Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Frazzled at Crystal Sands (08.25.08)

You may (or may not) have noticed that I'm posting this blog awhile after my most recent show at Crystal Sands. Well, there's a good reason for it: I'm insane with being busy! My lady Kat is moving to my area to be near me, and I spent a few days with her over the weekend of August 23-24, getting her new place ready. At the same time, I was also getting ready to move... fifty feet to the south. After 13 years in the same place, I have moved to the larger and nicer unit in the front of my building, and in as much as it's great being in this terrific new place, the actual part of moving 13 years worth of accumulated shit is not on my list of "Fun Things To Do". Finally, as if I needed this, my work has been tremendously busy as well, with all manner of lovely trade show signs, national ads, web updates, and other goodies looming in my deadline column.

Whew! Just writing about it is making me even more frazzled!

Speaking of frazzled, for my most recent show at Crystal Sands, I had to work like a crazy person all day, and then my landlord came by to give me the keys to my new home, and inspect the place before I took possession of it. Of course, he didn't show up until 4:00, and I didn't get back in here until 4:45, with my show scheduled to start fifteen minutes later. I normally do like to warm up my voice and get in a good mindset to perform, but no matter... I just jumped onstage and did as well as I could, under the circumstances. And you know what? It was fine. In fact, it felt great to break away from the madness for a moment, Interesting that playing guitar in a virtual world is what now passes as "normal" for me. Ah well. No matter.

And here's what I played...

Ziggy Stardust (David Bowie)
The Needle and the Damage Done (Neil Young)
In My Life (Beatles)
Take It On The Run (REO Speedwagon)
Space Odyssey (David Bowie)
Drive (Incubus)
Nobody Home (Pink Floyd)
Vera (Pink Floyd)
You're Like a Cloud (Zak Claxton)
What I Got (Sublime)
I Am A Child (Neil Young)
Thanks Anyway (Zak Claxton)
California (Joni Mitchell)
Old Man (Neil Young)

And thanks to the following folks who supported my show!
Zachariah Loon, Shannyn Fall, Triana Caldera, Kat Claxton, Bratt Lunasea, Grateful Stryker, and the lovely Sandi Benelli!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Fun Times at Crystal Sands (08.18.08)

I don't have much to say about this show. Everything was very smooth... no stream loss, which was nice for a change. I guess my only comment is to make myself aware to NEVER AGAIN play my song "This Afternoon" right after Incubus' "Drive". The key and rhythms are too similar, and I found I just couldn't get rolling on "This Afternoon" at the start! Nice when you don't remember your own song! Sheesh!

Song Sample: "Drive" (Incubus)

Tonight's set list:
*Under Pressure (Queen with David Bowie)
Wish You Were Here (Pink Floyd)
Going Mobile (The Who)
Drive (Incubus)
This Afternoon (Zak Claxton)
Old Man (Neil Young)
Free Man In Paris (Joni Mitchell)
Always Tomorrow (Zak Claxton)
Rikki Don't Lose That Number (Steely Dan)
You're Like a Cloud (Zak Claxton)
California (Joni Mitchell)
Thanks Anyway (Zak Claxton)
Tribute (Tenacious D)

And thanks to the following folks who supported my show!
Carrie Laysan, cuddles Carling, Ictus Belford, Blood Klotzel, Tessa Rhiadra, Elvis Duffy, Kat Claxton, and especially Sandi Benelli!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Grand opening of The Galleria (08.11.08)

My second show of August 11 (see below for the first) was the grand opening of a new music venue, The Galleria. This is a place owned by Signey Gustafson, who I met in a way that was a little different than most of my other musical contacts in SL. While I've been introduced to the majority of venues I play through someone having seen me at a different venue, Signey met me by becoming interested in my visual art -- the graphic artistry that I do as a sideline to my music stuff in SL. She hired me to exhibit at an art showing, and I mentioned to her that I was a musician as well. As a result, she saw me play last week, and then hired me to perform at her grand opening.

Funny side note: I always seem to end up playing around the same times/places as Ictus Belford. I had to laugh about Monday's schedule, which had Ictus playing at the Galleria at 4:00, me playing at Crystal Sands at 5:00, Ictus playing at Crystal Sands at 6:00, and me playing at The Galleria at 7:00. Yikes!

