Music, Muscle-Memory and Reunion

Today I rehearsed for a show I’m playing next weekend with a group that’s very near and dear to my heart. From about 2000 through 2005 or 2006 we were “a band” in that way folks in the 18-24 demographic get it. We must have played close to a hundred shows together — including days where we triple booked events like weddings, festivals and local pizza places and dive bars — and through college it served as an unofficial second-job of sorts.

What was a little less typical about our group though was the music. It was a tricky, full-throttle-all-the-time brand of jazz-fusion that wasn’t particularly accessible all the time. We also had a particularly unhelpful approach to writing and working out songs, writing down effectively none of it and recording very little. Our oeuvre was at the mercy of our muscle-memory. What snippets we’d save from live shows effectively became canon. It was a terrible way to build a repertoire but kind of a wonderful way to get musically in-tune and tight with a group of people. And man, we were tight.

There are still digital remnants from that time floating around the internet(There is a MySpace page I’ve tried to delete twice before, to no avail, but now I’m kind of glad it’s there. My favorite might be this strange, auto-generated page on MTV that’s a combination of what was our only real album combined with some text pulled from Wikipedia about the historical origins of the name we took.) but nothing that ever quite caught us at our peak. I’m not sure properly could have even. It was the intensity we brought to every song and the way we attacked it that was what made us special.

There was a reunion show in 2009 but in retrospect that was only a few years removed. There was a 2012 semi-reunion featuring someone else I play music with these days, but I’m not sure it counts. This time feels like more of a proper reunion. More years have transpired between that reunion show and this one than had between our previous reunion show and the end of our run. Bigger years. More important years. We’ve changed a lot more in the four years. Careers have taken off: lawyers, web developers (Ahem.), business owners and even a real, no-shit, professional musician playing in a band that appears on nightly talk shows. And life has continued chugging along: marriages, two (!) children, fiancés and copious world travels (Ahem, again).

We’ve past the tipping point of proper youth but are not yet so far removed from those years that they seem like ancient history, yet. Maybe that’s why this time it feels different, like more of a proper reunion.I think this show on Sunday — December 28th, 2014, 8pm at Mississippi Pizza! — is going to be special.

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