Prepping for The Twelfth of Never Show

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manteca-keeper-niagara-sm

 

You might ask, what do you do to prepare for a new show? Excellent question, thanks for asking. Well, the new show is on Thursday, Nov. 10, this week at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts, so today our lighting director Duncan MacMillian and I will go through some of the lighting cues he has programmed for the set and discuss projection for a new video we will be rolling into the show. Our front of house audio engineer Tony Crea made some wonderful recordings of the new show when we were touring it this summer and so I will be making notes today for what we should review in this weeks rehearsals. Morosely we call these tapes, “the black box”, as they reveal our mistakes, none of which were fatal on the dates so far.

We will have a special surprise guest for a couple of the tunes and she is diligently working on her parts. There is some touch-up work to do on the physical set today, which I do not want to tell you too much about, as it is also a surprise…Today we need to confirm the band and crew meal, the equipment delivery and pick up and the schedule for our videographer, who will be recording the show. Oh yeah and must do laundry…

See you Thursday at 8 fresh and clean, at least for the first song.

About Lowdown & Five Alive On The 12th

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In General
The key word in making the record was “meandering”… we wanted the arrangements to wander, to not be too “road map”, and that is why there are trumpet solo’s, tenor solos and guitar solos on one tune - something we have rarely done before…

 

On Lowdown
We are always searching, searching for new sounds and ways to use the 9 of us in different configurations… we call it the “ensemble within the ensemble”. Sometimes that takes us to new places musically, sometimes it just takes us to eBay… this time  on eBay we found a Bass Melodica, which is a small portable keyboard that one uses a mouth piece to generate what we call “bellows on a budget”… it’s like an accordion but cheaper! These bass melodicas are quite rare, the one we used came from Japan.  It sets up a swampy groove that Art and I layer hand drums over - he’s on djembe and I'm on 6 Moroccan Clay drums. Charlie (drums) does the rolling snare which glues us all together. Then we wanted to find a new way to irritate people with the musings of heavy metal (we call it “Stadium Jazz” ) so we decided to use “metal" guitar sonics and  double it with bass clarinet which sounds so much alike it’s remarkable. Bass plays the opening melody because… it’s 2016! Then Jason on trumpet and Colleen on tenor poke around for a bit until Nick on guitar shuts ‘er down fer good!

 

Five Alive was the last tune added to the line up the record and it is the only one that was written by Jason Logue our trumpeter. This is his first tune for Manteca and submitting work to the band is always a dicey proposition for writers, because as we have told writers in the past… ”we love your tune, we love playing it… it’s just not us… no can do.”  Jason proposed this tune which he originally created for a 21 piece ensemble and we loved it worked out an arrangement and reworked it and reworked it… it’s a little in the spirit of Mind Monday from the last record and the guitar solo reminds us of country music in 7/4 and then the breakdown recalls Night in Tunisia meets Caravan, it’s a great fun voyage for us as players and the listeners at the live show seem to like it… spoiler alert… it’s now in the most coveted spot in the live show - the closer!