Archive for August, 2007

August 22, 2007

Walken After Midnight

The Low Czars are preparing for another wedding coming up in September. We were provided with a list of stuff the bride and groom would like to hear and I believe we have the whole thing covered. Some of the songs are very simple (“California Stars” by Wilco is a three chorder) while others sound simple but run on strange rhythms (“In Dreams” by Roy Orbison). Last year we did “Stand By Your Man” and had the hardest time with that one, as it’s got two verses followed by a barrage of choruses and then BANG it’s over. I’m also digging out the keys for this wedding. I played my Wurlitzer electric piano and a very cheesy loaner keyboard at a couple of shows last year and was frustrated by my lack of experience as a player. I also had issues with volume (which was my error) and being able to sing and play the piano at the same time. The Wurly is a champ and fun to play but the cheesy keyboard doesn’t really double as a piano very well. And this year we’re doing “This Will Be Our Year” by the Zombies which, while possible on a guitar, really works best on a piano. So, I solicited my brother to bring up his very nice Yamaha digital piano. It’s a full 88 keys which is an embarrassment of riches as I tend to play mostly near the middle. The action is very accurate, the piano sounds are very nice and the extra organ/electric piano/synth/string sounds are a bit cheesy but of high enough quality that I’ll be able to fake my way on a couple of organ parts. I’m letting Bob sing lead on everything I play on the piano and have gotten pretty good at back-up singing while sitting at the keyboard. Playing on a “fake” instrument is a good lesson for me. I love playing my “real” piano and my “real” Hammond organ but know I can’t drag either of them to a show and the days of having either available to play at any given venue are long gone.

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August 2, 2007

Love Czars, pt I

We made it through our LOVE show tonight. I knew I was going to be in shock when it was over (and I was) but we had a very enthusiastic crowd and played everything surprisingly well. I don’t recall practicing as hard for any show ever before and it was well worth the hard work. Much like our performance at Mickey’s last year, we had total strangers come up to us and tell us how much Forever Changes changed their life and how impressed they were that someone would actually cover such an obscure record. One guy was lamenting to me about how AM radio would never play anything like LOVE because they were too far out of the mainstream. Thanks to everyone who came out and supported our little excursion. Besides the whole of Forever Changes, we did another 9 songs by LOVE and I got to play bass and let Bob do some singing. Our old pal Chris jumped up and sang “Signed DC” and “Seven & Seven Is” and blew everyone away. If we do this again (we’re thinking maybe in December on the actual 40th anniversary) Chris will be back to sing more so both Bob and I can hang back and rock.