Album Release Recap

January 21st, 2007

Last night we played an album release show for our latest platter "Bless My Soul" at the Dominion Tavern. What follows is a top to bottom (but probably very incomplete) recap of the evening's events...

After unloading the gear at the club and getting acquainted with the sound man, we downed the requisite bottle of 50 while we tried to warm up our frozen bits and pieces. When we finished our beers we stood around and stared at the empty stage for a bit. It sure was a sight to be seen. Unfortunately we couldn't locate the sound guy so we didn't know what we were supposed to be doing, so we decided to grab some grub instead and hoped that everything would work itself out while we were gone.

So we went out looking a fitting establishment where we could celebrate our accomplishments as a band on this, the evening of our album release show. I was gunning for Zak's but no takers so we settled on one of the 6000 pubs in the market instead. I can't remember which one... Donny O'Molly's Double Pourlander I think.

Anyways, Chris got right into it and explained to us for half an hour why he systematically regretted voting for Larry O'Brien for mayor. While his arguments were reasonable and valid, I couldn't help but wonder how Mr O'Brien keeps his Lex Luther-like dome so shiny. Was it turtle wax or some kind of specially formulated polish recommended to him by Howie Mandel? That's one for the ages. After chowing down on fish and chips and bangers and mash, and listening to Trevor recount the story of walking into the bathroom and being faced with a guy in a cowboy hat pissing into the urinal "side saddle" so that he was facing Trevor but pissing sideways, we decided we should head back to the club to see how things were going.

On the way back we just about got run over by some jerk in a station wagon. Looked like it was a band, but I didn't get a good look at them. Anyways - soon after we got into the club to find JP setting up his monster Gretsch kit, Garaga walked in telling us some crazy story about almost hitting some jaywalking yoyo right in front of the club.

Fast forward to 10:30. The aforementioned Garaga hit the stage and give the Dom crowd a double guitar kick in the face. This was their first show ever but you couldn't tell. They were some kind of tight and their seriously grooving (and sometimes metal-ish) tunes had the place kickin' for their full set. If those two girls' homo-erotic dancing right in front of the stage was any indication, Garaga's material was very well received.

Next up was Tokyo Sex Whale. On the geetar we have Yogi (of Yogi's Meatlocker, who recorded "Bless My Soul" over the last 8-9 months) and on drums we have JP (of many, many other bands and head music man at local rag Upfront). On bass we have a lady that can play a mean 4-string and has some serious pipes to back it up. TSW haven't been around too long but this was the 2nd time I'd seen them. Their heavy stoner sound was a big hit and I was quite impressed with how good they've become in such a short time. They play like a veteran act, but with a lot of balls and bite.

Trevor, realizing that we had very likely been upstaged by our two opening acts, pleaded with me to sneak out with him and bail on the show. After a fury of face slaps he came to his senses and ordered a rocket of 50... which he began to pound with a brand new resolve. The old Trevor had returned. And by old, I mean he's 30 now. Fuck that's old.

Anyways, it was getting late and we didn't want to kill the momentum so we quickly set our gear up on stage and prepared with our usual hand holding and trust exercises to get us mentally, physically and spiritually equipped to handle the show.

We hit the tiny stage and started peeling through tunes from the new record and our EP from a couple years ago. The energy was good, the strings weren't breaking and as far as I could tell people seemed to be digging it. The on-stage sound was a bit shite and I basically had to point my amp at my head from about 6 feet away so that I could hear my guitar. At the time it seemed like a good idea but today I'm realizing that human ears weren't designed to handle that kind of sound amplitude for a solid hour. On top of losing 90% of my hearing in that ear, I can't balance myself any more and I fear that I will never be able to swim underwater in the deep end again.

About two-thirds of the way through the set, during our song "Bleedin' Heart", Trev and I had planned this stunt inspired by the Sadies where we basically play each other's guitars at the same time. We each pick our own strings but we have our hand on the other's guitar neck. The visual pizazz and trickery of this maneuver is something to behold and when done properly it looks pretty kick ass. To prepare for this, Trevor and I had been practicing diligently - I walk up behind him and we snake our arms around each other's guitars and BAM... magic happens. Anybody who's seen a Sadies show knows what I'm talking about. This move rules.

So, the time came for Trev and I to attempt this ourselves. Admittedly, I was a bit nervous. This was a difficult stunt and between the nerves and mine and Trevor's moderate inebriation, I knew it would be really tough to pull it off smoothly. I positioned myself behind Trevor to begin and we gave each other the nod to go for it. I reached under his guitar neck and grabbed onto his strings and... SHIT!! ZAP!! At first I thought it was the awesome rock energy of this riff-switching stunt that was coursing through my hand... WRONG... it was 110 volts of electricity. Some kind of polarity or grounding problem on stage had created a pathway for for the current to pass between our guitars... via the conduit provided by my fingers and arms... SON OF A BITCH THAT HURTS!! I could only assume Trev was experiencing the same crippling pain as we tried to play through it like the dedicated showmen we are. No dice... we pulled out early and regrouped. We tried again, but same deal.... BAAAMM!! YOUCH!! We got a couple good bars in, so all was not lost.

However, for the rest of the set every time Trev would wander over to my end of the stage and his stray guitar string ends would brush against my arm it was like a venomous snake bite... SON OF A... man that hurts. A small pittance for the pleasure we get out of delivering 100% pure unfiltered rock to the masses.

We wrapped up the set with the title track from the new record. We gave it a 110% and left it all on the stage. But the audience demanded more... so we dug deep and saw what we could muster for an encore. We went with "Born on the River", an old favourite of ours from the EP that we had left out of the set. It's a high energy number so we figured it'd be a good one to end the night on. Trev elected to go sans-guitar for the 2nd half of the song and we even attempted a successful rock'n'roll totem pole during the breakdown. Apparently when Trevor dismounted there was a large indentation in my hair where his twins had rested. Likewise, on his pants there was an imprint of my sweaty head in his crotch. I'm assuming it was sweat. Either that, or he relieved himself on me... which, knowing Trev, I wouldn't count out. He has a very small bladder.

When it was all said and done we'd played our hearts out, sold a few albums and had a hell of a good time. Fortunately, those in attendance (at least the dudes in front) also had a hell of a good time. We rock, they roll... it's a simple formula.

After the Dom had emptied out, I received some advice from one of my wife's co-workers in attendance: "Lose the wedding rings. Girls don't want to see that. It's not rock'n'roll." Somehow I think our wives might take issue with this idea, but I'll bring this up at the next Setbacks board meeting.

Special thanks to Garaga, Tokyo Sex Whale, CKCU and Birdman Sound for making it a big success!



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