Greetings from sunny California, where IJG has been rocking the house!
We’re having a great time; our shows so far have been very well-attended and received — can’t really ask for much more than that. A woman stopped me as I was leaving El Cid last night and said how much she loved the show, and that she thought we were “like a fusion between anime and jazz” which I don’t entirely understand, but it sounds cool. :-)
My love affair with this band, the music, and its members continues full steam ahead. Durkin’s written a batch of all new tunes, and they’re just killer. What’s especially interesting about the new songs is how the vocals aren’t really highlighted; we’re used almost like instruments. It’s a blast to sing this stuff, and it’s also fun to come up with non-obvious ways to count rests in mixed time signatures. :-P
Last night’s show at El Cid was a really great exercise for me. We didn’t do any “lead vocal tunes” (songs which spotlight the vocals, e.g., Big Ass Truck, The Job Song, You’re In Love With My Mother, or any of the little interludes we do), and the audience (who was a largely new-to-IJG audience) really dug it. Since I come from a musical theater and singer/songwriter background, I’m most comfortable in the “lead singer(s) plus band” format; so figuring out neat ways to connect with the audience sans lyrics is a like satisfying yoga stretch. The feedback, even from IJG fans who are familiar with our “lead singer” tunes, was very positive.
Granted, I don’t ever want the vocal tunes to go away; I think they broaden our reach and widen our audience (plus, they’re fun as hell to sing– let’s be honest). But it’s nice to know that if we don’t have a piano / room in the set, we still rock without them. In a way, it takes some pressure off.
Speaking of the El Cid show: Immediately after the PLOTZ! and IJG sets, a DJ transformed the place into a goth club. I’ve never seen such gothy goths; I even saw a pair of amazing tranny goths which made me feel totally understated and demure in my silver spaceman suit and chrome yellow eyeshadow. Anyway, it was a comical (though pleasant) intersection for an hour as audience tides shifted.
Anyway, tonight is our last show. We’re heading down to San Diego to do our annual show at Dizzy’s with the Mesa College Big Band; PLOTZ! is also on the bill. I am so grateful to Jim Romeo from Mesa for not only being so supportive of IJG, but for being a propelling force in the San Diego jazz scene. It’ll be good to see him and his band tonight.