Author Topic: The Saga of Orbert's Band (now with A New Development)  (Read 85662 times)

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Offline Orbert

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (now with A New Development)
« Reply #735 on: August 29, 2023, 09:49:00 PM »
I practiced for an hour anyway.

Offline WilliamMunny

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (now with A New Development)
« Reply #736 on: August 30, 2023, 09:13:30 AM »
I practiced for an hour anyway.

Lol, I literally laughed out loud.

The last couple of posts pretty much sum up my relationship with practicing and rehearsal!

Offline Orbert

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (now with A New Development)
« Reply #737 on: August 30, 2023, 10:20:42 AM »
Yep, kinda sad, yet ultimately understandable and even predictable.  But I needed to.  Three of the songs have actual piano solos in them (piano or guitar solos or other breaks that I take instrumentally) and I did need to brush up on them.  I figured I'd scrape off the rust, then still go early tonight and polish them up a bit.

Patty finally texted me back this morning, saying that apparently she'd only made the changes last week to the copy on her tablet, but she's updated the master list now.  I told her that that doesn't do me any good because I'm getting ready for work now and won't be practicing again before tonight.  I worded it somewhat more politely than that, but that was the gist.

She asked if I was okay just skipping tonight's rehearsal, and I agreed.  We do have six more Wednesdays between now and the gig.  Either she could tell by my tone that I wasn't really up for rehearsal tonight, or she was leaning that way, too.  Either way, I'm fine with it.  I do want the gig to go well, and I'm definitely going to put in my time on the tunes, but I can't help feeling (again) like we're putting in a lot of effort for one gig, which likely won't lead to anything else, and meanwhile we're looking at September/October now with still nothing else on the books.

Patty keeps saying we should just practice every week anyway, to keep in shape, that way we're ready for any gigs that might come up.  Easy for her to say; she's not loading a 25-pound piano into her car, hauling it to work, then to rehearsal, then home again, every week.  I think every other week is sufficient, especially if we're just in "maintenance mode", and for that matter, maybe even once a month.  More often if she comes up with new songs to learn, but as much as I love playing, my time is limited, and I hate feeling like I'm putting in effort toward something with little potential payoff.

Offline Orbert

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (now with A New Development)
« Reply #738 on: September 26, 2023, 04:53:08 PM »
So we skipped rehearsal on the 30th, then got together on Sept 6th to run through Set 3.  This time, the extra week kinduv worked against me, since I kept thinking I had lots of time, and ultimately I never did practice Set 3.  Patty's always looking at new songs, and sent me a few ("What Was I Made For?" and "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue").  My plan was to get to the church early and play through things, but I got out of work a little late and Patty got out a little early, so I only had maybe half an hour before she showed up.  I played through the new songs a few times, and was kinda rusty on the Set 3 tunes, but Patty also was pretty rusty, admitting that she too hadn't really practiced.  Also, she's taking a class now that meets on Tuesday nights, so she's pretty tired by Wednesday night (not my problem, and we're not moving rehearsal night).  So it was kinda bad, but we still have some time, so we decided to go another two weeks, then definitely nail down Sets 1 and 2 on Sept 20.

We have another gig!  Another funeral, sadly enough.  The one earlier this year was the mother-in-law of a guy Patty had played in a band with years ago.  Most arrangements were done through his wife, the daughter of the deceased.  Her brother just passed away.  Poor woman.  But they asked if we'd be willing to do three songs for $200.  Yes.  So we're going to work up "Photograph" by Ringo Starr, "Take Me Home, Country Roads" by John Denver, and good old "Amazing Grace".

I kinda hoped that learning a few new songs would get me fired up about playing/practicing, but so far it hasn't happened, and we have practice again tomorrow.  When we got together on the 20th, after another two-week break, it was clear that we really should be rehearsing every week, because neither of us are great about practicing individually.  If we rehearse every week, then we're at least running through songs every week.  And now we have two more new songs.   We have tomorrow, then two more Wednesday night rehearsals, then the gig on Oct 15.  Then the funeral on Oct 21.

I think something changed somewhere.  Didn't funerals used to be like within a week of someone's passing?  Nowadays, you have a memorial service, but because people need time to make arrangements, it can be weeks or even months after.  If there's an actual funeral (like, with a priest and everything) it's still relatively soon after, but in this case it's a month out.  Heck, I don't know.  Everything's different these days.  Maybe the thing on Oct 21 is really a memorial and not a funeral, but Patty keeps calling it a funeral.  Whatever.

And once again, it strikes me a little funny that we're getting $150 to play for three hours, and $200 for three songs.  Special events are definitely where the money is at.

Offline Orbert

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (now with A New Development)
« Reply #739 on: October 16, 2023, 08:27:10 AM »
So we played the gig yesterday, and it was crazy fun!  But first, let's get caught up.

