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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Live from 420: The Experience

One day several months ago, I was complaining to a friend with my skillful iThumbs about how hard it is to play regular live shows in the city. Now, don't get me wrong, I love playing live. But I am not an ant. I cannot carry objects twice my size and get away with it. For every show I play, I must drag my beloved but obese Roland Phantom X7 into the depths of the treacherous New York subway system, piss off all of my fellow passengers with my bulky package, and then carry my equipment on my back for several blocks while I walk to the gig. Since the keyboard and its case are an odd size and shape, I am the only living creature with the superpowers necessary to carry it. But it's just about as tall as I am. Every gig feels like a battle won in a long and dangerous war, but my sore back will not allow me to fight the good fight every day, as much as I'd like to.

So as I was telling tales of my battle scars to aforementioned friend, he suggested I play shows on the Internet from my apartment. The idea struck me with a huge "duh" moment. Being a small musician with a large keyboard and a tendency toward Internet geekery, an online show was a perfect fit.

For nearly four months now, I've been streaming live shows from my apartment (yes, it's really #420) every Tuesday at 8pm EST. The results have been surprising. The shows are barely scripted (if at all), and by letting myself rant from stream-of-consciousness has resulted in the discovery that I am a nutcase. I rapped with a cactus, for crying out loud! (Okay, I already had a suspicion that I was crazy.) But I've also honed my songwriting and performing skills by forcing myself to write a new song for every show (which happens about ... 40% of the time) and I've grown much closer to you.

I'm currently working on a new endeavor: playing solo shows with electronic arrangements, starting at my next show at The Woods in Brooklyn, NY on August 18. I played a little preview of what I'm working on in Episode 13, and will have more to show next week!

So please join me in the magical land of 420. You can watch previous episodes on my website.

See you next Tuesday!