The musician's ego is an eggshell: all cracked up and abused and covered with bumper stickers. We need attention. We need to know we count. And no matter how good we know we are, we ain't legit 'til a crowd roars for us, a DJ spins us, or a hack music writer says so. I've seen this scenario from all sides and have arrived at a zen sweet spot rooted in my age and experience.
Last week I wrote about area musicians in and around the 40-year mark as being the sound of this city, the new 20, the real shiznit. And I was deluged with calls and e-mails from those who agreed. One fundamental thing we all discussed (after congratulating ourselves for lasting so long) was the placement of priorities in regards to the "music business." The conclusion: we don't care. When it doesn't matter, when it doesn't involve a payday, the music flows. So this week's advice to the myriad young bands in this dot on the map is stop caring now. Stop trying. By the time your generation of rockers hits 40 you'll really be something else.
Allow me to elucidate. Brooklyn guitarist Michael Louis brought his trio to The Dinosaur for the first time last Wednesday night. Louis is a jukebox mixing and mish-mashing styles at a whim. His originals are a groovy amalgam of whatever you could want. His covers are tweaked and beautifully wrong; a reggae version of Bobby Fuller's "I Fought The Law," or a killer version of Hendrix's "Machine Gun" minus the chilling Woodstock onomatopoeia but followed by a hilarious rumba. The dance floor was jumpin' with a whole array of skill levels. Louis copped a squat for set two and went a good bit bluesier. The band played an inspired set playing well off one another with Cheshire grins. Drummer James Wormworth (Max Weinberg's stunt double when he's out working for the Boss) and bassist Andrei Sabastian(with his classic Hollywood gumshoe sneer) followed Louis almost telepathically. I know these guys practice but most of their set seemed very in the moment. And it's probably 'cause they don't care.
--- Frank De Blase