Sunday, February 1, 2015

Creative contrast, techies, weirdos, and nerds unite

What I love love about playing music...

It's the mystery! How come totally untrained musicians play along master- level musicians, happily!?

I'm reminded by that because my road partner for this overnight show is Chuck! 

He's a band director for Hill Country Middle School, and he's also the drummer for the band I'm in Catastica. We play dirty funk songs about Cats.

He also doubles as the drummer for my good friends Foot Patrol. We have travelled to Denton to do a double bill this weekend.

He has been talking a lot about the band he directs, and I have reflected on how little training I have had over the years. 

I had a year of empassioned piano playing in 5th grade; but we were too wild and loud and the teacher quit. 

I have fond memories of that year. I drew the keyboard on my desk at school in pencil and played all day, lol.

I didn't make it to lessons again (on sax) till I met my amazing teacher and mentor Wil Greenstreet - when I was 25! 

We studied together weekly for 5 years, but he moved to NY and I couldn't replace him:::: until now! 

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Shawn Jones! He is the best. ❤️❤️❤️.

We have maybe about a year together now, and I am site reading up from a kindergarten level to maybe junior high.

Since my ear is pretty awesome (my strength) I have memorized melodies (in the big band) and played them by ear. But I'm always on harmony! Aaaaaaakkk  it was hard and very frustrating for awhile - the other sax's are playing something different. I'm so glad I can read now.

But back to the mystery!!! How does someone like Chuck have the same appreciation for the dirty funk we play, and then switch gears and work with the big national productions that come through town?! 

My laundry list why:

-heart and soul can't be manufactured 
-talent isn't always technical
-have you ever wondered why classical musicians often can't improvise? 
-people that love music love all kinds of music and if they play past their 20's, it's generally for the love. I can't speak for other communities but that's the case in Austin. 
-creativity is king (for me)

Here's what Chuck says about this: he is dictating to me now, as prince is on the radio: he also has St. Vincent, a lot of Radiohead, Wilco and Beetles.
(Not my favorites !!! But you know! Not bad::: He is my gracious Pilot. 

-the friendship of his very first band was an amazing community, but the high-dollar gigs he plays are a different thing. He thinks it's fun to work with all the different styles and types of music. "It feels different to walk into the pit of the symphony then to walk into a Catastica rehearsal."

 [dude they ALWAYS cook dinner for us- total giving sweeties]

-"I've worked really hard to not be one kind of player. I want to hold my own with symphony players, but also in a band with funk songs about Feet." 

{Dirty Feet}

-I like the exchange with creative people on any level. Just cause you're not trained musically doesn't mean you don't have valid opinions."

-"I've come across plenty of highly trained musicians that don't seem happy at all. It's just a job, and I think that's unfortunate."

So there it is folks! Not terribly entertaining in itself--- but just a musing.

You'll have to come see our band Catastica: the next show is March 7 at Dozen Street. It's Nikki's birthday, (Mojo Queen, Fat Bottom Girls).

We have 5 singer/dancers, horns and a wailing guitarist by the name of Wil that is amazing. And, of course a rhythm section that sometimes features Chuckles.

Happy Super Bowl Sunday!

No comments:

Post a Comment