Author Topic: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)  (Read 13677 times)

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Offline Orbert

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #245 on: November 20, 2016, 08:18:04 PM »
...
How did you arrive at Flashdrive?

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #246 on: November 20, 2016, 08:18:18 PM »
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FlashDrive, with a capital D.

Last year, after we'd lost our singer and bass player at the same time, we decided that we needed a new name.  At a band meeting, we'd decided on a new batch of songs, and this was before I'd set up my Dropbox, so we passed around flashdrives with the new songs on them.  Someone remarked that "flashdrive" was a cool, catchy word, also a relatively new word, having only been created in the past decade or so, but now quite common.  Good for a band name.  I pushed for the capital D.

John argued that it's Foghat, not FogHat; Coldplay, not ColdPlay; Soundgarden, not SoundGarden; and others.  All single words without a capital letter in the middle (something he personally dislikes, and which I agree with in general).  I pointed out that every one of those names aren't real words in the first place, but two separate words slammed together.  I thought that the idea was to take a common, everyday word and put a spin on it, not just use a common everyday word.  Anne said that she likes the big "D".  It emphasizes that it's two words that each sound like something.  "Flash" and "Drive" both are "action" sounding words.  Both are both nouns and verbs.  That kind of thing.

I just said Hey, Anne likes the big "D".  How can any guy argue with that?  And with that, I won the argument.

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #247 on: November 20, 2016, 08:18:40 PM »

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #248 on: November 20, 2016, 08:19:01 PM »

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #249 on: November 21, 2016, 07:32:10 PM »
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I like the name. You should do it in the style of the Flashdance writing. :lol


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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #250 on: November 21, 2016, 07:32:29 PM »
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How did you brainstorm that and not go with the name:
The Big d

Just make sure you don't become dated with FlashDrive.  If your band started earlier, you would be:
The Floppy d

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #251 on: November 21, 2016, 07:32:42 PM »

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #252 on: November 21, 2016, 07:33:58 PM »
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I like the name. You should do it in the style of the Flashdance writing. :lol

I want to see one of the professional guys come with that.  That could be fun.  I have not the skill.  The "logo" I came up with is basically Word Art, although I did cook up the outline color and custom fill gradients to match the lightning bolt (which was just clip art I found on the net).



Click on it to biggify.  There's actually a bit of detail to it, which I'm kinda proud of.


In other news, we already have a guitarist/singer lined up to audition a week from Saturday, which would have been our next scheduled practice anyway.  His name is Pat, he's about our age and background.  The band he was in before was really good; in fact, they got so good that they were working every week, sometimes twice a week (one-nighters Friday and Saturday probably) which was really getting to be too much, as most of them have full-time day jobs.  So he ended up leaving that band and taking a break, but now he wants to get back into playing.  Once or twice a month, tops, and that's perfect because that's exactly what we'd already decided on.  We don't want to gig every weekend, certainly not twice a week.  Once or twice a month sounds about right.

I've seen an old promo video of his former band on YouTube.  Guitar sounded pretty good, vocals sounded great.  He was one of three singers in the band, and the promo vid showed that off, but we got to hear him sing a verse of "Come Sail Away" and "Footloose" and he's got that high voice that sounds pretty effortless.  As an added bonus, the video was made at the same crummy bar we played at a few weeks ago, our one and only gig.  When I recognized it, I chuckled mightily.

Anyway, John has already talked to him, he says he knows a lot of the songs in our list.  They're going to decide on four songs for the audition.  We usually work on four songs every two weeks, so this will be basically like a practice session.  I do not know if Anne is the one who "found" him or what, but he said he's worked with Anne before and he likes her.  So that right there is a big step up over Steve, who told me point blank that he didn't really like or respect Anne.  So this should be fun.

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #254 on: November 21, 2016, 07:34:33 PM »
...

