This was a tough month. It was busy and there was a lot of stress, and on top of it all, Morgan and I wasted 2 nights with the worst back up vocalist in blue number nine's 10 year history. The girl was decent at the audition, but then, mirepresented her abilities. She can't read music, but she can't hear either! She claimed she couldn't hear the low parts. But that's nonsense. Anyone who is a real singer can hear ALL the parts. It was so painful. Then, she wasted 2 full band rehearsals! Her dancing was so horrendous, I couldn't look at her during rehearsal. She had lied to me and said she could dance. Why can't people just be honest!? Then, she "resigned" (as if she were ever hired..) one week before our shows on July 15, 16 & 17. I had the good sense to pull her off our July 14 show and have Camari do it instead, and after the 2nd vocal rehearsal, we decided she wasn't going to perform on July 20th, 22nd or 23rd. We were just going to get through those other gigs and can her! This was the worst band personnel experience not only in my life of blue number nine, but in my ENTIRE LIFE! I'm not used to working with inept liars, I'm used to working with pros who learn their stuff. Fortunately, Chris Vaindirlis stepped in the week before and learned 35 songs in a few days, and picked up dance moves, and provided charts for two tunes that she sang lead on. So it all worked out, but I will never waste my time like that again! I have to say... Chris is awesome, though.
Anyway, yea, so that really killed me. I just can't take people who say they can do this and that and blah blah and turn out to be completely full of it. I don't understand it. Why do people do such things to other people?!
So, we played on July 14th at the Alphabet Lounge with Camari & Morgan on vocals. The Alphabet Lounge is a small place, and we had a good turn out. Aaron Strebs of THE ELECTRIC LADYBUGS came to the show and videotaped us. Apparently, we're his guinea pig band when he gets new stuff, and he had told me he just got some DVD authoring software - this is fine with me. The Alphabet Lounge has a cool vibe, so to all you New Yorkers, you should come out!
We left at noon on the 15th for an outdoor show in downtown Altoona. This was a return engagement. Chris did a fantastic job (as did the rest of the band, but this was Chris's first gig, so she gets extra kudos.) In fact, she learned about 35 songs and dance moves in one week, sang one of her originals and a cover and just was really cool to hang out with. I was relieved! If you check out our tour diary, there are more details about our shows on July 15th, 16th & 17th, the 20th at the Empire State Building, the 22nd & 23rd and 27th.
We also played at Club Europa on the 31st. We had played there once before, and Marco, Jack and I had played there once as Pamela West's back up band. Marco has also played there before with Elephunk. So we all knew what to expect. We had Lily White on alto (THANK YOU TO LILY'S FRIENDS FOR COMING OUT) and Rob Susman on trombone. They'd both played Europa before. Pamela Fleming, who played trumpet on "living it up in the new world" (she's amazing), came with a friend and sat in on a few tunes. She's also played Europa before! No one else in the band had, and they were treated to the warm hospitality of NYDAI for the first time (that's the non-profit organization that makes Art Nights at Europa possible - more on that in a second.) I think they all enjoyed themselves. We put on a good show. It's always fun to play with horns, especially THREE horns! Especially three excellent horn players. I feel so fortunate to have found these awesome players who enjoy playing our music, especially since we make so little money. All bn9's horns play for a living. So we're just really lucky to have them. Thank you to everyone who came out. They want to book us again. This is good. I was worried. Because Luca, Jack, Marco & I hung around after our show. The venue turns into a night club. And we danced like complete and total fools. Marco even fell flat on his ass. People were looking at us like we're nuts (which we are). I was concerned maybe we were so out of control that they wouldn't book us again, but I was wrong. We also met the owner, a nice man, and a friend of his, and lots of other super nice people.
So I ask that you at least visit this website, even if you never venture to Club Europa, although you should - http://nydai.org - and at least read what NYDAI's Art Nights, Sundays, at Club Europa, are all about.
This organization has been putting on Art Nights for 7 years - an evening of live music, with an intermission that usually consists of a dance performance (last time we played, there were tango dancers; this time, 16 year old students who also compete... I don't know what kind of dance it's called, though.) Meanwhile, they have an art gallery where visual art is on display, and they lay out some nice fruit and other snacks.
Where else in NYC does this happen?
Please support the arts! If you don't live in NYC, please check out the website. If you DO live in NYC, why aren't you going to Club Europa on Art Nights? Don't you like art? If not, why live in NYC?! It's a good question, don't you think? To me, there is no point in living in NYC if one is not interested in art, culture and the like. NYC isexpensive, stinky, dirty, and there are too many people. Yes, there is income opportunity, but the cost of living is outrageous. Well, anyway, enough said! Thanks for visiting our website and for reading my monthly letter.
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