Friday, August 14, 2009

My favorite band and my big break = incompatible

I'm going to the 30th Annual Detroit International Jazz Festival on Labor Day weekend! This is the first time I've covered something outside of Pittsburgh for JazzTimes. And the first time I've been to any big jazz festivals. The list of performers includes Wayne Shorter, Chick Corea, Hank Jones and our hometown hero Sean Jones.

It's almost a shame that Mission of Burma is coming to town while I'll be up therein Detroit. I've only waited, oh, 29 years to see them in Pittsburgh. And they're playing Club Cafe, which ought to be an unusual venue since they're so freaking loud and liable to shatter the windows that are right behind the stage.

In case I never said it here, I was listening to Mission of Burma when I decided that I wanted to seriously try to start a band playing bass. During the summer of 1985, I was obsessed with the Minutemen and Mission of Burma and noodled away on the bass hoping that something would happen than would put my fingers on the right frets and know what to play. That happened while listening to Burma's "This is Not a Photograph." It all fell into place and I wanted to be Clint Conley, via Mike Watt.

It will be a shame to miss them but, then again, [copping a mock-haughty voice] I've already seen them twice since they got back together. I know they'll rock.

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