Thursday, June 05, 2008

John Here,

I'm pretty unplugged from the world of TV, but a couple of years ago I was kicking back with the family watching the tryouts for American Idol. You know the drill - Simon, Paula and that other dude go from city to city, and a bunch of local hopefuls show up and give it their best shot. For someone who has endured WAY too many hours of open mike nights and poetry slams, this was pure, sweet catharsis. There was none of this polite, semi-interested applause, and no feelings were spared for the sake of protecting fragile artistic self-esteem. If an act was shit, they got told they were shit. If an act was half-way there they got told they needed a lot of work.

I remember there was this one guy who came in dressed as the Statue of Liberty, complete with torch held aloft. With no introduction and in a half-decent voice, he began to sing:

"Staaaaart spreadin' the news...."

Simon: "Thank you."

Statue Guy: "What?"

Simon: "Thank you. You're done."

Statue Guy: "But you haven't heard my..."

Simon (to the other judges) "Do you need to hear any more?"

Other Judges: "No."

Simon: "Goodbye."

Sometimes I think there's a bit of that nerdy statue guy in me. I get all gushy and tingly and crushy over New York. I can't be blase about that town. When I see the skyline in a movie or something I get chills. Real. Not metaphoric. There's an energy there that I feel from the moment I hit the streets. It just seems to be dripping with possibility from every stinky concrete pore.

The Wet Spots will be working in New York City for a month this summer. This was a dream we started cooking up in our heads last October, and events have been conspiring to allow it to happen. We have a steady gig at one night club already set up, and we'll be doing our first big theater show in town at a beautiful venue called The Zipper Factory on July 27th. I am so incredibly grateful for this opportunity to really throw down in the entertainment capital of the world. And I am even more grateful to have the time to spend with the exceptional people we've met in that city. You just have to bask in these moments, and give thanks whenever you remember.

Who knows, maybe this will lead to better things. Or maybe we'll get told "Thank you. You're done.". Either way, I want to be a part of it. It will be way more fun than auditioning for American Idol.

1 comment:

branwyn said...

Hey John and Cass!

I was sorta following you guys a couple years back, saw you host an evening of music at the El Mocambo in Toronto, including Kelly and the Kelly Girls; then saw a short show on Queen West in Toronto before some community meeting.

John and I smoked clove cigarettes together afterwards, and talked about cutting our musical teeth in Winnipeg, while Cass chatted with my friends Daniel and Caleb. Good times!

I bought your first disk, lent it to a friend, and never got it back. Soon after, your video for "Do You Take It?" passed through my LiveJournal on its way to meme stardom, and still I didn't check up on what you guys have been up to.

Then, while taking turns showing our favourite music videos with friends, I did a YouTube search for you last weekend, and found old and new videos! I was reminded of how much I totally, totally love you guys, your songs, your act, and your whole attitude! From there I found your website, and this blog.

I'm not really a blog reader, ouside of my own "friends" list. But in your blog I found some inspiration, so I wanted to thank you! Last year my band broke up, and since then I've been working on a solo act. It's been somewhat discouraging though, my material caters to a pretty specific audience, and sometimes it seemed like it just wasn't viable, wasn't worth spending the effort. But your blog entries and success have rejuvenated my hope that I could do what I love doing and what I'm good at, and succeed! Thanks, you two!

That said, I myself have something of a "gig" in New York at the beginning of August. Sadly, I will arrive after your show at "The Zipper Factory". But, you mention a regular NY gig for a month? I suspect that much of my audience would enjoy your shows, and I'm interested in doing a cover of "Piggy Pile" (which fits perfectly with my act), after which I'd be happy to plug your gig(s), if you like! (Any assistance with the chords and lyrics of "Piggy Pile" would be appreciated. :)

In any case, best of luck, and hope to see you guys again soon - possibly at the Toronto Burlesque Festival!

Branwyn / Dan.