Two weeks back, as planned, we went through Sets 1 and 2 again, and worked on rough spots.  Last week we worked on Set 3 and rough spots.  Also, we have a new P.A., which we needed to set up and check out prior to the gig.  It's not "new" new, but slightly used by my neighbor Jim, who plays percussion in open jam sessions at one of the bars a few 'burbs over.  He keeps inviting me out to join them, but the band played there once and it's a pain in the ass to get to and park at.  Plus, showing up at an open jam with a piano seems similar to going to an open mike session with a piano; a lot of hauling and setting up/tearing down quickly for not a lot of payoff.

Anyway, at the block party this summer, we were talking music (which tends to happen among musicians) and he asked me if I was still doing my regular Sunday-morning gig, which I am, and if I had anything else going on musically.  I told him about The Patty & Bob Show and how we had a gig coming up in October.  He asked if we had a P.A., because he's got one that he never uses.  He said he'll just give it to me.  Next thing I know, he's wandered off down the street toward his house, and when he came back he just says "I left it on your porch".  I thanked him profusely.  I now own a P.A.?!  When we got home a bit later, it was just a small bag and a pole stand, but hey, for what we're doing, it's fine.

The speaker on the pole at the far right is the P.A.  We run the vocals through it, and in a small room it provides plenty of sound.  The master volume was set at 4.  With that, and running my piano through my amp, we were all set.





So the gig.  As usual, the room was nearly filled with Patty's sister and her friends, and her sister's friends, and it was basically a private party, although there were some unsuspecting locals there as well.  It was kinda funny; this couple we didn't know came in, and when we started the next song ("Nothing Compares 2 U" by Sinead O'Connor) they got up with their drinks and left again.  Okay, I can't blame them for that.

Amazingly, I had six people of my own come out.  That's more than ever came to one of the band gigs.  A former co-worker and his wife, who I've kept in touch with and who came to one of the band gigs; David the lead guitarist from the band and his wife, because they live right nearby; and a couple from church, Mike and Faye.  They're fun, and kinda funny together.  He's a bit "vertically challenged" and she's six feet tall, gorgeous, with long dark hair.  He has long dark hair, too, pulled back and a bit grey, because he's a rock and roller like me.  We've jammed, and he sat in a few times with the church band.  He's the guy who gave me the Melodica.  Anyway, they showed up while we were between songs and he yells "Freebird!" so I started playing it, the piano intro from the live version.  He gets this horrified expression and waves his hands like "No! No!" and I stopped and said "Yeah, you're right."  At the break, he said it was a joke (because you always yell "Freebird!" at live gigs, and I guess it's funnier (?) at something like this) and I said I knew that, but my counter-joke is that I actually start playing it.  Anyway, it was a semi-funny moment.

The gig went well overall, we had people dancing -- that's a first; a result of adding some more up-tempo songs to the list -- and even some of the sing-along songs got some traction.  It helped that it was at a winery on a Sunday afternoon.  A different kinda gig, but not too different I guess from a bar on a Saturday night.  Not nearly as loud, though.   A nice volume.  A good gig.  My split of the Tip Jar was $21, and we split $150 for the gig itself, so nearly $100 for an afternoon.  Not bad at all.

Offline Orbert

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (now with A New Development)
« Reply #740 on: October 16, 2023, 03:36:57 PM »
The owner/manager of the winery has already contacted Patty and told her to "pick a Sunday" meaning that she wants us back already.  I guess a room full of people ordering lots of wine will do that.  Doesn't matter if they're all friends of the band; they're there, they're buying, they're good for business.  The band itself is good for business.  At least that's how I see it.

One of Patty's friends, Lenny, asked me why we never went back to that first place, the micro brewery.  I said he'd have to ask them.  We filled the place, everyone there said we were great, and we thought we were in, but then they got a new manager, blah blah blah excuses, and whatever, they never called us back despite Patty calling them a few more times.  Lenny just shakes his head and goes "No, that's not right.  You should be playing there.  I know the manager, let me talk to him.  I'll get you in there."  And it strikes me that I'm talking to an Italian guy named Lenny who's basically saying he'll take care of it.  But that's just my imagination, I'm sure.  He seems like a good fella, if you know what I mean.

So I could see playing one place every couple of months, and the other every couple of months, staggering them.  We have another dozen or more songs we've worked up, and with some rotating, and adding some new ones, we could come back two months later and not be too repetitive.  Still, I have to remain cautiously optimistic.

Offline Orbert

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (now with A New Development)
« Reply #741 on: October 21, 2023, 08:42:44 PM »
We did the funeral gig today, second one in a few months for the same family.  A few months back, it was the matriarch; today was for the "baby brother" of the family, whose passing was apparently drug-related.  Among the speakers were his older brother and sister.  They were all a little younger than me, a little older than Patty.  Nieces and nephews, aunts and uncles were all there.  It was incredibly sad.

