Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Ground Zero (06.15.15)

Photo by Triana Caldera.

I will start this report with three seemingly contradictory statements.

1. Last night I performed at Ground Zero in Second Life for the third time, yet it was my first full performance there.
2. I performed a song for the first time that I'd played ten times before.
3. Joel W Corey Tamas is a wonderful guy and a good friend, but I may have to kill him.

Let me now elaborate.

Finally, a complete show at Ground Zero
Ground Zero is owned and run by a couple of people who I consider great friends. Thea Dee is someone who I first met in college back in the early '90s, and her involvement in Second Life, I'm happy to say, is because of our connection. GMetal Svartur is Thea's partner at the venue, and is about as cool and nice of a person as I've ever met. however, I'd had a terrible string of luck when it came to playing at Ground Zero. My first show there was in March 2012, and my second was in July of that year. Both times, I got ill the day of the show, which is super rare for me. So, last night I was finally able to make good on those poor events with a double-barreled blast of Zak attack. The whole show went phenomenally well from my perspective. We had a great crowd; Ground Zero had been down for awhile, with Thea continuing treatment for her cancer, and it really was great to get on her stage to help relaunch the venue. In addition to being good-sized, there were tons of green name tags out there (meaning that those folks are my friends). So, I was loose and in a great mood, which usually makes for my best shows.

Debuting "Picked Up Off The Floor"
Not every song by my band They Stole My Crayon works well in a solo acoustic performance. Don't get me wrong; most of the band's songs were actually written on acoustic guitar, and the songs themselves stand up. But we make use of a lot of instrumentation and vocal harmonies in this band, and sometimes the solo performances don't do the song justice compared to its full-band arrangement. However, I'd say that "Picked Up Off The Floor" went pretty well. While I'd played it many times as part of the writing and recording process, this was the very first time I'd done the song live. Moreover, it was the first time I'd done the song at all. Bunny sings lead on this one in the recorded version, and before I played it before an audience at Ground Zero, I'd literally never played it before. Not even once.

Photo by Triana Caldera.

I love and hate you, Joel
So, I'd noticed earlier in the day that my Canadian pal Joel W Corey Tamas (aka Joel Eilde), who performs in both Second Life and the physical world as Red Heaven, had a show at the same time as me, at another venue (obviously). Just as I was starting my show at Ground Zero, I received a strange and perturbing private message from him. It said...

"Each time I tip you L$1, I'm touching myself."

First, let me explain that L$1 refers to one Linden Dollar, the currency employed in Second Life. There are roughly 250 Linden Dollars that equal one USD dollar, so a single Linden Dollar is the equivalent to less than half a penny. I shrugged and went about getting my show rolling. Well, about 20 minutes into my set, I saw a tip come in from Joel... for L$1. Maybe 15 minutes later, there was another. And then, the floodgates opened. Joel had obviously shared his twisted little game with his fans, because I was getting tip notices from a bunch of people who a) weren't even at my show and b) were all for L$1. Some included lewd messages, so I shudder to think what he had told them. I, of course, shared this with my crowd who seemed to enjoy these shenanigans. I am now considering any and all measures of revenge for Joel's evil deeds, and have sworn that my retribution toward him, while perhaps not swift, shall be deep and painful.

The line must be drawn here! No further!

Ground Zero set list...
Summer Breeze (Seals & Crofts)
Northern Sky (Nick Drake)
*Picked Up Off The Floor (They Stole My Crayon)
My Hero (Foo Fighters)
Rocky Mountain High (John Denver)
Lost Cause (Beck)
Thanks Anyway (Zak Claxton)
Space Oddity (David Bowie)
California (Joni Mitchell)
Tea In the Sahara (The Police)
Accidents Will Happen (Elvis Costello)
*Improvised Ode to Ground Zero (Zak Claxton)

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

Many thanks to all who came to my show at Ground Zero, especially those who supported it... including my L$1 tippers via Joel!
Triana Caldera, Syd Baddingham, Bonita Denimore, Ironman Deakins, Treeman Bayn, Augy Barbosa, Skeat Abonwood, Jocelyne Tennyson, SummerIvy Resident, Tpenta Vanalten, Staciface Schwarz, Tyche Szondi, Maurice Mistwallow, BAT8997 Resident, Alexis Fairlady, Sesh Kamachi, Christine Haiku, RansomTalmidge Resident, Triana Caldera, Aurelie Chenaux, my great manager Maali Beck, Ground Zero hostess Shanny Fall, Ground Zero owners TheaDee and GMetal Svartur, and perhaps most of all, Joel Eilde. I will break you!


Corey Tamas said...

ALMOST accurate. :)

[2015/06/15 17:56] Joel Eilde: Every time I send you a single linden tip, it means I'm touching myself while thinking of you.
[2015/06/15 17:56] Zak Claxton: Great, make me think about THAT while I do my show.

Zak Claxton said...

I tried to erase the details from my brain as thoroughly as possible. Thanks for the reminder.

Corey Tamas said...

While thinking...

Of you.

You, Zak.

Thinking of you.


Zak Claxton said...


Critterfixr said...

Shenanigans are awesome. May the best man win.