Sunday, July 11, 2010

ZCHFS #12 Report (07.11.10)

Note: Fast forward the video and start at the 5:00 minute mark. I kinda hit the "record" button a wee bit early. Oops.

Last weekend was a holiday here in the good ol' US of A, and since July 4 fell on a Sunday, most of the working world was given Monday July 5 off. I tend to work on these kind of days regardless, but Kat had the day off and we spent it mostly relaxing around the house. However, I'm not very good at doing nothing for extended periods of time, so after awhile I took on the task of some rearranging stuff in my office/studio room. After a few trash bags filled and some shoving useless crap in closets, I cleared some space to set up my old keyboard (an Alesis QS8), then plugged it in and was pleasantly surprised to see it still powered up after a few dormant years. The QS8 is a pretty good workhorse of a keyboard, with 88 weighted keys (like a full-size piano) and some good piano and organ sounds. I was a little disappointed that a few of the keys had decided to stop working, but for the most part it was fine.

My piano skills, however, were much more rusty than the keyboard itself. I messed around on it a bit, trying to get the old muscle memory happening. But a couple of days ago, when I was planning Episode 12 of the Zak Claxton Happy Fun Show, a crazy thought popped into my head: could throw in a piano song for the first time in any of my recent performances ("recent" being "for the last 10+ years"). Seriously, the last time I played live piano in public was at a party sometime in the mid-90s, I think, so you have to give me some props just for having the cojones to tickle the ivories at the ZCHFS.

And I'm gonna be hii-iiiiiiiiiigh as a kite by then...

So, after accidentally starting to record my show five minutes before I actually came in and started playing, the show was super fun. I started on piano, switched over to my Martin for a few familiar tunes, whipped out the Cheap Ass Rogue guitar which was set up in D modal tuning for a couple of numbers, and then back to the Martin. I'd intended on finishing there, but my pal NoCal popped in and I had to jump back to piano at the end for a reprise of my Shatner/Elton John song. In fact, here's what I played for Episode 12...

ZCHFS #12 set list...
*Rocket Man (Elton John)
This Afternoon (Zak Claxton)
Always Tomorrow (Zak Claxton)
You're Like a Cloud (Zak Claxton)
Waiting for This (Zak Claxton)
Ohio (Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young)
The Worst (Rolling Stones)
Thanks Anyway (Zak Claxton)
Space Oddity (David Bowie)
Falling Down (Zak Claxton)
Rocket Man (Elton John)

*Indicates the first time I've performed this song.

Strumming my Martin...

... and rocking the cheap guitar too.

It's hard to keep a straight face while covering Shatner covering Elton. It really is.

Thanks to my friends who came by for todays Happy Fun Show! See you again on Saturday July 24!

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