Patty sang beautifully, as always.  Three songs, and three times we could see people crying.  It's a very strange thing, being a musician, seeing tears in reaction to what you're doing.  But we're helping them grieve, facilitating catharthis, whatever you want to call it.  They thanked us for playing, said it was beautiful, etc.  I told them we were glad to be able to help them through this difficult time, or something like that.  It sounded good at the time.

The gift is not the talent.  Anyone can have talent.  The gift is getting to see what it does for people, joy, tears, or anything else.  I did that.  I get to feel good, knowing that I did that.  A gift is meant to be shared.

Offline Orbert

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (now with A New Development)
« Reply #742 on: October 23, 2023, 09:40:14 PM »
Regarding the winery gig, Patty and I talked about dates in January, since December is a pretty busy time for me, and we figured January 7 or 14 would be okay.  Patty sent a text to them asking if either of those dates worked.  Five days later, we haven't heard back.  I sense a pattern.

Offline Orbert

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (now with A New Development)
« Reply #743 on: October 24, 2023, 07:21:47 AM »
Okay, I may have spoken too soon.  Patty is always very good about updating me whenever she hears from a venue, and since I hadn't heard anything, I'd concluded that they never got back to her.  Apparently January 14th is "probably okay", but she has to double-check.  And she hasn't gotten back to Patty again yet.  As always, I'll believe it when there's an actual date on the calendar, and knowing this place, perhaps not even then.  They did confirm the gig in September, then ask us if Oct 15 was okay because something came up.  They never did say what or why.

Fucking venues.  Sure, we need them more than they need us.  So that makes it okay to jerk us around?  WTF happened to basic decency?  It doesn't cost anything to be honest and up-front with people you're doing business with.  If you're so afraid that you'll lose a deal by being honest about it, then maybe try not being a piece of shit to begin with.

Offline Orbert

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (now with A New Development)
« Reply #744 on: November 06, 2023, 08:48:38 PM »
After the funeral gig, we decided to take a week off.  That is, no rehearsal the following Wednesday, but resume the Wednesday after that (November 1) to talk about songs.  I told Patty about the quick rough calculations I'd run; with another dozen songs in the bag, we could drop a few, throw a bunch of others into the mix, add a few new ones, and by time we mix up the order a bit and the fact that it'll be three months later at that point, we're good for a return to the winery.

So we got together last Wednesday and reviewed songs that were in the bag one at some point, picking some to review for this week and deciding which ones were definitely out.  We also picked a few new songs to work up.  I asked Patty if she'd heard back from the winery yet, and she said she hadn't but was going to stop by there on Sunday (yesterday).  Once again, I'm assuming that if there was anything positive, she'd mention it, but I guess I'll find out on Wednesday this week.  And if there's nothing confirmed, I might push for a week off.  I'm just getting so sick of being jerked around.

I like playing, and I like playing with Patty.  But I hate waste of any kind.  Waste of money, waste of resources, waste of effort, waste of time.  And getting together once a week to rehearse "just in case we get a gig" is really close to a waste of time and effort in my mind.  We won't get any gigs if she's not going to hunt them down, and she always says yeah, yeah, she needs to, but she never does.  Could I?  Possibly.  I have no idea where to begin, but I could possibly learn.  But it's not my job, not what I signed up for, and if I started beating the pavement and making phone calls and got nowhere, I'd just be even more pissed off because I'd have wasted even more time and effort.  Three years ago, she said she had places basically lined up and waiting for us.  None of that ever panned out.  Lots of excuses, no actual results.

As you can tell, I'm getting frustrated, again.

Offline Lax

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (now with A New Development)
« Reply #745 on: November 07, 2023, 01:00:39 AM »
From my amateur gigging musician honest point of view :
Considering your level of musicianship, the number of songs and styles you know or learn super fast, I would totally feel like you.
And probably would stop rehearsing if it feels like a waste, could it be of money or time learning nothing.
You can practice regularly and the most important is to get gigs, working hard to learn the song is way more motivated with dates in front of it.

If it was a full band, and even more if it was for writing OG songs, there would be no question, more is more.

But for a covers duo, it's all fun and games, but if the goal is to play gig and get money, then the goal must exist first, so it should be the focus.

Sorry if I sound rude, I'm not in your shoes and as a french guy I sometimes make no sense or sound rude in english :)

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Offline Orbert

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (now with A New Development)
« Reply #746 on: November 07, 2023, 06:51:41 AM »
Lax, that makes perfect sense to me, and does not come across as rude.  You're basically saying the same thing as me, just a bit more directly.  If there are no gigs, then everything else is a waste of time.