I'd met many of the audience members at The Galleria the day before, at the opening to my art exhibit. That was kind of nice, since most times I'm playing a new place, I get a room full of strangers with the exception of my small fan base. And while I wasn't exactly the center of attention there the whole time -- it was Signey's opening, and she and her friends were having fun chatting amongst themselves -- it seemed that everyone appreciated the tunes, and I liked being able to introduce my music to a range of new folks. All in all, it was fun, and worth the effort of doing two shows in three hours.

Zak strums away at The Galleria.

People having fun and stuff.

Signey shakes her booty.

Doubledown Tandino, one of the only people that can be silly enough to make me respond to them while I'm playing. All photos courtesy of my darling Kat.

Song Sample: "Ashes to Ashes" (David Bowie)

And here's what I played!
Help Me (Joni Mitchell)
The Man Who Sold the World (David Bowie/Nirvana)
Six Underground (Sneaker Pimps)
Fire & Rain (James Taylor)
Summer Breeze (Seals & Crofts)
Thanks Anyway (Zak Claxton)
Sex & Candy (Marcy Playground)
Ashes to Ashes (David Bowie)
Carey (Joni Mitchell)
Heart of Gold (Neil Young)
Falling Down (Zak Claxton)
Behind Blues Eyes (the Who)

Thanks to the nice people who supported my show!
Ictus Belford, Aphrodite Whiteberry, Kat Claxton, Rik Zwiers, Wannahave Ferraris, Bruce Dyszel, Elphie Broome, Carlton Nestler, Rob Watts, and most of all, Signey Gustafson!

Happy times at Crystal Sands (08.11.08)

Kat boogies while I rock Crystal Sands. Photo courtesy of Triana Caldera.

I had two shows on Monday 8/11, the first of which being my regular weekly show at Crystal Sands at 5:00PM. It's so odd how the crowds can fluctuate from week to week at the same time, same place in SL. I have some shows at Crystal Sands where I have 30 people, and other (like this one) where I have about 15 for the whole show. But you know what? It was still a lot of fun, and I think everyone there had a great time.

Actually, I think everyone thought I'd lost my mind... I was in a silly mood, but that's not all that unusual. :)

The set list:
*Tennessee Jed (Grateful Dead)
Alabama (Neil Young)
All-Star (Smash Mouth)
Cassidy (Grateful Dead)
Our House (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
You're Like a Cloud (Zak Claxton)
I Am the Walrus (Beatles)
This Afternoon (Zak Claxton)
You Can't Always Get What You Want (Rolling Stones)
Always Tomorrow (Zak Claxton)
Summer Breeze (Seals & Crofts)
Losing My Religion (REM)

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

Thanks to the folks who helped support my show!
zonia Supply, Willowhouse Richez, Rey Tardis, Thump Jaxxon, Gubatah Tigerpaw, Kat Claxton, Elvis Duffy, Triana Caldera, TenneseeJed Freiman, Krakov Letov, and my musical patron of the arts, Sandi Benelli!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Zak Claxton Art Show at Nantucket (starting 08.10.08)

Some of you may not know that in addition to my escapades as a musician both in the virtual world and the real one as well, I am also a visual artist. My RL job involves creating original graphic design for magazine ads, print brochures, product packaging, web sites, signs, and more. I've never seriously promoted myself as an artist in SL, but occasionally I've taken some of my art, framed it, and thrown it out where people can see it.

Well, someone saw it, and I was surprised one day to get an IM from Signey Gustafson, representing New England in SL. She'd seen my work and was interested in having me do a full-fledge exhibit of my art. I was frankly surprised; while I create art every day for my job, in SL I am really only known as a live musician. But after reassuring myself that Signey wouldn't have asked unless she liked my stuff, I'm happy to say that for the first time ever, a Zak Claxton art exhibit will be seen in SL!

The exhibit will be held at Nantucket Town Square, starting on Sunday August 10. For more information, please see the article on the SLNE web site.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Zak's Debut at The Notes Shack (08.06.08)

Krakov Letov is a great guy, and has seen many of my shows at various places around the grid. He's mentioned a few times that he'd like me to perform at his venue, but as a standard rule, I just don't play too many tips-only type of places. It's mostly because I value the places I play regularly who do pay a fee to have me there, and I don't want to seem unfair to them, understandably. However, I do like getting my music out in front of new people at new places, so I decided to accept his invitation to play at The Notes Shack, and I'm really glad I did!

It was a really fun show, and made better by having some familiar, friendly faces in the crowd, along with some new people who might have become Zak fans before the show was done.

