The OaKs traveled to Tampa on Wednesday night to play on the Sonic Detour Thursday show at WMNF (88.5FM) with Nell Abram. The show was actually enjoyable, although finding the perfect headphone mix proved as elusive as the Scarlet Pimpernel.
Also, I was lacking my melodica and bells, so I had to find a keyboard sample to serve as an acceptable substitute. The closest I could find for the melodica was called “Honky Baritone.” Matt and I agreed that if the OaKs doesn’t work out, we can always start a New Orleans jazz combo called “Honky Baritone and The Queen.”
We had a pseudo-radio-listening party today at work (including the California branch!) which was fun. What was not fun was the radio turning my vocal down to “nonexistent” in the first song. RADIO-BO. I do not think I sound THAT bad…bad enough to warrant a gain setting of “none.” But c’est la vie…
I observed a few things:
- I felt a difference between the last time we played on WMNF and this time. There’s definitely more ease and rapport and less intimidation on our part, I think. Just a sense of being a tad bit more “seasoned.” Like… a lobster. (?)
- I’m realizing I enjoy radio interviews more than on-camera. I think I’ve mentioned before my aversion to cameras in general.
- I have never actually publicly commented anywhere (in an OaKs context) on my own humanitarian-ish roots that have forged my own artistic kinship with the band. Granted, I have never moved to a war-torn country to spend 2 years doing humanitarian work. But I did spend a summer in New Orleans (pre-Katrina) tutoring at-risk kids and learning more about social justice in a community that was once rated the #1 worst government housing development in the nation by HUD. And my internship and friendship with Mo Leverett (a hard core living-in-the-projects, songwriting kind of dude) has profoundly affected my understanding of the importance of art rooted in something REAL. And my previous time at and current relationship with the Hananasif Orphanage in Tanzania has thoroughly shaped my understanding of community development, faith and art and how these things seamlessly interact... or should, rather.
But I guess I’m still hammering these things out, just like anyone else. I think it’s interesting that I often fall back into this internal mode of officially letting the “Afghanistan thing” carry the collective roots of the band, and sometimes I forget my own individual reasons that carried me to this path in the first place.