Shazam TV show opening

I was trying to think what that lightning bolt reminded me of.  But it isn't quite the same, so you are legally able to proceed.   ;D

Nice work on the lettering btw (I biggified)

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #255 on: November 21, 2016, 07:35:42 PM »

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #256 on: November 21, 2016, 07:36:22 PM »
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I was trying to think what that lightning bolt reminded me of.  But it isn't quite the same, so you are legally able to proceed.   ;D

Nice work on the lettering btw (I biggified)

Thanks.  And yeah, the Shazam logo zags twice, whereas ours only zigs once.  I figure other than the lightning bolt itself, which is clip art that I directly grabbed from somewhere, I'm pretty safe, and since the bolt is tilted a little bit (it tilted 11 degrees ccw when I tilted the letters, since they were grouped at that point) it might be considered modified enough to skirt an infringement.  We're just a bar band from the burbs.  If someone wants to sue us, we'll stop using it, but they're not going to get blood from a stone.

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #257 on: November 21, 2016, 07:36:40 PM »
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Not that I'm a graphic designer and have any weight behind what I'm about to say, but ...

You did a nice job of adding some flair without going over the top.  When I did my company logo, I started off a bit over the top, but when I found time I scaled it back to simpler design (less color and texture).  So don't pick at the logo and find new things to add.  Your balance is already ... balanced.

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #258 on: November 21, 2016, 07:38:23 PM »
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Thanks.  That's the thing I was going for.  The idea was that it needed to look good in a tiny square as a Facebook profile picture, bigger on a T-Shirt, or really big on a poster.  I wanted it to be simple, little more than just the name of the band and a lightning bolt.

I wasn't exactly sure how to combine them, but I started with just writing the word with the lightning bolt behind it, and I already felt that I was most of the way there.  I knew I wanted to use Word Art, since it's simple and easy to reproduce, with the words filled in with color, so I found a font that looked good "hollow".  I liked how this font has the extra shadow lines built in, giving it a 3-D look.  Then it was just a matter of playing with the colors until I liked how they worked with the lightning bolt.  Outlining the letters in dark orange had the unexpected but welcomed side effect of changing the lines inside the lettering to the same color.

One of the "professional" designs had the word written in the lightning bolt, which looked kinda cool, but it was hard to read the word itself.  They provided a couple variations on that idea, none of which I really liked.  Another design had the word much more stylized; the "F" had a lightning bolt "tail" on it, and the "E" angled up, but had a weird downward curve at the end which made the whole thing remind me of a dick going limp.  A third design was just too busy.  Lots of colors, and lightning in the background.  I have no idea how that could be reproduced, but in graphic design, lots of colors = more money to reproduce.

The one thing that all three of those designs had in common was that they were just so damned fancy that you had trouble reading the word FlashDrive.  In my mind, that is the most important point.  If someone looks at your logo, which is basically just the name of the band, and it takes them more than a few seconds to even read it, the logo fails.  Promoting the band, and the brand, is way more important than looking all super-fancy.

I know nothing about design, either, but I looked at the "professional" submissions (we had the first two at that point) and said "Shit, I could come up with something better than that in half an hour in Microsoft Word" and proceeded to do just that.  The third submission came in, and it too was just too fancy and silly.  Often, simpler really is better.

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #259 on: November 21, 2016, 07:38:57 PM »
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which made the whole thing remind me of a dick going limp.
Save that design for your band's alter ego, The Floppy d

Quote
The one thing that all three of those designs had in common was that they were just so damned fancy that you had trouble reading the word FlashDrive.  In my mind, that is the most important point. 
Absolutely.  There are so many creative things one can do with the letters of a title/name, and it almost always ends up looking funny.

Quote
I know nothing about design, either, but I looked at the "professional" submissions (we had the first two at that point) and said "Shit, I could come up with something better than that in half an hour in Microsoft Word" and proceeded to do just that.  The third submission came in, and it too was just too fancy and silly.  Often, simpler really is better.
I wouldn't totally discount the pros though.  You might have just ended up with a few bad ones.  It is a bit like being a musician.  You can learn things to expand your abilities, but you still have to be a musician at the core.  The people that are meant to be in graphic design and take the time to learn the trade skills are actually quite impressive.  And sometimes the person requesting the work can make a world of difference by just articulating what it is they are looking for.

