Chin Up…

Friends & Lovers

I arrived at last night’s show way too early as usual (not sure why I do this) and chilled out at the bar waiting for the other bands to arrive. I was on at 8pm, I arrived around 6.30. The place was pretty empty and the people who were already at the bar thinned out to almost none by the time the other bands had sound checked and were ready to start the show. I was on first. I done my sound check and was told to hold on for a while until more people showed up. Due to the snow/sleet/rain and gusty wind I didn’t blame my friends for canceling the long trek out to Crown Heights. When I started playing it was to two people, the sound guy and the singer from the headlining band, Ashkon. I played my set and by the time I finished there was a sizable amount of people at the back of the room that had trickled in. Not a total loss I guess. I stayed to watch the two other bands as long as I could before I decided to make the long trek home. I was glad I was playing solo so Daniela didn’t have to experience it. I put the whole thing out of my head and focused on the next string of gigs I’m currently setting up. Today I got an email linking me to a piece the singer, Ashkon had written. It’s always interesting to see things from another perspective. Although I put last night’s show down to the worst/least attended gig I’ve done in a long time, it doesn’t seem like such a total loss after all.

Check out the music and art of Ashkon here.

See the article below:

Hello friends!

First off, I want to give a huge thank you to everyone that came out last night amidst rain, hail, sleet, and yes, even snow, to Friends and Lovers to see me and sullivann perform.

The night did not start off very promising, with a grand total of ZERO guests there at the show’s listed start time of 8PM. As I stressed and struggled to find zen in the midst of that feeling that no one was going to show up to my party, I walked from the bar to the performance room to see the opening act of the night, Colin Dempsey aka Supersmall, literally performing for JUST the sound guy.

Now, I’ve played shows for just the other bands, five drunk friends, one couple in the corner… many different amalgamations of shitty, but this was on a whole nother level. He finished the song and proclaimed into the mic,

“I feel like I’m auditioning for you or something”

His charming Irish accent made it all the more priceless. While it may be impossible not to have a laugh at this scene-hell, even Colin himself had to crack a joke-I bring this up because it’s in moments such as these that you get to witness true artistry and heroism on the stage. Colin sang through his set like the seasoned professional that he clearly was, telling little stories about what the songs meant to him, and went about his business. Just another day.

As Steven Pressfield discusses in The War of Art, a book that I consider a modern day artist’s manifesto, “The professional does not take failure or success personally…A professional schools herself to stand apart from her performance, even as she gives herself to it heart and soul. The Bhagavad-Gita tells us we have only a right to our labor, not to the fruits of our labor. All the warrior can give is his life, all the athlete can do is leave everything on the field.

The professional loves her work. She is invested in it wholeheartedly. But she does not forget that the work is not her. Her artistic self contains many works and performances. Already the next is percolating inside her. The next one will be better, and the one after that better still”

See, THAT’S what the fuck I’m talking about. I love that attitude, and love that approach, and think that there is much to be taken from it, whatever it is that you do, whether it be writing songs, or writing briefs. Colin exemplified that up there last night, and not only that, but he had some killer songs to boot. It is for this reason that I dedicate this week’s Ash Wednesday share to his band, Supersmall.

You can look at, listen to, and learn about everything Supersmall here.

—-

As for the rest of the night, it turned out really grand. People showed up, sullivann killed it, and everyone took kindly to my all acoustic set featuring Claudia Chopek on violin. I hope to post some footage and pics in the next couple days. Thanks again to all those who made it. For those who did not, you get to come see me play the late, late show at Rockwood Music Hall on Friday May 2nd. 1AM. : ) That’s right. We’re gonna turn up for that one. Til next time…

-Ashkon

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