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Dustin LindenSmith

father | musician | writer

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live music letdown

So I went to the Marquee Club tonight to see two shows. Downstairs at Hell's Kitchen was a band called solcola, advertised as a live funk/hip-hop/r&b band that covers Mary J. Blige, Outkast, Prince, The Roots, and more. Upstairs was DJ Unik, a somewhat jive-ass DJ who was making a fairly genuine attempt but generally falling short of the mark. One of his problems was that he was spinning CDs, for chrissakes. I didn't see any vinyl up there at all.

I only needed to hear two tunes by solcola to see what their bag was. They picked good tunes to cover and the arrangements were all right, but the musicians were pretty honky except for the singer, who was black and could belt out a good soul vocal. Honky. That doesn't begin to describe it, actually. They were abject white nerds and they had no discernible groove to speak of. It was honestly pretty painful to listen to. All the more so because they thought they really had it in the pocket. Man.

I had a good chat with the bartender down there, a seriously gorgeous guy named Evan (I don't scope guys, but I do notice exceptional ones like him; he was also straight as an arrow and an inordinately nice dude), and partway through our conversation, a trio of women approached us and the leader blurted out some really overt pick-up line to Evan. He laughed and gave her a drink and then told me that they were his sisters.

We all kind of fell into a conversation which began with me complimenting the oldest sister on the quality of her pick-up line delivery. "That's nothing," she said. "Here's one for you, sweetheart: If I were in charge of re-ordering the alphabet, I'd put "U" and "I" together." I laughed. "Cute," I replied. "How about this," she said. "Yeah, I'd kick you outta bed." She paused. "To fuck ya on the floor..." She then made a big show of disappointment when she checked my wedding finger and found my ring.

We all laughed dutifully, and then one of her sisters told me, "Make sure you don't take her too seriously. She's been in a committed relationship with a woman for 7 years, and she doesn't actually swing both ways." Then it was my turn to laugh.

But like I said, the tunes were terrible. I think my idea about a good live hip-hop band has to come to fruition. And somehow I need to rehearse our group in such a way as to NOT sound like those guys did tonight: like a bunch of suburban white kids playing shitty music on the street corner. Ya gots to git soul, man.

(And tenor player, please don't wear pre-faded blue jeans (i.e. the narrow-leg, monochromatic sky-blue variety ca. 1989) and a black-and-white striped rugby shirt to your next gig. It's totally distracting and it makes you look like a geek. At the very least, you have to earn the right to wear corny shit like that by playing your instrument in tune and not playing 2 or 3 wrong notes in every phrase of each solo.)


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(Deleted comment)
iamom September 23rd, 2004
:) Yeah, I was thinking of you when that came up, actually!

chaizzilla September 25th, 2004
i'll take the monochromatic pre-fades over the ghastly pre-fade striped things going around now, eugh... both ought to be damnable sins, though. just put the freakin indigo on the cloth & get over it already, it fades out soon enough. rugby stripes are ok if they're vertical, esp w/dreds tho. thus spoke chaizzoostzhra

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