Saturday, March 21, 2009

Another saw-playing adventure

I made business cards with me and my saw because I got tired of explaining to people that, yes, it truly is a regular handsaw. The visual is both seductive and informative.

Last night I saw Bob Schneider play at the Saxon Pub. He did a beautiful solo set, using one of those fancy loop-recording-things so he could play the guitar and piano at the same time. I'd never seen live him before. Wait, that's not entirely true. I saw him perform one song on CBS This Morning (before it was The Early Show) in 1999 when I was an entertainment segment production intern. He did a live in-studio, and I was responsible for making sure the musicians made it from the green room to the stage.

The show at the Saxon last night was much better. He played three shows yesterday at three different venues (so it goes at SXSW) -- at outdoor amphitheatre thing at 6:00, a solo intimate show at 8:00, and a full-band entertainment extravaganze at 10:00.

I saw the 8:00 show, and by the 10:00 show at Threadgill's, he'd invited me to play musical saw on a tune.

I also love Austin because when I showed up with my saw, the sound engineer didn't flinch or question me. He just set up a Shure-57 mic and left room for a chair, like you always should when there is a saw-player. I was so impressed that I didn't have the heart to tell him my saw is electric these days. I'll save that for another time.

Anyway, Bob Schneider's Threadgill's show was a fun, crowd-pleaser, with lots of hippie-dancing, and hip-grinding, and a surprising amount of rap tunes. Night and day from the acoustic songwriter set at the Saxon.

It makes me think I should start opening for myself at my shows. You know, I could do a set with just me and the piano with some serious tunes, then my next set would be a cabaret-honky-tonk crowd-pleaser. Should I come up with an alter-ego? Like Chris Gaines? Or just be myself, like Bob Schneider does, and do like ten different shows, and you never know which one you're going to get.

Okay, I'm exhausted from a week of SXSW, and I'm not feeling creative. More clarity next week. Apologies in advance for skipping tomorrow's blog.

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