Friday, June 25, 2010

Whiskey, cigarettes, and country music ...

Chuck pointed out that I've been going at this whole "starting an 80s ladies cover band" thing from the wrong angle. What kind of guitar player would want to join up with a band called Christa (Pista) and The, which is fronted by someone last seen covertly shot-putting an alto saxophone down two flights of steps so she wouldn't have to play "On Wisconsin" at the Minnesota state basketball tournament?

No, guitar players usually already have someone tapped to sing their songs: Themselves. So there is really no reason to add a me to the stage.

"Find a drummer," Chuck suggested. "Build from there."
"I bring nothing to the table, though," I told him. "Just a kicky band name, the voice of an angel, a sick amount of Belinda Carlisle trivia. ... And I can do the worm. If I'm drunk. And, well, sober."

As you know, Duluth, Minn., is ripe with music. It is impossible to swing a ukulele without getting it stuck in the natty Brillo beard of someone who knows how to play it. And it's hard to not get caught up in the sticky PBR swell and want to do it, too. Kind of like how, after the Summer Olympics, you might slip into a pair of white footie pajamas and make for a playground, convinced that you can do the Iron Cross.

So my project is an 80s cover band that re-imagines my entire karaoke repertoire (which is eerily similar to the "Footloose" soundtrack. Coincidence.) Interspersed with stuff by my favorite shoe gazers, rarities by Minnesotans, and Fleetwood Mac. Something like Amanda Palmer, but with eyebrows. I take my fashion cues from the third-grade version of myself, and finally get to own a pair of Vans. Mostly it comes down to really wanting matching leather cuffs on both wrists and the chance to slay masses with my thoughtful take on Material Issue. Leave people wondering: "Did she just rap?"

I've decided to suck it up and go DIY: I'm going to learn to play guitar. Not the adorable punk uke that I used to pluck out "Mad About You" for Chuck at Schmidt Music. That would just be silly. An actual guitar-guitar for adults. Adults who decide that by the time they are 37, they want to be playing Debbie Gibson covers and complete Trip Shakespeare sets.

I've enlisted the help of a man who goes by the name "Old Knifey" to teach me to play. He claims that it will be hard. My fingers will hurt. Something, something practice that I kind of ignored. It will take a long time. I'm shooting to play a rogue show in a basement during Homegrown 2014. Mostly I just like saying: "Old Knifey, my guitar teacher, says ..." (He also claims to know how to play the uke). For our first class we are going guitar shopping. Unless I get distracted by a keytar, then the whole thing is off.

1 comment:

Amy said...

this will be awesome! what are you going to learn on?