SOBs - May 1, 2006 blog
3/27/2017 10:40:06 AM - SOBs -- May 1, 2006

Why is it always on the days of performances that I wake up so darn early? 6:40 a.m. Okay, the truth is I get anxious about the peformance: Will Ben (the new drummer) work out? Will my voice be okay (of course I was fighting off yet another virus and my throat had been scratchy the last several days)? Will I remember my lyrics? (Do I ever?) Will people show up? And of course there's the Nikita factor. Originally he was to be watched over by our next door neighbor and was going to have a sleep over, but the day before, half an hour before we were set to leave for the city for rehearsal, the mother had called to let me know that the youngest son had a fever. Always something. Fortunately my friend Kayo, Dave Darlington's wife, generously agreed to watch over Nikita. Not only for the rehearsal but now for the show as well. As they live 2-1/2 hours away from us, we all decided it best that we just spend the next 2 nights at their house. The Long Island refugees descended on the Darlingtons. How embarrassing.

Rehearsal had gone surprisingly smoothly the day during rehearsal. Ben had really learned his parts and was ultra sweet and easy going, and Boris was ever the musical diplomat and had no qualms about the downgraded position of playing second to some songs with the synth bass, even commenting in a positive manner that the tunes had a more modern resonance to them than on our performances in the past. I'd decided to try out the new format of playing along to pre-recorded tracks to stay sonically more true to the recordings and their overall flavor.

We were booked for a 3:00 sound check and light rehearsal at SOBs. While Ben set up the drums, always the thing that takes the most time, Sasha drove with Henry to his storage space to get his Rhodes and other equipment which was so sweet of him ("I don't do this for everyone you know."). On my very first gig at SOBs over a year ago, I'd lost money just paying the musicians and renting a Rhodes and cartridge for the drums. Lesson learned.

As usual, it takes time to massage the sounds together. Jabari, the soundman, was awfully sweet and patient. My voice is quite small in comparison to other frontmen (or women) and the biggest problems soundmen have in trying to get the sound together is that in order to hear me, he has to crank up my mic to get it really hot, but then it picks up the rest of the band as well. I try to always stay a little away from the drums, but it's hard when the usual set up is that the drums is directly behind, which is why I insist on setting up the drums a little off center to the side to create some distance.

Takashi-san came at 7:30 and put on my make-up and did my hair in his usual amazing way. I don't know why but I was a little off, not as energetic as usual, which he noticed and commented on. I was trying to save my energy for the performance, but also getting up too early did put me off a bit, plus I was pre-menstral making me moody. But as Takashi did his magic, the transformation gave me energy. Nothing like seeing yourself become beautified to give you a little boost. The club decided to start the performance late -- first 15 minutes, then half an hour. I personally don't like starting late, but I guess this is the New York way. I also noticed that Kervyn, who was DJing, started out REALLY great with flavorful Brazilian and jazzy lounge music on the rare groove tip, but then went straight for the ear splitting house music after a while, injecting many of my recordings here and there. I was afraid that between the volume and all my stuff that people were going to get tired and not want to stick around. I knew there were some "mature" people who were in the crowd -- Brian Lynch brought his mother, and a couple that I had invited were probably more used to country-folk music than the sonic splitters they were treated to that night.

We came on stage and I was
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