Says: It's nice to wake up feeling like you played a
good gig that people appreciated the night before. Go Yale!
After suffering through another ill-attended, ill-run show, SFTD
approached our New Haven gig at Koffee Too like abused, hungry
puppy dogs. Maybe this time we'll just get a treat and be able
to trot away without the proverbial kick in the arse that sometimes
And Koffee Too, on all levels, was a treat.
The small stage, and how to make the most of it was the only obstacle.
Once we started, the tables were full of attentive, smiling, singing
folks, who were also intently doing their activity pages.
We played softly (brushes, Ning on acoustic), but still rocked
the numbers that needed to be rocked. I could hear Tony very well,
and he was playing some beautiful lead parts. The sound he was
getting was great too.
Afterwards the merch was flying outta there, money going one way,
CDs and t-shirts another.
So, basically, we've found our crowd: young Ivy Leagers. And we
do well in intimate settings. Smart kids, smart music. Somehow
we'll find it, the rainbow connection.
Which kind of hits upon what Max and I were talking about on the
way down (basic marketing 101)--how smart things need to get dumbed
down and given a gimmick before they become popular.
For example: The Pixies=not cute, not popular. Nirvana=cute and
See how ridiculously smart I am? Writing blandly about the most
obvious facts of life?
Oh, here's another one: Yale=attractive humans. New Haven=great
We'd love to come back to the area.
says: I have to agree with Brian that our show at Koffee
Too in New Haven was redeeming. The night before we had played
our third in a series of empty rooms and that begins to wear on
Luckily, the boys in Vitamin Tramp invited us
down to New Haven. Especially luckily, they brought along a whole
bunch of their friends and fans.
We squeezed in as much as we could on the tiny
stage and, even though Max didn't have much room to jump up and
down, it eventually worked out. I played acoustic and Brian played
with brushes, it's a pretty small and wooden room and certainly
not a rock venue. Luckily, Vitamin Tramp had brought along a sound
system and had it all set up and ready to go.
The view from the tiny stage was great. Directly
in front of us people were seated and either working on their
activity pages or watching (some were even singing along to a
bunch of the songs.) Behind them were more people, some standing,
some milling about. Behind them was a large wall-sized window
looking out onto the busy, busy York Street sidewalk. It was a
beautiful, warm evening out there and droves of people were continually
walking by. Lots of them stopped and watched a bit through the
glass. Behind them was the road where cars were slowly cruising
past and behind them were the walls of the castle-like Yale buildings.
It seemed that as we played, more and more people
were getting sucked into the show and by the end we had a perfect,
captive audience, even one of the guys working at the counter
in the other half of the place kept peering through the little
portal between rooms to watch us.
Vitamin Tramp took the stage after we got all
of our stuff moved off and they played a two and then three acoustic
guitar set. The audience knew their music you could tell, applauding
when particular songs started and singing along.
I caught up a little with Chris from the Space
and I met two folks who I recognized as having seen me at my solo
show in Lychfield. Each time they came to see us we had more members.
First, me solo, then the trio at the Space and now a four piece.
Outside, groups of Yale jock-boys and jock-girls
paraded past in togas. Although, Brian, I don't think that too
many of the people in the audience were actually Yalies.
Tony and I went to a pizza place after the show
and got a couple of slices and a slice of life. While sitting
there, Tony pointed out a table of students that were quite obviously
from very wealthy backgrounds. He then told me that earlier he
had heard one of them talking about how his father had sold his
Jiffy Lube stock before the business took off. The kid ended his
story by saying, "We could have been richer than we already
It was interesting seeing these kids. I swear,
one of the girls was a princess of some kind and when they left,
one of the boys buttoned up his blue blazer and grabbed his briefcase
- just another Friday night out at college, I guess. "Dude,
move your briefcase, I can't get to the kegger."
summed this one up pretty well. I'll only add that the pizza I
ate was one of the best slices I've had in years and years. New
Haven is of course known for its pizza but for me part of it had
to do with the novelty of the slice. It was a "gyro slice,"
which meant white pizza covered in strips of gyro meat, onions,
tomatos, and feta cheese. And the rich kids I overheard talking-
Henning left out that one of them was a girl whose dad was a professional
golfer. Just when I was starting to envy these rich, well-dressed,
young college kids who have everything going for them, I realized
the note of sadness in her voice when she explained that, due
to extensive travel being a part of her pop's chosen career, she
simply doesn't get to see Dad much.
Oh yeah, and Brian, I agree AND disagree with you. The Beatles,
Alfred Hitchcock and Ernest Hemingway were all artists who had
enormous popular success but also were seminal innovators. Then
again, you also have their contemporaries in their respective
fields like The Velvet Underground, Luis Bunuel and Virginia Woolf,
who were just as influential but nowhere near as popular. So there.