Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Jun 21 2005

The going-away party for Hyatt was pretty fun. I h…

The going-away party for Hyatt was pretty fun. I had no idea he had so many friends; JB’s entire second floor was packed with well-wishers. I bounced around from conversation to conversation, but I never do very well in that kind of atmosphere.

Our last concert with Sheng Xiang and the gang, however, was amazing. The band met at the Sandcastle on Saturday afternoon to go over a few things, but everyone was late (of course), so it wasn’t long before we had to go catch a couple of cabs down to The Wall, scene of the Ramblers’ Michelle Shocked collaboration last year. Damn, it’s hard to believe I’ve been with the band almost a year already.

Sheng Xiang was in the middle of his sound check when we arrived, so we went upstairs for some Gusto hot dogs and drinks from the closest 7-Eleven, which turned out to be several blocks away.

Our sound check lasted until almost 9. The sound guys, one of them a fuzzy-headed punk called TC, seemed on top of things, though I didn’t like the sound of the bass. Not bassy enough, too plucky. I suppose I should have been glad I could even hear it in that cavernous space. We were in a line, using separate mics. I prefer the circle arrangement around condenser mics, but that was not going to work at The Wall.

We were supposed to go on soon, so we just bustled around the coolish green room, getting dressed, preparing drinks, etc. I took some pictures of things on the stage, as well as David’s guitar and the lights on the shelves.

We got on stage at about 9:45. The stage at The Wall is behind a curtain; it was strange to be up there behind the curtain, listening to people talking and milling around out on the new wood floor. A little thrill and a good round of applause followed the curtain opening. We started up, and the audience only got more into the act. By the end of our set they were shouting and dancing. I could hear the bass, and the trumpet sounded hot. Sometimes it’s just easier to play, the sound carries further and seems brighter; that night was one of those times.

Sheng Xiang and Water3 got up for the second set and did their thing while we went out into the audience to listen and have some drinks. I ran into my friend DJ, who had come to see the show sporting the beginnings of a goatee. I also met some Forumosans, including a “Mother Theresa”, who thought I was Sandman, and a South African woman who goes by the moniker “Twonavels” on that site. She must have thought I was an idiot, because I couldn’t answer any of her questions about filmmaking in Taiwan, mainly because I’ve never bought film here and have no idea how much it costs. Nor could I remember the name of the Chinese instrument Yufeng was playing at the time (it was a big round yueqing, and she also had a pipa on the floor beside her).

For the third set, the two bands got up on the large stage together, and man, what a riot. We jammed as we never had before together, and the crowd loved it. They loved Will’s going down onto the floor and tap dancing from one side of the bar to the other.

Everyone was in a little glow afterwards, but I was really tired. Still, I stayed on and chatted with some people in the mini-mall outside the bar for a while before jumping in a cab with Sandman and Jojo. What a night. It was a fitting and splendid way to end our tour with Sheng Xiang and Water3, who are off on their international tour of the US and Europe now. As for the Muddy Basin Ramblers, I think we’re going to take a month or so off to rest, recuperate, send our regalia off to the dry cleaners, and refresh the other parts of our lives for a bit before diving into it all again.

posted by Poagao at 9:02 am  

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