Flurry of Notes – Dec 6 2018

mervin Uncategorized Leave a Comment


It’s been awhile since we hollered, so we’ve got a lot for ya: TWO Showcases, a new InstaBand, a ton of advice, and one last Saturday Jam Session for 2018.


Our final Showcases of the year happen this week and next at The Red Lion in the heart of the Village. This Friday (12/7), it’s a night of infamy featuring the Alt-Country-ish CROPDUSTER, explosive Pearl Jam tribute DAUGHTERS & DISSIDENTS (pictured at top), and thoroughly-excellent rockers (both classic and modern) RENZO’S FAULT.

NEXT Thursday (12/13), we proudly present JEFF•FEST: A musical celebration in honor of Jeff Mucciolo, with PINK FLAWD (Pink Floyd), FUNGIBLE (Peter Gabriel, Led Zeppelin, Prince, Tom Petty, Santana), MERMER (R.E.M.), CARBON COPY (Bob Marley, The Police, a little Grunge, U2, Van Halen), NO MERSEY (The Beatles et al), and THE ROLLING BONES (The Rolling Stones).

Both shows are FREE for Jam members, $10 for everyone else. The Kitchen’s open until Midnight, the live music continues until 4 am, and well-behaved, accompanied minors are welcome until 10 pm.


Ask an amateur musician what their job is on stage, and they usually say “to play well” – and they are wrong. Though playing reasonably well is certainly PART of the job, the true goal is to ENTERTAIN a crowd – and there are many ways to do that having nothing to do with how well you execute your parts. If you always keep “entertaining the crowd” in mind, you make good decisions.


What’s the fastest way to get to the stage? InstaBand! You can call it a workshop, but I think of it as all the benefits of a band with almost none of the hassle: The schedule, lineup, and genre are already decided, and a very talented multi-instrumentalist serves as your coach and decisionmaker. HIGH THREAD COUNT is our newest straight-up Blues InstantBand with John Putnam, which will rehearse on December 10, 18, 27 and January 3, 8 (all from 7-9 pm), and perform in our January 10 Red Lion Showcase. There’s room for a vocalist, bassist OR keyboardist, and drummer. It’s an all-inclusive excursion (10 hours of rehearsals, the Showcase gig, and the expert guidance of Professor Putnam from first note to last) for $349 ($299 for Jam Members). To sign up, have your debit or credit card in hand and call 212 626 8472 x2 – first come, first served. These spots won’t last long.

ADVICE: Use Your Time Wisely

Instead of spending 20 minutes obsessing over your drum setup, spend a few minutes warming up.

When someone motions for you to turn down, DON’T suddenly stop playing. Ease up on how hard you’re playing, and think about the best time (like when you hit a sustained note or chord) AND best method (instrumental volume knob? Effect level? Amp gain?) for reducing your volume.

Always start and end strong – that goes for songs as well as sets.

Most guitarists sound better when they play slower, because they fall out of time when they play too fast. It’s ALWAYS better to play something simple in time than something complex out of time. Time is everything.

People come to shows to be entertained – don’t waste their time or diminish your own value with stuff that doesn’t entertain: Banter that isn’t funny or moving, band intros (if you must, at least do them while vamping), switching instruments (if you can’t do so quickly, is it really worth it?). Put yourself in the audience’s shoes.

Don’t show up 5 minutes before a gig – especially without communicating to your bandmates when you’ll be there. It’s inconsiderate to stress your bandmates out – they have enough to worry about. Arriving early has other benefits: you’ll be able to plan for any backline or setup surprises, talk to your bandmates, settle in, check your gear, and warm up.

Stay a little while after you play – it’s not only nice to support your comrades, but you can learn from others: a technique you want to add to your arsenal, their setup, how they flow from song to sing, how they move, the audience reaction to certain songs, and more.

Don’t waste time debating what to play if you’re running out of time – know what you’re going to cut ahead of time. Or leave that decision to one person.


Thursday (12/7): Showcase at Red Lion, with CROPDUSTER (7 pm), DAUGHTERS & DISSIDENTS (7:50 pm), and RENZO’S FAULT (8:40-10:00 pm), As always, the show is FREE for Jam members, and a modest $10 for everyone else. Well-behaved, accompanied minors are welcome until 10 pm or so, the Kitchen’s open ’til Midnight, and the live music doesn’t stop until 4 am.

Saturday (12/8): End-Of-The-Year Jam with Robert Brandow, from 3 to 6 pm at The Jam (541 Sixth Ave, inside The Collective). $20 for Jam members, and $35 for everyone else. Whatever you guys want to do is fine with Robert.

Thursday (12/13): Showcase at Red Lion, with PINK FLAWD (7 pm), FUNGIBLE (7:50 pm), MERMER (8:40 pm), CARBON COPY (9:30 pm), No Mersey (10:20 pm) and The Rolling Bones (11:15-1:15 am). As always, the show is FREE for Jam members, and a modest $10 for everyone else. Well-behaved, accompanied minors are welcome until 10 pm or so, the Kitchen’s open ’til Midnight, and the live music doesn’t stop until 4 am.


“A film is never right until it’s right musically.” -Orson Welles

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