This is pretty much the most awesome situation I can think of. A jam session with Nic on beats and bass, Jesse rapping and on organ + glockenspiel, Audra on clarinet, and me on ukulele. Figuring out what sounds best, modifying arrangements, practicing until it feels right.
The night was actually a rehearsal for Jesse’s upcoming Canadian living room tour, the last stop of which is in Ottawa, at the same place I first met Jesse and Audra and Jacob.
Because Jesse’s sister is only available on the eastern tour dates, that left a spot for one instrument on the final tour date, which I’ll excitedly be filling with my ukulele. It’s only for three songs (and singing one part of a three part harmony) but it’s going to be so much fun.
Here’s Jesse singing and rhyming and conducting us and playing the glockenspiel at the same time. It’s a new track off his upcoming album with an obvious theme about video, except in this version he made an arrangement of Video Tape by Radiohead and VCR by The XX to bookend the verses. I’d never heard VCR, so Jesse had to teach me the chords on the fly.
I recorded this on my iPhone so I could practice on my own; I won’t have a chance to see them for another rehearsal before they go on tour. I’d never heard the song before, and it was our first time playing it through together but everyone knew when to stop. It felt completely natural. We were communicating without words, our instincts culminating in that wonderfully solid unison.
Even though I’m still rusty, it felt amazing to be playing an instrument with other people again. And this time with material that’s fucking genius, not the same old conservatory pieces some teacher chooses for you. At one point I was playing around on the ukulele when Jesse had to get the phone, and Nic started putting beats to what I was doing and it made me want to steal Nic for all my practicing.
See Jesse Dangerously in your town:
Friday, July 23rd — The Bird House in Halifax, NS — 6156 Duncan Street, 10:00 p.m.
Saturday, July 24th — The Galley in Fredericton, NB — 1–178 Westmorland Street, 7:00 p.m (with feminist/anti-capitalist gumboot troupe Rebelles).
Sunday, July 25th — Gallerie Rye in Montreal, PQ — 1331a Rue Ste Catherine Est, 8:00 p.m (with the vegan ukulele of Nicola IV).
Monday, July 26th — 160 Workshops in Ottawa, ON — 160 Primrose Avenue, 8:00 p.m. (with electronic/acoustic singer-songwriter Jacob Earl).
That is SO COOL!! Just be sure you know it cold because stagefright can strike at oddest moments.
I haven’t experienced that but I completely understand why that happens. I saw it first-hand at a recital once…poor girl must have been mortified when she got up on stage, sat down at the piano, and drew a blank.