Not a complete waste, I suppose.  I like to play, for fun.  The band I joined at the beginning of this thread, nearly ten years ago, was formed just so a bunch of guys could get together every other Saturday and play old songs that we like to play.  There was no goal other than to have fun.  But practice, with the goal of learning to play a song properly, is a lot like work.  And if I'm working, I have to wonder what the payoff is.

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (now with A New Development)
« Reply #747 on: November 07, 2023, 07:05:32 AM »
Lax, that makes perfect sense to me, and does not come across as rude.  You're basically saying the same thing as me, just a bit more directly.  If there are no gigs, then everything else is a waste of time.

Not a complete waste, I suppose.  I like to play, for fun.  The band I joined at the beginning of this thread, nearly ten years ago, was formed just so a bunch of guys could get together every other Saturday and play old songs that we like to play.  There was no goal other than to have fun.  But practice, with the goal of learning to play a song properly, is a lot like work.  And if I'm working, I have to wonder what the payoff is.

For sure, NOT CALLING YOU OUT; I read this thread with great interest and I do feel for you if you're not happy in your situation.

BUT... for me, and maybe it's the keyboard thing since I only have to lug a guitar, but I struggle a bit with part about how playing once a week isn't in itself gratifying.   I know when I was last in a band - Philly - we would practice religiously every Tuesday, hell or high water.  And it was almost funner than the gigs.   Maybe with a duo it's not, I don't have that experience, but nonetheless...

Offline Orbert

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (now with A New Development)
« Reply #748 on: November 07, 2023, 09:54:59 AM »
It's not a huge thing, hauling the keyboard, I admit, but it's something.  The new piano weighs about 25 pounds but my back isn't as young as it used to be.  It's not super heavy but it's bulky and awkward to move.  With the Wednesday evening practices, this means breaking things down Wednesday morning so I can haul it up the stairs and load it into my car.  After work, I head to the church, move it in, set it up, and do the actual rehearsal.  After, I break it down again, head home (tired, hungry) around 8:00 or 8:30 PM, move it all inside again, down the stairs, then finally get to eat dinner.  That's a lot of work to play a bunch of songs that I don't even like.

Maybe that's the biggest difference between this little project and the band.  With the band, it started as just getting together to play songs we liked.  It was only after we started getting really good that we started talking about gigging out.  As personnel changed and goals changed, we gradually added more and more songs that honestly I would not listen to if they came on the radio, but it was a great band and most of the songs were genuinely fun to play, and that made it worth the effort.

With Patty, the premise was that she already had some places to play, all we needed to do was work up some tunes.  It was a format I like, with a singer I like, so I was in.  It's fun working with her, no doubt.  But I have other musical outlets, so I'm not doing it just to satisfy my jones.  If I wasn't singing in the choir and playing with the church band every week, I'd be more hungry to something musically.  Also, let's face it, most of the keyboard parts on songs you hear in bars are not particularly challenging.  Build up a nice patch, play the right notes, and it will sound great.  I could show up for rehearsal stoned as hell and I was still the best musician in the room.  I had my parts down.  Not bragging (okay, maybe a little) but providing context.

With Patty, I'm the "band".  It's all me.  I'm not just learning parts, I'm taking songs originally recorded by a full band and finding ways to emulate all that on just a piano.  I do like the challenge, and I can usually meet it, but it's a lot of work.  As with any endeavor, there's a cost/benefit ratio, and it feels like it's reaching the point where the effort involved isn't worth the payoff.

Offline Orbert

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (now with A New Development)
« Reply #749 on: November 08, 2023, 04:27:03 PM »
Two developments.  1) The winery finally confirmed that we're booked for January 14.  Yes!!  Of course, I'll still believe it once we're actually there playing the gig, but it's nice to know that they finally bothered calling Patty back.

2) It occurred to me that we still have the electronic piano at the church that I can use.  I didn't like the idea of using the church piano before because it has fully weighted keys and weighs probably close to 100 pounds.  But pulling it out of Shirley's office and setting it up, then putting it back when we're done, is still significantly less work than hauling my piano and the two breakdown/setups that happen each time.  I can leave my piano set up in the basement and just take my music folders.

So now I feel better about rehearsals, or at least I have one big reason to dislike them less.  And we actually have a gig.  Patty and I will rehearse next week, then skip the following week because Wednesday the 22nd is "Thanksgiving Eve" which is not really a holiday obviously but my daughter will be visiting and we already know she can't make it home for Christmas.  Since she's only going to be with us a few days, I'm going to spend as much time with her as I can.  Then there are seven Wednesday nights between then and January 14th.  That's plenty of time to work up another set.  We already have four new songs picked out and 11 "maybes" from the existing list that we didn't play there last time which we'll review and hopefully keep some.

