Monday, August 1, 2016

Triana's Music Trivia (07.31.16)

It's early on a Monday morning, and I'm bouncing off the walls with happy excitement. Those statements may seem incompatible with each other, but it's true. As I mentioned yesterday, my band They Stole My Crayon, having recently wrapped up the recording and mixing of our debut album, had sent off the stereo tracks to be mastered at Abbey Road Studios on Saturday. I must say that at the moment my alarm went off at 6AM today, I wasn't exactly a bastion of cheer. But even before I got some outstanding news, I was already feeling pretty good for a Monday. Last night, I got to perform live for one of my best friends, Jess Smith, for the eleventh anniversary of her Second Life-based event Triana's Music Trivia.

I'll come back to that in a moment. So, feeling pretty good about a very fun show I'd done along with Kat, I showered and dressed, and then (as routine would dictate), entered my office to check my email. Betwixt and between some work-related messages and the usual influx of spam was a message from Abbey Road. It said, simply, this:

Your project has been allocated and it is with our engineer Geoff Pesche, to be delivered to you in 5 days.

Wait... seriously?!?!?! Geoff Pesche?!?!?! Working on our music?!?!?! This is insane! This is amazing! This is... okay, I'll stop hyperventilating for a moment. I'll not dwell on this too much here, but Geoff Pesche is an internationally-acclaimed mastering engineer who is one of the best in the business. We would have been completely happy to have any of Abbey Road's mastering engineers taking on the task of working on our album, of course; just being selected to work there means you are at the top of your craft. But Geoff Pesche, my God! This guy is a hero of mine as an audio engineer. The list of music he's worked on over the last 30 or so years is astounding. It includes some artists and bands you might have heard of, like Coldplay, Radiohead, LCD Soundsystem, Tina Turner, Gorillaz, Daughter, MIA, Blur, Ed Sheeran, Lily Allen, Kylie Minogue... okay, I'll stop now. Wait, one more thing: he mastered the biggest-selling 12" vinyl single of all time: "Blue Monday" by New Order. Jesus!

Here's a recent interview with Geoff that explains a bit about what he does.

So, now I'm finally calming down about that amazing bit of news to the point that I can tell you about my show last night for Triana's Music Trivia. A little background: when Kat and I got into Second Life in 2006, one of the first things we found to do that was cool and fun was an event called Triana's Music Trivia. Held on Sunday nights at 7PM SLT, it's been the one thing in SL that we've continued doing continuously for the entire period we've been in world, close to ten years now. Triana even pre-dates our relatively long-term participation in the virtual world, having recently celebrated her 12th rezday, and it's been eleven years since she started running her trivia game. We go for the trivia, but we've stayed for the people, several of whom have been there with us each Sunday evening for a decade. They've become great friends... especially Triana herself, with whom our relationship has expanded into the real world. We've taken a number of vacations together and she is as close to Kat and I as anyone we know. Once or twice a year, I've performed at her virtual place for special events, and my show there is always super interesting, since I tend to play music that I don't do anywhere else.

Kat joins me onstage for some Bowie and Crayon tunes. Photo and top photo by Triana.

Having way too much fun with our friends at TMT. Photo by Triana.

Rocking Tirana's attic. I like playing house parties in real or virtual worlds. Photo by Triana.

Last night's show was particularly great. For one reason, I was joined onstage by Kat, who has gained more and more confidence in her ability as a live musician due to her work alongside of me and Bunny in They Stole My Crayon. Another reason -- which I didn't bother dwelling on much during the show itself -- is that the set list had some particular significance in several ways. It was the first show I'd done there since the passing of David Bowie and Prince, so I made sure to have some of both artists' music in the set... Triana is a big fan of both, so it made sense. I also did some Beatles, in honor of our music being worked on at Abbey Road. And, unsurprisingly, we did several Crayon tunes for the same reason.

TMT set list...
Airport Bar (Martin Courtney)
Triana (Zak Claxton)
†*Changes (David Bowie)
†*Suffragette City (David Bowie)
†Blew The Dust Away (They Stole My Crayon)
†Vendetta (They Stole My Crayon)
†Things Under Trees (They Stole My Crayon)
Summer Breeze (Seals & Crofts)
*Desert Lily (Zak Claxton)
*Good Morning Good Morning (Beatles)
*Not Freebird (Lynyrd Skynyrd/Zak Claxton)
Take Me With U (Prince)
You're Like a Cloud (Zak Claxton)
Tribute (Tenacious D)

*Indicates a song I've never played before in SL.
†Indicates the songs on which Kat performed with me.

Huge thanks to all of our friends who've been a part of our lives through TMT over the years, especially those who were at the show last night. You rule, and we love you all!

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