Sunday Off

I enjoyed a slow morning in Sparks. Watched Tokyo! on my laptop, a 2008 film that contains three segments written by three non-Japanese directors. Didn’t care much for the first two films that, but the third and last film, by a Korean director, was amazing and easily the best of the three. Beautifully filmed!

I received an email from a fan who did not like that the concert at Boulder Station was “only” 75 minutes long. (((BTW, we played very well and received a standing ovation)))

I get at least one or two emails like that after every show in Las Vegas. Most casinos, with the exception of the Nugget in Sparks/Reno who let us play for 90 minutes, limit performances to 75 minutes (((as do clubs where we do two shows a night))).

It’s pretty simple, really. Casinos want to lure people to gamble. They offer shows at a decent ticket-price and hope that some folks stay to play the slots after the concert. The longer the concert, the less likely it is that people stay in the casino afterward – I am sure this is based on research or experience.

Let’s look at the ticket-price-to-concert-length ratio:

Ticket prices at the Celebrity in Phoenix, where we played a full show, were $45 and $65. Tickets at Boulder Station in Vegas went from $24.50 to $45.50. 120 minutes for $45 = 2.67 minutes per dollar, versus 75 minutes for $24.50 = 3.06 minutes per dollar. Or, if you prefer, the Celebrity charged 37 cents per minute and Boulder Station charged 32 cents.

So, your dollar actually buys you more music at Boulder Station. That’s pretty much all there is to it. A solution, of course, would be for clubs and casinos to print their time-limit on every ticket. Or should they?

Also, if you want to see a band in a small venue, chances are that they will play two shows and the performances will be shorter. That goes more or less for the Blue Note in Manhattan, Anthology in San Diego, One World in Austin &c.

Other stuff:

The Freedom to be No One
Poetry is abandoned in favor of reason.

And music is abandoned in favor of accounting. We abandon poetry and music at our peril, because I believe we need and crave grace and elegance and creativity in our lives. And, beyond music and poetry, those qualities also need to inform the things we use, the things we surround ourselves with and so on. Quality over quantity. A few useful and beautiful things are worth more than thousands of possessions. (((a great 75 minute performance is a great performance and easily better than a mediocre 120 minute performance… although I have to say that we had a really, really good night in Phoenix last week – but you’ll get my drift!)))

one hundred push ups
Stephen and I are on that push up plan. On the grass in Newport, in Santa Barbara, in the Rialto theater’s green room, in the Vegas hotel today. So far neither of us reports any problems playing guitar…

Slashdot Science Story | Swine Flu Kills Obese People Disproportionally
“Bloomberg is reporting that the World Health Organization discovered a single, surprising characteristic that’s emerged among swine flu victims who become severely ill: They are all fat. Infected people with a body mass index greater than 40 suffer respiratory complications that are harder to treat and can be fatal. The virus appears to be on a collision course with the obesity epidemic. WHO officials are gathering statistics to confirm and understand this development.

Played around with the Brushes iPhone app. That would certainly work really well on the rumored Apple tablet… A useful invention would be some kind of silicon-tipped brush, which would offer more control than a finger-tip.

Friday in Phoenix

Stevo and I arrive at the Phoenix studio of Channel 3 at 0730. Told him how interesting it is not to drink any coffee when going to an early morning TV show. Most people were buzzing with energy, while we just sat there. He agreed that it was interesting. Like being in a different time zone, where the air is thicker and movement slower compared to everyone around.

We did cheer the news meteorologist, because that’s a hard job in Arizona or California… we were reminded of the scene in “LA Story”, where the Steve Martin weatherman character pre-records a few days of announcing 70 degrees and perfect weather, only to have a storm hit during that time…

Stevo and I performed four pieces, two of which were short bumpers, La Luna and Streetlight, a main piece – an abbreviated Three Days Without You – and Snakecharmer for the credits/ending.

Afterwards Stevo and the rest left on the bus, while I sat in front of the TV studio waiting on a friend – like last year. He took me to a nice little cafe for a little breakfast and coffee.

Noon – Celebrity Theatre. Tonight’s performance will be in the round, meaning that the stage will rotate. Haven’t experienced that since we performed here with Basha in 1990. During soundcheck the stage began rotating, so we could get used to the experience. The movement was very smooth, except for the moment, every 7½ minutes or so, when the stage reversed direction. The sensation was particularly interesting when experienced with one’s eyes closed. Trippy.

Photo by Stevo:

Read in Basho’s Journey, a book of the great Japanese poet’s prose, – essentially a translation of his diaries/travel journals:

Then we landed on the opposite shore where the old cherry tree remains as a memento to priest Saigyo, who wrote of fishermen “rowing over blossoms”.

(((Immediately reminded me of this.)))

Looked up the poem:

The cherry trees
of Kisagata are buried
under the waves
as fishermen row their boats,
over waves of blossoms

After a storm or flood?

Imagined a convention where people wore poetic tags instead of name-tags, like “Rowing over Waves of Blossoms” or “Snowflake landing on a Butterfly” – would say much more about a person than name or title…

I was happy with the evening’s performance. The band sounded more sure-footed and stronger. (((hello! It was only the second performance!))) I had a major mistake in Firelight, but we moved through that and onward. Audience very nice. A good evening. Afterwards sake with friends in the parking lot, celebrating Jon’s birthday.
Celebrity - Backstage Entrance at Night

Cover of AZ Weekly: One, Two