Offline hefdaddy42

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (now with A New Development)
« Reply #750 on: November 12, 2023, 08:25:59 AM »
Sorry I haven't checked this thread in a little while, but this shit right here is gold, Bob.

The gift is not the talent.  Anyone can have talent.  The gift is getting to see what it does for people, joy, tears, or anything else.  I did that.  I get to feel good, knowing that I did that.  A gift is meant to be shared.
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 (now with A New Development)
« Reply #751 on: November 12, 2023, 05:22:50 PM »
It took me a long, long time to work that one out.  And okay, I was a little bit proud of it when it finally came to me.  The world is not a better place because I can play the piano; the world is a better place because I can play something and move people.  Make them laugh, or cry, or remember, or forget.  None of that happens if I keep it to myself.  It has to be for someone else.  I spent the first 50 years of my life doing it wrong.  I was doing it for me, to feed my ego.  It's not about me.

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (now with A New Development)
« Reply #752 on: November 12, 2023, 06:14:31 PM »
I spent the first few decades of my life being an insufferable asshole.  I'm still an asshole, but at least now I actively try not to be.  All through school, test scores and teachers and awards kept telling me how smart I am, and once I discovered that I apparently have musical talent as well, it was game over.  A modicum of talent combined with my natural tendency to show off, and I was constantly looking for ways to feed my ego.  It felt good in that young-man-asshole kind of way.  Church and school talent shows, solo and ensemble competitions, whatever I could do.  Until I got to college and was no longer the big fish in a small pond, but instead was just another guy with mediocre talent somewhere in the middle of the scale.  That was a cold dose of reality.

So now the challenge is to keep that all in check, not let people know that I'm secretly getting off on them thinking I'm pretty cool.  No, no, just smile humbly and say "Thank you, that's so kind" at all the right times.  My wife calls me the most arrogant humble person she's ever met, because she knows that inside, I'm totally digging it, but outside I just smile humbly and say "Thank you, that's so kind".

One time at band practice, we got through a particularly tough song with a bunch of keyboard stuff and at the end, some of the others were going "Bob, that was fucking great" and so on.  I smiled humbly and said Thanks, because my wife says that's what you're supposed to do.  But the band would not accept that.  "Seriously, you're a great keyboard player, the best I've ever played with" and shit like that.  They wouldn't stop!  So I said "But that's because you've never played in band with a decent keyboard player before.  Right?"  And I looked around and said "Who's played in a band with a decent keyboard player?" and only like two or three had actually played in a band with a keyboard player in the first place.  "See?  That's because there's only like five of us in the tri-county area.  Most guys who can play keyboards are actually playing professionally, not in bar bands.  I'm just too stupid and lazy to go pro."  Now they're not sure where this is going.

"Look, let's be generous and say I'm maybe the third-best in the area.  But there's only five of us, so that also makes me the third worst.  You're playing with the third-worst keyboard player in the tri-county area!  And you think I'm good?!  I mean thanks, really, but let's not get carried away."  Now they're downright confused because somehow I'd "mathematically proven" that I'm one of the worst keyboard players around, when a second ago they thought I was pretty great.  Ha!  I love doing shit like that.

Offline Indiscipline

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (now with A New Development)
« Reply #753 on: November 13, 2023, 03:49:58 AM »
Great stuff

I love the way you managed to conceal your declared tendency to show off musical talent ... by showing off logical talent. Brilliant.

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (now with A New Development)
« Reply #754 on: November 13, 2023, 07:07:46 AM »
It's fun.  I'm always looking for new challenges, new things to do, to amuse myself.  When I stumbled across the idea of denying or at least minimizing myself in response to praise, it opened up all kinds of possibilities.  Yeah, people do get confused sometimes, but it's harmless.  If people think highly of me, well, I can't help that because I'm not going to stop doing what I do.  But if they think highly of me and are also confused by how I can't see it, or actively deny it, then that's even better.  I still get to feed my ego, soak up those compliments, and they walk away thinking "... and he's so humble, too."  Ha ha!  Fooled 'em again.

Offline Lax

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (now with A New Development)
« Reply #755 on: November 14, 2023, 12:20:31 AM »
I totally relate to you as an arrogant humble :D
I am calm and reliable, but in the inside I like people to watch me or thank me...

On the other hand, this feeling of shining is a drug, you can't imagine not having a shining moment for a long period :)
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Offline Orbert

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (now with A New Development)
« Reply #756 on: November 15, 2023, 11:04:33 AM »
It definitely is.  I've been a horrible showoff for as long as I can remember.  If we go somewhere and there's a piano, I have to play it.  It partly because I really do want to play it, see how it sounds.  But if there's anyone around, part of me is going "Hey, check this out!"  People are usually quite gracious about it, they say it's nice that someone can really play and they get to hear some nice music.  So I justify it by telling myself that I was doing it at least partly for them.  But I'm doing it for me.  Gotta have that shining moment once in a while, gotta be the star.  Then I smile humbly and say "Thanks, I'm glad you liked it."

