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Musicians…

29 March, 2010

Alright…

Theatre tech. Bands. Mixing monitors. Tidemark Theatre in Cambpell River. Local bands, doing a benefit thing for Haiti, in support of some warm-and-fuzzy child-sponsoring organization. 5’8″ MC wearing a Canary! Yellow! Dress!

The musician is, perhaps, the oddest of the performing arts types… Sure, you have to play all sorts of lousy gigs, spend your food money on guitar strings, and live out of The Van; on the other hand, you can get away with just about anything. Green room littered with empties? Even at intermission? Not a problem! Girlfriend(s) wandering in at will? Go for it! Drug habit? As long as the music’s good, not a worry! Smell funny; have crummy personal grooming; dress like a hobo (or clown, or out of the Salvation Army reject bin)? All about personal style and focusing mental attention on creative output.

Or something.

Musicians are (and perhaps I should clarify; when I say “musician,” I mean the sort of person for whom the collective noun is “band,” as in “the band is late for sound check,” not classical or jazz types) a flaming pain to work with; most have no real job, or a succession of part-time ones; time management isn’t something they’re good at (a whole category of tour staff exists simply to ensure that the headliners are at least present and conscious on time); they bring with them, as¬† a medieval peasant brings lice and body odour, groupies and significant others; they are the equal of any actor for personal delicacy and back-stage fussiness; and they smoke, snort, drink, and inject mind-alterants the way other people breath. Oh, and they have an almost cultish faith in the ability of technicians to, magically, conjure up equipment, and, during songs, exercise force-field-like control over what, exactly, they will hear in their monitor mixes.

But, get a good one up on deck, and all the drama, weird “friends,” and everything else suddenly doesn’t matter. Four acts; two bands, and two solo guitar-strummers. All of them, in their own way, very good: some still learning the whole “performing” thing; but all worth listening to. Sadly, they gave out no programs, or anything else to let the pitifully small (come on, this is Campbell River – there’ s nothing else to do!) audience know who they were. Twas a good night, regardless!

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