Monday, June 25, 2018

Triana's Music Trivia 13th Anniversary (06.24.18)

Fun with friends at Triana's Music Trivia 13th anniversary party. Photo by Kat.

One could say that it's been a busy time in Zak Land lately. I'm not complaining, and I'll tell you why: while some relaxing time off will be greatly appreciated whenever that comes around again, I am a small business owner whom, if not working, is not making income. Busy is good in that regard. Also, frankly, I'm not very good at doing nothing. When I have time off of any sort, you'll usually find me traveling, making music, or being active in some way. But I will tell you: my last full day off of everything was on June 3, and that's probably too long to go without downtime for any human.

In the meantime, some great stuff has happened. My son graduated high school and had a birthday this week. We got to spend some good time with family at a Lobsterfest event this weekend. Some less-than-good stuff has also happened, like our Jeep breaking down for the first time since we got it in 2011. Again, I could look at the negative side (and it's still to be determined why it conked out in the middle of driving), but the fact that we've driven it for over seven years with nary a problem is something to be glad, not mad, about.

By coincidence, I've also had a bunch of live music shows to do in SL... much more than my usual 3-4 per month. But that's okay too, because each show has been very different between last Monday at Serenity Gardens, Friday at SL15B Music Fest, and last night's show at Triana's Music Trivia, celebrating the 13th anniversary of this fun event. I've performed at the TMT anniversary event every year since 2008. It's much more like a house party than a typical live music concert I do in Second Life. The audience is filled with longterm friends whom we see in-world nearly every single Sunday night, and the hostess of TMT, the titular Triana Caldera, is a lady who has become one of the best friends in the world to Christina and I.

I like Triana so much, I actually played Eagles music for her (shudder). Photo by Kat.

When I play TMT anniversary shows, I have a tradition of doing a) tunes I'd never done before and b) tunes I'd never do anywhere else. They're not always very representative of me as a musical artist, but many of the folks there already know what I sound like at a typical show. This is intentionally different, and often ridiculous. Example: one year, I sang Steely Dan's "Deacon Blues", but did it using the voice of Elmer Fudd. I've done TV themes, show tunes, bands I normally never consider covering, and more at TMT special events. Why? No one knows, not even me. I guess it's because in an environment where one is surrounded with friends who are silly and non-judgmental, it's okay to be a little insane.

Kat and I "... bend a blues riff that hangs over everything." Photo by Triana Caldera.

The Claxtons rocking. Photo by Triana Caldera.

One thing I occasionally do at TMT events is to have Kat perform along with me. I'd genuinely like her to do that more often, but she's usually not even here during my shows, and it's only something I want her to do if it will be fun for her. We did something that was pretty cool last night, and it was something I'd never done before at any SL show. Telling the audience that we'd invited a full band to perform with us (jokingly; I'd never purposefully mislead a crowd in that way), we set up some backing tracks that I'd created for a jam cover of a Courtney Barnett/Kurt Vile collaboration, and with me on live guitar and Kat and I on live vocals, we did a performance backed by full instrumentation. These were tracks that I'd personally recorded, so it wasn't like the musical equivalent of karaoke or anything like that. Never once in my nearly 12 years of performing in SL have I done that, and frankly it was kind of cool. I might, at some point, do a full show that way. On a general basis, I prefer the free-wheeling aspect of playing 100% live as I've always done, but it was kind of nice having some musical backup. I did the same thing for the final song of the night, my tune "Triana" that I wrote about our friend and the trivia event she's graciously hosted for so many years now.

TMT 13th Anniversary set list...
While My Guitar Gently Weeps (Beatles)
You Oughta Know (Alanis Morissette)
Tribute (Tenacious D)
*Growing Pains Theme (B.J. Thomas)
*Family Ties Theme (Johnny Mathis/Deniece Williams)
*New Kid in Town (Eagles)
I Dreamed a Dream (Les Miserables)
Baker Street (Gerry Rafferty)
You’re Like a Cloud (Zak Claxton)
Our Lips Are Sealed (The Go-Go's)
†Over Everything (Kurt Vile/Courtney Barnett)
†Triana (Zak Claxton)

*Indicates the first time I've performed this song in SL.
†Indicates the songs that used the full band arrangement.

Huge thanks to our wonderful friends at Triana's Music Trivia!

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