many people who emmigrated from Russia into Toronto. In which case, I imagine you are familiar with the Bathurst & Steeles area?
I moved from Toronto back in 1995, but at the time, that was one area with a core population who were from Russia.
Your comments about the police in Russia are interesting. Organized crime. That sounds about what I had expected. From all the stories about the Russian Mafia, etc.I had assumed as much. I can see why people would want to leave such a system.
I also see that Russia is in a better position these days because of oil. With the slowdown of oil production in Arab countries, and Russia being a major supplier of oil to the world supply now, it is in a position to become very wealthy as oil prices rise. Last I heard, it was at $72US per barrel.

At 5/27/2006 11:28 AM, Anonymous Igor said...

I settled at Bloor & Spadina. I just love Annex. As for Bathurst & Steels ... you know, funny thing, but, unlike other nationalities, russians tend to avoid each other when outside russia. for example there are no russian clubs, societies, etc, anywhere. pls, don't look for a simple explanation.

swiss know what they are doing, don't you think?

pls note: russian police is NOT the mafia. there are a lot of mafias, clans, etc. police is the OFFICIAL one. as such they easily can have upper hand when competing against others, but they are taxed with the need to protect the ruling elite and to uphold the law. (yes, they do uphold the law, as such, more or less, depending on the situation.). it's pretty complex picture, pls don't make conclusions based on simplifications... I am kinda regret I mentioned this in previous comment...

people are walking knots of contradictions, the same policeman can defend a person from hooligans, and, a minute later, harass another to get some pocket money (under the threat of detention).

but enough about myself. looking forward to your new blog entry.


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