Author Topic: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)  (Read 1910 times)

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Offline Orbert

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #455 on: February 05, 2017, 03:30:41 PM »
Next practice isn't until Feb 25, so three weeks from yesterday.  Some people weren't available Feb 11, which is why we got together yesterday instead.  With three weeks until the next rehearsal, we took the opportunity to put five "all new" songs on the docket.  Songs that haven't been played by any previous version of the band.  We got some Gretchen Wilson (country chick), Prince, Michael Jackson, Pink, and Bruno Mars.  Tough stuff.

Offline pcs90

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #456 on: February 05, 2017, 03:35:17 PM »
And if it's fun to play, that's really what matters anyway!

Offline Orbert

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #457 on: February 05, 2017, 09:29:19 PM »
A good challenge can be fun, and this stuff can be challenging.  But let's not get too crazy, either.  There's still a difference between playing songs I like and playing songs I don't really like but enjoy playing because the band I'm in is pretty good.  We could still be playing more songs that I like.

So my challenge to myself is to see how hard I'll work to learn songs that I don't even like.  And if I do well, I can score some major points with myself.  Then I'll owe myself something, to be named later.  It gets pretty complicated.

Offline Orbert

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #458 on: February 25, 2017, 08:10:09 PM »
I seem to have scored major points with myself after all.  For clarification, see previous post.

Six new songs, only three of which I'd even heard before, only one which I really liked.  Not my usual bag at all, musically.  But it's a challenge.

Uptown Funk - Bruno Mars
Billie Jean - Michael Jackson
Faith - George Michael
Here For The Party - Gretchen Wilson
Raise Your Glass - Pink
Kiss - Prince

We fucking nailed five of the six.  John kept screwing up Raise Your Glass because he couldn't get the weirdass syncopated chords.  He finally straightened it way out into almost straight 4/4 so he doesn't get lost.  It's a tricky riff.

Lots of keyboards, which is cool.  I definitely had my hands full a lot of the time.  Billie Jean was the only one I liked before, but Uptown Funk is pretty cool, the Pink song is fun, and even though I don't really like the George Michael, I just do the dramatic church organy stuff for the intro, then I'm out.  I'll be filling in some of the Latin percussion.  For a Country tune, the Gretchen Wilson song isn't horrible.  We rocked it pretty good, and I get to do Asian-American-Tonk pretty much throughout, which is fun.

The only one I'm still not sold on is the Prince tune.  Prince has some cool tunes for sure, but he's also hit-or-miss for me sometimes.  But it sounded pretty good.  We rocked it up a bit, made it sound like something.  The original arrangement is so sparse it's almost painful.  Definitely not my normal thing.

I'm madly in love with both of our lead singers, Jessica and Angela.  They're both such babes, so cool and so very talented.  It's a damned good thing that we're all married.  They sound fucking great together.  We could end up doing 100% songs I don't like and I'd probably stick around because I get to stand behind those two.  It doesn't get any better than this.

Offline pcs90

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #459 on: February 25, 2017, 08:52:46 PM »
Looks like it's a good thing you decided to stick with it!

Offline hefdaddy42

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #460 on: February 28, 2017, 08:07:21 AM »
That's an interesting list.  Personally, I would have left out the Gretchen Wilson song (she isn't really relevant anymore - she definitely had a narrow window, and it is closed), and I would have picked a different Prince song for sure.

Hef is right on all things. Except for when I disagree with him. In which case he's probably still right.

Offline Orbert

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #461 on: February 28, 2017, 10:09:55 AM »
We've got a couple of Country tunes on the list, all by female singers (since our lead singers are female), and this one happened to come up first.  I have no idea what's what in the C&W world, so I just worry about the tune.

Yeah, there are a dozen Prince tunes I would rather do than "Kiss" but whatever.  Somehow we settled on this one.  It wasn't as horrible to play as I'd feared.

Offline hefdaddy42

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #462 on: February 28, 2017, 03:25:13 PM »
You guys should do "Sexy MF" by Prince.  That would be better.

Hef is right on all things. Except for when I disagree with him. In which case he's probably still right.

