15 July 2007

I think I’m gonna be a little damaged, I think I’m gonna be a lot scared, here is more than I can manage, I need to find Another There…

You’ll forgive me this week if I talk about my own CD, NUMB. My apologies, really, but you see I can’t seem to get a few of the songs from it out of my head, including the above-mentioned “Another There”. It’s a bit of a curse to me that I can’t shake these tunes I played Friday night at Loud Music Symposium. You see, I spent the last few weeks playing only three songs – practicing and practicing to get them right and sounding as perfect and natural as they can be.

You would think after seven months of recording “Another There”, “Now” and “Mice and Men” that I would know the words but I don’t. When I’m recording I am listening to so many other elements that the words escape me. Since I am mildly dyslexic and I easily confuse words and names of objects anyway it makes it harder for me to memorize sentences whether I wrote them or not. Obviously, performing live is a very different beast than recording so I have to do all kinds of things to make sure I know the words. This can include a trick my mother taught me when I was trying to learn my lines when I was acting in High School and College. She always told me to get into the character of the person I am singing about and the story I am telling – if I do that than the words will make more sense and hopefully come more easily. This little trick definitely helps.

The other trick I do, and thusly explains the mess in my brain today, is that I play the songs over and over again. Sometimes I play a song three or four times in a row before moving on to another one. I do this for at least one to two hours a day depending on how much time I have. Hence, irrespective of any other music I listen to this stuff is deeply imbedded and effluent within my brain – even in the middle of the night when I wake up these songs are present. Yes, I need help. Hopefully by next week I should have a different CD running through my brain – and a review will surely follow.

I must say though – I’m very proud of the work I did on NUMB – I’m pleased at how it turned out with the limited resources I had and the struggles that came about during the recording process; flakey people, people that would only play if they got paid, or those who simply were too busy to ask around on my behalf. I did everything I could to get others to play on the CD and in the end it was mostly me along with my co-producer Rebecca, and Dan my bass player. I was challenged, I stood up to it and I’m glad for it all. I hope you, my readers, will take the time to check out this work. Please go to www.myspace.com/laraschuler, or itunes and sample NUMB – hopefully you’ll like it as much as I do.

As for Loud Music Symposium it was a lot of fun! This, despite the blackout that occurred just minutes, yes, minutes, before the show was to start. What did we expect? It WAS Friday the 13th, afterall. The show was delayed all of an hour while the crew scurried to find performers to ask if they would still play if they could get a generator and make-shift sound system going, and then hustled to set everything up - two bands bailed, I’m not sure why, but I wasted no time in saying yes. Why not? I’d sat in traffic for over an hour then jumped onto some ugly surface streets for an untold number of miles to get OUT of the traffic just to get there – damn it of I wasn’t going to play after all that. It was a no brainer and I’m glad I stayed.

While I certainly can’t speak for how my performance sounded under the stars with a generator buzzing in my ear I will tell you that it felt good, and I had fun. I can, however, say that the folks who organized it did a great job stepping up to the plate and getting the show back on track. Tom, Seth, Anne, Lee and the rest of the folks were amazing!

The whole night was a benefit performance meant to raise money for The Renegades, and So Cal Dream – two drum corps bands that perform in competitions around the country. Needless to say they didn’t make any money that night because of the circumstances so if you would like to make a donation please go to: www.renegades.org or www.socaldream.org

Thanks for tuning in…Until next Monday…CHEERS!!

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