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (now with A New Development)
« Reply #757 on: November 30, 2023, 02:49:32 PM »
Rehearsal on the 15th didn't happen.  Patty texted me that morning asking if we could postpone (again) because she was feeling stressed.  Okay.  I mentioned that I'll keep working on the four new songs and the 11 "maybes" and we can work on them on the 29th, reminding her again that we're not rehearsing on Thanksgiving Eve, the 22nd.

So we rehearsed last night, and somehow despite at least two texts from me specifically mentioning "the four new songs", she somehow only worked on three of them and forgot about the other one we'd picked.  The one she'd suggested that I'd never even heard of before, but was ready to play two weeks ago, and again last night.  Really?

With the band, John always erred on the side of overcommunicating rather than risking confusion because someone didn't realize something or forgot we'd decided something or whatever.  After each rehearsal, he sent an email recapping what we'd worked on, what was good, what still needs work, and what we'd decided to work on next time.  And a few days before each rehearsal, he'd send another email reminding us that we have a rehearsal coming and when, and what songs to have ready.  No room for error unless you're just plain stupid.  I'd thought about this many times in the past couple of years, and come close to saying something to Patty, but I wasn't sure how she'd take it.

Finally last night, I said "Look, I've been thinking about something..." and she got a worried look and said "Oh, no..." and I said I hoped it wasn't too horrible, what I was about to say, and then told her about John's emails.  With seven people in the band, he had to be hyper-organized to stay on top of things, and I believe his "business-like" approach to running the band is a big part of why we were so successful.  But I was afraid to suggest it to Patty because there's only two of us, so it would be pretty obvious which one of us was IMO the disorganized one who needs constant reminders.  I mean, we text back and forth between rehearsals, sometimes a lot, and I try to mention the songs we're working on so she can't say "Oh, I didn't realize..." but it happens anyway.  Seriously, take three minutes to actually read the text, all of it.  I mentioned four songs, you mentioned four songs at the last rehearsal, I mentioned four songs again... how can you show up at rehearsal thinking we had only picked three new songs?

Anyway, she surprised me by enthusiastically saying "Yes!  Please do that!"  She wants me to send the recaps and notes and reminders because she knows (and admits) that she's completely disorganized and needs it.  Well, that's a relief.  So earlier today I sent a recap of last night's rehearsal, what we covered, what we didn't, and what we'll work on next time.  Let's see if it helps.

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (now with A New Development)
« Reply #758 on: December 01, 2023, 02:11:39 AM »
What I do for everything : Google drive excel sheet shared with related persons.
From accounting to band practice song list, it only takes a minute to color green/red, put comments...

Even with the wildest punk band I had, we had a map to not get lost :)
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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (now with A New Development)
« Reply #759 on: December 01, 2023, 07:32:54 AM »
It's a good idea.  Everyone's busy, everyone has 100 things going on in their lives (well, maybe not everyone), but if you keep a record of things and establish that this will be how we keep track of everything, then at the very least no one has an excuse for not knowing.  I just didn't think we'd need it since it's only the two of us and we text back and forth a lot (IMO).  Also, she's the one who set up the online song list with different pages for set lists, including all of our past gigs so we can check and see which songs we've done already, etc.  She set it up before we'd even started practicing together because Covid was still raging in 2021 when we first started and has been adding to it.  So I guess I assumed that she was pretty organized and this was an example of it.  But we've had too many instances of me showing up for rehearsal ready to go with all the songs we'd said we'd work on, and there being at least one song she "didn't remember" or "didn't realize" that we'd decided on.  And again, this is usually despite having mentioned the songs by name, or at least how many of them, in multiple texts.

I thought I was being polite by not mentioning every song by name every time.  That just seems like overkill.  There are only two of us; read your damned messages!  But okay, I'm officially the scribe.  For as long as this little venture continues...

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (now with A New Development)
« Reply #760 on: December 01, 2023, 07:39:18 AM »
Mmmmm. Given the volume of communication you're describing, I'd say she's deliberately deciding what she doesn't "remember" or "realise".

 

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (now with A New Development)
« Reply #761 on: December 01, 2023, 01:37:40 PM »
It almost seems like that, doesn't it?  But this is her endeavor, the act that she put together and recruited me into.  And the song she forgot (?) about is one that she brought up and added to the list.  Then four weeks later, she didn't realize or didn't remember that we were adding it?  It just seems bizarre to sabotage your own efforts that way, if that's what she's doing, and it's annoying for me of course.

