Thursday, June 22, 2006

On Target

What a slacker this blogmaster has become! Access to the digital camera with these photos has been limited, so that's this week's excuse. That's a lame excuse, says blogmaster's wife. Oh well, here goes...

We had a great time last Wednesday at St. Jude's Target House II in Midtown Memphis. We played music for some St. Jude patients and their families. These are wonderful folks, the facility is amazing, and we had a terrific time. We were joined in the living room by Kirk and Brian, our new friends from local rock band Organ Thief. They're great.

After getting settled, both bands eased into things with acoustic versions of full out rock songs. It was fun enough, but the real "show" started when folks started requesting Beatles songs and other oldies. Luckily, Brian is a "Beatles jukebox" (according to his bandmate Kirk). No joke--he really is. Couple that with Ted's formidable Beatles knowledge, and we were set. Brian's Spanish skills are also excellent, so "we" pulled off a pretty good version of "La Bamba" too.

There was a lot of joy in the room. I wish I could share more pictures with you, but in the interest of protecting the families' privacy, we were asked not to. The guys in Organ Thief brought along a box of various percussive instruments, which went over great. In fact, one kid was playing maracas, tambourine and triangle all at once--and he was right on the rhythm! What a blast.

One of our favorites was a very young gal who requested "My Girl". Ted came up with a more than adequate version in mere seconds, and the rest of us played and sang along. She sang, too. We ended up playing the tune twice.

So, it was a great night. We felt privileged to have the chance to do it. Thanks again to Organ Thief and our friends at Vexar Entertainment who are making all of this happen. What an admirable way to channel their time and resources. Great job, fellas!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Real Live Suburban Rock 'n Roll Dad(s)

The Case of Bass and his #1 fan enjoyed Saturday's family-friendly show, which was part of the Germantown High School Class of 1981 25-year reunion weekend. We landed the gig thanks to our pal (another suburban rock 'n roll dad) Chuck Schwam.

Chuck very well may be the perfect fan. Here's a quick list of reasons why:
5) He first got turned on to the band while watching Ted and I play an acoustic set in the middle of Wolfchase Galleria. Yes, The Central Standards, Tiffany-style. He knew things could only get better from there!
4) He's a great music fan. Chuck has a true appreciation for the art of the song and always gives us feedback on our work.
3) He's an excellent salesman and always shares his love of the music with friends.
2) He's not afraid to sing along.
1) And...Chuck gets us paid gigs! Not always such an easy proposition in this business!

So, thanks to Chuck for a great day, and congratulations to the Class of 1981! We were glad to be there and enjoyed some lovely burgers, compliments of the Skinner Family and the mad grilling skills of the Class of '81's very own Wes Kraker.

On another note, drummers have it pretty hard. Not only do they have to haul around a lot of heavy stuff, but they're also quite often overlooked. Heck, they sit down! Stray Cats drummer and Sheila E. aside, how many rock 'n roll drummers do you see standing up?! This makes it very difficult to get a good photograph of the drummer. Just when the photog is about to capture the perfect drummer expression in the middle of an intensely rockin' fill, the silly rhythm guitar player steps into the frame, for example. It's rough, folks. Well, in honor of our fine drummer, Marty Christopher, I would like to post a really excellent drummer picture from last weekend (nice shot, Melissa!). What a handsome fella.

And just in case you're wondering what it's like to look out at the crowd from Marty's "throne", here you have it. A toast to the drummer!!