Thursday, February 25, 2010

I’ve got the bug!!!

Well has started…I’ve got the “Band-Search Bug”! Chris and I decided fairly last minute yesterday to head out to a wedding showcase that the band Full House (*cough* Michelle Tanner *cough*) was giving. We looked at their schedule online and saw that this was the only wedding showcase they were doing for quite some time, and pretty much decided it was now or never. We had a 40 minute drive out to their location, but it went really quickly and really was not all that far away.

We both had very different ideas of what the night would be like. I envisioned a dance hall with about 10-15 engaged couples sitting around in chairs with the band playing on a small stage. I envisioned the band getting us out on the dance floor and pretty much creating a feeling of “This is what your wedding will be like.” I mistakenly told Chris before we left that he better have his dancing shoes on because we were going dancing!

Chris was envisioning a small bar with tables for two and a waitress bringing us drinks. Some people may dance…others may not, and he…most certainly…would not be dancing.

We took bets on the way there…though not actually for anything, which turned out to be for the best because BOTH were very wrong. This took place at the Eko Music Recording Studio in Deer Park. The band was set up on the sound stage, with 10 chairs in front of them to watch. We walked into the actual recording studio section with all these high tech mixing devices, and walked around to the sound stage with the Band. Chris and I were 2 of 9 people in attendance. There was one other couple, a girl about our age with her parents (who looked sooooo bored the entire time, I wanted to punch her) and two women in the first row who I think were there on behalf of one of their daughters? We couldn’t tell.  Chris and I sat in the back on a couch, and proceeded to be entertained by a live cover band for the next 45 minutes!!! For free!!!!…and they brought donuts!!

I cool is that? Especially given the fact that our plans last night consisted of eating oreos on the couch while finishing up the movie Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. Don’t get me wrong…I was excited for our big night. Buuut this? This was pretty cool. They did shortened versions of all the classics, The Beatles, The Four Seasons "You're Just too Good to be True", Tina Turner's "Proud Mary", Etta James "At Last", "Don't Stop Believing" etc. etc. etc. I LOVED the three horns they had (saxophone, trumpet and trombone) they sounded really great and added a lot to the sound as a whole. It was all I could do not to get up and dance.

I had a fabulous time and of course…now I want to go see every band in the tri-state area so I can just be entertained live for free every week. I have two more showcases that I plan on attending in the next two weeks that we already know are scheduled. Before, I was dreading this and the time it would take...but now I’m excited!

We talked to the band manager and lead singer, Joe, afterward. He was nice and so chill…he totally has a laid back rocker/guitar-player feel. He was the main singer of the band, very talented and very charismatic. The band has been together for almost 30 years, so they have a long standing reputation. Chris and I both agreed we would be very happy if they played at our wedding…but of course, want to go see some others before deciding on anything. The good thing is...our date is being tentatively held with them since we already went to see them. Joe will now call us before booking anyone else on that date to let us know that if we don’t decide soon we could lose them, which I think is very professional and courteous!

On another note, I got the following email from a member of the band Code Bleu on Tuesday night. This was sent to me after I told them that Monday night showcases were difficult for me to get to because I teach piano on Mondays, and asking if they could please send me a DVD:
Hi Laura,
My band Code Bleu is performing again on March 8th. I hope you can attend. May 20th just booked, but the 21st of May is still open. Perhaps you can make arrangements to make it down that evening. A few of my guys teach as well. I know you'd have to juggle students, I'm all too familiar with that, but I believe you will be glad that you did. The band is extremely tight, very appealing and is one of the "first call" bands in the Tri-State area.
 Unfortunately, we don't mail out DVD's because it's a poor representation of our abilities what we offer. All of our clients say that although the DVD is good, it doesn't come close to seeing the band live.
Again, I know juggling students is a pain in the neck, but truthfully, shopping bands by DVD is one of the biggest mistakes a bride can make while planning her wedding.
Please know that I am only trying to be helpful!!!!
 let me know if you'd like to attend.
 I look forward to meeting you.
I can't tell whether to be frustrated/insulted/or very grateful. Obviously, Sean is giving me some great advice and trust me...I took it to heart. Honestly, the fact that they are already booked Friday, March 20, 2011 is both terrifying and exciting at the same time. The fact that he is the ONLY person that has said to me "you know what? No..YOU come see us. We're not going to make this easy for you" makes me want to know if they really are worth it?. He's playing "hard-to-get" and why I don't technically appreciate the "game" of all's working, and I am indeed interested in seeing this band perform. I merely was trying to break down my options based on DVD's not pick entirely based on them, but whatever. So I may switch around my Monday March 8th teaching schedule so I can schlep out to Milleridge (which is actually a venue I was interested in seeing) to see Code Bleu perform. Oy...The things I do for love I mean, bands.

Full House: Check

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Happy 7 Month Engage-Aversary

I am a Horrible Horrible person!!! There is NO excuse for not updating for about a whole month!!! But I'm going to give you some excuses anyway and you can take them or leave them.