But you lucked out and already hit upon a clean logo.  Send the bill to the rest of the band.

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #260 on: November 21, 2016, 07:39:30 PM »
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Sounds like they were not very good designers. Simplicity is actually one of the hardest things to achieve, because it gives you nowhere to hide. Also a designer's goal is to fit what the client wants, and you seemed to know the parameters well (I've worked for people who have basically contradicted themselves at every turn, but you still try to give them what they want, because that's your job).

It is a bit like being a musician. 

I think it is like being a musician. The key to both is knowing when not to do something, just as much as doing something. A new designer is like a young musician; they think they'll be great and stand out by throwing in the kitchen sink and overdoing something (whether it's adding lots of gradients and lens flares, or trying to write a 5 hour wankfest prog concept album).
The pro knows how to do a lot with a little, because they can do it with style that only comes from experience and taste. You can hear an amateur guitarist and a pro guitarist play only one note, and instantly hear the difference in execution. It's the same with anything creative.

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #261 on: November 21, 2016, 07:40:32 PM »
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The curse of Orbert's almost-band-now-actual-band continues!

This past Saturday was our next scheduled practice, and was also to be the day we auditioned potential new guitarist/singer Pat.  Instead, we got 12 inches of snow.  John lives out in the sticks a ways (in a "neighborhood" of mansions) which means 10 miles on a two-lane road that winds through hills and shit.  It was still coming down Saturday morning.  So... no.  Practice/audition was postponed until tonight (Tuesday), the next day we were all available.

Last night, our drummer JT got in a wreck.  Nothing broken, but some separated ribs and torn cartilage.  He'll be okay, eventually, but is currently in the hospital on a lot of pain killers.  He will not be playing drums for a while.

It just never ends.

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #262 on: November 21, 2016, 07:41:13 PM »
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Are you a praying man, Orbert? If not, your look seems so bad, you really should be.
Best wishes to JT. Hopefully Orbert's almost-band-now-actual-band won't do a Yes and kick him out like Jon Anderson...

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #263 on: November 21, 2016, 07:41:26 PM »
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Is your rehearsal space by any chance built upon an ancient Indian burial ground? Have you noticed any suspicious looking people hanging around sticking pins in little dolls that look coincidentally just like the members of your band?

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #264 on: November 21, 2016, 07:42:18 PM »
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Are you a praying man, Orbert? If not, your look seems so bad, you really should be.

Funny you should mention that.

Monday night, I was at a meeting at the church, and we start each meeting with "check-ins" which is just going around the table and each person checking in, giving a little update on what's been going on in their lives and what's on their minds.  Music and the band is never far from my mind, so when it came to my turn, I just said I've been working on music and the band, the usual thing for me.  They all asked how the band was doing, and I said that we'd managed to play one gig, then our guitarist quit rather suddenly, but we have an audition tomorrow.  I did not ask for prayers, although that was an option, and it did occur to me, the way things have been going for this band.

I can't help but think of "that kind of prayer" as being rather selfish.  A relative dying of cancer, or a friend going through a rough time, sure.  Pray for help, for them.  But I figure God has plenty to deal with without dealing with my stupid band that can't seem to get its shit together.

Less than two hours later, JT wrecked his truck.  I don't know whether to feel guilty or what.  I also don't know how serious I am about that last statement, because I know it doesn't work like that, but... damn.  This is getting truly ridiculous.

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #265 on: November 21, 2016, 07:46:06 PM »
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FlashDrive Update!

We auditioned Pat last night, and separately, each of us has "approved" him.  All that remains is the formality of John offering him the position and him accepting it.

