Gina and I held an epic-lengthed Arcati Crisis rehearsal last night.
Not only was it our first rehearsal after her run acting in Ms. Reardon Drinks a Little (which I helped her costume), but it was our first chance to catch up on various life and house news in person after two completely insane weeks.
After a slow start to the year, we’ve had an awesome few months as Arcati Crisis – three great shows in the last four months. We’re in good practice and good voice, too. So, why rehearse, rather than head out to an open mic?
The awful truth is, we have only learned one new song in the past 12 months – “Total Eclipse of the Heart.” We’ve effectively been a band touring behind an album, our late-2008 Live @ Rehearsal, Vol. 4. We only have two tunes newer than that release that in our repertoire – “Better” and “Holy Grail” – and both were in regular set rotation by this time last year.
It’s scary to think of us as having an “established” repertoire to tour behind for an entire year. I have musical ADHD – I hate playing the same songs all of the time. My solo material bears this out – the only thing that I play more than 50% of the time is my cover of “Like a Virgin!” Also, lack-of-attention-span aside, we need some new cover-tune artillery to shock and awe our regular audiences with.
As a result, last night we started on the biggest-ever group of new tunes since our inception – five of them! Two originals from me, two new covers (partially derived from fan feedback), and the newest one from Gina.
The one I’m most excited about is “Dumbest Thing I Could Do,” which is my acoustic version of a slutty dance song. I wrote it at the piano, influenced half by Lady Gaga and half by Heart. Gina has already lent it an entire additional layer of funk via harmony and Bee Gee’s style low guitar riffs.
I’m also intrigued by our lark into Muse’s “Starlight.” We don’t usually perform contemporary covers (our only one is “Falling Slowly”), but after hearing Gina deliver a incandescent version of this at a recent night of karaoke I knew we had to give it a try.
The original is devoid of harmony, so I spent a few evenings arranging vocals for each section of the song. They were murder to sing along to the CD or with E, but when Gina and I ran through the song I hit most of them in a single try. It was pretty obvious where I had selected some bum notes, and Gina quickly amended them and added an awesome portion of counterpoint.
The other cover needs more of an Arcati touch before I talk it up, and my second original and Gina’s new one are in their infancy. We’ll push farther into them as the more exciting pair gets locked into place.
I’m excited to stretch out our improved confidence across a handful of new tunes. Hopefully we’ll begin to debut them at some of our summer shows – so far, we’re playing twice each at the awesome Triumph brewery and the delightful 2nd Saturday event in Collingswood:
We’re still seeking an August event, plus one or two parties to play, so if you need some Arcati Crisis in your life please holler!