Song Sample: "Nobody Home"/"Vera" (Pink Floyd)

Here's what I played:
Any Major Dude (Steely Dan)
Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere (Neil Young)
Always Tomorrow (Zak Claxton)
Sex & Candy (Marcy Playground)
Court & Spark (Joni Mitchell)
Old Man (Neil Young)
Thanks Anyway (Zak Claxton)
Accidents Will Happen (Elvis Costello)
This Afternoon (Zak Claxton)
Day After Day (Badfinger)
Big Bad Bill (Van Halen)
You're Like a Cloud (Zak Claxton)
Nobody Home (Pink Floyd)
*Vera (Pink Floyd)

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

Thanks to the following people who supported my show!
Djai Skjellerup, Norge Oh, destiny Sass, Ivory Lockjaw, Cher Harrington, Soundcircel Flanagan, Blondee Stardust, Ansel Trachtenberg, and of course Krakov Letov!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

More new ZakTunes™ at Crystal Sands (08.04.08)

Okay, that subject is a slight lie. I played a couple of tunes I hadn't played before in SL, but they weren't mine. However, it's almost always fun doing new covers... keeps me fresh, and my audience gets to hear some stuff they haven't heard me do before. Good times.

When I arrived at this Crystal Sands show, I was dismayed to find my buddy Elvis Duffy wasn't there. Something must have happened, because he's great at sticking to his show schedule. I'm guessing an ISP outage. In any case, we didn't have much of a crowd present when I got on the mic. I started my show early (for some inexplicable reason... I don't claim to understand myself) by telling a story of sneaking into a Grateful Dead show in 1985. Of course, I was mostly killing time so that we'd get a little more of a substantial audience arriving. Once we did, it was time to turn Monday into a Funday! Oh man, I kill myself.

I want people to look up to me, but this is just silly! Photo courtesy of Triana Caldera.

Song Sample: "Day After Day" (Badfinger)

Set List!
*Day After Day (Badfinger)
Summer Breeze (Seals & Crofts)
Fire and Rain (James Taylor)
*Nobody Home (Pink Floyd)
This Afternoon (Zak Claxton)
Powerfinger (Neil Young)
Falling Down (Zak Claxton)
What I Got (Sublime)
You're Like a Cloud (Zak Claxton)
The Right Thing To Do (Carly Simon)
Tribute (Tenacious D)
California (Joni MItchell)
Thanks Anyway (Zak Claxton)

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

Thanks to the lovely people who helped support my show!
Triana Caldera, Elphie Broome, Signey Gustafson, jsmn Yao, Zenia Underwood, hexx Triskaidekaphobia, and of course, Crystal Sands owner Sandi Benelli!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Jerry Day at Sunshine Daydream (08.02.08)

In honor of Jerry Garcia's birthday, Sunshine Daydream held an all-day Deadfest today, with 12 hours of SL artists performing Dead tunes. My slot was from 3:00-4:00, and other than a couple of issues with the stream and a very rare SL crash, it was a fun show. It's always cool to branch out from my usual list of songs, so I not only did an all-Dead set, but also added a few tunes I've never played before in SL. Good times.

Sunshine Daydream was nicely decorated for the event. Great times were had by all.

I have no idea how/why I'm smiling in every pic Sally Silvera takes of me!

Two of my favorite pics ever... DJ Doubledown Tandino enjoys the Zak show from his bathtub.

Song Sample #1: ""Jack Straw" (Grateful Dead)

Song Sample #2: "Sugar Magnolia" (Grateful Dead)

Note: Please enjoy my complete demolishing of the third verse of "Sugar Magnolia" above. I certainly did!

Dead Set:

Bertha (Grateful Dead)
Terrapin Station (Grateful Dead)
Brown Eyed Women (Grateful Dead)
*Casey Jones (Grateful Dead)
Looks Like Rain (Grateful Dead)
Cassidy (Grateful Dead)
Jack Srtaw (Grateful Dead)
Black Peter (Grateful Dead)
*Sugar Magnolia (Grateful Dead)
*Truckin' (Grateful Dead)

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

Thanks to the Deadheads at Sunshine Daydream who supported my show!
Gretchen Capalini, Grateful Stryker, Kat Claxton, Sally Silvera, Phoenixa Sol, Janor Slichter, Sandi Benelli, and Blood Klotzel!