What’s in a band?

So, I played this pick up jazz gig the other night, and it was interesting for a few reasons:

1) I don’t do much jazz these days, so every tune called was like meeting a friend I haven’t seen in ages (wonderful, in other words). Also, I need about a bazillion more hours of practice, but I made my peace with that years ago.

2) It became obvious after the first few songs that I should expect to solo over a few choruses on every song. No big deal, the tempi were relatively laid back (except for one bebop tune which was absolutely COOKIN). So I just got into my “space” and had a grand ol’ time (more on this below).

3) There were three of us: guitar, drums, and bass. Nothing new there. The drummer I used to play with frequently, so after “settling in,” it was like, “Oh, I remember this feel!” The guitarist, however, I have never played with, or even listened to. Most importantly, this particular trio of musicians was a brand new configuration that had never before happened in the whole history of ever. So, while everything was fresh (and therefore inspiring and liberating), it may or not have been a little rough around the edges. Visual communication was key- it’s a necessary tool in any ensemble. But we flirted with CATASTROPHIC SYSTEM FAILURE once or twice (average DEFCON, probably somewhere in the middle).

So, good music happened and good times were had by all.

This group of capable musicians was only a group of capable musicians- nothing more. We weren’t a band.

Well, what is in a band?

Let’s find a band to examine- hmm, let’s see, I don’t know, how about… The Waymires? That seems appropriate. Okay, ready? Let’s get started!

We know our set. It isn’t just, “Hey, does everybody know [song name]? Okay, let’s play that.” We’ve gotten to know our set well as a whole performance, so certain songs are typically grouped together, because that’s how they work best. “I Don’t Think So” goes with “Secrets,” while “Brokenhearted,” “That’s Alright,” and “Corner Street Cookie” go together. This could evolve into something completely different in time, but this is how it is right now. One result of this (or is it a cause?) is that we have shared expectations at any moment in a show. And not just intellectually (“Oh yes, I know what will happen next.”), but emotionally (“Oh yes, I know how this is gonna feel.”) This is advantageous because each of us automatically gets in the right “space” for each song with very little “stretch,” because the set proceeds intuitively (until we run out of well-rehearsed songs, anyway).

Band characteristic #1: The set is a musical suite, not just a series of different songs.

Each of us knows how we fit into the ensemble. This goes beyond having our parts worked out to fit into the machinery of each song. We also know each others’ musical tendencies and tastes (wildly divergent- a very good thing). The songs are a little different each time, because we’re all comfortable enough in the band to play what seems right in the moment, and everybody else adjusts easily enough because we’re so familiar with how we play.

Band characteristic #2: Familiarity.

There’s actually a lot more, but this post is getting relatively long-winded.

The bottom line-

We’re not just some guys who play some songs sometimes.

We’re The Waymires. We play rock and roll.

Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag

THREE NEW SONGS! That’s three coming down the pipeline- not counting the other two we’ve polished the past couple of weeks. Got a show November 21st at The Bluebonnet Bar in Norman, featuring new instrumentation! Gonna be a blast-

Speaking of blasts, here’s our EP, if you haven’t heard it yet:

ROCK AND ROLL EP

Life is good.

We’re The Waymires. We play rock and roll.

The Waymires Take to the Sea!

The Waymires are playing three water-themed shows in the coming weeks! On Friday, October 11th we’re boarding Capt. Norm’s Dockside Baaaarrrrrrrrr, ye scalawags. The weekend before that (Saturday, October 5th), we’re playing at the Oklahoma Regatta Festival, which is basically a track meet for boats. We’ll need all hands to get there faster than a sloop in a stiff gale! And of course, we’re playing at Earl’s Rib Palace as part of Live Music on the Canal this Saturday, September 21st at 8:45p. Don’t be late- you might miss one of our ten best songs!

We’re The Waymires.
We play rock and roll.

Brace yourselves! The Waymires’ EP is coming!

That’s right- only 7 to 10+ more days, and if you don’t enjoy listening to it as much as we’ve enjoyed making it so far, we’ll eat our collective hat.

We’d like to thank in advance Jarod and Cale from Blackwatch Studios, Norman, as well as Nick, Director of Visual Media, because they make us sound and look WAAAAAAAY better than we actually are. Ahh, the miracle of modern technology.

Forth The Waymires family! Now for rock! Now for roll- and a red dawn!

We’re The Waymires.
We play rock and roll.

Battle of the Bands

Do you believe in the democratic process? Are you a real American? Perhaps that’s none of my business, but I still think you should vote for The Waymires at http://battle.rockstaruproar.com/u/TheWaymiresBand! Voting ends at 11:59p this Monday, August 12th.

From the Uproar Festival info page:
“Fans:
Show your support for your favorite artist by going to their page and clicking the “Vote For This Band” button.
Other ways to show your support would be to “Like” their Facebook Fan Page, Tweet about them on Twitter, or play their songs on the Battle Of The Bands band profile to help boost their rating.”

Each band in the top 100 in each “Local Market” (ours is Dallas) has an equal chance of being selected- we’re in the top 110! So follow the link, click “vote for this band,” play our songs on our Battle of the Bands profile, “Like” our Facebook, and Tweet about us, ’cause we’re SO CLOSE (to being considered).

We’re The Waymires.
We play rock and roll.

Another One Bites the Dust…

You know when you care about something, a big event perhaps, that ends up not happening at all? You know the feeling of preparing and getting all G’d up for the big night, just in time for it to be cancelled? The Waymires have that feeling. We and 20-odd other bands were notified yesterday that OKWOODSTOCK13 would not occur this weekend after all- after all the hype and preparation, the festival died an ignominious death.

But you know what? I bet that the genii over at Fun PR will find some way to stitch together some kind of Frankenstein festival next year. And I bet it will be awesome (also terrifying). So, after the standard mourning period of roughly 18 hours, we’ve changed out of our sackcloths, washed the ashes off our faces, and glued our hair back on. It’s time to move on to our next great adventure, studio recording! Expect our EP by the end of August. That’s only thirty days from now (*GASP*)!

We’re The Waymires.
We play rock and roll.