Friday, March 25, 2011

March Retrospective

March is winding down and spring is here, the days are getting longer and we've actually had some sun. Plenty of rain and wind too. While it's warmer than Winter, early Spring evenings are still best spent indoors, and watching live musical is one of the best ways to spend time indoors.

One of my New Years resolutions was to see lots of bands and blog about each and every one. Going to several shows a week and writing about each takes a level of creative discipline and consistency I haven't achieved before. I'm not even claiming to write good or interesting blogs, but I am getting the photos and videos uploaded, backups run, blogs written, edited and published and promoted, repeat as needed, so I can claim to be writing and publishing pretty frequently, even if it's only self publishing on a free blog that not many ever notice. The creative discipline and efforts of writing about the shows are good for me on many levels. I try to be more open to the musicians and the songs at the shows, looking and listening for interesting bits to comment on, seeing if I can find any themes or patterns between the bands at a show. Trying to be both in the moment living through the show and also in the collective space of ideas, metaphors, allegories, concepts and correlation to recent and past examples. I feel like it stretches my cognitive and writing mental muscles in a way that can only be good for me. I get a glow out of volunteering and creating on multiple conscious and unconscious levels that brightens my outlook and gives me many fond memories. I hope any readers out there get even a fraction out of this blog of what I get out writing it, and thanks for reading!

This March I managed to see 25 bands. Adding that to the first two months I have now seen 60 bands/sets/performances, 49 for the first time. Duplicates were PWRFL Power, My Parade, Kinski and the St. Marks choir performing a capella.

Playing with my new Nikon digital SLR at shows.
The Lonely Forest pumping out great song after great song sounding like they might be positioned to break out to national awareness.
Lonely Frest
Marnie Stern shredding, singing and bantering, so many good performances like Marnie and Tera Melos and Kinski - all in one show.
Marnie Stern
My Parade setup on the floor again, no hierarchy for them,
the haunting impact of Knowmad's the River Runs Deep.
Knowmads 021
Several shows with packed houses and the occasional sellout like the Knowmads kept things lively. The grace and the spiritually centered and comforted feeling granted to me at Ash Wednesday mass and the sense of coming home it kindles in me.
Yet another great Veracity show, best attendance yet and a variety of talented bands with several (most, 3 of 4) using horns.
Diamond Rings and PS I Love You on stage together with that surprisingly low voice from the lean and lanky young fashion icon adding some low end punch to the guitar riffing and wailing high end falsetto vocal coming from the big shambling hairy guitarist as the drummer smashes his way through the beat underpinning it all, I wish they did a full set as a supergroup!

The creative wacky Magmafest show with my first Skype-in and PWRFL Power on stage for the first time in years.
March 2011 005

Pogo-ing until my feet hurt, and then pogo-ing some more at the Ex show.
Great volunteers dealing with messy customers professionally and well, noticing that my example gets some of the kids to get a little more focus and polish - mentoring and volunteering are very positive for my self esteem!

Good music exalts us just a little, taking us out of our little internal rat races and exposing us to some corner of a larger collective creative universe in an immediate and sometimes powerful and urgent way. When the creativity somehow spans the audience and feeds back to the band with the positive energy flowing and the creation - to steal a beer company motto: life just doesn't get any better than that!

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