Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Cookies, Quarters, and The Man-va


(Some of the language in these rehearsals may be inappropriate for children under 13. Parental discretion is advised.)

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Tuesday night Remington and I roll up to the rehearsal space where the gate is shut and mocking us. Jake has the clicker, as it is his space, so I call him. He's munching some fast food monstrosity

"Yeah. I'm running late. 5 minutes."

Rem and I settle in and discuss who we like for the presidential primary. (Remington is one of the only people that I can have a conversation with who has a compelling opinion on ANY topic.)
Jake and Joe pull in, and we're off.

Rem begins setting up his ProTools laptop, and Jake and Joe futz with the PA. Jake is ranting about some sort of text message drama, and I pull out the box of home-baked cookies my mom mailed to us. They are a little broken from the journey cross country, but they are RIDICULOUSLY tasty. Rem is never one to turn down a cookie, and he contentedly chews 4 while Jake pulls the Hershey Kisses out of the Kissie Cookies and pops them in his gob.

I clear my throat:

"A round of applause for Joe DeSa, playing what Sean likes to call "Heads-up ball".

Everyone gamely claps for Joe, and then looks at me quizzically. I explain that Joe got a line on a summer festival, which he passed on to me. I followed up and, long story short, it panned out. We are playing on the main stage for the 5th Annual Freedom Festival in Long Beach June 22nd, and it's going to be a lot of fun. General rejoicing.

Jake is still surly from the personal drama that is hovering around his head, but he goes behind his kit and starts tapping and fiddling with his drums, while Rem gets his bass situated. I lean down to plug in my guitar, when Joe says:

"Hey Vik, can you stick this in your ear a minute?"

I straighten up and turn around, grateful to see Joe holding out his iPod. I pop the buds in my ears

"What am I listening to?"

"That's just it, I don't know. I can't remember who sings this song; it's been driving me crazy all day."

I listen intently to a song that sounds just familiar enough to drive ME crazy, while Joe answers his cell phone, and Jake, with a snort of rage, realizes his click is missing.

Finally we're ready to go, so we have a run at Plastic Roses, a new-ish song of mine that we're hoping to do something with.... It sounds like shite.

I can tell the guys now think I'm a head case because I can't put my finger on WHY it's shite, I just know that something isn't...right. It's always been this way; either this song is dead on or it's just...dead.

Joe saves the moment:

"If this one's not coming, we should warm up."

There is general agreement; we count into Whiskey or Water, which is like sinking into a hot bath- it's always good. I say:

"Well, now that we're all happy...."

"Are we? I'm not! I'm totally annoyed."

Jake yanks his orange trucker hat petulantly to the side and crosses his arms heavily.

"Jakeypoo.....Mess Like You?"

Like giving a dog a milk bone. Jake's tail immediately wags, and we all attack the song with gusto. We love the song. I could say "Hey guys, let's play Mess Like You over and over again all night," and they would, happily.

We finish. Jake is grinning now, he says breathlessly:

"That was cool, I just put all my frustration into my playing, and like, hate-fucked my drums."

After that eloquent speech, we moved on to Her End of the Phone and I've got to say, when we finally play this re-vamped version out, it will bring new life to this one.
Rem pauses to check the laptop; Jake chirps:

"5 minutes?"

"Sure".

He leaps over the drums and out the door holding his cell like a severed hand, and Joe heads for the soda machine. I try to see if I can justify another cookie, when I hear Joe making frustrated little noises in the hall

"Damn machine- it ate my quarter!"

Sure enough, the machine was religiously taking 3 of Joe's quarters, then spitting out 1, then none, then 1 again in rotation.

"Argh- I'm really thirsty!!"

Joe has a slight Portuguese accent that becomes more pronounced when he's tired or pissed. He's sounding vaguely like Inigo Montoya by this point.

Rem saves the day; he has change on him, and the problem is solved.

We repair to the rehearsal room to wait for Jake, and discuss how we REALLY need to get to Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, etc. where chicks like me (i.e. Beth Hart!) do really well.
Joe makes a case for why Fight is not going to work, which Rem takes like a champ, (even though I know he'll ride this one out and when we finally get this song up and running it will KILL. It's one of my more cathartic lyrical moments, so I'm down!)

20 minutes later, Jake returns. He's smiling, but he says:

"OK- so I just have to get this out."

He proceeds into a complex tale of he said/she said proportions, which at this hour I can't begin to follow, and finally I say:

"This is some old high school bullshit."

"I KNOW!! And you know me, do I carry myself like some high school motherfucker?"

"Tonight? Yes. I'm sorry, but, yes."

Jake's eyes nearly fall out of his head, but I want to move on, so he huffs behind his set, and we attack Everything We Wanted, a song that I would love to see arranged properly before I die, and we come up with several funky, rocking, completely inappropriate versions of it for the next 45 minutes. We're humming pretty good, everyone's having fun, and Jake and I have silently made up over his crash cymbal.

"Hey guys, it's midnight, you wanna call it?"

We're all shocked that it's that late, but we got some good work done, so we're all satisfied...even Jake.

"Glad to see you're back to normal, handsome" (Rem has an upsetting way of calling Jake 'handsome' or 'pretty'. More on this later.)

"I know, I had a moment back there, it was crazy."

"Yeah, you're definitely the diva of the band. You're like a.....man-va."

No one could dispute it.

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