Posts tagged ‘ARMM’

5/2/09: 100 Bands in 100 Days Final Show with Takka Takka, Anamanaguchi & Right on Dynamite @ Fontana’s (100/100)–PART 1

May 3rd, 2009

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The 100th show: Part 1

Wow. I have no idea what to say about this party. What an amazing, amazing night.

I will start off by saying thanks to Al Risi from ARMM and Francis Garcia from Shout It Out Loud Music for throwing me such a kick ass party. Thanks to Right on Dynamite, Anamanaguchi and Takka Takka for rocking the house all night. Thanks to Bruce Ashley of Company X and his film crew for documenting every last second. Thanks to Sunshine for flying in from London, Brent for flying in from San Fran, John for flying in from Minnesota, Tim for driving down from Massachusetts, and everyone else in NY who came to Fontana’s last night to help celebrate the culmination of 100 consecutive days of live music with me.

This was the coolest party I’ve ever been to and been a part of. Here’s how it all went down. And just so you know, this is going to be a long post, so get comfortable.

Pre-show madness

I got a call around 4pm from John, one of the DPs from Company X who was filming the night. He was outside my apartment, waiting to jump in a cab with me to film an interview on the way to the venue. I was headed there early for Right on Dynamite’s sound check, and to practice a song I was going to perform with them after their set. The other two bands were coming in from out of town, so they wouldn’t be able to sound check this early.

I stepped out of my apartment, and John already had the camera going. We hopped in a cab, did a quick interview on the ride over, then he jumped out of the cab at Fontana’s. When I went inside, Al was already there, and John did a short interview with him as well. I did sit around for few minutes just waiting – the calm before the storm, if you will. Then Right on Dynamite showed up and it was on.

We headed downstairs where Bruce and his crew had been setting up all day. That’s when I realized how real tonight was going to be. I mean, there were multiple cameras set up, including one a fucking dolly in front of the stage! They brought their own lighting for the stage, to spotlight the bands, etc. It was out of control, in an awesome way. They even had like 3 or 4 Flip cameras on tripods. Unbelievable.

I did a little setting up of my own by hanging some pictures my friend Alan shot for me of the more tangible items I’d collected along the way: wristbands, ticket stubs, flyers, my little written record opened up to where Les Paul signed it, my nasty ass earplugs, camera, and so on. I even had a bunch of commemorative posters made up for the night and set them up for sale, too.

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Right on Dynamite started their sound check and that was one more reminder of how real tonight was. And then I got nervous, too. Earlier in the week, my friend Brent suggested that I play a song during the party. He suggested “I’m so tired” by the Beatles. I don’t know if he imagined I’d take him so serious, but I did. After he said it, I immediately IM’d Al and had him ask the band. They were totally into it, practiced the song at rehearsal all week, while I did a little practicing at home. And tonight, I was going to do it in front of everyone at the party.

What am I nuts? I’m a guitar player, not a singer. But the song was so fitting that I just had to do it. Fuck it, right? After ROD sound checked, it was my time to get up on stage and run through the song with them. It went pretty well actually, but I was still nervous as hell about playing it tonight.

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Calm before the storm

By 6:30 the venue was set up, ROD had finished with sound check and now I finally got a moment to sit and relax and take a few deep breaths before everyone started to arrive. We actually had to clear out of the room by 6:30pm since there was a band who actually had a gig that night at Fontana’s, who I’m sure were saying “WTF?” when they saw all the film equipment, etc.

Oh, wait. I forgot. I didn’t get to relax yet. I still had to do an interview. I thought it would be some hand held interview like Al did earlier, boy was I wrong. This shit was really official. They had an area set aside that was pre-lit with two cameras. I sat down and we did about a 30 minute interview. Itwas a lot of fun to be able to reflect on the project just before celebrating the end of it.

Ok, so after that I actually did get to relax a bit. Al had run home to change and print out the guest list, etc. Francis took off for a bit too, I think. And it was finally just Sunshine and me, relaxing in a booth upstairs having a drink. But not for long…

Continue to Part 2

4/29/09: The Megan Wolf Project @ Fontana’s (97/100)

April 30th, 2009

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It’s all happening.

The final day is finally near. Which means, the final event/party/show is also near. I haven’t talked about it much yet, but here’s what’s happening. My friends Al from ARMM and Francis from Shout It Out Loud Music are sponsoring the 100th day. They booked Fontana’s as the venue, three secret bands (to you, not us), and we invited who I could. It’s a small venue, so the list is tight. If I was unable to get you in, I apologize in advance.

Tonight we all met up at Fontana’s for a quick walk through of the venue. Francis has a video crew coming as well, to document the night/project. So they had to do a quick tech scout of the room. We talked details, met the contact at Fontana’s and so on. The planning for this event has mostly taken place via email, phone calls, etc. I’ve been in daily contact with Al and Francis, and they’ve been doing all the legwork behind the scenes.

This was the first time we’ve all been in the same place together since…hmm…since the Holly Williams show at Joe’s Pub, I think. Al and I have seen plenty of shows since then. And Francis and I saw Headlights and The Love Language last week at Bell House. But, anyhow.

We met up at Fontana’s tonight to hash everything out: talk sound check times, lights, cameras, and a rough agenda for action. But, before any of this went down, I had to head out to the other side of the fucking country for a quick in my company’s Portland office. Yes, you heard that right. Not only that, but Sunshine got back to NYC tonight, too for a two week trip. So basically, she was getting in, and then less than 12 hours later, I was leaving for two days.

Me: Hi, Sunshine.

Me: By Sunshine.

As long as I was already at Fontana’s for the walk through, I figured I’d make whomever the first band playing my 97th band. Fuck it, right? I was there. And trying to make it so by the time Sunshine got back from the airport, I would have my music done for the night. And it almost worked out perfect. Almost.

We wrapped up our walk through at Fontana’s just as the first band of the night, The Megan Wolf Project, was going on. Just then, Sunshine called to say she was jumping in a cab at JFK. Damnit. Not enough time for the band to play. Hmm. I told her to just take a cab to the club, I’d meet her there, and the band would hopefully be done in time and we’d head home. She agreed, and I headed down to check out the band.

Megan saw us scouting the place out beforehand and asked us who we were. I told her about the project, and that I was on day 97, and she was thrilled to be part of the end of the project. Even giving me a shout out a few songs into the set. She was a really nice, was very pretty and had a nice voice, but I just wasn’t sure what to do with the music.

It wasn’t off-putting. It just didn’t do much for me. Not a whole lot to grab onto. Maybe I was preoccupied with the upcoming 100th show, or trying to time out right with Sunshine getting to the venue, or the fact that I had to leave for Portland in the morning – but I remember very little about the actual music from the band. It was fine, just not memorable.

About halfway through the set, Francis, Al and the director Bruce’s crew had to split. Bruce hung out and had a beer. We bullshitted about the night, and he snapped off a few shots of the band. Then, with two songs left, I got the call from Sunshine.

Sunshine: I’m outside.

Me: Shit.

I headed out, grabbed her, carried her luggage inside, begged my way out of paying the $7 cover just for the last song, and we headed downstairs so I could complete the 97th day.

Whew.

Day #98 and Portland, here I come.