01/20/08: So Cal Slack Key Festival, Redondo Beach

All about Steve Jay, Jon "Bermuda" Schwartz, Rubén Valtierra, and Jim West.

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Postby Kristine » Mon Jan 21, 2008 8:22 pm

Another very long day!!

I got to the venue at 2pm to get situated before the show started. I cruised backstage, said hi to Kimo, and he introduced me to a couple other performers. When it got close to curtain, I hung around in the wings on stage right and chatted with the two hands on that side. They were pretty cool- fun to talk shop with. I know a lot about theatre, and one of the guys knew a bit of photography, so we had a lot to talk about. The two emcees were also on stage right, but I didn't really talk to them much.

The show started a little after 3pm. During each performer's set, I got at least a dozen shots in. For some of them, especially ones I liked more, I'd move to stage left for part of it to get a different angle. And, for Kimo and a couple others, I'd even move down into house left. Some of the sets were very long- I only need a minute or two to get the shot. So, I'd go sit backstage with the other performers where we could watch and listen on the TVs but could talk amongst ourselves.

The show was a lot longer than all of us expected. We were actually supposed to be out of there (as in, show over, break down set) by 7. Ha! Oh, well. I had so much fun, though, I was almost glad it was longer.

After the show, I hung around in the lobby for awhile, and then went out to dinner with Makana (one of the performers) and some of his friends. We were at the restaurant for a long time- I had a lot of fun there. But, since I had an hour drive ahead of me, I had to call it a night around 11pm. I've made some great new contacts and awesome new friends this weekend. And, of course, it was great seeing Kimo again.

What a weekend! :D
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Postby albinodwarf27 » Tue Jan 22, 2008 12:18 am

So.... how long did Jim play? Which songs?
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Postby Kristine » Tue Jan 22, 2008 1:03 am

Each artist only played a handful of songs. I can't remember exactly how many Kimo played- but I remember two of the songs being the cat song from SKW and Imagine.

edit: Oh, My Hawaiian Heart, too. I think there was one more, but I don't remember what song it was.
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Postby algonacchick » Tue Jan 22, 2008 1:11 am

wow, Kristine! That sounds so cool! You've been really fortunate in getting the inside scoop because of your photography skills. I hope to see some great pics here!
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Postby kaffy© » Tue Jan 22, 2008 5:07 am

Sounds like you had a great time Kristine!
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Postby Orthography Enthusiast » Tue Jan 22, 2008 5:09 am

The other song Jim played was his arrangement of "Little Grass Shack."

I made a mad dash for the catering truck at the first intermission, and was lucky enough to encounter the sons of a friend from work, and they had an extra ticket for Row C, so I got upgraded from K. :)

I was really impressed by the variety of music that was played, and how much I enjoyed listening to all the songs in Hawaiian; the feeling came through even if I couldn't understand the words.

I also have to say that in that company of virtuosos (virtuosi?) Jim definitely belonged. I really hope he plays again locally before hitting the road with Al. I won't have to talk my friend into going next time; Jim has done all the persuading necessary in that area.
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Postby Kristine » Tue Jan 22, 2008 10:09 am

So, OE, what did you think of Makana's blindfold trick? Hehe. He's a very spirited, outgoing individual. At dinner, he was talking about how his mind was racing right before it was his set- "Can I really pull it off? Or can't I? I should... I shouldn't". But, of course, he went for it. Makana is an amazing peformer.
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Postby Orthography Enthusiast » Tue Jan 22, 2008 9:45 pm

I'm a little surprised he didn't practice it before trying it onstage, but it was a cool trick (and in a sense, one with a long history-- Bill Tapia has a schtick of playing his uke behind his back). I really liked Makana's music, and I busted up laughing when he showed how he adds in making faces to the performance.
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Postby Kristine » Thu Jan 24, 2008 3:16 am

Haha, yeah, the breakdown thing was very educational and funny at the same time.

I have a bunch of pics posted on my myspace (more coming soon!), and I'll probably end up posting them on my photography website.
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