She's very intelligent, but also a bit of a flake, so I could still attribute it to her just being an airhead and disorganized.  So that's what I'm gonna do, at least for now.  The online set list was her idea, but perhaps that's because she knows she needs that kind of thing to help keep organized, and it only has limited effectiveness, whereas I took it as a sign of how organized I thought she was.  I don't know.

At some point, if/when carrying on with the act becomes more of a hassle than I think it's worth, I'll back out.  I came close a year ago, suggested a break, and we took it.  If the winery thing somehow becomes a regular gig, that would be one reason to continue, although playing once every two or three months isn't quite a full load.  I'd like to see other stuff in there, but I can also use the fact that we're only playing every couple of months as a reason (or an excuse) to cut back the rehearsal schedule.  We've kinda done that a bit recently anyway, between being busy and/or stressed.

Anyway, to your point, if she's intentionally sabotaging the group, that just strikes me as really bizaare, unless it's subconscious or something.  And ultimately, it's weird but the "why" doesn't actually matter that much to me.  It comes down to whether or not dealing with it is worth it for me, and for now it is.

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (now with A New Development)
« Reply #762 on: December 01, 2023, 02:02:13 PM »
Well, I wasn’t suggesting self-sabotage, even though it would be a fascinating wrinkle. I was thinking, especially if the “forgotten” songs are always the same ones, she may be a bit self-conscious about the way she performs them, or maybe they’re tunes exposing some shortcomings of hers and she might fear a skilled musician’s judgement.

Forgive me for snooping, but I am really intrigued by the situation!

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (now with A New Development)
« Reply #763 on: December 01, 2023, 02:23:44 PM »
It almost seems like that, doesn't it?  But this is her endeavor, the act that she put together and recruited me into.  And the song she forgot (?) about is one that she brought up and added to the list.  Then four weeks later, she didn't realize or didn't remember that we were adding it?  It just seems bizarre to sabotage your own efforts that way, if that's what she's doing, and it's annoying for me of course.

She's very intelligent, but also a bit of a flake, so I could still attribute it to her just being an airhead and disorganized.  So that's what I'm gonna do, at least for now.  The online set list was her idea, but perhaps that's because she knows she needs that kind of thing to help keep organized, and it only has limited effectiveness, whereas I took it as a sign of how organized I thought she was.  I don't know.

At some point, if/when carrying on with the act becomes more of a hassle than I think it's worth, I'll back out.  I came close a year ago, suggested a break, and we took it.  If the winery thing somehow becomes a regular gig, that would be one reason to continue, although playing once every two or three months isn't quite a full load.  I'd like to see other stuff in there, but I can also use the fact that we're only playing every couple of months as a reason (or an excuse) to cut back the rehearsal schedule.  We've kinda done that a bit recently anyway, between being busy and/or stressed.

Anyway, to your point, if she's intentionally sabotaging the group, that just strikes me as really bizaare, unless it's subconscious or something.  And ultimately, it's weird but the "why" doesn't actually matter that much to me.  It comes down to whether or not dealing with it is worth it for me, and for now it is.

My step son is very bright and the kindest person you'll ever meet. He'd forget his penis if it wasn't attached to him.  Some people just have blind spots in that way; you'd hope they wrote things down or consulted their texts, but not everyone works that way.

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (now with A New Development)
« Reply #764 on: December 01, 2023, 02:55:50 PM »
Forgive me for snooping, but I am really intrigued by the situation!

Feel free to comment.  I'm putting this all out there not just for posterity (whatever form that might take) but also to invite discussion.  I don't have anyone to really talk about this with, so the Musicians board on DTF is my sounding board.

My step son is very bright and the kindest person you'll ever meet. He'd forget his penis if it wasn't attached to him.  Some people just have blind spots in that way; you'd hope they wrote things down or consulted their texts, but not everyone works that way.

Yep, I know that there are people like that, and that includes myself sometimes, so I give her the benefit of the doubt.

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (now with A New Development)
« Reply #765 on: December 04, 2023, 06:55:20 AM »
Forgive me for snooping, but I am really intrigued by the situation!

Feel free to comment.  I'm putting this all out there not just for posterity (whatever form that might take) but also to invite discussion.  I don't have anyone to really talk about this with, so the Musicians board on DTF is my sounding board.

Please don't stop; I read this religiously.  I don't always have a lot to offer, since it's a personal interaction, more often than not, but it's an interesting read, and has been since day one.

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (now with A New Development)
« Reply #766 on: December 06, 2023, 07:39:33 AM »
I got contacted yesterday, via the band/musician hookup site, by a gospel group looking for a keyboard player.  I still have nothing in my profile saying I'm looking for a gig, but I probably have something to the effect that I'll consider just about anything (because that's true).  I checked out their profile, and they're based in one of the less desirable suburbs in the area.  There's a group picture and, not surprisingly, it's an all-black ensemble.

