It's been a while, but not a lot has been happening. We played another gig, another freebie. When originally scheduled, it was to be our first gig. The neighborhood party in the neighborhood where John (band leader) lives. His wife is on the planning committee and we got booked for the entertainment. At the time (April or May I believe) we were just starting to put our second set together, but figured we could have two sets down by the end of July. Then that other gig came up, the charity gig where we rocked but didn't realize it, and it was two weeks earlier, so it
was our first gig. This party was just that, a party. Free food and drink, in which we tried not to indulge too heavily, and we were also much looser, having played our first gig already. So we were even better this time.
So now we're into the business of getting our third set together, which around here is a "full night". You can play out with only three sets because (1) a lot of places only need two or three hours of live music a night, and (2) you can repeat songs from the first set if necessary because no one stays that long, and if they do, they're too drunk to care.
And the problems have started to arise again.
Our singer, Karen, is not a prima donna. She's actually really cool. She's just a flake, and really busy. Because we all work day jobs and the band is just a thing, we mostly communicate via email. Emails go around with songs and people offer feedback, and we vote, and we have the next three songs we're going to work on, and at some point we notice that Karen hasn't said anything, then she finally speaks up and doesn't like one of the songs and one of the other ones is okay, but there's this other song which is probably better for her voice. And she's right, but it would have been nice if she'd said something a week earlier.
Her excuse is that she's so busy, so can't check her email every day or every night like a lot of people, but every couple of days (more like once a week or two weeks, but whatever). And then there are "thousands" of emails piled up, so she has to kinda skim through them. This means that she's often late to the conversation, gives her input on things that we'd thought we decided weeks earlier, and in general causes chaos. She's said from the beginning that without a lot of free time, what she'd really like to do with this band is "just show up and sing". And hey, once we get the third set nailed down, we can coast a little bit. All any of us have to do is just show up and do the songs. All this more timely communication won't be so critical, as long as everyone knows when the gigs and practices are. And we'll need to add and drop songs from time to time, but that's down the road, too. But we're not there yet. Right now, we need everyone to participate. It's really not that hard. Just keep your head in the game for another month or so, and we can get this figured out.
And there's now an added complication. Our bassist, Mike, is Karen's husband. He's a great guy, an excellent bassist, all that, but if Karen goes, he goes too. He has another band, but joined this one because we needed a bassist and he had never actually played in a band with Karen before. He knows she's a flake. Not difficult to get along with in the classic sense, difficult to get along with because she's not all there. But when she does get around to giving her input, she's right. The standing rule is that if you don't provide your input, you can't complain about the output. Ever try telling a female that? I'm sorry if that's sexist, but it's generally true. And even if it weren't, there's still the problem that she's our lead singer, a damned good one, and if we try to "lay down the law" she could just decide that it's not worth it, and we lose a great singer and
a great bassist. We don't want her gone; we want her to get her shit together. But we shouldn't have to schmooze one of our own band members.
John related to us the parable of The Scorpion and The Frog. If you don't know it, look it up. I knew it already. The basic message is: people don't change, they do what they do. She's not going to change, and we can't expect her to. If it's a problem, we either learn to deal with it, or do what's necessary, which is to can her, and we lose Mike, too. And hell, I'm mostly in it because of Mike and Karen, so that gives me something to think about, too. Right now, we're pretty good. We're getting better. We will probably
be able to find another singer and bassist, but that will take time, and it will take time getting them up to speed, and dammit, I hate doing things over and over again. We've been through this shit so many times already.