Thursday night was Tara’s CD release show at The Room. Martin Schiller (aka 87 things for the future) played, The Locusts Have No King played (with Tara playing acoustic guitar and singing harmony), and then Tara took the stage with her merry little band of sharply dressed men. I think we were all looking pretty stylish and dapper.
It was a lot of fun, man. If you weren’t there…then you were probably somewhere else. But if you were there, maybe you saw me wearing Extreme Isolation headphones at some points to shield my ears from the high volume situation. To hell with looking hip. Protect your ears, I say! I need to get some of those custom-made “musician’s earplugs” so I can be more discrete about it. Temporary threshold shift is not our friend.
Also, I’d like to thank the man behind Photo404 for letting me use some of the pictures he took. Many thanks to Adam as well for letting me borrow his keyboard for the show. I’m in love with how lightweight that thing is.
Starting at 11:00 pm there was a simulcast going on and the music was broadcast live on CJAM (I should pause to note that their proposal to be moved to 99.1 on the FM dial, complete with protected status, has been approved!) as it was being performed. So even if you weren’t there, you could hear it live on the radio. And you can hear it here now. Because I’m all about sharing the love.
The recording quality is a little rough, at least in its current MP3 form. I wish Brendan’s bass came through with a lot more clarity. I do like the way the drums sound. There are some feedback issues, but I think they were mostly happening onstage and probably not so obvious out in the audience. At least I hope they weren’t. I’m pretty sure most of that came from my banjo mic. I need to get a pickup or start playing electric guitar instead. Mic’ing that thing in a live setting is a nightmare. I had to be turned down so low in the monitor I couldn’t really hear what I was doing at all, and what I could hear of myself sounded hideously out of tune. And even then, there were still onstage feedback issues. So it’s a relief to hear from the broadcast that not only was I pretty much in tune, but aside from a drop-out during part of the first song and not being that high in the mix initially, I was also pretty audible.
Fun bits included an unexpected last-minute change in the setlist that had me hitting a piano chord before realizing I played banjo on the song and had about three seconds to grab it and get the mic in place for an opening solo bit (hence the feedback and hasty fade-in), Chad’s twist-style drumming fake-out at the beginning of “100 Years” (which cracked me up), and Tara’s parental advisory bit before “Over-Eager Heart”. You can hear me in there at a few points, asking if I’m in tune, trying to clarify what song comes next, and talking about the need to boogie and Taylor Swift. Minus the Taylor Swift.
We only had time to squeeze in a few rehearsals before the show, and we’ve only really been a band for a matter of weeks, but this was by far the most fun I’ve had playing music in a live setting in quite a few years. I hope everyone who came out had a good time and grabbed a copy of Tara’s album.
The set is in two parts here. That’s because CJAM’s MP3 archives are split into one-hour increments. It works out well, though, because the second part begins with “S.O.S.” — a new song that ended our set before Tara’s solo encore — and I think that was probably our best performance of the whole night. It’s so new, we only got the chance to rehearse it once or twice, and I’m still not sure how well we all know it, but it sounds pretty wild to me. It was fun to have an opportunity to go a little crazy on the keyboard, and I really dig Chad’s drumming, and Brendan’s tasty bass runs, and the way Tara sings like she’s kind of possessed.
Fun times, my friends. Fun times. Hopefully there will be more to come in the future. I think the four of us make a good team. Maybe next time I’ll even try my hand at singing more harmony if it feels right.
Congratulations to Tara on the successful launch of her first album! And long live Jason the Boy’s Man.