Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Key West (01.11.13)


I'll tell ya... I can't wait to get back to a point where I can write up a blog report on one of my shows the following day. Lately, that's not been possible, but I have an excuse. A good one.

I'm getting ready for the NAMM Show. My real life business is a small marketing communications firm who caters to the musical instrument and pro audio industries, and NAMM is the year's biggest event by a mile. So, as I've written about many times before, I have to spend a good portion of November through January every year helping my clients get ready for it in various ways. What kind of ways? Well, I write press releases, I do web content, I manage social networks, I create signage for their booths, I do spokesperson appearances for them during the show itself, I create print ads and giveaways and... yeah, all that stuff that people do for a trade show.

I do like my job; if I didn't, I'd do something else. But that doesn't mean it's always easy. That having been said, excuse my tardiness on the following report from my show at Key West in Second Life on Friday night. I'd have written it sooner, but sometimes my music career takes a back seat to my other responsibilities. Such is life, right?

Rocking Key West. Photos by Kat.

Good crowd, good tunes, good times. Photos by Kat.

It's easy to say how my show was at Key West, because it was awesome. See, every show I do at Key West ranks among my best, and this one was perhaps even a little better than usual, if that's possible. Max Kleene, who I've long considered a good friend, had the slot before me. I've been fortunate enough to follow Max on probably a dozen occasions or more, and there's a secret to doing it well. First, Max's large crowd is generally open to checking out artists they don't know, and Max always encourages them to stick around for whomever is following him. Second, it's a good idea to open with something that's in line with Max's style. I chose Paul Simon's "Call Me Al"; I figured that the uptempo, happy vibe of the song would work with Max's crowd, and I wasn't wrong. Third, don't be disappointed if your crowd diminishes eventually. Max is perhaps the most popular musical entertainer in all of Second Life, so you'd need to have a pretty bad case of narcissism to assume you'll retain the attention of everyone who was at his show.

For my show on Friday night at Key West, we actually kept a good chunk of Max's crowd while adding on the Zaksters who came for me. The result was a really good audience, and I found myself inspired to play and sing well. I found more inspiration from an older source: David Bowie, whose new song "Where Are We Now?" got covered by me for the first time. I told everyone it was the world's first live cover of that song, and until I'm proven otherwise, I'm sticking to that story.

Key West Set List...
Call Me Al (Paul Simon)
Thanks Anyway (Zak Claxton)
Waterloo Sunset (The Kinks)
You're Like a Cloud (Zak Claxton)
Northern Sky (Nick Drake)
Ashes to Ashes (David Bowie
*Where Are We Now (David Bowie)
This Afternoon (Zak Claxton)
Blue Sky Mine (Midnight Oil)
California (Joni Mitchell)
Frigid Spring (Chairlift)
Big Yellow Taxi (Joni Mitchell)

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

Big thanks to all who came out to this great Key West show, especially those who helped support it! See you next time!
Eflie, TheaDee, Gray Halostar, Alexis Fairlady, pinklady2, Kathy Dayton, Textress Bohemian, Cellandra Zon, Maximillion Kleene, Aurelie Chenaux, Kat Claxton, and the amazing staff at Key West (especially owner/manager and good friend Liz Harley)!

2 comments:

Mr. Crap Mariner said...

All your tips are valid, plus "Strike while the iron is hot."

Freestar followed Max last night at Chelsea, Max did the usual "stick around" props, but the mass migration effect kicked in very quickly.

She was having some difficulty getting up on stage with KwaiSpock (Mainland lag?), stream connection issues... the delays thinned folks out a bit. And she led with something not quite Max-ish for a transition.

Which is sad, because I enjoyed her and KwaiSpock's hour very much, and I think the folks who hopped out would have, too.

-ls/cm

Zak Claxton said...

I really find Max to be incredibly nice as a person, and supportive as an artist. I have also been through what you describe happened with Freestar... lag issues and the like not giving me the smoothest transition, and losing the majority of the crowd before my first note. it's frustrating, but I also refuse to get more than mildly annoyed about stuff that's beyond my control.