Whoa Nelly, I’m so behind in blogging. I started this blog a week ago when I was hit with a raging bout of insomnia. In fact, I’ve been unable to sleep for most of the week this week, so you’d think that I would have been thoughtfully efficient in using all of that extra conscious time. I mean, I guess it depends on how you look at it. My friend, Rori, introduced me to a new young adult reader series this week, so when I wake up in the middle of the night with my brain going five hundred miles per hour, instead of finishing this blog, I just read instead. Now, I’m sort of all read out for the moment and it’s a glorious, grey, stormy afternoon. I’m sitting up here in my little attic apartment, typing in rhythm to the rain to both update you on the world of the Sarah Mac Band of late and also alert you to the upcoming events that you should look for.
We played with Rayland Baxter last week. With the exception of the past few weeks, when he’s been on the road alone, he has spent the summer out and about touring with Grace Potter and the Nocturnals and the Civil Wars (the latter of the two, Claire and I will see in October for her birthday, yay!).
Rayland was a really nice guy—you don’t always find that of people on the road. I was immediately struck and impressed by his humility. In fact, we (Claire, Charlie, and I) talked about that for a long time later on our ride home. I was then totally won over by the fact that he double high-fives. I’m a super high-fiver. In fact, that’s my physical-contact-with-anyone-other-than-my-mama of choice. Plus, I think that they’re sort of fun and retro, like Debbie Gibson and your old snoopy skateboard from Christmas 1984 before all the hip kids in baggy shorts were riding skateboards. But if you double high-five, then you’re even more fun and cool, or you’re a football player and then you bump helmets next and yell something motivational.
Rayland’s music was fun. Check my last blog entry to see a video that he and some of his friends recorded on someone’s front porch. When he played that song, there were people in the audience clapping their hands like the video guys (Sarah Mac included). I’m not sure that I can really describe his style of playing, but it reminded me of when Baby Bear got a book of Ragtime Songs for the piano. It was like Baby Bear was tearing up Scott Joplin’s “The Entertainer” except it was this tall, humble hippy guy in tight rolled khaki pants and a trucker cap on a guitar with the added variable of soulful singing and mad whistling skills.
Here’s a video that Rayland put together and released this week via facebook. It shows all kinds of stuff from his summer tour set to a song on his soon-to-be-released album.
The event was pretty unorganized. There was a pretty substantial miscommunication as to the length of our set. The other band was stressing because their lead singer was dealing with some family issues—as in his wife had just had a baby the day before. It was brutally hot with nowhere to escape the heat. I almost blacked out during our set—I think that it might have been dehydration, in spite of the fact that I probably drank 4 liters of water leading up to and during our set.
Honestly, I was ready to curl up in the fetal position and cry until somebody took me home. But I also know that this is my job and I have to be here. The people who braved the heat for the concert were probably feeling the same way and not complaining about it (at least not to me), and had nothing forcing them to be there. They CHOSE to stay and watch us in spite of the conditions. That deserves some serious respect. So instead of curling up in the fetal position and crying until somebody took me home, I put on my brave face and went to the merch table to sign autographs and take photos. Good choice (the one where I got over myself). As often happens when I get to meet and greet, I learned all kinds of new and interesting things about witness protection, New Orleans, mental health—it’s like a living, breathing Wikipedia experience.
At some point, I looked around and realized that I’d lost my band and sound guy. It didn’t take much searching to find them playing Cornhole and at that point, I completely forgot about how bad I’d felt earlier…
Claire is a funny conundrum. When we hit a bigger city and there is an Anthropologie store in a fifty mile radius, she’s totally on my side. With two votes against one, Charlie has to wait at the mall while Claire and I burn up our credit cards on fancy clothes and home goods. The same is true for choosing fancy, frou-frou restaurants and hotels (when we have to stay in hotels) over gas stations and roachy-no-tell-motels. She sides with me on music most of the time, too (as evidenced by our above mentioned trip to see the Civil Wars). But then there are the times that I find myself isolated in the backseat while all of the world’s problems are fixed in the front seat conversation about baseball, football, NBA, ACC, NCAA, RBI, MVP, INS, MTV, GHB, ETC.
Don’t get me wrong… back when I had tv, I would totally watch the World Cup and the Olympics. I absolutely love the roller derby and I’ll even go to a basketball game every once in a while and enjoy it… AND, one of my bff’s is a super-duper Iron(wo)man triathlete. Even so, I still can’t hang with “Sporty Spice” and “Casey at the Bat” in the front seat.
Apparently, I can’t hang with them in Cornhole either.
I’ve never actually played that game before (If you’re not familiar with it, it’s like a grown-up version of “the beanbag toss” that you used to play in elementary school phys ed class.), but on my first toss, I made a hole-in-one, which JB (our sound guy) promptly informed me was worth “at least a thousand points.” Everyone told me to stop while I was ahead because there was no way that I could repeat it. I should have listened, but as Mama Bear has always said, I’m a rebellious one (“Rebellion is as witchcraft, Sarah.”) and I didn’t heed their warnings. Another good old Mama Bear adage came true, “Pride cometh before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18 for all you heathens out there) and I never made another hole (or whatever it’s called in Cornhole). I did however pull my left butt muscle—not kidding. But after I did some research, I decided that it might have been a hyponatremia-induced muscle cramp as a result of my severe dehydration and not necessarily a muscle strain from the tough physical exertion from the bean bag throwing game. Although… look at that spectacular form… It’s totally a model of athleticism, so maybe the muscle issues could be from the physical exertion.
Okay, so I’ve had some time to get my system back in balance and gotten that wonky butt muscle back into shape… well, at least functional (I’m not walking crooked anymore). That’s given me the freedom to focus my attentions on the upcoming Warehouse show in Tallahassee. We’re unveiling a sweet new cover along with a sort of new Sarah Mac Band song that probably most of you guys haven’t heard yet.
This week show is also a special pleasure in that we’re sharing the stage that evening with some fantastic, esteemed musicians. We were introduced to LA native Tim Matson by a mutual friend. He is stopping in our sweet, little hometown for a visit and a jaunt on the Warehouse stage.
We’re also happy to be hosting the debut of Eric Case’s (of Maida Vale) new musical project. If you’ve never seen Eric perform before, then you need to get yourself out to the Warehouse. Eric is a great songwriter. Like, “wow, so great.” One time he offered to give us a song that he’d written that he decided was a better fit for me than for him and I almost choked on my own spit and couldn’t respond with an enthusiastic “Yes!” because I was so excited.
Charlie and I both have musical crushes on his guitar playing. After Ed Harris and kindness, competency is my biggest turn-on, and Eric’s degree of competency on the guitar is far beyond that of any normal human being who has not been infused with some sort of strange awesomeness serum like you’d find in a sci-fi novel for young adult readers.
He told me one time, “I’ve put in enough hours that I’ve gotten to the point where I can confidently pick up a guitar and make it do exactly what I want it to do.” True story. Enough of a true story to merit a musical crush and to make me doubt the naturalness of his talent (as in he might be a guitar X-Man or something). You can check out his blog here and see a new song that he posted this week and has hinted that he might debut with his band on Friday.
See you folks on Friday at the Warehouse. If you can’t make it out then, check the website to see when we’ll be in a town near you! In the meantime, I’ll be praying that I can sleep tonight, but if not, I just got a phone call from my friend Rori telling me that she has 2 more young adult reader books for me to pass the time when insomnia is visiting.
Sarah Mac Band, Eric Case, & Tim Matson at the Warehouse
706 W. Gaines St., Tallahassee
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 9th