In 1785, the great Scottish poet Robert Burns wrote a poem called "To a Mouse" which contained the famous couplet: "The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men / Gang aft agley" which is paraphrased in modern English as "The best-laid plans of mice and men / Often go awry". As you're probably aware, in 1937 writer John Steinbeck then used this line as inspiration for his classic American novel "Of Mice and Men". You might be wondering what any of this has to do with my live music performance yesterday at the Neil Young Archives of Second Life, but that shall soon be made clear, dear reader. But first, some more postulating and general dilly-dallying.
I'm really fortunate that in the nearly eight years I've been performing live music in SL, roughly 97% of my shows have gone as planned. No, that doesn't mean there weren't some technical glitches or scheduling screw-ups or other weirdness from time to time. Those things happen, and they're no big deal. I mean that out of thousands of shows, only a few times have I been scheduled to perform somewhere, and then had the person who arranged for me to play simply not be there when I arrive to play. Again, considering how many shows I've done, I'm extremely lucky to almost always be working with venue owners and managers who stick with their commitments and can always be counted on to do their part of the equation... creating a nice-looking place, and assisting in the promotion and hosting of the show. And most of all, heh heh, being there when they've booked you for a show.
Photos by Kat.
Perhaps it's specifically because I tend to work with the very best venue owners and manager of SL, from Liz Harley at Key West to Christine Haiku at the Islands of New England to Barbie and Luis at Templemore and so many others, that I've developed an expectation of excellent communications like I get through those people. However, yesterday I was scheduled to perform at a place, and the long story short...
1. There was no listing of the event in Second Life.
2. When I tried to contact the venue owner/manager before the show, they were nowhere to be found.
3. When I looked for the venue, the entire sim was gone off the SL map.
4. When I saw that the owner had seemingly opened another place, I found it, and saw that I was indeed listed on their marquee to perform at that day and time.
5. And yet, no one was there at all.
So, again, perhaps I'm spoiled by all the people who run SL venues the right way. It's actually a little shocking to see someone completely blow off their end of an agreement. And still, two days later, I still haven't heard from this venue owner. I'm obviously hoping that the person didn't have some kind of emergency that precluded them from telling me about the venue change and so on and so forth. However, along with some other odd behavior, I can pretty much guarantee that I won't be choosing to perform at their venue again any time soon regardless.
Let's move on to the positive. When it finally became apparent that the other venue wasn't going to come through, Kat suggested that we use one of our own parcels in SL to do a show, since I'd taken the time to prepare a set list, set up my gear, and warm up. We alerted my in-world group that I'd be performing at our own SL Neil Young Archives, and we quickly zipped over there and I started playing. Amazingly, we actually did grab a few of our pals who'd planned to go to the show at the other spot, and the show turned out fine. Still, it's difficult not being annoyed at the lack of communication from the place that booked me, and I'll certainly be attempting to follow up on that situation, as you'd imagine.
SL Neil Young Archives set list...
Sex & Candy (Marcy Playground)
Perfect Day (Lou Reed)
Shame Chamber (Kurt Vile)
Broken Day (Zak Claxton)
Save Me (Aimee Mann)
My My Hey Hey (Neil Young)
Longing On (They Stole My Crayon)
The Needle and the Damage Done (Neil Young)
Radio Free Europe (R.E.M.)
Things Under Trees (They Stole My Crayon)
The Sleeper in the Valley (Laura Veirs)
My Heart (Neil Young)
Big thanks to all who found my show after the venue change, and even more thanks to those who helped support it!
Nancy Lei, Triana Caldera, OriginalHarold Resident, dls Falconer, Kat Claxton, TheaDee Resident, and my great manager Maali Beck!