Friday, July 27, 2012

Ground Zero (07.26.12)

Yesterday morning, I awoke with a tummy ache. It happens sometimes; you overindulge in some kind of rich food and the next day, you feel like Muhammed Ali jabbed you eight times in the gut. Unfortunately, this one didn't fade as the day went on, and actually worsened. I was not a happy camper, especially because I was booked to perform at Ground Zero, the Second Life venue owned by two good friends of mine (TheaDee and GMetal Svartur).

Is it possible to sing and play an instrument effectively while feeling under the weather? Sure, and most of us long-term live musicians have done it on a number of occasions when absolutely necessary. Is it fun? Hell no, it's terrible. Performing live and putting on a fun show is enough of a challenge when you're feeling great. When you're ill? All you want to do is get through the gig, and that's not the best way to present yourself as a musician.

At one point, I did consider canceling the show, which I hate to do under any circumstances. But considering that a) this was a venue run by friends and b) two of my fellow artists in Maali Beck Entertainment -- Taunter Goodnight and Sassy Nitely -- were playing directly after me, I really wanted to be there.

Solution: compromise!

Enter DJ Zakky Clakky
While I didn't feel I had the strength or energy to sing and play, I was perfectly okay with the idea of sitting in my chair and playing back some tunes as a disk jockey. So that's what I did! I believe this was only the third time I did a show in SL as a DJ; the other two times were for special events, like when I originally released my album in December 2009. In any case, it's been few and far between, and it actually took a few minutes for me to remember how to hook up my audio system to play back tracks.

A rare photo of me sitting down while onstage... and not holding a guitar. Photo by Kat.

I take my front row seat for Taunter's set...

... and then stay there for Sassy's terrific show.

But it worked out just fine. Instead of just playing my own stuff, much like a live Zak Show, I combined my original songs with songs that I enjoy or find influential to my own songwriting.

Ground Zero DJ Set List...
You're Like a Cloud (Zak Claxton)
Life on Mars? (David Bowie)
Falling Down (Zak Claxton)
Spatula King (Bunny Knutson)
Waiting for This (Zak Claxton)
Driven to Tears (The Police)
Always Tomorrow (Zak Claxton)
Car On a Hill (Joni Mitchell)
The Sands of Redondo (Zak Claxton)
Peg (Steely Dan)
Come Around (Zak Claxton)

Big thanks to everyone who checked out and supported the "DJ Zakky Clakky" show, and huge thanks to my fellow Maali Beck Entertainment performers Taunter and Sassy for doing great shows and bringing the fun, and to Thea and GMetal for allowing me to try something new at their great venue!

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