The Myth of Fingerprints
Kevin and I spent as much time drinking beer tonight as we did rehearsing for next week’s Block Island Music Festival. Which is fine with me. I mean, that’s kinda’ the idea, isn’t it?
In fact, I am fresh from Rumors, an unfortunately named pub on 55th & Eighth Avenue, where Kev and I topped off our rehearsal with a few pints prior to his departure for Brooklyn. I stole his cell phone as he approached the bar for the second round to call New York City’s information line, 311, and inquired about the newly-installed red cylinders atop streetlamps. I think they’re some kind of surveillance. The dude on the phone said they’re fire globes meant to indicate that there’s an emergency pull box on the street below. But not on the one across the street. So I still think they’re some kind of surveillance.
Anyway, a week from tomorrow, Kevin and I are playing a set of my tunes at the Block Island Music Festival, after which The Smith Family will be joining us for some country fun.
Kev and my set will be something of a Benjamin Wagner bluegrass set, in so much that Kev’s playing mandolin on all of my songs — ‘California,’ ‘Intent on St. Paul,’ ‘Here Comes Your Man,’ and the like. And the cool thing about my songs, or any song written on acoustic guitar, is that they’re highly adaptable. And so throw in a little mandolin, and suddenly I’m a country act. Throw in some keyboards and beats and I’m The Postal Service. I mean, that’s kinda’ the idea, isn’t it?
To that end, I realized last week that my proclivity for re-staffing my band every show is less a function of my mixing it up for the audience’s sake, as it is a function of mixing it up to remedy my boredom. Take, for example, my show at Sin-e next month. It’s gonna’ be me, Todd (drums), Tony (bass), and Kevin (keyboards). A brand-new incarnation. A whole new sound. ‘Cuz the thing is, I’m so over this song cycle, and it doesn’t take too long for that to happen (two years ought to be enough, right?). If I have to sing ‘California’ one more time, I might hurl. That said, it sounds pretty cool in it’s bluegrass incarnation.
In the event you missed the update, or in the event I failed to update you, Dear Reader, lemme’ burry the lede: The Smith Family — Kevin, Ren, Roy, Nick and I — are meeting in Block Island (a spec of land just north of Long Island) to kick off the first night of the Block Island Music Festival on Tuesday, June 15. I perform at 7, The Family performs at 8. Do I expect a gaggle of groupies, or fans of what we/I do? Not at all. Do I expect a mini-adventure, a short road trip, and an iota of bonafide sunshine? Yeah, you bet I do.
If you have the means, I highly suggest you join us (I have room in the truck!). If not, well … stay tuned — you know I’ll show and tell ya’ all about it here!