Author Topic: The Saga of Orbert's Band (now with A New Development)  (Read 36612 times)

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Offline Stadler

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band
« Reply #665 on: April 29, 2021, 07:05:25 AM »
What's going to be your angle?   "The Admiral and Patty" and you wear a sailor's cap?   :)   "Her & He" like Zooey Deschanel's duo?  "The Sheetrockers" and you pretend to be brother and sister like Karen and Richard?   :)

Offline Orbert

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band
« Reply #666 on: April 29, 2021, 11:11:14 AM »
"The Admiral and Patty" and you wear a sailor's cap?   :)   "Her & He" like Zooey Deschanel's duo?  "The Sheetrockers" and you pretend to be brother and sister like Karen and Richard?   :)
You are a silly person.

I'm not going to impersonate an officer, and we would never pass for brother and sister, so that wouldn't work either.  Patty thought we should come up with a name for the act, but I was assuming we would gig under her name.  She's the singer; I'm just the piano player.  Anywhere we go, any place we play, they'll see her up there, singing, and it's her singing that will make or break the act.  Yeah, there's some Asian guy playing the piano too, but he's just the piano player.

I told her that if she really wants to give me some kind of recognition, we could gig as "Patty and Bob".  Simple, even kinda catchy.  If I take a solo here or there, it would fit, since I'm named in the act.  But really, this is her gig.  Right now, I'm just psyched to be making music with someone, just as I was fine jamming in John's basement seven years ago, before it became a commercial enterprise.

Offline Orbert

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (now with A New Development)
« Reply #667 on: May 02, 2021, 12:32:51 PM »
First practice went really well.

Had an address and a general idea where her place is; Google Maps took me to a row of townhouse/condos, the kind with their own single-car garage and a bit of space both upstairs and down.  She was standing out front of the open garage, gesturing for me to just park there across the street.  Perfect, because I load and unload from the driver's side.  Inside the garage, about half of it is covered by a big woven mat of some kind.  Kinda like burlap, but big and thick, almost like wicker.  It was 75 degrees, sunny and breezy, so this was perfect.  She's got a stand and a chair at one end, I set up my piano at the other end of the mat.  No masks; we're both fully vaccinated.  It was comfortable in the garage.  Perfect weather.

Chatted a bit as I set up, chatted in between songs, got to know each other a bit.  She lives there alone with her bird, Pete.  She's single, and straight (she shared an anectdote where that information was important).  In a little under three hours, we got through all 17 songs, most a couple of times, some took a little more work, but overall it went smoothly.  We'd agreed via messenger beforehand that we're doing "covers" to start with, meaning original key, original arrangement as much as possible, except with only a single vocalist and me being the band.  Some of the songs have guitar solos or little breaks in them, so I covered them, and we made notes about things that we'll have to iron out later.  For example, "Love Hurts" by Nazareth has a guitar solo, but it's only half the verse and the vocals come back in for the second half of the verse, so you can't just cut out the solo; structurally it wouldn't work.  And if you cut the whole verse, you don't get the lead back into the final chorus.  So we have to figure that out.

Overall though, pretty good session.  We'll be getting together again the three weeks, Saturday afternoon again.  By then we'll probably have a few more songs on the list, and of course it'll be good to run through everything again anyway.  Her friend says we should need about 20 songs and we could do two sets with a break in between.  That seems kinda light, even considering that there will be a little talking or brief moments of down time between songs.  I have the 17 songs on my iPod, and the playlist is only 63 minutes total, so I'm thinking we'll need closer to 25 songs.  And of course, the more the better.  As we go, we can weed out the songs that don't seem to be working, but for right now, getting the numbers up is probably more important.  Bulk up first, then we can refine.

Offline Stadler

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (now with A New Development)
« Reply #668 on: May 03, 2021, 07:49:27 AM »
That sounds awesome.   Hope we can hear something at some point (for those of us that can't really get to see you live).

Offline Orbert

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (now with A New Development)
« Reply #669 on: June 16, 2021, 05:23:21 PM »
We got together again on May 22, as scheduled, and worked through 10 more songs.  After that, we were going to go back to the original list and work on certain things, but by time we were done with the 10 from the list, we didn't really feel like it.  It was sunny and getting kinda hot in her garage.  Also, she lives right by the lake and spends most hours most weekends out on the water, so she was fine just calling it a day.  I don't blame her; if I lived there I'd be out in the boat all the time, too.

She'd been chatting up this new musical adventure on Facebook, and asking for song suggestions.  I didn't realize it, but most of the 10 songs she'd picked for the new batch were suggestions from her friends.  I was impressed by the variety, and that they're all pretty good songs, most of which I'd never heard of, mostly by singers I'd never heard of.  She said a lot of them were new to her, too, which surprised me, and that's what led to her mentioning that that's how she'd picked the songs.  For songs that neither of us even knew a few weeks earlier, we ended up with pretty good versions, mostly performance-ready.  I worked my ass off to be ready (as usual), and okay, I think I'm still trying to impress her with my mad skills on the keys.  It worked.  She mentioned a few times how great it sounds, and sometimes followed it with an apology for not quite having some of the timings nailed down.  I wasn't pissed or anything, barely annoyed, but I was surprised that she'd picked the songs and didn't know them well enough to sing them.  I mean, being that she's a professional singer and all.  It made more sense when she said that some of the songs were new to her, too.

