2007-09-07: I Think I'm Sinking Down


Lee_icon.gif Rochelle_icon.gif


Lee makes a bad impression at a music workshop, and blames everyone else for it.

Date It Happened:

September 7, 2007

I Think I'm Sinking Down

New York City

Lee invited Rochelle, as a fellow fiddler slash violinist, to the Off-Broadway Independent Musician's Workshop, a semi-monthly gathering of musicians of all kinds, from all sorts of different styles and traditions, getting together at an empty theater (and the associated practice spaces), warming up, comparing instruments, compositions and lyrics, jamming with each other in various combinations, culminating with the presentation to the group of a few songs. "Some are incredible, some are duds." he explains. Sure, enough the spirit of collaboration runs high at the event and everyone is very friendly to both of them. There are even some other country and western performers there. Lee's electric violin is the only one, naturally.

On the other side of the spectrum, Rochelle is certainly not alone; she was apprehensive about coming even though she was invited to do so, and the presence of the like-minded helps just a little bit. She'd originally showed up at The Secret Lair to just show up after -not- showing up, and now the fiddler is all of a sudden here. There was probably a wormhole involved. Rochelle has with her a trusty acoustic fiddle, capable of being hooked up, but really relying on the Old School. All in all- "I'm glad you got me to tag along." -is now her current state of mind, her voice speaking up from where she sits, tweaking at the instrument in her hands and eyes wandering the space around with both curiosity and remaining apprehension.

Lee is constantly - no pun intended - fiddling with his violin, trying to get exactly the right sound out of it. "Yeah, it's got some cool people here. That's Joey from Off Road Velociraptor Safari and over there is Sandra from Jetpack Minotaur…" Obscure indie bands. How he revels in them. "I wish Nima could have come along…" He stops himself, before explaining, lamely, "Family member in the hospital."

Rochelle has probably only glimpsed the elusive sister, but it's nothing she really thinks about regardless. "Oh. Not bad, I hope?" Her tone offers silent condolences, even if she doesn't realize it. "And what possesses people to make those band names? I suppose I'd remember it better, but still." The woman gives a tiny snort before letting her fingers off of the neck of the fiddle to pick up the bow from inside the fiddle case. "For me it'd be like naming a kid Glowering Bowel Worm or something."

Lee grins, "Different worlds." he says. Then he adds: "It's serious, but it's not someone we're really that close to. We're taking turns at the hospital, nobody else is in town." A drummer approaches. "Hey, Lee, you and your friend want to jam a bit? Me and Jack need some strings to back us." Lee looks to Rochelle. "Ready to go?"

"Ready as I'll never be." Rochelle responds quickly, though, so at least she's paying attention. "If I don't stick a toe in now, the water will stay cold. Let's go." She wears a dry chuckle and motions the tip of her bow in an upward direction, letting herself stand up with her fiddle in tow.
Lee and Rochelle, the drummer, who is a rock drummer, and the guitarist, who is a Spanish jazz musician, discuss what song to play for a little while. "Hey, what about Zevon? Carmelita?" Lee finally suggests, and that intersects between every conceivable part of music, so they start to work on the classic tune about addiction and loss. The drummer is in his own world, the guitarist is generous with the mike and passes verses off to the other participants. A bassist joins in halfway through, too.

GAME: Rochelle has rolled PERFORM and got a result of AVERAGE.
GAME: Lee has rolled PERFORM and got a result of GREAT.

Rochelle takes a few moments to get used to playing with strangers! Really. She doesn't do too badly for the fact, even chancing a short change of tune at the very end. It's a short song, but it's long enough for her to get used to the feel of being there. When it's a few seconds over with she pipes up again. "Are first group sessions always this awkward, or am I just nervous?"

All in all, for a lot of strangers, it's not too bad, at least in the practice room. Lee joshes around a lot and seems pretty on top of that electric violin, making it sing and scrape in a very rock 'n rolly manner. "Actually you did really well." the guitarist informs her, so does the bassist and the drummer too. "It's not supposed to be perfectly polished." Lee says casually. "Think we should give it a try in front of the group?" The overall attitude seems to be positive towards the idea.

