So this weekend we officially began selling our new full-length, Fame By Proxy, via a pair of shows in Milwaukee and Madison. The first, on Friday, was at the Frequency in Madison, a new club opened by our good friend Darwin in the space where the Slipper Club used to exist. We spent the first couple hours of our time at the club drinking free PBR, eating pizza, and watching JJ Hardy hit a walkoff single to beat the Padres in extra innings.
After a lovely set by Cincinnati's Ampline, we took the stage and i immediately shat the bed. I've been having issues with the locking mechanism on my DW500 kick pedal since i bought it in June, but Friday night took the cake. Not halfway into "Defenestrate Me" my kick drum was on a 45 degree angle from my foot, and the pedal was getting wedged on the drum head about every third strike. Very frustrating, very distracting. And for some reason i decided to power through on "Paulding Light," and it just got worse.
I tried to adjust the pedal properly after "Paulding" and had no luck. My now-soured mood was being compounded by a complete lack of audience enthusiasm, so i threw the pedal toward the front of the stage, stormed downstairs, grabbed Ampline's drummer's pedal (in a funny moment, he yelled "HEY!" then ran up, adjusted something on it, then handed it back to me), came back upstairs, threw my kick pedal off the stage and into the stairwell leading to the back alley, and installed the Ampline pedal. From then on the set went off pretty much without a hitch, except that i was so thrown off that i played like shit the rest of the set.
Still, despite my frustration and the near-complete lack of audience response, we got nice comments from the sound guy and a few other people, and one dude bought $30 worth of stuff while explaining to Yale how he has a ton of friends in the UK who apparently LOVE us. Hey, cool, know someone who can get us over there?
As it turns out, it was a good thing that we got a less-than-solid performance out of the way the night before our proper CD release in Milwaukee, because our set at the Cactus Club on Saturday brought the pain. We took the stage in a fairly packed room, launched into "Defenestrate Me" (complete with a new Iron Cobra kick pedal which i bought earlier in the day--lesson learned, only buy Iron Cobras from now on. This is how brand loyalty happens), and proceeded to blaze through the best performance we've executed in months.
The show was free, so we were hoping for an insanely packed Cactus Club. As it stood, a wedding prevented a lot of our friends from showing up, and there were random other people i expected to see that didn't make it, and that was disappointing. But! The lack of familiar faces (and make no mistake, there were still plenty, and it was great to see all of them) was more than made up for by the large number of people there whom i didn't recognize. Having a ton of friends at your show is great; but having a crowd that's half friends and half people you don't know who still came out to see you? Even better.
The other bands last night were outstanding as well--King's Horses (subbing for a too-sick-to-play New Loud), White Wrench Conservatory (because obviously they're going to play our CD release, duh), and our Portland-via-Madison labelmates System & Station were all fantastic. All in all, we put together a solid night of free kickass rock 'n' roll for a packed room. That. is. awesome.
So hey, thanks to everyone who made it out! You made our CD release last night feel like an incredibly special moment with your dancing, your "hey hey!" singalongs on "Success!", and your demands for an encore which we didn't honor because we're jerks. Our next Milwaukee shows will be a pair of basement gigs in October, but before that, we're heading out on tour! See you when we get back.
By the way, final tally for CD sales at the release show:
Fame By Proxy sales on Friday: 1
Fame By Proxy sales on Saturday: 6
No More Music sales at its CD release in 2004: 7
So, we're on our usual pace! We'll be rid of these CDs by 2013, for sure.