Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Aftermath of Face-Melting Fun: Pleasure Faire 2010

So as per accordance with my last post, I wanted to follow up with you on how Oddwood fared at the Renaissance Pleasure Faire of Southern California. And the results are in- we kick ass! I cannot even begin how to describe how intense those 7 weekends during April and May were.  I'll do my best putting the memories and thoughts into the ether of this electronic box.

There were close to 100,000 attendants at this year's round of faire, with each weekend becoming progressively more populated. People of all ages (and all styles) perused the hundreds of booths, shows, and food courts, not to mention stopping by the taverns to booze up and come see us. The weather ranged from overcast to scorchingly hot, and there's an interesting fact at hand: the hotter it is, the more Oddwood merch people buy! Interestingly enough, people turn to alcohol to quench thirst, which in turn dehydrates further and allows for leniency towards generosity, in the way of buying our stuff.
Our Shows:
We did indeed have packed audiences for the majority of our shows, filled with headbanging/moshing rockers, women blessed by nature (and some cursed), kids of all ages (sorry, unsuspecting parents!), super old seniors and more. I shattered dozens of drumsticks, sometimes several in one show. I was also gifted a bunch of hand-made, custom design sticks by a very cool lady there. I signed a bunch of broken ones for kids and parents, which is super awesome in that I inspire kids to play drums! I've also now been called someone's "favorite drummer" a few times, beating out Dave Lombardo of Slayer and Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan of Avenged Sevenfold (who's dead now). And Francis' mandolin is completely trashed.

As far as our live show antics are concerned, we certainly pushed the envelope this year. Besides the usual dancing and headbanging and normal craziness, there were instrument tosses, "pantics", and a ton of other ones that I suppose you'll just have to be there to know about! :p  In addition to playing our repertoire from Reign the Helm, Star Wars, Flogging Molly, et al, we previewed our new album material off of Rocktopus! In fact, we pre-sold the crap out of that album! As of this writing, Rocktopus is in its final mixing phase; beyond this, it's off for mastering and the presses. Just wait- it's going to be SUPER good, with a bunch of badass artwork on it.

We ended up camping at the faire 6 of 7 weekends, during which time antics ensued. I had some fun admiring the gaggle of geese that were right next to our campsite (which was also adjacent to a reservoir), and showered the geese with gifts (including food). It's surreal how much they behave like dinosaurs, since they are, after all, of the avian variety. The way they hiss is pretty awesome; I need to find a way to record it and put it in a song. Sleeping on the ground more or less sucks, which is why I'm glad I can afford my current lifestyle. I switched between several blankets, my cot, and my tent, depending on how much I felt I could manage bringing in to the faire each weekend. The final weekend came with a party that Oddwood hosted at our old chum Gil's house in Rancho Cucamonga.

Seven Weekend Effects:
Seven weekends of mostly boiling weather and eight outrageous shows each weekend takes its toll on me. About the 4th weekend in it was my toughest mental point- I showed up not even wanting to, and hating a couple people we normally are with, but by the end, I was feeling pretty good again. Drumming has it's way of releasing pent-up aggression. And it also has its way on my back. I acquired several knots, and had to borrow massage skills from various folks to keep myself from dying. Rum helped out, and so did picking up my new love, Katt! She showed up at the 4th(?) weekend, where she met me in a clobbered state of affairs. She bought my meal when Oddwood went to Red Robin, since I effectively passed out in a drunken stupor at the table. Damn you, Christian Brothers! But since then, we've gotten far closer, and she's super awesome.

The effect of Oddwood on people is increasing, as we've found thousands of new fans! Our current efforts for the season include a potential outing with the band (can't tell you details yet, but it's big), and now playing the L.A. County Fair. We'll have several shows along the way, so occasionally check our MySpace page (which reminds me, we'll have our website up soon, which is never soon enough).

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