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Re: Scary Situations

On Wednesday, April 12, 2006, at 06:11 AM, paulrichard10@adelphia.net 

> <<  people with little or no experience or little or no talent  >>
> Sounds like most rappers to me. :)

Ohh, man, did you have to go there? Why you be down wit' all the hatin' 
'n sh*t.

My band collaborates with rappers often. We've definitely had the 
experience like Rick's of the Rapper Who Wouldn't Shut The F*CK UP. In 
fact once we were playing what is probably the nicest jazz club in 
Eugene. Two rappers/street kids saw us setting up, noticed we had 
turntables onstage and asked to sit in for a tune. We did, they pretty 
much took over the show for 3 tunes, doing really off-color raps, 
asking the audience where they could score some weed, picking on people 
in the audience, etc. After we got them offstage and out the door, they 
demanded to be paid for the gig!

On the other hand, we've had some amazing experiences with rappers. One 
guy, who has actually toured with us, and would be a full-time member 
of the band if he didn't have a life, always gets onstage, says his 
piece and leaves us, and the audience wanting to hear more. He's kind 
of like a bebop soloist whose medium is words and rhymes instead of #9 
chords, amazing guy. He's extremely musical, and I look forward to 
every opportunity we have to collaborate. We also have a pool of about 
5-6 other rappers that know they are welcome to sit in whenever we 
play, these are people we know and have worked with. But after the 
above incident, we don't let just anyone rap with us.

Another pet peeve I have is with percussion. Our horn players play 
various hand percussion stuff, and it's laying onstage near the front 
most of the time. Why do people think that it's cool to grab a cowbell 
and whack away at it while a band is playing? I mean, everybody loves 
the Chris Walken/SNL skit about "Don't Fear the Reaper," but come on, 
there is such a thing as too much cowbell. Especially since it's one of 
those instruments designed to cut through large groups. We play a lot 
of stuff in weird time signatures that don't necessarily sound weird, 
we try to make stuff groove. A lot of times people will grab a 
percussion instrument, never find the groove, and still play until we 
can grab it from them.

And while I'm on the subject, what about stupid requests from the 
audience? At a recent gig in Boulder, a girl came up after our last 
tune and asked us to play American Pie. Ok, for the last couple of 
hours we'd been playing angular funk, hip hop, afrobeat, electronic 
stuff, with no vocals, nothing to suggest that we would or even could 
play American Pie. She might as well have asked us to recite the 
Gettysberg address.