Sunday, February 15, 2009

Friday the 13th gig

On Friday the 13th the Hoodoo Hounds played at Wingin' It, a bar right across the street from where we usually play, Club 356, downtown Clemson. (They're both owned by the same guy.) I prefer the stage at 356 as it provides more room for the band. At Wingin' It we were in a corner on the floor, caged in by a banister separating us from the rest of the bar. I think that curtails the band-audience interaction. There seemed to be less floor space for dancing as well. At 356 we've had people dancing in front of the stage, sometimes climbing up on stage. Here I think we were a bit more removed. On the positive side, the sound I think was much better. I don't know whether we finally got all of our sound problems ironed out or whether it was the bar acoustics, but I think our sound may have been the best we've ever produced. Only one time did we have an issue with feedback, but that was due to a mic left open pointing at a monitor and the mic's owner fessed up to that hiccup. I think my drums sounded good and I liked my choice of cymbals. At the last minute I swapped out my 14" fast crash for an 18" crash and went with a 16" crash as the main go-to cymbal. The end result was a 16"/18" crash combination instead of a 14"/16" crash combination. I think I'll keep it like this for a while. I was waffling a bit about the 18" crash, thinking it was too bright, but its "shimmer" is really growing on me; it's particularly effective for song ending crescendos. I also tried my 18" china, but used that only sparingly as it's too trashy for frequent use. I just have to remember to kick the bass any time I go to that cymbal to provide enough "bottom" for it as it were. Generally speaking, I've found that most cymbal crash accents should be accompanied by the bass drum. It just seems to sound better. Rounding out the cymbal notes, I love the ping ride as well as the mastersound hi-hats I got in Montreal. The black sticks I used were also good—nice and light. So what was up with that music producer in the audience?

Villa Novella

Corey and I dined at Villa Novella last night in Central. The atmosphere is a little bleak, the cutlery flimsy, but the food is really good. The owner advertises himself as trained in Italy and claims the place offers a taste of Tuscany. Having been lucky enough to have been spoiled by the genuine article, I was a bit skeptical. Well, looks (and tastes!) like the training paid off! I had the fried oyster appetizer special. Very tasty! Adopting seafood as the theme, I then had lobster ravioli (lobster in anything is delicious) for the primi piatti followed by the shrimp and scallops sauteed with a roasted red pepper pesto sauce for the secondi piatti. All good. I'm looking forward to returning there to sample other items on the menu.