We played four songs from our list, songs that he and John had previously agreed on which Pat knew already.  John also wanted to try the beginning of "Come Sail Away", which we've never played before, but I've known it forever so I started the piano thang and Pat sang and it sounded great so we kept going.  Bass and drums came in on the second verse as I added some layers to the keys, then the big change when the guitars came in, and we even fumbled through the Ab bridge (I was yelling out chords and stuff) and came back to C and finished it.  And it wasn't bad.  We could add that song to the list now.  I love it when you can just play a song in a band because everyone knows it, or knows it well enough to get through it.  It was pretty cool.

Then we did "Some Kind of Wonderful" by Grand Funk Railroad, and Pat impressed us by adding guitar, and doing it tastefully.  Our general rule is to stick to the original arrangements, but there's no guitar in that song.  He just added scratches and fills, but it was sparse and kept the original feel of the song, and was very nice.  (I'm pretty sure Steve could never have done that.  He tends to overplay everything.)  Then Pat said he'd been working on "Hotel California".  So we did that, too, and it was pretty damned good.  Sure, there are a few spots where the guitarists need to figure out who plays what, but it's already 85% there.  And then, just for fun, "Johnny B. Goode" in A.  Silly, brainless jamming, just because it feels good.

I'm pretty sure we have a new guitarist/singer.

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #266 on: November 21, 2016, 07:46:30 PM »
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That's great news! It's a shame your next band update will probably be about the drummer spontaneously combusting or drowning in his own vomit (or someone's vomit. You can't dust for vomit).

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #267 on: November 21, 2016, 07:46:42 PM »

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #268 on: November 21, 2016, 07:47:02 PM »
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After we finished, JT disappeared for a little while.  He was in so much pain (from the accident a few weeks back) that he was in tears.  But of course as a former Marine, he's manly and could not let us see it.  I honestly do expect him to be the next one to go, if and when that happens.

Pat has officially joined the band!

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #270 on: November 21, 2016, 07:49:13 PM »
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It has begun.  The agent dude who John was talking to, the same guy who asked if we could do the day after Christmas, offered us a one-nighter at a place we eventually want to get into anyway.  December 18, a Friday night in the middle of Christmas craziness, $500.  Even for a fraction of that money, this is a place we want to play.  The owner is actually a neighbor of John's, and when John asked him about playing at his place, he had to talk to the agent dude.  Agent dude just offered us the place.  If we do well, we play there again.

But we don't have four full sets of tunes.  We've got a couple hours, and are adding a third batch now.  Agent dude suggests we play three 45-minute sets, with 25-30 minute breaks in between.  His idea.  Shit, we could do that right now.  So anyway, we're in.  Then if we do well there, and the thing on the 26th, he says he's got some stuff to look at in Q1 2016.  He tends to book a quarter at a time.  Very businesslike.

So... things are happening.  Gigs booked, promise of future gigs with the agent dude who basically owns this county.  We keep him happy, he keeps us working, and everybody's happy.

That is amazing.

Can't make either of those days, but keep me posted.

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #271 on: November 21, 2016, 07:50:55 PM »
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FlashDrive Update!

Pat has officially joined the band, and amidst the holiday craziness, John still feels that we should try to keep some momentum going, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.  The problem of course is that it truly seems like this band is cursed.

We were going to get together a week ago last Saturday, our next regularly scheduled rehearsal, but JT had booked something else that day.  The regular rehearsal schedule probably became tentative once Steve quit and the future was uncertain, and I don't blame JT for booking a catering gig.  He's a chef, and this is income for him, catering a holiday party.  He said he was available that evening.  John sent emails around asking if a weeknight the following week would work.  JT reiterated that Saturday evening was still open.  No one replied for a while.  I think the unspoken consensus was that giving up a Saturday morning to practice was one thing, but giving up a Saturday night was another, which is kinda sad, but that's reality.  This band keeps getting closer and closer to being something, but thus far it is still not a working band, therefore giving up a Saturday night to practice in the basement with fellow losers is tough, especially during the holidays when we all have better things to do.  But no one wanted to say it.

