After another late one with Andreas working on the Arktik Lake mixes, I finally got to bed at 6.30 AM, I woke up at 1 PM and forced myself out of bed so I could get to the computer store before it closed, and when I got there – it was closed. But I was happy to be up and out into the day as I have a sesh in the morning with Arktik Lake Tony and as it’s in Sydney I have to be up at 9 AM for a 10 PM sesh. I am thinking that I could possibly be really tired at 2 AM tonight which gives me seven hours sleep, we’ll see. I live in this world where midnight is the starting line, everything before that is practical, shops, food, talk, meet, walk, swim, catch up, sesh, and then at midnight the creative lightbulb fires itself up and illuminates the inside of my head. That’s the problem with gigs, of course at the late clubs we used to go on stage, well, late, but when we got to theatres it always seemed too early, in my world we would play theatres and go on at 2 AM to a very awake and enthusiastic audience that themselves hit the sack at 6 AM for a 1 PM wake up call.
Strangely when you go from standing venues to sitting venues there are all kinds of other issues. Some people feel completely restricted by their seat whereas others are grateful to enjoy the show whilst comfortable. Some people like to dance, while others like to close their eyes and immerse themselves. One of the worst situations is being at a seated venue where people are standing up in front of you. That’s why theatres with a seated balcony are cool because you can have a standing area downstairs and a seated area upstairs, perfect. Or in the case of the Enmore Theatre in Sydney (as I remember it) they have seats downstairs when appropriate and take them out when it’s not – yes, perfect.
I wonder why it is that if you can have a standing alcohol venue, why you can’t have a seated marijuana venue? Then there are nude venues like nude beaches, but somehow being nude indoors instead of outdoors seems more difficult, you’d think it was the other way around. I wonder if you could have venues where incessant talkers, noisy revellers and ecstatic mouthy fans could be on one side of the venue, and on the other side of some special glass, the listeners are seated. It would be something like the VIPs at a football match. If you want to share the electric energy of the noisy crowd you can have it, if you want the thoughtful quiet energy of the non-movers you can have that too, whatever suits you – or your back ache. If there were comfortable seats you’d see more older people at new music shows, they get the left, the young energy-filled revellers get the right.
It’s always frustrating for each camp that needs the opportunity to react as they like. Having said that reading the room isn’t everyone’s skill, playing a bar that has stools and high tables in San Antonio isn’t the same as playing a listening room, a sit-down venue with low tables and chairs in Austin. If you are a noisy person you have to go along with it, luckily if you are a quiet person, you don’t have to stay. It’s a dilemma for the unknown performer, and sure if you’re good you can win the room, but for some people, Jeff Buckley returned from the dead singing Hallelujah isn’t as captivating as a good chat simultaneously with Harry from work about the computer problem they had earlier in the day, the football scores and does he think that Sandra likes him? You gotta love the audience members that ‘shush’. But then there’s tension, haha, you can’t win and what do you do with someone that loves what you do but still won’t shut up and listen?
Music today has been Jeff Buckley’s Grace (1994) – talk about tragic deaths. Buckley drowned at the age of 30 in the Mississippi river. On his second unfinished work, Sketches for my Sweetheart the Drunk, released in 1998, he initially went into the studio with, you guessed it, Tom Verlaine. I did get to see Buckley live once at the American Music Hall in LA. It’s hard to believe that Grace was released 29 years ago.
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