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Last Night…

Last night we played one of the best shows I can remember in a long time. I don’t know why for certain, but I think it was partly because we were all a little bit in the mindset that everything was relaxed and cool. Most of the audience was people that someone in the band knew personally, and when we play for that kind of an audience, there’s a certain kind of “play” that goes on among us… we extend songs, we reprise bits of songs, we make musical jokes… like in the cadenza for one song, Myoung Jae started playing the guitar intro for the Guns’N’Roses song “Sweet Child of Mine”, in among a bunch of brash loud atonal chaos. I wish we would goof off a bit more like that in all of our shows.

We played several of our new songs, and I recorded the show, but guess what? The guitar wasn’t running through the sound board, and that was where I recorded the tracks… so everything sounds really weird. We sound like a Morphine ripoff band, sax, and bass and drums and voice. Very very strange sound for us. I wish I’d used the microphone instead. Ah well, I will try to do that at our next concert.

I also need to teach the guys in the band that when we soundcheck something like recording, I need to know max levels. They need to play the loudest they’re going to play, not the “bored of soundchecking” level, which is significantly lower than that. If we’re not careful about that, things like the sax level get lost, and the recording of the show also gets terribly overdriven and buzzy.

The funniest bit about the show last night was that, despite it being, musically, one of the better shows we’ve done in a while, it was a living hell for me. For some reason, though I felt okay most of the day, arriving in the club did something to me. Maybe it was the cold air, the cigarette smoke, or even maybe the moldiness of the air… but something started me sneezing, and thereafter my sinuses began to drain.

The louder the band got, the more I had to blow my nose… except of course I was playing my sax, and loud. So my nose was continually running and the best I could do was wipe it or blow my nose in between songs. I think if the show hadn’t been going so well, I would have just said, “One more song” to Myoung about halfway through and then gone home. But the crowd was enjoying it so much I couldn’t resist. So I just lived with it, sweat like mad and struggled to keep up.

At the end of the show, some installation artist in the crowd was asking me to play a solo for him, because he wanted to hear just solo saxophone. I regretfully told him I felt like hell and had to go home and sleep, and promised that at the next show, if he came, I would play him a solo. He went to the back of the room, where he had some of his art on display: a flock of red bird-shaped pillow things hanging from the ceiling. He had me yank one down from the roof and gave it to me as a present. These are the birds you can see in the pictures all over this post!

Soon after, I took a cab home and collapsed into the miserable joy of the sleeping sick. But the ondeol was on and I slept well… too well… but that’s another story, and all I can say is I made it to school on time (even early enough to gather my thoughts and teach a pretty good class on countable and uncoountable nouns); but thank goodness I’d cleaned up and quickly showered before sleeping.

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