We had a fantastic show with Apple Betty* last night. Yes, there was snow, but that didn’t stop people from turning out in droves. The Quincunx and the The Big Disappointments opened and I would say that the night was anything but a disappointment. Let’s attempt to recap the experience…

*I’ve blogged about Apple Betty before, but here’s a little info to get you reminded, or started if you are just getting hip to this blog. The Phoenix says that they are “maybe Boston’s most unapologetic of ham-fisted basement power chord rock-and-roll outfits.”  I say: they are fun, they write really catchy songs and they perform the hell out of them. They are hired.

Let’s start things off with a blog post from yesterday that was neither completed or posted, to set the scene for the rest of the day:

“It is 5am and unfortunately, I am awake.

“I am awake because I have to be at the day job for two hours this morning, from six until eight. I’m not particularly happy about this, because I only went to sleep two and a half hours ago, when we stopped working for the night. By the time I’m done with the day job, Sam and Wrall’s day will not have even begun, but I will already have been awake longer than I slept. It’s been too early for an hour already, and my guess is that it will still be too early an hour from now.”

Indeed, when I arrived home, I woke up the guys and our collective day began: Coffee, breakfast, personal maintenance, the whole bit. Before too long, we were full steam ahead on preparations for the show. Because we all live so far from one another these days, making changes to our live show takes a certain amount of creativity. It’s strange to say it, but less than rehearsing new material, we often only have opportunity to think about it. First, one of us will imagine a tiny tweak to a tune, or even a major modification to the material as a whole. Then, the idea is presented to someone else in the group. Most of the time, the two people involved in the last step are myself and Wrall. Third, we have to implement these changes on a technical level, making sure that everything is possible with the gear and adjust as necessary. Finally, we present the idea to the rest of the group.

Sometimes, the next step is playing the material. That scenario only comes to pass if we are lucky enough to have time and space to rehearse. Yesterday, the next step was sitting in the car with a handful of recordings, pretending to play the music. I was pretty wired from lack of sleep and excitement for the show to be bouncing off the walls anyway, so you can imagine what happened next. Let’s put it this way : I was in a large van filled with friends, singing and air playing my guitar, keyboard and flute parts, while we “practiced” new changes and transitions. All this, while people walked past in a near blizzard. Good times.

We’ve been lately thinking about foreign lands, so we arrived with bags packed, ready to take off. By the looks of things, Apple Betty felt the same:

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Well, that’s a good sign. 

While we were unpacking our things, a man from the Middle East walked through and there was a very distinctive, and fairly loud “woof!” I ignored it, thinking that I had missed whatever preceded and inspired such a sound. Sammy, having seen that this was just a guy walking through barking, was less nonchalant. His eyes grew wide. “Did anybody else just hear that?” he whispered.

A moment later, the man came through again, and sure enough, “woof!” 

“Okay, that really happened.”

Our friend Ricardo approached, “are you guys talking about what I think you’re talking about?” We all agreed that this was pretty strange. Somebody suggested that the man may have been using a little device on a keychain* to make the sound. Either way, we were all sure that there was a bark, and it was not at anyone in particular.

*Much like the Mr. T. sound effects keychain that says “I pity the fool!” and “I don’t need no has been messin’ in my corner!” (Actually, I don’t think it says the last one. I just used to say that a lot…)

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this, but I was really wired. So I howled, “ar, ar, awoooooooo!”

Immediately, we heard, from around the corner where the man disappeared, a fight between a dog and a. “Woof! Meow! Ruff! Ruff! Hissss!” We all looked around in disbelief. Laughter ensued. The man emerged from the back and said, “it’s the voices inside fighting.” I’m ninety-three percent sure that I didn’t hallucinate any of this.

The dogs and cats only came out during Apple Betty’s soundcheck, thank goodness. Despite my bouncing off the walls, everything went very smoothly.  

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I believe I have given the surprise away already, but we did have a special guest performer at this show. Here he is arriving:

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Looking hipper than ever in his mustachioed Saturday best, Sammy Bananas took Boston by storm last night, by stepping to the mic, saxophone in tow. I admit that some folks didn’t even know that he wasn’t supposed to be there, let alone know that they should have been surprised he was. If that makes any sense. In any event, we were not surprised that he killed it in his guest spot. And we’re happy to report that he took some video of the show, too. We’ll post that up here later in the week.

What else? Right, the show. The show was fantastic. We were very well received, so THANK YOU CAMBRIDGE! Y’all really stepped up in a major way last night, supporting Apple Betty on their big night, and us on ours. I hope you all bought Apple Betty’s CD. Thank you to Apple Betty for having us at the show and for your kind words.*

*Something like “Thank you to Miss Fairchild for melting the snow.”

Before I leave you on this Sunday morning, I have to shout out some people that we met. We talked about memory. You all study it and know how it works. You tell me that I have a good parietal memory, but maybe not such a great temporal memory. We’ll talk more about that later. In the meantime, thanks for coming to all of you: Audrey, Terri, Ehrin, Katie, Ben, Sam and Peter. I hope you guys had fun and that the birthday party was great, Sam. Let’s make Boston fun!

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