1. I am suffering from SAD (Seasonal Affect Disorder). I decided last week that I'm just going to say "I have SAD" as an excuse for everything over the next month..and I think that's a pretty good idea. "I didn't take care of that business report? Oh I'm's just I have really bad SAD." (who am I kidding? I don't do business reports!)  "I ate an entire tub of Ben and Jerry's Chunky Monkey? No fear!! I'm just suffering from SAD!" It's like a free pass. Anyway,  I said to Chris last week "It's not that I'm depressed, I just have no will or drive to do anything with, or for, my life right now" *cricket cricket*  ..."Um....that's depression"  Haha ok so maaaybe he's right, but honestly folks, this doesn't transcend anything other than what we are ALL feeling right now, and that's the "winter blues." All I've wanted to do is go home, curl up with a glass of hot cocoa and do nothing. Now you may be thinking "Come on Laura...when's the last time you updated your blog from home?? We all know you do it while you're at work" And to you I say "touche" But work has been surprisingly busy over the past month and I've actually had to hunker down and So that's the #1 reason I have not updated lately...low Vitamin D and actually having to work. And that's ok..because in just one glorious month from now...Spring will be here and everything is always better when Spring comes around!

2. My ankle hurt. That's ankle was just bothering me...very stressful.

3. I was dragging my feet (maybe that's why my ankle hurt!) getting started on the band hunt because I just didn't know where to begin or what to look for. However, I have learned a lot over the past two weeks and hope to kind of kick our asses into gear on picking a band within the next month. So, since today is another anniversary for us (7 months engaged to be exact) I figured I need to get back up to speed. Not to mention some people have complained about my lack of updating...I know you've allll been in super suspense.

So. Bands.

Had I known how much time you need to devote to look into bands..I would have started this process...ohhhh..last month. Every website I go to about bands says something about how the best way to pick a band is to go see them live. Really? I have to make time to go see 5-10 bands perform LIVE? That's a lot of time. I know, I know..I don't have to be a crazy sociopath and go see that many and the fact that I feel that way is nobody's fault but my own. Deep down...I like this researching, and investigating, so I'm really only complaining for affect here.

I have narrowed down my search to 9 bands that I am interested in pursuing and learning more about. Haha it's kind of like choosing a mate.  I have requested a DVD/CD or just general information from each one of them and also asked for their showcase schedule to see if I can go to any upcoming showcases.
So far, I like the following bands. Please feel free to comment on what you like, don't like, have heard about, have not heard about, etc. to help me narrow this down!:

Peat Moss and the Fertilizers -They were voted the #1 Long Island Cover band for 2 years in a row. I LOVE this band. I really do...their videos are fantastic, they have a great website with a full calendar in which they are consistently booked for weddings throughout the rest of 2010. They have adorable choreography, they are all young ADORABLE men, they can literally sing anything, and I have read nothing but fantastic reviews online. My one...ONLY ONE qualm is that they have no female singers. At first..I was really close to just writing them off because they were all boys and I really wanted some female singers and especially a good heavy brass section, but the more videos I watched, the more I just didn't care. Plus..I hear that they come with a DJ to play during their breaks. Soooo I could just request that the DJ play mostly female singers so we'll still get that. Also, they don't just perform anything that's typically sung by men...their extensive song list includes Britney Spears, some good old Lady Gaga and the like, so they literally do it all. This would not be a "traditional" wedding band, it would be a little different...and I like that.

In the end, I may end up deciding to go the more "traditional" route with my wedding band. i.e. a few male AND female lead singers, keyboard, drums and brass. I just love a good brass section. I always had a vision of having a really great saxophone player at my wedding, and most of these other "traditional" bands have a saxophone player. Damn you Peat Moss. You have me all twisted and confused..I feel like if they had just one female singer with them OR a saxophone player they'd be a shoe-in.

Code Bleu- Code Bleu is making me angry. And I should just write them off at this point except it's just that I've heard soooo many good thing about them online. They seem to be quite a popular wedding band in our area and if that's true..then I want to hear them! But they make me mad because they have zero videos on their vague and mysterious website. I've emailed them two or three times now asking for a DVD and they just keep asking me if I can come to their showcase tonight, Wednesday or next Monday. No, no and NO! can you please just send me a DVD?? I get that they want their client to book them based on the real deal, not some canned video, but please can you give me something, anything??!

Full House- Besides the obvious fact that I LOVE this band's name,(how can you NOT think of little Michelle Tanner when you see the name of this band?) I also have heard some great things about them as well. Again..most of my knowledge comes form, which I'm not ashamed to admit is my trusty resource. It seems that as a whole, Code Bleu is generally a bit more popular than Full House, but that they are still just as good as the rest of them when you really get down to it. I noticed most of their videos had a male singer and no female singers...but I searched around a little and found some females, who were very talented.

Soul Revival- I heard they are good. They were mentioned often on message boards.

The Stingers- They apparently are very well known around New York, and apparently performed at Katherine Heigl's wedding!! That being said I think they may not work for two reasons. 1) price and 2) They've been around for a looong time and looking at their song list..I think they specialize in mostly oldies and motown, which I love..but I need some Beyonce and Lady Gaga in my life!!! Haha.

Franklin Wayne Orchestra-they have three bands, one of which is called "Heart and Soul". Their DVD is already being shipped and I should get it tomorrow. I've heard a lot of good things about them as well.

Live Wire-- Just read they were good. Their website annoys me though. It, too, is vague with no video and leaves me very unfulfilled.

East Coast- They are the House Band for The Inn at New Hyde Park, which was one of our top 3 choices to have our wedding, and a really nice venue. If this is their house band, then I certainly trust them to be good, so that was enough for me to be interested. 

Vali Entertainment- Their band leader/Manager already called me today to speak with me about my wedding. While I was impressed with his good business skills, email works JUST fine for me, especially when I'm at work. They already seem a little bit pricier than the other bands and he wants to meet with me directly in Manhattan on a work week. Which is both not fun for me, and annoying for Chris..sooo we'll see what we decide with them. I really like their website though.

So I should have a full mailbox in the next three days!!

I swear I'm back on the "BANDwagon" now!