My new hard rock cover band project SKOOLNITE BENDER took the stage at Christy's Landing last night for the weekly Thursday open jam stage. It was another spectacular performance by the power trio of me (bass/vox), Derek Reynolds (guitar/vox), and Cody Smalley (drums), notwithstanding that our only rehearsals have been live performances at open stages such as this one.
We launched our short set with a blast of Green Day's song, "Holiday," and followed that with several more hard rocking numbers, mostly 90s cover songs. We went retro on a couple tunes: David Bowie's "Moonage Daydream" and Ozzy's "Crazy Train," which I sang. Being the oldest member of the band by quite a margin (Derek is 23, for example, which means I have existed on this plant for twice as long as he has, plus two years on top of that), it usually falls to me to sing the golden oldies but goodies. However, I'll be taking on more modern repertoire as the band moves forward.
Later in the night, Derek and I took the jam stage once more, joined by Wendy Lynn of the band SUNSPOT on drums, and ripped a few impromptu numbers. Good times were had by all and the bar patrons in attendance left with severely melted faces. Before they did, a couple of them hooked up our contact information for the potential booking of some future shows, possibly a house concert on Lake Waubesa, on the shores of which Christy's lies. Nice!
SKOOLNITE BENDER fills the void for me that was created by my band GUPPY EFFECT's indefinite hiatus as the guitarist of the latter band, Stefan, awaits the birth of his first child and adapts to the subsequent period of fatherhood. I'm also exploring some contract bass playing with Kelsey Miles' cover band, FIGHTING FOR, and I signed on for a few gigs with college rock outfit YOUR MOM, fronted by on Phil "Why Does My" Dickert. In combination, this diversified portfolio of bands satisfies most of my musical needs (with the exception of writing and performing original songs). I'd like to reach the point of being able to gig most every weekend with one or more of these bands, and get paid enough to supplement my Uber driving during the week. Then I could just about make ends meet to maintain my current modest but frugal quality of life while working on my book writing.
I have a few piecemeal gigs going on too, like a Wilco cover band with some amateur local musicians and the weekly Sunday open jams at Funks Pub, but inasmuch as these generate no substantial income beyond some free beer and food, they are quite low priority for me. They serve mainly to keep me networked with the local music community, which is an important function to be sure.
I wish that original punk rock band EDDIE ATE DYNAMITE would fire up again, as I quite enjoyed playing rhythm guitar on their catchy songs. However, there are some personnel hurdles to overcome in that group, as I understand it.