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Loopstock Redux

Hey there Hans,

Hans Lindauer wrote:
> You can only lead a horse to water....

...unless you drag that horse kicking and screaming to a waterfall and
stick its head underneath the torrential downpour, of course!  ;)
First off, let me say here that I'm not trying to tell you how to run
your show.  It's all ultimately your call, and I respect your judgement.
Having been through a few of these types of things myself, though, both
as a performer and as an organizer, I do want to offer the occasional
bit of devil's advocacy.  

> Instead of running the system four-way, I'll run it three-way and use 
>the 15"s
> for a second stage at the opposite end of the room.  I'll just rent a 
>pair of
> monitors for that stage, no big deal.  Whoever's on deck can set up and 
> check to their heart's content through headphones while the current act 
> That way, we can skip the initial sound check, and also eliminate the 10 
> between acts, and it keeps us from having a mountain of gear on stage.  

Here's a few thoughts in response to that...

-- What happens if a soundchecking person wants to see the current act
that's playing, during the time that they're supposed to be doing their 

-- What if the act on stage is playing something quiet and meditative,
while the soundchecking act is striking guitar strings, testing vocal
levels, moving pieces of electronic gear, discussing set-up
possibilities with other folks, walking around, and switching things on?

-- What if someone doesn't want to, or can't, soundcheck via headphones?
What if they need to soundcheck through the second mixer while the
current act is in the middle of its set?

-- What if the audience and/or performers want a bit of time to stretch,
heed nature's call, eat, or just process the sensory onslaught they've
just been audience to?

To me, it's a dangerous proposition to try and eliminate any possible
non-performance event from the schedule.  Soundchecks, between-set
audience breaks, and the like are important things, and shouldn't be
rushed or compromised just for the sake of trying to squeeze as many
folks as possible onto the bill.

I also think it might be a good idea to try and allocate at least a half
hour break somewhere in the late afternoon or early evening, so that
people can get a decent bite to eat, walk around, and talk without
feeling like they're missing out on something.

Such a break could also make a good opportunity for more extensive
sound-checking, gear-schlepping, and miscellaneous technical details for
the second half of the show which may (and almost assuredly will) crop
up, without having to bring everything to a great, tearing halt.  

If you can get specific gear details from everyone (and thus far only 
a handful of acts have responded to the inquiry regarding their set-up
requirements...) then you might be able to streamline things more
effectively, by figuring out who will most need that extra half-hour
break/setup time, and so forth.

As far as the demo stage goes, I have a feeling that every set will be
something of a demo stage anyway, so it wouldn't be a great loss to
forego a "workshop" phase in the formal sense.  Leaving the possibility
of asking specific questions at the end of somebody's set is a good
idea... and yet another good reason to keep between-set breaks intact.

As for my own role in the show?  Honestly, here's my take: 

I want to be self-indulgent.  

I want to have a nice relaxed drive up the 101 freeway on Saturday 
morning, pull into San Luis Obispo, and enjoy the day checking out some 
performances, catching up with some friends, and meeting some new ones.  

And I'd like to experience a show that's running as smoothly as
possible.  One with enough time available that all the performers can
play for a reasonable length, where the audience can enjoy the music and
the experience, without succumbing to total sensory overload, fatigue,
or bladder distention.  

And one with an atmosphere condusive to actually focusing the attention
of the listeners and performers in a positive manner... instead of being
strained against the clock to try and cram every possible inch of
music-making into every last nook and cranny of the schedule.

I honestly cannot imagine this scenario unfolding if the current line-up
is expanded any further than it already exists.  And if even one act is
inconvenienced or compromised by my addition to the bill, then it's a
serious drag for me.  

There are some people who, perhaps, should be given preferential
treatment -- folks from out of state, out of the country, or with large and
extensive rigs requiring serious set-up and tear down time, for

But not a guy three hours down the freeway, who doesn't really WANT to
squeeze onto the bill in the first place, y'know?

So: I'll be looking forward to seeing the acts on the bill that day. 
And I'd be delighted to work something out for a future gig in that neck
of the woods, on some other occasion.  There'll be plenty of chances for
me to take my skipping-CD-player routine to audiences far and wide.

But as for Loopstock? 

I will not be playing at the show.  I can't comfortably see myself being
a part of it at this point.  And frankly, I really don't WANT to be part 
of it in any way other than a member of the audience.

And trust me: with a bill like the one you've already got, you won't
miss me for a second.

Thanks for the encouragement, though.  Very genuinely and sincerely 

Best wishes... and good luck!

--Andre LaFosse