First thought: Goddammit, I'm a racist after all.  I would not want to be in that part of town at night.  I've been through there during the day and wasn't 100% comfortable.  I'm sure these are all good people, but there has to be a better choice than me for this gig.

Second thought: Why me?  Oh yeah, I included Contemporary Christian Music among the Genres in my profile, and that's probably close enough if they're desperate enough.

Third thought: No really, it's not about race.  One of my co-workers back in Maryland had me audition for their ensemble.  He's black, it was a gospel group, and I totally sucked.  I tried to groove; I really did.  But you know what's worse than a white guy trying to play gospel for the first time?  An Asian guy.  Okay, maybe it is about race.  Mine, not theirs.  I'll play with anybody, but there is still such thing as a good fit, and I'm not it.  If I took this gig, they would stop looking for a keyboard player, at least temporarily, and we'd all waste our time figuring out that I can't groove.  Meanwhile I'd drive up to a scary area one night a week for rehearsals.

I told them the truth.  I already have one musical project going, and that's outside of my regular commitments to the church choir and instrumental ensemble, so I'm not currently looking for any new musical endeavors.  And since that's all true, I have a really good shot at convincing myself that those are the real reasons why I'm not interested in the gig.  And maybe they are.  I did try the gospel thing once, with pretty disastrous results, so I can even tell myself that it wouldn't have worked anyway.

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (now with A New Development)
« Reply #767 on: December 06, 2023, 07:48:12 AM »
I got contacted yesterday, via the band/musician hookup site, by a gospel group looking for a keyboard player.  I still have nothing in my profile saying I'm looking for a gig, but I probably have something to the effect that I'll consider just about anything (because that's true).  I checked out their profile, and they're based in one of the less desirable suburbs in the area.  There's a group picture and, not surprisingly, it's an all-black ensemble.

First thought: Goddammit, I'm a racist after all.  I would not want to be in that part of town at night.  I've been through there during the day and wasn't 100% comfortable.  I'm sure these are all good people, but there has to be a better choice than me for this gig.

Second thought: Why me?  Oh yeah, I included Contemporary Christian Music among the Genres in my profile, and that's probably close enough if they're desperate enough.

Third thought: No really, it's not about race.  One of my co-workers back in Maryland had me audition for their ensemble.  He's black, it was a gospel group, and I totally sucked.  I tried to groove; I really did.  But you know what's worse than a white guy trying to play gospel for the first time?  An Asian guy.  Okay, maybe it is about race.  Mine, not theirs.  I'll play with anybody, but there is still such thing as a good fit, and I'm not it.  If I took this gig, they would stop looking for a keyboard player, at least temporarily, and we'd all waste our time figuring out that I can't groove.  Meanwhile I'd drive up to a scary area one night a week for rehearsals.

I told them the truth.  I already have one musical project going, and that's outside of my regular commitments to the church choir and instrumental ensemble, so I'm not currently looking for any new musical endeavors.  And since that's all true, I have a really good shot at convincing myself that those are the real reasons why I'm not interested in the gig.  And maybe they are.  I did try the gospel thing once, with pretty disastrous results, so I can even tell myself that it wouldn't have worked anyway.

Man, every word of this post resonated with me.

Well, save for the gospel band.

Had the same thing happen about a decade ago...the band rehearsed in, for lack of a better word, an abandoned warehouse (no, really) in a really sketchy neighborhood.

The members of the band all lived in the area, and obviously did not feel that their backyard was all that bad. Still, I went to one rehearsal, and by the time I was driving home, I was already crafting a mental list of reasons I wouldn't be going back.

It had nothing to do with race, but it really had everything to do with race, in that I wouldn't last 5 minutes in their part of town (a fear based on the fact that I clearly don't look like I belong in the inner city).

Its moments like that that remind me how cushy my suburban upbringing really was.

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (now with A New Development)
« Reply #768 on: December 06, 2023, 09:33:45 AM »
It's been a strange thing, growing up in a 99% WASP area, and now living in a 90% white area, but not being white.  Since I'm not black, and also not Latino, a lot of people just group me in with the whites when it comes to considerations of race.  Many don't, though.  I've heard other people say things like "You don't want to mess with him, they all know Kung-Fu and shit" which is kinda funny because I don't, but hey, I'll play the race card if someone hands it to me.  Maybe I'd be safe in that neighborhood because "they all know Kung-Fu and shit" but if anything actually started, I'm a goner.  So yeah, maybe that just makes me more of a coward than anything else.  A victim of my cushy suburban upbringing, as you say.

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (now with A New Development)
« Reply #769 on: December 07, 2023, 09:37:16 PM »
Bob, I've seen your pics.

You'd probably be safe, pal. And black gospel groups are hella fun to play with.
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