Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Serenity Gardens (02.12.18)

I'm back! Photo by Kat.

Oh, hello blog reader. What's that, you say? It's been a month since my last post? Yes, I believe I explained that I am MIA for awhile each January and early February due to events beyond my control. I could have posted about various other things in the time frame in between, but... I didn't. I suppose that it's kind of nice to walk away from this blog in the same way it's refreshing to take a break from performing live shows for a little bit. I always enjoy both things more upon my return, and hopefully you do as well.

Going to Arizona
Before I write about my show last night at Serenity Gardens, I'll write about something I mentioned during said show. On Thursday, Kat and I are heading to a rental place north of Phoenix for a few days along with a number of other friends from Second Life. Let me note right away, this is not, I repeat, not an SL Jam. It's just a small group of folks who all happened to be ready for a little vacation, and know each other through the SL music scene. A few of us are bringing acoustic guitars, and we're all looking forward to some very mellow times, with no big events on the schedule. I try and do something to get away and reset my brain after my busy work events each January, so the timing of this was perfect. I'm sure I'll have some good stuff to reflect upon and share after we're back. Stay tuned for that.

Darwin Day
Yesterday was the birthday of one of my heroes. I started studying the work of Charles Darwin when I was a little kid, and have been fascinated by the science of evolution ever since. There are people who seem to feel the work of Darwin is a personal affront to them, since it contradicts many of the basic creation myths espoused by most religions. I don't care about that. I believe that as time goes by and the science of DNA study continues to be more and more refined, the fact that all living things are related will be more apparent to all. Perhaps in some future era, humanity can move beyond its behavioral patterns of greed and war and environmental destruction simply through the recognition that everything alive is part of the same family. I try and remain optimistic about these things.

The Show
I've noted before that when I take a break from performing, I don't really know what to expect when I return. Will I be able to sing and play guitar well? Will my audience want to come see me? These concerns are always for naught. Last night at Serenity Gardens was a good example. I did my typical warm-up routine, we had a nice-sized crowd, and everything went fine. I will say that right toward the end, I started getting some cramps in my left (fretting) hand, but with both singing and playing an instrument, it's a physical activity that requires both strength and muscle memory to do well. The more often you do it, the more you can count on your body to do what you want. I'm sure that for subsequent shows, as I play and sing more often, my hands and voice will have no problem holding up better over the course of a full hour-long show.

I purposefully dug a little deeper into my song list for this show, pulling out a few tunes that I've been doing less regularly in recent times. That's always a purposeful effort by me, making sure that both my audience and myself avoid burnout.

Serenity Gardens is such a nice, open space that I find I enjoy the act of playing there all the more. Photo by Kat.

"I'm a China toad, and I'm in reckless mode." Photo by Kat.

Serenity Gardens set list...
Airport Bar (Martin Courtney)
Pink Moon (Nick Drake)
Falling Down (Zak Claxton)
Carry Me Ohio (Sun Kil Moon)
Bring On The Night (The Police)
Alison (Elvis Costello)
Shock the Monkey (Peter Gabriel)
Blew the Dust Away (They Stole My Crayon)
Big Empty (Stone Temple Pilots)
Court & Spark (Joni Mitchell)
It’s Choade My Dear (Connan Mockasin)
You're Like a Cloud (Zak Claxton)
California (Joni Mitchell)

Huge thanks to every person who came to Serenity Gardens to see my show, with extra-special thanks to those who helped support it!
ErikKottzen Resident, RoxxyyRoller Resident, dls Falconer, TheaDee Resident, Aurelie Chenaux, Tyche Szondi, Kat Claxton, my manager Maali Beck, and the great team at Serenity Gardens, Tilly Rose and Ilsa Wilde!