Tuesday, March 24, 2009

THE JACKOFFS


I have been playing a lot of concerts in Paris lately. Four this past week alone. Hauling my hundred plus pounds of gear up and down 6 flights of steps, arguing with taxi drivers that yes, my keyboard will in fact fit across the back seat, dealing with bookers and sound men in a foreign language, pushing people to buy a CD to make my cab fare home in an age where very few feel purchasing music is necessary (if I had a nickel for each time someone with a 6 euro beer in their hand told me they love my music but couldn't afford to pay me anything for my CD, could I perhaps give them one instead....). I do this because I love what I do and I love the music scene. The music scene that involves the surprise of being paired with a band who blows my mind, who inspire me and who connect me to a new group of talented musicians creating beautiful songs and making the world a little bit prettier. The music scene that involves real music lovers and fans listening attentively to a live experience that cannot be copied and passed around the internet. A shared experience between audience and performer is sublime and it is this experience that keeps me coming back for more.

I treat every musician I meet with respect. I buy a CD if they have them, I listen attentively to their set no matter if I like the music or not. It's a question of community and respect for that community. I therefore pose my next question....

WHY ARE THERE SO MANY F'IN DOUCHEBAGS IN THE WORLD?

I ask this question honestly. For every amazing show I have (and thankfully there are many), I also encounter the following which pretty much sticks to the same formula each time...

A group of 30 something aggressive jackoffs who decided to have a band like, 5 minutes ago, blow into the club like they are reunited Led Zeppelin. They fail to introduce themselves and instead "inform me" they are taking my slot. Argument ensues. Their girlfriends and wives show up shortly after and ask me to remove my gear from the chairs so they can sit and listen to The Jackoffs make their sound check while reliving prom. The Jackoffs will usually sound check for an inordinate amount of time, hemming and hawing with the increasingly annoyed sound man. The "music" is about as bland as the midlife crisis of the bassist living out his teen dream. They chug their free beers and proceed to play way beyond their allotted time slot because they are too wrapped up in "Hey, did you notice what a sweaty JERK I am?" dreamland to recognize the following:

1. YOU ARE NOT A ROCK STAR. YOU NEVER WERE.
2. YOU DO NOT NEED TO TURN YOUR AMP UP TO 11. THE CLUB IS 6 METERS DEEP.
3. IT IS NOT 1991.
4. NO ONE ASKED YOU FOR THREE ENCORES. NOT EVEN YOUR WIFE.

The Jackoffs will hear pretend applause in their heads that tell them "YYYYYEAHHH, keep going, this is the JAAAAAAAM" until I insist they end their now 75 minute extended set of wandering over-amped banality. Another argument ensues. They will take their time to get their shit off the stage and will knock over my gear. I will set up and play my show. The Jackoffs will stand as close to the stage as possible and talk as loudly as possible for the entirety of my set. When asked to buy a CD, they will look at me like I am the most insane nutjob on the planet and say incredulously "No way".

Nice.
End of scene.

You can catch The Jackoffs playing around town pretty much any night of the week. Just follow the guy wearing his sunglasses at night, he'll know where the JAAAAAAM is at.

And if you are in town Wednesday night, go see Ottilie at Le Vieux Léon. I played a show with her last week, she's a singer from the Alps whose show had me dancing and smiling ear to ear. Her live show is amaaaaazing. Oh, and buy one of her CDs after the show so she can make her cab fare home. :)