Thursday, July 29, 2010

Did The Intern Show Up? Vol. 5: The Bands

Bands, bands, bands. Before working here, what I knew about bands was roughly this – that they wrote and played music, that they put out albums, that they toured, that they ended up on my iPod if I liked them well enough. All of that is still true, of course, but I’ve come to realize a couple of other things as well. Namely, that bands are made up of people, and people…people are interesting. I don’t have to tell you that, though. You’ve read this column before (RIGHT?). You’ve heard the stories.
As for the bands…there are a lot of different kinds of bands. There are bands that show up early to load in and soundcheck. There are bands that don’t show up until ten minutes before their set is due to start and have to use someone else’s line-checked equipment. There are bands who wander around the downstairs area of the bar alone or only amongst themselves. There are bands who hang out in the green room upstairs. There are bands who want you to hang out upstairs with them. There are bands who could care less that you exist as long as you settle with them at the end of the night. There are bands who know what they’re doing on tour and who are grateful that we know what we’re doing on our end to help them out. There are bands who have never been on tour before and either look terrified or act like idiots, sometimes both. There are bands who will pack the bar unexpectedly. There are bands who think they’ll pack the bar and end up playing to ten people, five of whom were on the guest list. There are bands who don’t understand how a door deal works. There are bands who complain about getting a door deal until they see how much they’re actually making. There are local bands who are always, always late. There are touring bands who forget equipment or bring too much of it.
Basically, there are bands. I could keep going with this list for another couple of paragraphs, but you would get bored reading it and I’d get bored with repeating the same sentence structure over and over again, so I’m going to spare the both of us. Chances are I won’t (and don’t) remember all of the members of all of the bands that come through KFN. That would be pretty impossible, actually. I’ll remember the Italian frontman of the Rolling Stones tribute band named Crazyfish, though. I’ll remember the soft-spoken singer of Woven Bones who so genuinely cared if people enjoyed the show. I’ll remember the guys from Animal Tropical, with whom I’ve honestly had the most fun in the green room ever.
Because like I said, bands are made up of people. And people have the power to surprise you, or infuriate you, or make you laugh, or help you remember how much you love doing what you do. That’s what this job has been about for me. Getting to know people, remembering how to genuinely care about people, learning how to look past the often-tattooed exterior and connect because you’re both in the same place at the same time – so why the hell not? It’s a pretty cool concept.
This week’s post is short, I know. But I feel like I’ve said my piece for now. When you spend so much time talking about why you love something it’s easy to run out of the right words.

-- Emily Simpson

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