Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Warmup at The Bean Counter (11.17.09)

I haven't spent too many words on this blog talking about "back in the day". While I'm a big believer in learning from the past, I'm not necessarily a fan of living in it. But, for the sake of this post, I'll let you know that there was a time where I wasn't solely a virtual performer in Second Life, heh heh. A long time, in fact. From my teenage years all the way through 2007, I spent a lot of time on stages, ranging from backyard parties to outdoor festivals to clubs and bars all around Southern California. The majority of that live music performing experience was as part of rock bands. For the past couple of years, though, my focus has been recording the album and playing in SL, and I've been pretty absent from real-life performances.

Anyway, as anyone who reads this blog knows well, I have an album coming out, and to help promote the album, it's always been in the plan to do some live shows. Not a tour, mind you; just a few shows around my local area of Los Angeles. One show is rather important... it's the album release party, scheduled for Friday December 11, at a little place right here in my neighborhood, called the Bean Counter coffeehouse. I think a coffeehouse is the perfect place for my kind of music, and it's no coincidence that Kat and I named our label "Frothy Music".

But I digress. One thing I learned from my years and years of playing live is that going into a venue completely cold and trying to perform there for the first time in front of a large audience is terrifying, for lack of a better word. So, one thing I like to do is spend some time in the place beforehand, making sure that I get the vibe of the place. In a best-case scenario, I can go in and actually do a mini-show during off hours, so that when I actually take the stage, I can have the psychological effect that makes me feel like I've played there before.

And that, ladies and germs, is my long-winded intro to tell you that I marched into the Bean Counter yesterday afternoon with my guitar, told them to turn off the stereo, and played an impromptu warm-up set! The folks at the coffeehouse are very, very cool, and were happy to let me strum a bit while they sold lattes and chai teas to their clientele. I just pulled up a chair and started playing a few tunes, pretty randomly, but focusing on my own songs. My total audience included the owner, his wife, two baristas, and maybe eight people who wandered in to have coffee while I was there, but it was still great to get a little real-life live performance under my belt before doing it "for real".

Here's what I played...
Falling Down (Zak Claxton)
This Afternoon (Zak Claxton)
Wonderwall (Oasis)
Thanks Anyway (Zak Claxton)
Always Tomorrow (Zak Claxton)
California (Joni MItchell)
You're Like a Cloud (Zak Claxton)
Come Around (Zak Claxton)

My darling Kat came with me to take some pics and video (and because despite having seen me play hundreds of times in SL, she'd never seen me perform on my own in real life). Here is a video she shot of me performing "Thanks Anyway" at the Bean Counter.

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