Tag Archives: The Way You Look
One bartender at Niagara introduced Charlotte and I (The Merch Grrls) to a drummer, Este, and we began practicing once a week at Tu Casa in the East Village. Mostly we met after work for an hour or two and attempted to go over a cover of “Handle with Care” and learn the two new songs I had written, “The Way You Look (audio link)” and “Forgive and Forget.”
For my birthday, Marky had bought me a glittery blue Retro H Daisy Rock, but the pick-up kept falling. Every few songs I could hear the sound change. I would have to stop, pull out a screwdriver and adjust. After that became intolerable he sold it and bought me a three-quarter scale Greco that had these two little screws jutting out of the bridge that would cut up my hand when I played it.
The drums in the studio were a sorry set. The rims were bent beyond belief and the cymbals had large chunks missing. Nevertheless, we were contented to have a back beat. After another handful of practices we booked a show for the Antagonist annual holiday party. Ironically we got the late slot, which meant Schocholautte was opening for us. Although it was not a tragedy of Spinal-Tap proportions, Este was not interested in performing live.
The Merch Grrls played its first official gig at Niagara in December 2008 with a drummer, Joe, and Marky on lead guitar. We had two practices with Joe and none with Mark, but he had been playing long with a recording we had made the night before in preparation. The boys were fantastic and really made us sound like what I thought a band was supposed to sound like. Unfortunately, we girls were just plain off.
My legs were shaking so much I thought I was going to drill a hole right through the floor, and I had the worst case of verbal diarrhea imaginable. Every sound that came out of my mouth quivered off key. Every attempt at humor was an utter disaster. I could not wait to get to the next song only so we could do the song after that and the song after that. I cringed with every missed note.
When we finally played “One More Whiskey and Water,” our usual finale, I was relieved the show was over. Although I thought the performance probably was not as bad from the audience’s point of view as it was in my head, I ran into the kitchen to pack up my gear and wallow in my disappointment. All I wanted to do was be good, but the more I thought about it, the more I did not know what “good” meant.