Pop Rocks



Few would argue with the axiom "too much of a good thing." Most people have experienced the unpleasant aftermath of overindulgence.

It can be the pumpkin pie bloat after a Thanksgiving feast, a pounding head morning after cocktails and carousing, or a ticket and fine for speeding.

It also applies to bands.

I've noticed several local bands operating under the assumption that there's no such thing as playing too much. There are acts in Augusta that seem unable to take a weekend off, choosing to play any date, any time for any audience.

I'm not going to call any of these acts out. I'm pretty sure they can do the math. If an act plays more than once a month in local venues, chances are, it is playing too much.

There's a price to be paid for constant gigging. There's the threat of diminishing audiences when the novelty of its show wears off. There's the possibility of sets going stale when time is not allotted for writing and rehearsing outside the public eye.

Such perceptions might be unfounded and unfair, but that doesn't make them less persuasive. Audiences flock when a date is a novelty. They stay away when it's Friday night as usual.

Avoiding tickets, turkey belly and a hammering hangover are matters of judgment and self-control. Eat less. Drive slower. Have a few rather than a few too many.

The same math applies to bands. Play less. Schedule those appearances with restraint. Remember that a performance that feels special, novel and new will pay dividends in the long run.

Booking on the side of caution aids not only an act but also the community.

A band that books itself on a local stage once a week dilutes that act's brand and prevents other artists from playing. There are a finite number of places bands can play original music, and monopolizing the few we have with the same faces isn't responsible stewardship.

I'm not telling any act to stop playing. I believe that any group which puts the time and effort into putting a set together deserves to be heard at least once.

What I'm asking is for the chronic performers to consider how their own booking policies affect their projects and the music community as a whole.


Allow me a couple of inches to congratulate two long-standing members of the Augusta music community.

On Sept. 22, Jemani's Jordan Leopard and his wife, Julie, welcomed a son, John Irie Leopard, into the world. I've always considered Mr. Leopard (the elder) one of Augusta's classier musicians, a rare combination of talent and charm. His wife, despite an unseemly devotion to the Philadelphia Eagles, is also very cool. Little John is a fortunate boy.

On Oct. 3, former Edison Project frontman and current Endall David Firmin married his longtime love Corrie Stellern.

I've interviewed a lot of musicians in my time, and Dave is one of the very few who I believe approaches life with self-reflection.

It's what makes him so interesting to watch as a musician and what I believe, inevitably, will prove his strength as a husband.

Reach Steven Uhles at (706) 823-3626 or steven.uhles@augustachronicle.com.



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