A CD Release Party Without The CD’s

Early show, four bands, record release for the headliner. I’d say about 40-45 people in attendance, most of them young. Probably eight parents drinking.

About half-way through the night, I overhear a young girl talking to her friend. She says, I guess they don’t have their CD. I perk up, say, who are you talking about? She says, blank band. Something happened, they don’t have their CD’s. I say, wait a minute. The band’s record release party, and they don’t have their record? She says, I don’t know. I think so. I’m bored, let’s investigate. I go over to the merch table, say to the guy behind it, I hear you don’t have any CD’s. He says, we’re working on it. I say, wha? How are you working on it? He says, our singer’s in the back burning off CD’s.

Oh this is going to be classic.

Let’s investigate more, shall we? Nobody’s drinking, I’ve got PLENTY of time on my hands.

I go in the back, young kid, slight, hair in the face, hickies on his neck, stands in the doorway. I say, what’s going on, my man? I hear you guys don’t have CD’s for your CD release party? He looks at me, doesn’t answer. I don’t care, I say. Just curious. He says, we’re slackers, that’s why. Ok, I say, wanting him to elaborate. He says, we tried to order them on the internet two weeks ago, but we were having trouble with our Paypal, so it didn’t work out. Huh, I say. That’s not good. He says, we’re burning some off right now.

OK, kid, two weeks ago, you realize you’re not going to be able to order CD’s. Let’s wait exactly 14 days, then at the show, start burning CD’s on our laptop. That makes perfect sense.

I end the conversation, without laughing too much, go back to the bar.

The CD release without the CD’s band gets up on stage. They have a decent four songs, then things seem to derail. I’m watching it all go down, I’ve got nothing else to do. The singer/guitarist starts a song, the bass player looks at him, starts yelling, NO, NO, the singer keeps on playing, I believe in the wrong key. He plays for awhile, alone, out of key, while his band members just shake their heads at him. At one point, the singer says, I don’t know, how do you think I feel? I haven’t slept for thirty hours. The exasperated bass player says back,

Probably pretty fucking tired.

Then come to find out, the drummer has had four hours to prepare for the gig. I guess he was a replacement last minute. He does an adequate job, only messing up 47 times.

Strangely, the crowd is into it, they’re by the stage, holding on. I have to admit, it’s entertaining as hell to watch it all unravel. They play their last song, it’s a mess, they finish, then some crowd members (AKA, mothers) cheer for an encore. They’re saying, ONE MORE SONG. ONE MORE SONG. Someone near me is chanting, under his breath but still audible, no more songs. No more songs.

Ok, they may have been me.

Later on, the show is over, the lights are up, the band is behind the merch table, selling their wares. I look over, they have their burned CD’s, in jewel boxes, no cover, and scrawled in what I’m guessing is a red Crayola marker, is their band name, and the title of their album.

And it’s smudged all to hell.

I raise my voice. CAN I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE. THERE IS A CURFEW AT 9 SO EVERYONE UNDER 21 HAVE TO LEAVE THE PREMISES. BUT BEFORE YOU DO, YOU MUST BUY AN ALBUM FROM THESE GUYS. WHEN THEY BECOME HUGE, THEIR BURNED CD IS GOING TO BE

A COLLECTOR’S ITEM.

I look over at the singer, he’s smiling. And I think, why the hell does he have so many hickies on his neck? There’s like 22!!!

-Clint Curtis

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