Thursday, May 06, 2004

Jazz and Pottery 101

Today was the Combo Too performance in the Atrium. We pretty much always play there during our usual class time sometime near the end of the semester. In fact, it always seems to coincide with the annual pottery sale out there, so we have at least a potential natural audience of walk-throughs.

This one did get off to a weird start, though, as the little alcove underneath the theatre stairs that I always reserve (after much trial and error, we've found it to be the best place out there, acoustically speaking) had been taken over by the South Asian Student Association. I'm not sure what their particular celebration was, but it evidently involved burning incense and people getting tattooed (so maybe it was a good thing I didn't know?). Fortunately, they didn't question my rights to the spot (their poster said they were supposed to stop at 3:00 anyway), so they gathered up their stuff and, as Dingus would say later, "emigrated" across the way to another open area.

The performance went great...which drove me crazy in a way. Now you might be asking, "wait a minute, Kev, don't you want them to do well?" Of course I do...but what gets me is how a group, or at least parts of it, can go through an entire semester of rehearsals as if they all had rampant ADD, and then they get to performance time and play great. It's enough to make the instructor want to tear his hair out, save for the fact that this particular instructor values having hair. I certainly don't ever want them to have a bad performance, but when they always go well, it sort of teaches them that they can get away with bad rehearsals all semester. This whole thing, of course, was no surprise to me, since it's happened that way many times before.

The other thing that didn't surprise me was that the college president walked by during the gig. I had told the guys on Tuesday that, while this wasn't a formal gig, I was going to outlaw shorts and flip-flops just in case the president walked by. (Keep in mind that our college has four separate campuses, and the president's office is at another one besides ours.) A semester or two ago, he was in a meeting upstairs that was evidently getting really tense...until they heard the jazz wafting through the atrium. Music does indeed have the power to heal. This time, I was standing by the side of them during Little Sunflower when I felt a tap on my shoulder; sure enough, it was the president, asking what the name of that tune was because it had always been a favorite of his but the name was escaping him at the moment.

We had a decent crowd out there, loudly being led in cheers by Mooney, the drummer from Combo PM. A few people took free tickets to Saturday's big concert, so hopefully they'll show up. The rest of the day was normal, with burrito night, Combo PM and then me and Halfling jamming on Foosball for a while, which just got done a bit ago. I'll be going in tomorrow to rehearse with the band.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "More information is better than less information."--Real-estate seminar guy on the radio this morning. More is better? Really? Ya think so?

COLLECTIVE QUOTE OF THE DAY: An exchange as I passed by the kids from the college's nursery, carrying my bari as I walked back from the gig...

PRESCHOOL TEACHER: OK, what's that instrument he's carrying?
KIDS (each and every one of them): Trumpet!!!