Thursday, April 26, 2018

The Islands of New England (04.25.18)

The Islands of New England is one of the best places for live music in all of SL. Photo by Kat.

As anyone who even remotely knows me is aware, I love the Mojave Desert here in Southern California, and visit multiple times each year if possible. Today, along with my bandmates in They Stole My Crayon (Bunny and Christina), I'm pointing the Jeep in the eastward direction and once again heading out to Joshua Tree. I have no words to tell you how happy I am to be spending a little time out there among the yuccas and lizards. Especially in times where life seems somewhat overwhelming and a little bit of a reset of the brain is required, there's no place on Earth like Joshua Tree to accomplish that goal. I'll certainly be doing a post upon my return to report on whatever shenanigans we get into on this short trip.

But early on this Thursday morning, while I wrap up some work responsibilities and wait for Bunny to arrive, I have some time to tell you about my show last night at The Islands of New England in Second Life. I've spent a long, long time doing shows at that venue, but each show always seems to feel like a special occasion there. I'd say one reason is that their event manager, Christine Haiku, really does a great job of choosing artists who mesh well together, and last night was a great example of that. My show was wedged between Scottish performer and excellent fingerstyle guitarist Jukebox Diesel and my amazing Nashville-based performer friend Sassy Nitely.

My view from the stage. Photo by Kat.

Making people happy is what makes me happy. Photo by Kat.

I love this place. Photo by Kat.

When I arrived about halfway through Juke's set and turned up the stream audio, the first words out of my mouth were, "Oh shit, now I have to be good." Christina made a remark to the tune of, "Wow, I'd pay to see this guy play in real life," and I was like, "Oh, thanks a lot for the extra pressure." But it was all in fun; I really love being inspired to focus on my own performance by seeing seriously talented musicians playing at the same show.

Since my voice had continued to heal after my round of sickness, I felt more confident in my vocal range for this show, but still kept the set list more on the mellow side of things. That also worked well for staying within the scope of the music that Juke and Sassy were doing. We had a terrific crowd there that included the majority of my Zakster fans/friends. I'm always happy when, on the rare occasions that I have more than one show within a few days, that the same people come out to see me again. What I always do is make sure that the show I give them is significantly different from the previous one in terms of vibe and the songs I choose for my set. The one exception was "Among the Leaves", the Sun Kil Moon song I debuted the other night and liked it so much, I decided to do it again.

The Islands of New England set list...
Pink Moon (Nick Drake)
Say Goodbye (Beck)
Airport Bar (Martin Courtney)
Peaceful Easy Feeling (Eagles)
Among the Leaves (Sun Kil Moon)
Roxanne (The Police)
Blue Shadows on the Trail (Randy Newman)
So. Central Rain (R.E.M.)
Blew the Dust Away (They Stole My Crayon)
Faded in the Morning (Unknown Mortal Orchestra)
Possession (Sarah McLachlan)
Baker Street (Gerry Rafferty)
Pretty Pimpin (Kurt Vile)

Massive thanks to all who came out to the show, with extra big thanks to the following who helped support it!
MiaMackleby Resident, Sassy Nitely, LadyEllenT Resident, Robert69 Little, RoxxyyRoller Resident, go2smoky Resident, Alex Zelin, Kat Claxton, Asimia Heron, hildegard269 Resident, TheaDee Resident, Aurelie Chenaux, Triana Caldera, my lovely manager Maali Beck, and The Islands of New England's wonderful event management team of RansomTalmidge Resident and Christine Haiku!

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