Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Ottobar gig recap, alternatively titled...

..."ohhhgud where's my exit, I need to pee".

Baltimore is a major east coast port. It is the largest city in Maryland. It is linked by mighty thoroughfares to other major metropolitan areas and laced with concrete buttressed skyways arcing across broad expanses, allowing the motorist to sail gracefully over the various accoutrements of industrial might and infrastructure of international trade.

But the complete appreciation of this is somewhat dulled when you are looking for your exit with a full bladder. Various mighty brands of commerce have aided me thus far: I have scribbled my directions garned from the Mapquest that I pulled down over a free wifi connection from Panera, and I am stimulated by a charge from Rockstar energy drink (the sugar free, which I drink not because of the ego-pumping name, but because it's good and low calorie) and which is also the cause of some of my, uh, urgency.

Now, this is maybe boring... no, wait: it *is* boring, so let's just say after a brief nerve racking stoppage in traffic, I found my exit, and even found the location on North Howard street after turning briefly the wrong way into an area so completely disengaged from that aforementioned engine of commercial might that the majority of the rowhouses were boarded up and the streets were used as sidewalks. I'm pretty sure that most of the cars parked along these streets were used not as vehicles but as housing.

I've found out somethings about myself, through this technical-musical adventure, and one of the things is that I like to plan part way but not all the way, which sets myself up for a bit of difficulty and work my way out of it, which is sort of stupid but also kind of fun/challenging. The other thing is that I am affected more deeply than I want to admit by the condition of things around me.

But what happens is that the partial planning creates kind of a vacuum, and the affected-ness fills that vacuum with "not quite seen" feelings --- ah, hmm; an epiphany: the Yves Tanguy effect in my reallife, the surreal and real interface **BZZzzzt**... anyway, the affectedness (for better or worse) ends up filling out my set.

There are theories about creativity and creative people and that they have a different connection with their sub/unconscious or even collective subconscious that makes them the way they are, blah blah...

(yeh, i'm a moper, overanalyze and take this all too seriously but really there are only about two people who read this blog, you and sometimes me, so just skip the parts you don't like).

Anyway, there are social aspects to this music thing, the social aspects (as should be obvious by now) have always been my weak point (whereas to others they might be the whole point) so I'm a little bit at am impasse as how I reconcile these things, BUT, it is time to talk about playing...

I actually get there almost exactly at 6:30, which was the agreed upon time, and also a few seconds before my bladder was scheduled to burst, so a win all around. This, actually, may have been the high point of my night.

Once again, everyone is pleasant. They are, maybe... too pleasant: AH, they are scheming, they mock me behind my back, they collude... eh, yeh, it was a time for some paranoia as well. No, just kidding, it's constantly amazing to me how people put up with me.

Now, some sets are more 1)'artsy/listen, be awed and ponder' and some are more 2)'slick, feel the beat, and dance'. Most are some of both but more of one or the other, I have no problem with either, I like either/both. Sometimes, I wish I could be as slick as the more purely dance-able ones, because they are smooth, but I am more the former (except maybe for the awed part) than the latter.

Tonight, I'm doing a set that is based on a song by the Ramones, "Go Mental". There are two reasons for this. The first reason is that Joey Ramone died 5 years ago this past week, and the second is complicated but if you want to know ask me sometime and I'll tell you.

To get to the good parts:

if someone had yelled during my set "You Suck!" I would have had to agree, but if someone yelled "Whoo! that is wild" I would have had to agree. For all I know, someone may well have yelled, "You Suck!" (and, like I said, I would have agreed), people were kind of interested, but it was a Tuesday night casual 'respite during the week' gathering type of thing, not where you'd expeect people would be engrossed, which was lucky for me maybe because they were less inclined to yell 'you suck'.

There were stretches of repetitiveness in my set, like the bereft rows of boarded up houses. There were wild dives and swoops, like the concrete overpasses. There were belches and booms, like the mighty engines of industry. There were plaintive and confused vocals, like the heart of the child wandering through the surrounding urban wasteland.

Now, maybe if you were there, you would say "Bullshit", and I'd have to agree. But, you might say "wow, that is really the way it was" and I'd have to agree.

so I'm a little tired and whiny-musing but at least agreeable.

EVERYbody was good, IMHO they were exemplary of what they were aiming at. Cedric had a smoothly crafted and varied set. 302acid/DK caused an earthquake somewhere with the huge subrange he was laying out. Phatso Brown kicked out a polished set of hiphop/breakbeat. Pulsoc had a very intricate mix of themes and rhythms, impressive. Last of Us/Cory had a smooth set, clever clever cuts. Ross Lara had a very polished DJ set.

Once again, big, big PHAT value for $5.

Wait, had to go back to add/edit a couple of things:

Jando, opening it up and closing it out ad the "DJ" but, wait: this was all done "without a net", no turntables, no CDs, no MP3 player backup at the ready. Just steely eyed digital daredevils.

although, it is hard though to do late mid-week nights, every performance yields new opportunity.


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