There's More to Life Than Knitting!

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Rock and Roll Generations

Here you see it, the pinnacle of motherhood: your kid's first appearance performing at a bar! There's no denying it: these are kids who will go on to actually get gigs some day, judging from how they did last night.

The only hitch in the deal was that somehow Parker got it into her head that the open mic night at scenic Nuno’s North (corner of Parmer and MoPac, in that building that’s been like 8 different things in the past 12 years) started at 7. Instead, it started at 9, with the first guest band not on until ten. That left a rather awkward group of parents, relatives and friends to sit and chat for two hours in something that strongly resembles a “dive.” All of us came, even Jeff (which was very sweet of him to drive all the way up from south Austin to watch musicians perform for free—not his idea of fun usually). Tuba Boy and Scrabble Queen came, but she had to be home before the band could start. Parker’s entire extended family, including grandparents and her best friend, were there, and Dean’s family had extras, too. So, we must have brought in 20 paying customers, making us popular with the bartender, anyway. We managed to survive the wide-ranging conversations, and I knitted a lot.

The show opened with the “house band.” I don’t know who they were. I think two long-haired brothers and a woman named Dawn. They all looked to be my age or a bit older, but were quite rocking. Lee and Jeff had comments on their technique, but they did 3-part harmonies well, played a fun selection of rock classics and a couple of originals, and whoa, the woman named Dawn can shred a guitar. I think her solos were very educational for Beccano and Parker. The fact that the lead singer broke three guitar strings but kept going, and that the other two had back-up songs ready to go while he changed strings, I hope also made a good impression about how the show must go on.

Then, “Tri-Skellions” were introduced (close, anyway), and I was very proud of them for not acting intimidated by their predecessors. They walked up, settled in and played their songs. Even with no mic on Parker for a bit of “Revolution” they plugged away. Beccano played guitar on two songs, and bass on “My Generation,” which needs backing vocals. But, he did a fine job on his bass solo. You couldn’t see him shaking! Dean is quite good on drums and showed no signs of faltering—there were some tempo issues, but that’s no surprise in an early gig for new performers. Parker’s singing was relaxed and she rocked out on a few. In fact, I think “Hey Joe” would have been super if the guitar hadn’t been turned up too loud! When they were finished, the emcee said to give them some more applause, because, “They are our future!”

The best part of the whole performance, though, was how the audience treated the kids. There were a lot of middle-aged rockers there. Much long gray hair. But, they listened and after each song, applauded very loudly and warmly. Not polite applause, but genuinely appreciative. After the kids played, I went to the bass player in the house band, who was running the show, and thanked him for letting the kids on, and said that was their first actual performance. He said he was surprised it was their first time, and told me, “They are welcome to come back, any time. And I mean it, man, any time!” He said it was nice to hear kids play “our music.” Beccano said a couple of other guys said the same thing to him—that they liked the selections, and to keep playing. It is really encouraging for them to keep practicing, keep learning newer and harder songs, and to play more.

Now we just have to get Beccano looking less John Entwistle-like on stage. Gotta make him move. I know he just thinks he needs to become more comfortable with “his guitaring,” as he calls it.

If you’re my Facebook friend, you’ve probably already seen links to their performance videos, courtesy of Parker’s dad. Here's the YouTube link where their videos are posted, by Parker's dad. And at last here is the link to the neighbor rant of yesterday.

I will be back tomorrow with a tribute to a special family member.

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