Anyway, we set June 5 as our next practice, which gave us two weeks.  The idea was to polish up the 27 songs we have so far, and add one song that we both mentioned we loved ("Someone Saved My Life Tonight" by Elton John), and run through them, then pick three for our Open Mic/Audition which she keeps saying her friend can get us.  Work has been insane lately, I had taken a four-day Memorial Day weekend, and by Wenesday that week, I hadn't touched the songs yet.  I had choir rehearsal Thursday, and Fridays are usually spent with Mrs. Orbert, so I texted Patty and asked her if there was any way we could do the 12th instead.  She answered Yes, and added that she was glad I asked because work has been crazy for her, too, and she wasn't ready either.

At choir rehearsal the next night, I'm reminded that the choir is performing on June 12 at the memorial for one of our fallen members.  The service is at 2:00 PM, so unless I want to get up early Saturday morning (and suggest to Patty that she do the same), it's not gonna work.  But... crap, I'm the one who suggested the 12th.  I can't text her back and move it again, pushing it off another week.  That's lame.  But last week, she texted me and apologized, saying there's no way she can do it.  She just hasn't had any time to run through the songs.  Whew!  I was off the hook.  I told her Yes and that I was actually relieved, because I'd forgotten about the memorial but didn't know how to bring it up.

So that would've been last Saturday, three weeks since our previous rehearsal.  I'm actually working on tunes this week.  Work still sucks, but I'm not getting any answers or any support, so fuck 'em.  I'm not gonna put in overtime and bust my ass or anything, not when there are tunes to work on.  I got a text from Patty earlier today, again apologizing, and asking if there's any way we can move rehearsal to Sunday.  Work is still hellacious, and she just wants to collapse on Saturday.  Her words.  Well, shit.  Sundays are off-limits.  Mrs. O works on Saturdays, so Sunday is our only day to spend together.  I told Patty that.  I kinda lied, though.  My Sunday afternoon nap is what's sacred and what I do not pre-empt for rehearsal.

I gotta admit, I'm losing a little bit of the enthusiasm I had for this project.  I like the songs, I want to play, but it's not my project; it's hers.  I'm having trouble justifying in my head putting in the practice for rehearsals and gigs that may never come.  I had to push rehearsal once, but she's pushed it twice since then.  We'll see what happens the next few days.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2021, 05:28:26 PM by Orbert »

Offline Stadler

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (now with A New Development)
« Reply #670 on: June 17, 2021, 09:20:10 AM »
I thought you were going in a different direction.  :)

Offline Orbert

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (now with A New Development)
« Reply #671 on: June 17, 2021, 10:58:08 AM »
I'm curious what direction you thought I was going in.  I'm basically just spewing out my thoughts on what happened, so if it seems that I'm leading up to something, it's completely unintentional.  So I'm curious.  I too have no idea where all of this is going, if anywhere. :lol

I told Patty that Sunday was a No, and while relating this to Mrs. Orbert, she reminded me that Sunday is Father's Day.  I've been a father for nearly 30 years now, and I still think of Father's Day as a day to recognize my father, not a day for me.  The missus always reminds me that as a father, I at least get to pick what we have for dinner or where we go.  Okay, I'll take it.

So anyway, I told Patty that Sunday was a No, and went on to remark that this is harder than scheduling rehearsals for the band, and we had seven people.  Saturdays, in my mind, are the day that bands practice.  Why?  I guess because weeknights are nuts, and Sunday is the day of rest (to nap and prepare for the upcoming work week), so that leaves only Saturday.  Preferably in the afternoon because it's also my one day to sleep in, but I'll drag my ass out of bed at 8:00 for a 10:00 rehearsal if that's how it is.  She apologized for how difficult it's been to schedule practices.  She tossed the idea out there of maybe trying a weeknight, since she drives past my town on her way home.  I didn't know that.  I don't know where she works or what she does, but she lives an hour away from me, so if she drives past me on her way home, that's a hell of a commute.  The problem is that we can't practice at my house.  It's an open floor plan.  You can walk in the front door, through the living room and dining room, into the kitchen, up or down the stairs, all without going through any doors or doorways.  The only doors are bedroom doors and bathroom doors.  So basically, if someone is playing music anywhere in the house, the whole house hears it.  This precludes, for example, us rehearsing in the basement while my wife watches TV upstairs, because there's no way she doesn't hear it, and if she turns up the TV to where she can hear it, we'll hear the TV.  The house just isn't that big; we'd actually only be about 30 feet from each other, with nothing in between to dampen the sound.

So it's the frustration that's getting to me.  I'm still into it, for now, but we really need to have something happen soon.  And as I said, it's her project; she wanted to do this, she contacted me.  Now she's pushed two rehearsals in a row because she hadn't had time to do her homework.