12.28.2012

So I used to be in a band.

The other night, I was wandering around the Internet and found an old MySpace page dedicated to a band I belonged to back in 2008 -- The Funky Transactions.

I'm in the background
We were actually pretty good.  I listened through all the songs that we'd uploaded on MySpace, although we had like 20 more songs than what was on there (hmmm... do I have my old song notebook?); I watched our videos, and even though the A/V quality was poor, I was able to remember the notes; I looked at the pictures, which a couple of friends had taken of us.

Sigh.  How exciting it was to be 23.

Kiley and I met in middle school -- I remember playing with my mom's face masks with her and a mutual friend, laughing as we peeled them from our faces in front of the bureau mirror in my parents' room.  Years later, we ended up in the same sociolinguistics class at Purdue, and while we were catching up, it came up that we both played musical instruments.  At some point, one of us exclaimed, "Dude!  We should start a fuckin' BAND!"

Taken by Sandra
After class, we went to the study area in the union's soda shop with our notebooks and worked out a game plan -- how often we'd rehearse, what kind of sound we'd have, how many instruments we could each play.  I'd never been in a real band before, other than tinkering around with friends growing up, but Kiley had, so I was happy that someone actually knew what she was doing.

Then suddenly, we were at my house, which I rented with my then-boyfriend in downtown Lafayette, practicing chords and covering Regina Spektor songs, with Kiley on acoustic guitar and me on my grandmother's piano (which I had to buy at an auction because my sociopath uncle sold all her stuff).

Here's us just fucking around early on -- this was an unfinished chorus and bridge, and it became a "real" song later:





Our song-writing strategy was simple:  I'd never written a song before, and Kiley wrote songs in her sleep.  She'd come over for rehearsal with a new idea for a song, complete with most of the lyrics, and then I'd make shit up on the piano to the chords she already had.  That was probably the one area where I was solid:  I knew chords.

Kiley knew some of the chord names, but mostly she just played what sounded cool and didn't really know how to communicate what it was (and that's not a bad thing -- Paul McCartney couldn't read sheet music either, and I suppose he did okay with himself).  I'd studied music since I was a kid, learning chords and scales, being in the school band for eight years, taking a music theory course at Purdue, performing with the Lafayette Citizens Band, etc.  I was able to figure out, with relative ease, the chords Kiley was playing on guitar and then match something up with the piano.  It helped that she kept her guitar tuned really well.

Before I knew it, Kiley was talking about playing live, which naturally freaked me the fuck out.  We did end up playing some live shows, and she was so cool with all of it, but my hands shook the entire time, and the shows are a blur to me now.  I don't remember making any big mistakes, but I do remember us starting a song over at the Knickerbocker after a couple of measures because it didn't sound right.  I don't know what we changed the second time, but it sounded fine after that.

Taken by someone I don't know.  Both my now-ex-fiancĂ© and my father are in this picture. OOH GUESS THEM!

At the Skylight Coffee House.  Peter Tork played on this stage two years later.
Kiley had a friend who owned a recording studio in what used to be... I think a furniture store?  Or a school maybe?  We went in and recorded some songs in there.  I was less nervous about this part, because it wasn't live, and no one was looking at me.  Plus, I mean... the attitude that comes with, "yeah dude, I'm in the fuckin' studio, layin' down some fuckin' tracks, y'all."  Some of the songs we recorded are on the MySpace page still.  We also had a photographer friend take pictures of us one of the times we went to the studio.

Recording.  Photo is by our friend Angie, but I don't know if she's interested in consulting as a photographer right now.  If she lets me know, then I'll link to her stuff in this caption later.

Hallway in this school-furniture store place where the studio was.  Also, I was pretty uncomfortable with having my picture taken.  I still am.
We ended up going our separate ways after several months.  I don't blame her -- I was about to graduate from Purdue, I was career-oriented, wanted to work in a cubicle.  Which, I know now, is... well, not at all what we'd been aiming for.  Kiley ended up traveling, I think, and then she settled down to start a family (and out of all the babies I see on my Facebook newsfeed, he's one of the cutest -- and those who know me well know that this is actually saying something).

I'm glad I found those songs and videos, though.  Lots of good memories.  She brought me out of my shell -- when I first thought about performing on stage or recording music, I wanted to shit myself.  Now, however, I know that I did something that terrified me, and I enjoyed it.  And, I hope, other people got something out of it as well.






You can barely hear Kiley in this last video, but I liked this song.

And us live -- sorry for the poor quality... it's from my ex's phone:




Anyone else out there have a band, or were you ever in one?  Ever been terrified on stage, or are you totally comfortable?

2 comments:

  1. Oh man, Myspace, that takes me back. I have no idea how to log into mine, but it still exists out there will a photo of me and my boyfriend from 8 years ago. EMBARRASSING. Also, I nominated you for a Liebster: http://myborrowedheaven.blogspot.com/2013/01/another-liebster.html

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    1. Oh my gosh! Thank you! And yes, MySpace is so old. I think at the time we started our band profile, MySpace was already kinda old.

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