last night

Last night I went out to Excelsior, MN to a small cafe with live music where I have played shows for almost twenty years now. I wasn't on the bill, it was a fellow Mpls musician's show. The songwriter and the backing musicians on the bill for the evening were all really great.

I think that trying to be an international superstar takes it's toll on my friendships, the relationships I have with other musicans, and my own psyche.

Having grand expectations and lofty aspirations sets me apart and makes me feel apart.

I feel like I have to be excellent, nothing short of excellent, the very best me I can possibly be, the very best me that is humanly possible every time I do anything or go anywhere.

That's a lot of pressure.

Clearly, no one else cares but me.

But not so!

Other people who have helped me, or those who have endorsed me, those who have put time and energy and money into supporting my music all care too.

Nobody wants to go around telling everybody how great this one music artist is only to have that artist make them look bad by Sucking Royally when they finally get up on stage.

I got invited up to play a song.

I could have declined, knowing that I didn't have time to warm up my voice, knowing that I was stepping in with someone else's guitar and sound set up.

I thought it would be lame to say no because everything wasn't perfect.

I thought I should just get up there, no pressure, and be a good sport and have fun.

But it ain't that simple when you've been going around with a megaphone on social media for years now proclaiming your right to the throne of international superstardom.

So, of course, I only played okay. You knew that's where this was going, right?

I played okay enough that when I ended my song the crowd asked me to do a second song, which was not part of the plan.

The artist who's show it was joked that I was stealing the show but let me play one more.

So, I mean, I wasn't terrible.

But Rob Genadek happened to be sitting at the bar when all this went down, and his critique afterwards was not positive.

Rob just says, "Well, you and I know you can do better, and you should do better. You must do your best at all times. This was a six out of ten for you and that isn't what you want."

He's right.

As my kids used to say "It sucks to suck."

I will endeavor to do better....again..and more..and further..putting the past behind me but remembering the mistakes so I don't make them again.

What did Rob and I agree I could have done better?

First, my voice was thin and pinched on the high notes because I didn't have a chance to warm up.. I could have skipped going to the high parts if I knew I wasn't warmed up rather than subject the audience to less than great delivery.

Second, my guitar playing was too loud and aggressive for the way the other artist had his guitar set up in the sound system. I should have either taken a moment to get the guitar turned down in the system or, better yet, I should have played more sensitively based on how the guitar sounded in the room to be sure my voice and guitar playing were in the correct balance. Instead I sort of did that, but I also sort of let it rip on parts of the song and it got kind of sloppy and too loud sounding.

Third, my guitar parts that I play on electric guitar are one thing, the parts I play when I have accompaniment are another thing, and the parts I should be playing to make the songs work when I play solo acoustic are a third thing....or at least they should be if I'm going to sound like a bad ass professional in any situation. What I did last night was sort of an amalgamation of all three that was not well honed, well thought out, or well executed. I was just sort of staying afloat rather than being in command on the guitar.

Okay, there it is.

I'm a loser baby, so why don't you kill me.


Courtney June 04, 2018 @09:40 pm
Rock Until We Die! Yeah!
Josephine Lane June 04, 2018 @09:09 am
Courtney you are not a loser. Far from it. Every performance is different. There are good nights and bad nights. The important thing is to have fun and rock until we die.
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