Show Diary - March 1, 2013 - The Grand Victory
After a long month of preparing to play Blondie’s Parallel Lines from start to finish, we finally did it this past Friday. I was really proud of my guys- you know, with the old band I would’ve expected them to pick it up, just because they were pros (Joe even played with wedding bands). But the new group really put the time and effort in and I thought they blew it out of the water. And it was harder than we thought! A lot of those songs you think you know so well are actually pretty funny, and then there are the songs that were never at the forefront of your memory and just have a harder time sticking. I tried to really throw myself all in for this one- I dyed my hair blonde, I researched every song, I watched Blondie documentaries, I made a Pinterest of just Debbie Harry and her pretty head. Like a creep.
You read about my take on each song, so I won’t get way into the process. But we were lucky enough to get the assistance of my friend Derek on keyboards, which is essential for Blondie, and Hannah on some backup vocals. The day of the show, I went to the gym, did my nails, and went to Kelli’s to get my makeup done. She dug the blonde hair- I’m still figuring out how to wear makeup on my face now that it’s framed by a different color. Yeah, that’s a thing- every time you change your hair color, you have to adjust… usually, my eyes make me think I need heavier makeup, to compensate for how “off” I feel. Anyway, Kelli gave me these heavy black-smeared eyes with gold shimmer on the lids, cheekbones cheekbones cheekbones, and a hot pink lip. The funniest ever is leaving in my mid-getting-ready sweatpants and a full face of paint and eyelashes. Back at home, I finished assembling my outfit and styling my hair. We decided to do a traditional Manimals stripping moment at the top of “Heart of Glass”, and to wear disco outfits (well, basically just Derek and I… Chris and Matt just took off a layer and Brian was mostly naked the whole time). My ‘disco outfit’ was a black and white strapless romper with a gaudy gold belt, on top of shorts, on top of nylons, on top of underwear… using the bathroom was going to be a project. I wore over-the-knee boots, and a black tshirt dress on top of the whole thing.
I tried drinking some wine and eating a little dinner, but I was nervous. There’s a lot that can go wrong when you’re doing someone else’s songs that everyone knows! At Grand Victory, Aaron (who put the show together) was in full Ziggy Stardust garb and facepaint. We got some free and half-price drinks and loved on The Rave-ons, who are a Buddy Holly cover band (originally from the Off-Broadway show, Buddy)- the upright bassist stood on his bass and lifted it up and all kinds of crazy shit. We were next, and even though we had an awkward false start, I thought it went really well. The minor fuck-ups were mostly not obvious, and we had a lot of fun. I passed out shots for people who danced to “Heart of Glass”, and my voice held out really well for all twelve songs. Some great surprising people came, like Lindsay and Cesar! I haven’t seen them in years!
We drank and played and danced all night while Honey Apple played an amazing version of Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours and Aaron David Gleason blew us away with Bowie’s Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust. Everyone was so incredible. For their encore, he had me jump up to sing along to “All the Young Dudes”. Great, great night. It was really special and I hope I get the chance to be Debbie again. If anything, I’d love to keep covering “Picture This” and Blondie’s version of “I’m Gonna Love You Too”- they’re more unexpected covers, and I feel like we sound really good on them. I learned a lot from this project- it improved my singing to work inside someone else’s range, and opened up my brain to new musical possibilities. It was really inspiring. I hope it can all feed into my music.