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Saturday, December 24, 2005

Jam session

After the show last night, a lot of actors settled in a rehearsal studio for a jam. I walked in shortly after they began, and really wanted to walk back out. There was an earnest circle of jammers, all still impeccably made up from the show. It was just too precious. It made me want to laugh and feel uncomfortable at the same time. I would have hurt Tim's feelings if I had left, though, so I stayed and listened.

They played folk songs and oldies that everyone knew. There were a surprising amount of good singers in the lot of them. In that regard, it was hard to be there, for I am also musical, but too insecure to feel comfortable playing with others, and I'd seriously consider selling my first born to the devil just to have a beautiful voice.

But the evening didn't really get started until the serious musicians arrived: the theatre's spotlight operator, a short, stout lesbian with a 12-string; and a tech operator, a stoner in a beanie cap. They sat on the edges and allowed the flamboyant actors to try to outsing each other, and riffed quietly and solidly. Then the group requested that the spotlight girl take a turn, and she launched without hesitation into a Led Zepplin song, trailing off eventually in embarrassment as people started clapping. (I understood that. I do the same on piano when people are watching.)

As the crowd dwindled, the stoner started playing and singing what I eventually recognized as a highly acoustic version of "Baby Got Back." It was incredible and hilarious, and then he and the 12-string, with Tim on extremely funky bass, turned that into Bill Withers' "Use Me." By that time in the evening, I was disappointed to go.

It's odd. For all my playing music, when it comes to hanging out and jamming, I've always been the listener. My best friend in college, our relationship was solely founded on me hanging out in his dorm room while he played the guitar. A few years after, when I was taking guitar lessons and we caught up with each other on a Christmas break, playing together just wasn't the same.

But what I did get out of the actors' jam was the chord progression for "Jolene," so, you know, that's always good.


Blogger Megan said...

Mmm, I love Jolene. That sounds wonderful.

12:50 PM  
Blogger fallenboi said...

Happy New Year LE!!

9:26 PM  

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