So that Saturday evening came and went without a decision.  The next round of emails started with John again asking about weeknights, and we decided on Monday the 28th (two days ago).  And that day, we got hit with an ice storm.  I swear, this band is cursed.  No way I was driving 10 miles out into the sticks on icy roads, and at least one other person agreed, so I'm glad.  Last night wasn't good, so we settled on tonight.

Yesterday, I noticed my brakes were feeling kinda "squishy" and there's the noise when I go around corners, so I took the car to the shop and called my wife to come pick me up.  My car is one of only two which can hold my keyboards and gear.  I have to check with my son to see if he's using the Durango.  His girlfriend comes back tonight after being gone for six weeks, but I think he said she won't be in til kinda late, and they'll get together tomorrow.  We shall see.

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #272 on: November 21, 2016, 07:51:09 PM »

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #273 on: November 21, 2016, 07:53:02 PM »
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Orbert, I just liked your band's facebook page. Hope to hear you guys soon.

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #274 on: November 21, 2016, 07:53:14 PM »
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Thanks!

At our next practice, we'll be putting together six more tunes, which will bring us back up to 20.  That's how many we had before Steve had his hissy fit and quit the band.  With 20 tunes, we'll at least be able to do split shows and some places which don't require a full four hours of tunes (such as the two gigs we had booked but had to cancel).  Agent Dude says to let him know when we're ready, and he has some places in mind.  He said up front that the #1 thing he wants from bands is honesty and integrity.  Don't take a gig if you're just gonna back out later for some bullshit reason, but if you do have to cancel, give him plenty of notice.  Don't wait until the week before and then say you'd tried to work it out but ultimately couldn't.  It was like two days after he'd set us up with those gigs that John had to call him and back out because Steve quit, but he was cool with it because it was beyond our control, and he had plenty of time to find someone else.

Then the goal of course is to keep adding tunes until we do have a full evening's worth of material, and that gets us better gigs.  Then after that, go back through and add some more interesting/challenging songs and drop the filler.  We've managed to amass a fair amount of actual musical talent in the group, and ultimately our goal is to play songs that are recognizable, but which you rarely hear bar bands playing because they're so hard to play.

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #275 on: November 21, 2016, 07:53:27 PM »
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If you are in need of an additional vocalist or keyboard player, you know who to contact ;)

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #276 on: November 21, 2016, 07:53:39 PM »

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #277 on: November 21, 2016, 07:54:17 PM »
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FlashDrive Update

We have a gig!

February 27, at some dive an hour west of here (and thus a half an hour west of civilization) called Sammy's Bar & Grill.  They know we only have two hours of music, but they think that's just fine.  Okay.  They're also going to pay us $400, and that's definitely okay.

No lights or sound equipment, no stage.  It's one of those "you can set up in the corner there, just move those tables" kinda places, but what the hell.  We need to gig, and it's not big money, but it's better money than the last gig.  We're movin' on up!

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #278 on: November 21, 2016, 07:54:30 PM »
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Awesome! Looking forward to know how it turns out!

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #279 on: November 21, 2016, 07:58:18 PM »
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Found out more about the gig.  The dive bar is hosting some kind of political fundraiser, and we're the "entertainment".  I'm not sure how I feel about this, I just know that somehow it seems to change things.  I've never liked mixing politics with... well, anything really.  I suppose if I like the candidate, then it's cool, but if I don't like the candidate, then I'm helping support someone/something I don't really believe in, and being paid for it.  That makes me something bad and evil which I can't think of the right word for right now.

I don't have any more details.  A gig's a gig, so we're doing it because we need the gig.  The money is nice but isn't the primary motivation here.  We just want to get out and play.  But I'd feel really shitty if we got there and it's some asshole candidate who I honestly don't like or want to support.  Hopefully it's just some local thing that I won't have to give a damn about.  It's in the next county over, so maybe.  Ugh.   :-\