Offline Sir GuitarCozmo

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #463 on: March 01, 2017, 10:44:27 AM »
Depending on how rock oriented the rest of the set still is, and though it may be overplayed, "Let's Go Crazy" would be a fantastic opener.

Offline Orbert

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #464 on: March 01, 2017, 11:58:55 AM »
It probably would, but dear lord, what an annoying song.  Catchy as hell though.

I have very little say in what songs we play, and for the most part, I'm okay with that.  I have no idea which songs are likely to win over an audience, which songs are overplayed, hidden gems, or anything else in terms of loud music for drunk people.  I don't listen to the radio much, and when I do, it's a classic rock station, so I have no idea what's popular.

All I know is what I like to play and what I like to listen to.  Since even the most accessible prog is not going to fly anyway, all that's left for me is whether or not I like playing it.  This is influenced by whether or not I like the song, but less than you might think.  I like to play; I like to interact with other musicians in real time; I like entertain people and be a part of something that sounds good.  And I get to do that.  All through school, I was in the bands, some orchestras, and the occasional vocal group.  I'm in the choir now, and have dabbled in praise bands of various forms.  In each of these, I'm part of an ensemble, a sum greater than its parts, and in each of these, I've had to learn and perform things I didn't like.  This is basically the same thing, and I even get paid for it now.

I know, I've recently whined about not getting to play many songs I like, and that's still true.  Given the choice between playing songs I like and playing songs I don't like, all other things being equal, I'd rather play songs I like.  But nothing else is equal.  You still have to play things other people like; stuff other people like to play, and stuff other people like to hear.  There's no market around here for classic rock bands, and sure as hell no market for live prog.  So this is my gig.

Offline Orbert

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #465 on: May 04, 2017, 09:38:20 PM »
So our first gig is getting nearer.  June 11, we play a concert in the park, a 90-minute gig with no break.  For that, we figure we'll need about 20 songs.  Last practice, Jess had a wedding to attend (literally -- she was an attendant) so Angela sang both "Barracuda" and "Crazy on You" by Heart and fucking nailed them both.  Holy shit!  John also showed acoustic chops I didn't realize he had, nailing the acoustic intro to "Crazy on You".  We have something like 35 songs now, probably enough for a real gig, but John wants to add two more, just in case.

This Saturday, we attempt "Smokin'" by Boston.  I've had bursitis the past week and haven't played at all, which is somewhat concerning, but John really wants to get "Smokin'" on the list for June because he thinks our keyboard player is fucking awesome and wants to show him off.  I told the group last week that I'd have almost no practice time between then and when we play the song, but we'll see how it goes.  And it's a hard one.

And just to make things more fun, my main keyboard is fried.  My Yamaha POS has 100 or so buttons, most of which I don't use (built-in "styles" and rhythm shit and recording and playback and who knows what else) and a single large LCD display which tells me which patch I'm on, what my settings are, and all that.  Well, the display is what's fried.  It's all a brilliant bluish-white with just a hint of the dark writing that I'm supposed to be able to read.  The thing cost me $500 seven years ago, and some Googling reveals that it still sells for $500.  So that's interesting.  I've never liked the interface, but it was all I could afford at the time.  I still don't like the interface, and it's still all I can afford, but at least I know how to work with it now.  I actually think it's kinda funny that the price for seven-year-old tech would be down, but inflation has countered that, and the price is exactly the same as it was in 2010.  So I'll probably just get another one.

We just received word that we have a gig in July, too.  Another strange one, one of the local shopping malls had a contest where band submitted their "proposals" to the mall Facebook page, and whichever band got the most Likes wins.  We won.  So we play a three-hour gig in July (hopefully with breaks) at a shopping mall.  I don't even know if we're getting paid, but a gig's a gig.

We're getting really good.  I mean, damn.  Our singers are incredible, and the rest of the band isn't too bad, either.  Hopefully these silly gigs will lead to something.  Until then, I'm still having fun.

Offline pcs90

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #466 on: May 04, 2017, 10:28:13 PM »
I was wondering what happened to this thread!

Re: Keyboards:
If you can find one used, I highly recommend checking out the Roland VR09. All your essential sounds, very easy to navigate, and lots of live adjustments you can do with sliders and knobs (even has all the organ drawbars on it.) I am learning keys soon, and while I don't own this model it's definitely on my wish list once I can actually play fairly well.

