Sunday, August 21, 2011

Metapost: N's post-Project ponderings

Greetings blog readers.  N here.  In this hiatus between the end of the first (hopefully of many) 2x40x80 Project and whatever we start doing in this space later, I thought I'd write down a few thoughts about this summer.  And what better way to lay out one's thoughts than a Q&A session?  Since R is not here, I have to interview myself, though.
  • Hello, N.  How are you?  
Good, N, and yourself?
  • I'm fine.  So, the project is done.  How do you feel about what you and R did?  Are you tired?
 I feel okay.  What actually happened didn't always match up with our expectations while we were in the planning stage, but it was a fun ride.  It was a pretty frenetic pace of blogging, but we actually could easily have made it to fifty different acts in eight days if, say, a large amount of money had been on the line, enough to override the brief times that apathy or fatigue sometimes marked the project.  It's funny, though --- we got a wide range of responses about the pace we set, from amazement that we could keep it up to outright dismissal from hipsters who claimed they did this sort of thing year-round.  I feel like the blogging part is what made it a chore at times rather than just a social event, though.
  • Interesting. 
You really think so?
  • No, but we're here to talk about this, so might as well keep going.  You mentioned that some things didn't work out as planned? 
Yes.  R and I intended to see a wider range of genres --- we talked about catching some jazz shows, rap, country acts we'd never heard of, maybe even a pop symphony at one point.  While we did occasionally step out of our singer-songwriter, indie-alt-country box (for example, Glitch Mob), it wasn't often.  Still, we're not at all dissatisfied with how it worked out, even if it wasn't what we planned.  The shows sometimes picked us, in a way, and in the end we got the kind of project that would appeal to guys like us, which isn't all that surprising.  Indeed, perhaps we would have become bored with the project if we'd forced an artificial imposition of variety for variety's sake upon ourselves.
  • In your second metapost, you said that you were going to try to branch out to as many different venues as you could.  How'd that work out for you? 
Again, not quite as expected.  We saw six shows at the Granada and a whopping fourteen at Club Dada.  But those are terrific places to see shows!  I don't think we need to make apologies for returning to quality.  The idea that we were going to see a lot of different venues new to us was only a rough guideline, not a rule set in stone, anyway.
  • Excuses, excuses.  So, what were people's reactions when you told them about the project?
The number one question that people always asked was, "Which band was your favorite?"
  • Okay, so what was your favorite band?
The Old 97's.
  • I call foul.  They're national at this point, and anyway, you went to high school with Rhett and hang out with him.  They don't count.  What was your favorite local act? 
That's a really tough one.  I could mention four or five but I guess I'll say El Cento.  As much as I dig the very talented alt-country acts around here, El Cento's new-New Wave songwriting puts them ahead by a nose.
  • Again, the singer is a friend of yours.  Nice.  This is just an excuse to praise your buddies, isn't it?  What was your favorite act that was new to you? 
Easy.  Tiger Darrow.  Beguiling voice, capable of playing a wide array of instruments, great lyrics.
  • Yes, she was terrific.  Destined for great things, I'd say.  So... what was your least favorite act? 
Oh, now that would just be snide.  I'll let the blog posts speak for themselves and not hold out any one or two acts in particular.
  • Coward.  This next question is a slight variant on the one about your favorite act.  There's a subtle degree of difference here: What was the act that put on the best show?
 Man, that's tough.  The O's are just such consummate showmen, but I'm gonna have to go with Slobberbone.  A band, by the way, that five out of five of my female co-workers did not enjoy hearing the name of and did not want to hear any more about after I mentioned it.
  • Don't you know the guys in Slobberbone, too? 
Yes, but that has nothing to with how terrific a show they put on.
  • There's clearly no point in talking to you about Dallas musicians.  What about the venues?  Which one was your favorite? 
Well, clearly, Granada is bringing the big gun to that fight: terrific sound, large stage, seating and standing room, more than one bar, good food, best AC in town, and nice and friendly staff, etc.  But I gotta mention Club Dada, too, for their superb sound and their penchant for hosting talented acts.
  • Mostly this blog is read by musicians and venue managers, isn't it?  Did you get any notable comments from the musicians you reviewed?
Yes, a few such as the O's, THe BAcksliders, Johnny Tone, and Ryan Thomas Becker (another terrific act that was new to us) liked our page and got us a big bump in hits from their fans.  Sometimes the fans themselves didn't appreciate what we posted.  On the other hand, we heard from a few bands who contacted us and said they appreciated our review, even if it was slightly negative --- along the lines of "thanks for the review, guys, we know, it wasn't a great show, catch us another time," etc.  Grey, the New Black was one such even-headed band.  But another act, Nervous Curtains, took offense to their review, tweeting that we were a "terrible blogger" who only knew "current musical trends" and that our musical references for them were "wrong."  Well, okay, but I maintain that the way to make people say you sound like Rainbow (that's what they wanted us to say) is to fucking sound like Rainbow and not an emo Nick Cave.
  • Man, you're a bitter, mean fellow, aren't you?
 It has been remarked.
  • R is a much nicer guy than you are.  Is he going to have any wrap-up remarks?
 He works unusual hours and has a family, so only if he somehow carves out the time.
  • I think we're done here.  Want to add anything else? 
Yes.  You are a terrible interviewer.
  • I know.


  1. Loved reading all your blogs N &R! I would agree with you, the blogging does seem like a chore sometimes. After 67 blogs, I now feel obligated to write a blog after each show.

    So, you're doing a Fall Blog now, right?


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