Sunday, August 5, 2012

Friday, August 3, 2012

36 hours with the March Fourth Marching Band

The last time March Fourth was in town,  my friend Carmie posted to Facebook that she was looking for someone to go with.   I love both live music and a 24 piece band, so I said I was in.  I had just returned from almost a month on the road, and was blown away by all the generosity shown to me, so I asked them if they needed a place to stay (my parents were out of town and I was pretty sure they wouldn't mind having 24 traveling musicians at their house).  They did, and they all came over and we played pool in the basement and drank whiskey had a dance party and laughed all night long.   I became long lost best friends with Annie.   We have stayed in e-mail, skype and Facebook contact and she convinced me to join her board of directors for the awesome non profit she runs on the West Coast, American Clothing Experiment

36 hours with the March Fourth Marching Band
She wasn't on this tour, but Dan the cymbalist and band wrangler contacted me to ask if they could stay again.   When they had a cancellation, he asked if they could come a day early.   Some people pitched tents, some stayed on the bus, some grabbed available floor & bed space.  The rest of us made a camp fire, instruments were brought out, songs sang,  and we talked and laughed until the wee hours of the morning.

Somehow, Dan got everyone up and out by 11:30, and my friend Claudia let us  invade her house & use her dock for a few hours before they had to sound check at 3 pm. It was really nice to have a little down time before they had to get into "work" mode and it was amazing the transformation that happened.   It was clear that everyone took the job of playing and performing very seriously - even though they are ridiculously fun people - they are also incredibly dedicated and talented artists, and it was clear they make every show the best possible show.

I made a play list with 16 videos from the night: 

I was also super impressed with how organized and well functioning they are.   As someone who runs an artist collective, I know how difficult it is to keep everyone on track, both work wise and emotionally.  Tensions tend to run high in the creative process---so I can't begin to imagine what its like to be  24 people on the road, living together in such close quarters for weeks at a time.   Getting from point A to B, working, and all the scheduling, directions, food, etc.  is hard enough.   I watched Dan navigate everyone with finesse.  Ten years is a long time to pull off  major undertakings -- often for very very little money, but obviously great reward.   As one of the trombone players, Anthony said "Every time art inspires someone, its one point added to human kind".

After sound check, they made a dream of mine come true, and paraded down Congress Street and did a few songs in Monument Square before the show.  They had a few hours of downtime before the show, so  I poked around the awesome bus and took Dan down to J's.   They did another mind blowing show - it's something you just need to see because words are hard to describe the energy and feeling that happens - a sexy circus meets NOLA brass bands.

I am sad to bid them farewell - they were perfect house guests and I enjoyed the many conversations and getting to know all of these creative, smart and talented folks. I will do every thing I can to keep surrounding myself with amazing people doing amazing things.  And speaking of amazing people, my friend Susie squeezed the band leader John in for an emergency massage before the show.    I am exceptionally proud that everyone I asked for a favor did it with no problem, from Claudia and her dock to my parents and their house.

Shout out from Yahoo! News

Originally posted on Yahoo! News 

Fundraiser #5 - LETS DO THIS

This train is bound for glory/booty

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