9.09.2008

the beginning and the end of the Sherman St. Bar & Grill.

Dear faithful friends & foes.

Our rehearsal's have been killer lately, being almost weekly and full of brand new rocking material. Our rule of having "no rules" is actually holding up rather well. The songs seem to be coming out so quickly that we're at that point where half the new songs that will be on the album are nameless, so we know them by key or time; "Joel's B song", "Joel's Dm song", "Daniel's G song", "5/4", "Joel's crazy song where daniel does crazy guitar loop", etc, you get the point...

So daniel emails us a few weeks back and says something like, "hey guys, want to play a bar show in lebanon in a few weeks and make lots of money?" My initial, mental response is, "what the hell, i do the booking for the band...not you. and where is lebanon?" Lebanon is about 10 minutes east of I-5 half way between Salem and Eugene. But after a few seconds of human nature, I chilled out and responded, saying, "yea, i'm free sept. 6th." A week later, out of a fit of my unorganized booking catastrophic issues, I texted daniel for direct contact info so I could confirm all the details for our show. In the back of my mind is the constantly lingering word, "sketchy." Daniel lets me know the name of the venue, hence the title of this blog, "Sherman St. Bar & Grill - we're confirmed"

Still, in my search for confirmation and organization, I google "Sherman St. Bar and Grill Lebanon OR" - the most relevant results I found were newspaper articles on Sherman St. Bar's sketchy treatment of underage customers. An overall consensus by the community that this business should lose its liquor license. But my real search was for a phone number or email, which i could not locate.

Fast forward three days to the day of the big show. Lebanon Oregon's very own Sherman St. Bar & Grill. The three of us are trying to sync up for a last minute rehearsal to try to hammer down versions of our new material to fill our 3 hour time slot. Daniel texts me this; "i am trying my hardest at this point to cancel the show, it's getting shadier by the minute" - I call him and we discuss the pros and cons of supposedly not having a PA system and the outrageous idea of renting a PA last minute and hauling an extra car down to transport it all. NO. So we call off the show, but rehearsal still sounds fun.

After rehearsing for a solid hour, daniel gets a call at 7pm. Jeff at Sherman St. wants us to come down and play. He says there's a mixer and some speakers and it should work and we should still play. So, as Joel and I sit and wait, we hear Daniel tell Jeff on the phone, "sure, we'll come down and see if it works and try our best to make it work." Load up the cars, pack up the gear, we've got a show in 2 hours. I call my father and let him know the news, he wanted to ride down with me and check out the new stuff.

We arrive at the Sherman St. Bar & Grill around 8:30, we made good time. Sherman St. Bar & Grill is home to the typical Pool Table, grungy, smokey, hick bar that you see in films. Daniel was asked about the show through his father who is friends with Jeff. Upon arrival, my father finds that he is also acquainted with Jeff through work. Things are looking up. We brought adequate mics, stands, cables for our set-up in case the mixer actually would amplify our keys and vocals. Joel and I loaded gear in as Daniel fiddled with the random equipment in his attempt to conjure up a working amplification system for the show. After about 45 minutes, a bad test mic and cable, and an order of fish & chips, we've got a working PA and our stage is ready to rock/n/roll.

Some level checking and we sound check the chorus of "lines" - After this, I hear a yell from a customer, "yea" - next, we sound check a different vocal mic. with a verse of "5/4" - after this, I hear a mutter from the crowd, "no, next one..." - Daniel mumbles to me, "not that fucking shit, come on..." - You see, we all new what we were getting into, and we were all a little tense and hesitant toward the evening...

because we were planning on playing for 2 hours, we decided against mapping out a set list and were going to play song by song. Our set begins with "My Sister/My Friend" - a song we've been playing often for over a year and one of our favorites from what will be on the new album. I was thinking, it's enough rock/n/roll with a little bit of beatles influence that it might be promising to the seemingly classic rock type audience. daniel immediately moves into a little ambient interlude that leads into a new song, "daniel's G song" (as previously mentioned.) This might be our favorite of the new ones, it's very groovy and it felt very very right. daniel came up with a great melody and lyrics on the spot making it a debut success. at this point, we were feeling great about the on-stage sound and that we were going to be able to please this crowd. i suggested next, that we play "Joel's Dm song" (also, as previously mentioned.) it's kind of swing rock/n/roll with heavy guitar and big drums, it was a sure lebanon pleaser. People seemed semi-interested, but ultimately un-enthused. we then moved into something more artsy, which may have been the deciding wrong turn of the night, "wedding song" - like sister/friend, one of our recent favorites that will appear in full on the album. (see live youtube video below.) Daniel stayed on the keys and did his little solo doodle (with brief rhythm-section accompaniment), "Benjamin Bradley" - during "wedding song" and "benjiman bradley", we were specifically noticing many customers in the bar slowly trickling outside to suck their cigarettes in undisturbed silence, where talking is easy. we decided to turn it up a notch and play our long time symmetry/symmetry essential, "turn to speak" - As we finished "turn to speak", our fathers approached the stage and told us that the people are wanting our "most upbeat songs" - we all felt really good about our set so far, and we were having a blast, daniel turns to me and whispers, "this is a fucking great show, what the hell?" - we decide to pull out an old gosling-esque rock/blues tune, "sweet as they may(be)", after which we played one of our most recent favorites, a new one that we debuted in June, "5/4", still yet untitled. It was gorgeous and we felt great about it. It was fun. Before we could decide what to play next, Daniel's dad approached us with an envelope and whispered to daniel, "the manager wants you to have this and is asking if you guys could call it quits for the night, it's just not working." feelings of being compromised and unappreciated were strongly flowing through my body, utter rejection. We began unplugging and tearing down, i opened the envelope to find $300 and said to myself, i don't like playing for money. we took advantage of some free drinks while we were at it and headed home, our set cut short, the first time ever not performing "le fin" and "i am not anaemic" in a set.

Moral's of the story include, but are not limited to; "if you try your best, you'll succeed." - "money is the root of evil."

-andrew t.

3 Comments:

Blogger daniel J. said...

wow. you have a very interesting take on the show, i guess i thought people were really into it, i think we made some new die hard fans. Well, agree to disagree. i guess.

12:59  
Blogger daniel J. said...

ya. i do say fuck a lot.

12:59  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fun times. This'll be a good one to remember.

I once played a show that was billed as country by the promoter...we were most definitely NOT country. As soon as we started to play everyone went to the door and started demanding their money back...

10:34  

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