Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Serenity Gardens (10.08.18)

Ah, a lovely evening at Serenity Gardens, all decked out for my favorite season. Photo by Thea Dee.

As is typical with this blog, I'm writing this post the morning after one of my live music shows in Second Life -- a particularly good one, which I'll get to in a moment. As my bi-weekly shows at Serenity Gardens are on Mondays, that means it's Tuesday, but it's not just any Tuesday. It's exactly four weeks until the 2018 Midterm Elections. People are typically not very excited about national election years when there's not a president on the ballot, and voter turnout is usually lower than those higher-profile presidential years. But this time around, things are a little different; it's the first opportunity since 2016, when Trump was surprisingly elected, that Americans have a direct opportunity to flex their democratic power.

I don't have to go into everything that's transpired since Trump got into office which might inspire you to take a few minutes and cast a ballot in person on November 6, or before that via mail or other early voting methods. I can, though, break it down into a few easy-to-understand bullets.

• Separating immigrant children from their families
• Installing accused sexual assault predator Brett Kavanaugh into the Supreme Court
• Voicing support for white nationalist groups
• Taking little or no action on regulation of guns
• Choosing an ongoing list of criminal cronies for his cabinet
• Profiting illegally off his position as president via both domestic and foreign sources
• Enacting discriminatory legislation against immigrants, LGBTQ citizens and others
• Potentially having won the presidency via foreign tampering in the US election system

Flipping congress to blue -- potentially both the House and Senate -- will not remove Trump, nor stop his continued self-serving plans. But having a Democrat-controlled legislative branch will make it tremendously more difficult for him to push through his more vile plans, and that's good enough for me. I'm genuinely not expecting any kind of impeachment proceedings. I just want the proper system of checks and balances that will make it hard to fuck up America more than has already happened. Please make sure to register to vote, to confirm that your registration is valid, and to vote... it's just four weeks away.

Good Show. Very Good Show.
It's rare that I'm completely happy with a show (see my many posts on musicians being hypercritical of their own performances). But last night's show was one of those that I can say, "This is about as good as I get." It doesn't mean I'm some amazing singer or guitarist. It does mean that within the scope of my abilities, sometimes I curate a set and then perform it, and I know that between the material and the way I play it, it's unlikely that I could do better than I did. That's a good feeling.

Rocking with my band of bone brothers. Photo by Thea Dee.

I should tell the rather funny story of performing Tracy Chapman's "Fast Car" for the first time. Typically, when I decide to do a song I haven't done before, I choose the tune, rehearse it a few times, and at the next opportunity, pull it out in front of an audience and see how it goes. This typically happens within a few days. Well, it took a little while longer with this tune... about eleven years, to be precise. It was in 2007 that I thought it would be a good tune to try out, and printed the lyric sheet at that time. Well, it just seemed that I could never perform that song at a level that the song merited. I know there were several times I pulled it out, tried it, and slid it right back into the pile.

Serenity Gardens set list...
All I Want (Joni Mitchell)
Northern Sky (Nick Drake)
Falling Down (Zak Claxton)
If I Had a Tail (Queens of the Stone Age)
*Fast Car (Tracy Chapman)
Perfect Day (Lou Reed)
Bang and Blame (R.E.M.)
All You Facists (Woody Guthrie)
Wildflowers (Tom Petty)
Shame Chamber (Kurt Vile)
Half Moon Bay (Sun Kil Moon)
On The Way Home (Buffalo Springfield)

*Indicates the first time I've performed this song in SL.

Huge thanks to all who came out to the show, with special kudos to the follow who helped support it!
go2smoky Resident, Trouble Streeter, IlsaFlannigan Resident, Richy Nervous, rubycompton Resident, Tyche Szondi, Aurelie Chenaux, TheaDee Resident, my superb manager Maali Beck, and the fabulous team at Serenity Gardens, Tilly Rose and Ilsa Wilde.

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