Rochelle has a clear hesitance, but she would rather not be the wet blanket. After a few choice fidgets with her fiddle, the woman glances up again. "Sure. Let's give it a go." What can go wrong? Really? It's just a jam session.

Lee says, "Exactly!" Indeed, the people who are up just before them have about the same level of quality, and get some good applause from the musicians listening up in front, so the bar must be set fairly low. The group gets on the stage and begins its performance….but something becomes clear on the stage that wasn't clear in the practice room - Lee is fooling around too much. He smirks, he laughs, he mugs to the crowd…entirely too pleased with himself. Technically, his performance is quite good, perhaps better than most of the impromptu group. But he hogs the spotlight and he just won't harmonize no matter what.

Rochelle gets warmed up well, and her performance is at least more fluid than the practice was. She's a good backup to Lee's ham and hog, but that in itself does catch her attention. The fiddler says nothing when they finish what they came on stage to do, but once they are cajoled off of the hardwood by the next group, she pretty much nudges Lee aside onto their own vague little walking path, an eyebrow raised up as she does so. At least she has tact in her imminent ribbing. "I hope you didn't act like that in the bands you've done anything with…" Rochelle has a little bit of a scoff in her voice now.

Lee is a little puzzled by Rochelle's statement, but the guitarist backs her up: "Yeah, man. It's a song about a fucking heroin addict who lost his girl. You didn't even /try/ to make it come off with any heart."

"What?" Lee protests, "I played the fucking song, didn't I? It's Zevon! What the hell are you talking about?"

Rochelle turns to eyeball the guitarist that finds it fitting to listen in. She waves him a hand. Go away. I'm talking, here. The woman even makes an attempt to pull Lee offsides and away from the other impromptu band members. "You're quite a ham on stage, Lee, but it's not about playing the notes on a sheet. Please tell me you /do/ know that." Rochelle has a wary smile. Is she trying to be mean? No. Might she seem critical? Maybe.

Lee says, annoyedly, even pissed off: "Of course I know that, and…"

"And you completely fucked the dog." says the bassist, brushing him off and ambling away. There are other groups.

"I wouldn't put it /that/ way…" says the guitarist, though his expression is such that it's clear he agrees with the sentiment. "But I'm not here just to screw around and get applause, I want to get better at…"

Lee interrupts, "Well, maybe you should, then maybe you'd know what the fuck you were saying." He stomps over to his case and starts putting his stuff away.

Rochelle gives the air a very disgruntled look, mouth tightening in a frown as she turns and steps slowly after Lee to where their things are. "That was uncalled for." Rochelle is so very Right There, not really in the man's face, but it'd be hard to just ignore her standing there. Pretty much looming. "Granted, /they/ weren't being very nice, so maybe not as much. /I/ just wanted to point out you could have given a primadonna a run for her money." Honest, and perhaps brutally so. She's not angry about it, no, just displeased.

Lee snaps back - and he doesn't sound displeased either, exactly, which makes it a lot worse, colder somehow, while still not losing the temper-tantrum patheticness of it: "You know, I'm the one that invited you here, you wouldn't have even been up there at all if it wasn't for me, and let me give you just the tiniest little hint. The E-string? Is /that/ one. That's the one you want if you're playing an E, in caseyou didn't know. The E-string. Right there!"

"I know you did, I'm not ribbin'on you'bout tha-" HEY. Rochelle makes a new and bearish face at him, looking like she wants to maybe…reach out and shove him into a wall. Nothing comes of that boiling glare, lucky for him. "The heartstring? It's /this/ one." Her fiddle bow points to her own chest. "This is the one you want if you're playin'human. You ain't tuggin'on /mine/, Lee. Stop your bellyaching and get with the program."

Lee sneers, "Ohhh, heartstrings? Really? Really and for true, Rochelle? Oh gosh oh golly well, then I'll just do my very bestest next time to tug at yours, I'll tell you what, I'll watch some supermarket romances and drink some cheap beer un-ironically and maybe I'll work myself down to your fucking level. I don't need this on my day off." He slams his case shut and makes to leave in a huff. If you didn't think people left places in a huff anymore, well…

"Arrogance has to be earned, Lee! Tell me what you've done to earn yours!" Is what he gets pretty much bellowed at his retreat. Good /day/, SIR.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License