Sunday, March 17, 2013

Update from Me/Two Videos: Teeth of Mammals

So last week as I wrote here, I thought I would play my first San Diego open mic on Monday night.  Only to find out I would NOT play it, as they have a lottery to determine who gets to play and I was not picked.  But that ended up being a huge lesson for me, because I went to that open mic engulfed in my own perfectionism and forgetting what music is really about for everybody: having FUN.

That sparked a whole week of going to different open mics around the city, just to see what they were like and how they worked.  I went to the Tuesday night open mic at Rebecca's Coffee Shop in South Park.  Then to the Wednesday night one at the 710 Beach Club in Pacific Beach.  Yesterday, I went to the Rancho San Diego Open Mic, which is in the afternoon, and moves around to a different venue in that part of town each week.

In addition to this research, I have been doing something I have never done before that I am aware of.  I am making a point of playing music at home, and then writing some if I am so moved, every day. Most days I play for an hour or two.  On others, when my schedule is tight, I work in 10 minutes or so.  

So I am making sure that I play music for fun, and that I take little steps to share my music with others on a regular, consistent basis.  Slowly but surely, it seems like I am enjoying my music even more, and being more productive, all the time.

Tomorrow, I will set aside time to play music at home, and write if I get the urge. Tomorrow night, I am going back to Lestat's in Normal Heights.  I am going to write my name on a little piece of paper, and toss it in the bowl for their open mic lottery.  Then I will go to their performance space next door, to see if The Universe wants me to play that night.    

Today for your viewing and listening pleasure, I thought I would share a band I listened to again yesterday for the first time in a while.  They are called Teeth of Mammals, they are four guys - two singer/guitarists, a bassist and a drummer, from Reading, Pennsylvania.  They broke up in 2009 I believe, after creating one of the most amazing LPs in my collection, and a 4-song demo afterward. 

I had never heard of them before 2008 or so.  The punk rock band I was in at the time, Victor Bravo, went to Philadelphia to play a show with our friends from Catasaqua, PA called Cordova (later also known as The Cordova Academy Glee Club).  Teeth of Mammals were also on the bill with us.  Their live set was one of the most incredible rock shows I've ever seen put on.  I was really hoping to catch them many more times, when I sadly got news that they had disbanded and were no more.

I get really upset sometimes, when I think of really talented, amazing bands and musicians I have seen, who quit when they felt they needed to do so, but before so many more people got to experience their music.  I comfort myself with the notions that every band and person has their own, unique journey, which neither I nor anyone else can control, and that I am so grateful I got to experience them while they existed, and that I have their fantastic music, preserved forever in the recorded versions.

The video at the top of this post is a music video for their song, "Warm, Cloudy Day," which uses footage of them performing, but is set to a high-quality audio track from their self-titled, and one-and-only, LP.  This is so you can hear one of their songs in a high-quality format.

The second video of them below is a live video, shot at Fennario's in West Chester, PA on March 15, 2008.  In this one, they're performing "The Hospital Ruined My Life," the opening track of that same LP.  The audio quality is pretty low at points, but this video truly captures the energy these guys brought to their performances, and what it was like to be in the crowd for one of their shows.

One of several things I love about the video below is that after a while, as the viewer and listener, I truly lose the sense of where the band ends and its audience begins.  They all seem to be one unified force, having fun together.  That's really how it oughtta be, ain't it?

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