Offline Orbert

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #467 on: May 05, 2017, 01:29:46 PM »
With the lineup stabilized and no drama, there wasn't really much to talk about.  In the past, Anne, Steve, and Pat caused enough drama to keep things at soap-opera level, but we've finally settled on a very good group of people who get along and have their goals aligned.  Good for the band, not so good for drama.

Regarding the VR-09: Thanks for the suggestion.  Looks nice, but I need at least one board with 88 keys.  I still play gigs where I need a piano, or something close enough.  I already have a five-octave board, my Prophet-5.  If/when the Prophet dies, I'll be fine with 61 on top, but the Yamaha is my main board, and I need 88 keys.

Offline splent

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #468 on: May 05, 2017, 09:13:01 PM »
I need to see you guys when you play.
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Offline Orbert

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #469 on: May 05, 2017, 10:38:36 PM »
Splent, you're on our Facebook page.  Get on there once and a while and notice that you're invited to our next Event.  And we'll be putting together another one for the July thing.

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #470 on: May 26, 2017, 07:38:42 AM »
I allow myself to post just to say hi, I like to read this "diary" full of various feelings and moments.

And mainly because I felt you were a little bitter and having a hard time earlier this year because of big changes in the songs and your place in the band.

I'll post in the musician thread maybe our story, because we faced some of the tough situations too, and sometimes it's better to know how to avoid hurting someone (our biggest exemple is that our keyboardist was our temporary singer and now that we found a great singer, he's disheartened).

Cheers ! And in a hurry to read your gig feedback

Offline Orbert

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #471 on: May 26, 2017, 09:53:58 AM »
Thanks!  Yeah, I used to pretty much dominate the Chat thread sometimes with all my updates, so I split it off into its own thread.  Then the band self-destructed again and rebuilt with people who actually get along, so without any drama or gig updates, both threads have a lot less traffic, LOL.  But the Internet is a weird place.

I was originally brought on just to play keys, but ended up adding background vocals because no one else can sing, and I can.  Since then, we've added a bassist who can sing, so that's cool, and with two strong lead singers, by time we have one of them doing backgrounds and our bassist also singing, they don't need me, and I'm not sure how I feel about that.  I've gotten to like singing with the band, and (IMO) am better than our bassist, so if it's the good of the group we're thinking of, it should be me.  But he's not horrible or anything, and it's less for me to worry about, so I roll with it.

Offline Orbert

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #472 on: May 26, 2017, 10:03:19 AM »
Update on my keyboard:  I am an idiot.

John shot me a text (back when the fried keyboard display issue first came up) asking me what the model was, so I told him.  Then nothing.  Weird, and it left my mind going in all kinds of directions.  He's a millionaire and all the band equipment is his, and we're even upgrading a bunch of stuff, so I thought maybe he was gonna surprise me and buy a new keyboard.  The band would still "own" it, but I'd be playing it.  The band I was in back in the 80's had a similar arrangement.  No way could I afford a Prophet-5 synth, but "the band" bought one and I got to play it.

What he did was search the Internet for similar issues and solutions.  I'm an idiot for not even thinking of that; I completely forget about stuff like that, how easy it is to problem-solve these days by just Google-searching.  Anyway, I found a number of people who had similar issues, but the symptoms weren't the same.  Mostly, the screens went dark, or more commonly, half the screen went dark.  Mine got brighter, so bright that I couldn't read it.  After checking through a couple of those online tech help boards, I found one person with the same issue; her screen was so bright that she couldn't read it.  The answer had me face-palming, hard.

"Did you try adjusting the contrast?"
"How do you do that?"
"It's one of the knobs on the back"

I couldn't believe it would be that simple, but it was.  The knob had gotten bumped.  And the really scary thing was that I'd jumped all the way to replacing the keyboard, knowing that it wasn't really that expensive but repairs would be, when all it was was playing with a knob on the back, which I didn't even realize was there.

The good news is that everything seems to be fine now, and I don't have to buy another keyboard.

Offline pcs90

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #473 on: May 27, 2017, 08:13:31 PM »
Haha!
That kind of stuff happens to everyone at some point. At least you figured it out before you bought another keyboard.