Saturday, July 29, 2017

Surplus 1980-Community Music Center, SF CA; 7/28/17

On account of needing to be at Community Music Center at 4PM, and starting the journey over there from my job in Concord at 3PM, I'm really lucky to have not gotten a speeding ticket on the drive. Note to self: slow down, you've already been in one car collision this year.
Actually, I was the first member of Surplus 1980 to arrive, beating Moe! and Melne by a good five minutes or so.
Load in, set up sound check. All systems go, right?
Ah....not so fast. Surplus 1980 started our sliding away from me.
I made it through the opening suite of Pigeon Obstacle Course and Temporarily Present, the latter being a ten minute piece that I've worked my ass off on since March. They both went really well, thankfully. Right at the very end of Temporarily, the drum was far enough away to be a concern and essentially unreachable; I was just happy to have played the song from memory at an almost acceptable level. I quickly adjusted the bass drum legs, thought I'd fixed the problem, and we started in on Question After Ended Question, a tune on which there is drum set, bass guitar, and metal bundt pans. Wouldn't you know.......the damn sliding starts again. This time, I actually had to stop playing, but Moe! did an incredible ad hoc rant that sounded almost as if we'd planned it to go that way. Real nice job, Moe! We got through it, but then I had to stop the set completely and attempt to figure out some kind of fix. Outsound Summit honcho and all-around great guy Rent Romus appeared on the stage with a nice big rock, which was promptly place in front of the sliding bass drum. This fix worked, even though I had to re-position it after each subsequent tune. What an annoyance. That said, I was able to get through the rest of the set.
The music felt raw and good: definitely not a technically perfect set, but the energy was fine, albeit somewhat manic. Wait, this is Rock music, the manic aspect is a big part of it. I felt as though our versions of Failure of Commitment (Moe! on saz!) and Morale Is High were particularly well played, and the middle section of A Motivated Song About Procrastination was nicely psyched out and extended, with cool fills from Moe! I immensely enjoy providing a solid, simple foundation upon which he does his thing.
A fun night, but, man, I'm NEVER  using that bass drum again.
Surplus 1980 will play the Golden Bull in August. Seriously, if you see me setting up a black bass drum, slap me. Hard.

Below: the offending bass drum and Moe! playing saz
Below: live shots by Polly Moller and Amanda Chaudhary (, thanks Polly and Amanda!

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