Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Season Finale - Wrongways Tuesdays

Remember the last episode of M.A.S.H.? No? How about Newhart? Cheers? Friends? Come on! What about Seinfeld! OK. Well that's what tonight will be kind of like at The Elevens. The season finale happens with Lesa and Henning, Jason Bourgeois, and Matt Silberstein.

The Tuesdays have been pretty great. It was an experiment for us. We wanted to see if we could successfully put on shows at an early hour in Northampton. Certainly we were inspired by Jose Ayerve and his Spouse residency in the beginning of the summer. I really enjoyed going to those shows and when he stopped doing them, Jason Bourgeois suggested that we take over.

We altered the set-up somewhat in that we had all the shows end by 9:00. The nights have been really nice. Because it happens so early, there is no conflict with the general loud bar crowd. The only people present are there specifically to see the bands and listen to the music and take part in the festivities. Each week we have set up tables and chairs and kept the volume at a listenable level so that attendees can move closer to the stage and get more immersed in the music.

We can keep the volume a little lower because there is generally no drunken chatter at the bar and there is no thumping dance-bass from the club next door. The music is not quiet, mind you. It's just not painful. We've had the great fortune of havign Dan Richardson a staunch supporter of these Tuesdays sit in on the soundboard for us.

Each Tuesday has presented three brief acts. The first act, generally an acoustic duo, plays only three songs. The second act plays roughly a half hour and the third act plays about the same. It's just the perfect length. At the end of each night, as people are milling about and figuring out what to do now, I've overheard many folks who are very surprised that it is only nine o'clock. It's like those rare weekend days when, for some reason or another, you wake up really early and you've done all this stuff and you realize it's not even noon yet. Or it's like a Sunday night when you suddenly remember that Monday is a holiday. It's a joyful reprieve.

The nights are so early that Lesa and I have been getting dinner after the show.

Another part of our experiment was to see if it was possible to consistently have shows that start on time and follow a set schedule. So far, so good. Last week, the order did switch around a little when Nuclear Waste needed to go second rather than third because of a health issue. Not a big deal, since the sets are so short. But we have consistently begun the music at exactly 7:30 and ended very close to 9:00 each night. It's not difficult if it's planned ahead.

But, hey who cares about all this crap? Let's talk about the music. That's all that really matters right? Here's who we have had perform: Henning and Max, Sitting Next To Brian, Tasha Yar, Brian and Thane, Salvation Alley String Band, Josh Crane, Jason and Ryan, The Fawns, Goldwater, Rick Murnane, School for the Dead, Nuclear Waste Management Club, and tonight: Lesa and Henning, Jason Bourgeois, Matt Silberstein. It's been really nice.

Thank you so much to all of you who came out to these shows. I hope you enjoyed them. I think you did since so many of you returned weekly. I'm hoping we'll do this again sometime, maybe in the winter or spring.

I hope you can come out tonight for the season finale. Remember, it's free. And its friendly.

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