It won’t get us signed. It won’t make us famous. It won’t line our pockets (in fact, it will do the opposite). But you know what? WhatEVAAAAH! Because this is the year we finally shoot the SXSW can off our proverbial fence! Notch our bedpost. Feather our cap. Burnish our credentials. And of course, represent Boston properly! Our plan is to demonstrate that, even though they say everything is bigger in Texas, The Lights Out know a thing or two about rocking big up north, too.
Yesterday we learned we’d been selected to perform at the Official Berklee SXSW Party, and it’s still sinking in that we’re going to the premier music conference on Earth. One thing I can say for sure is that Berklee is the gift that keeps on givin’! My Berklee diploma got us a place in line to earn a ticket to this particular dance, but honestly, I don’t think a rehearsal, gig, recording session or late-night less-than-temperate composition binge has gone by without my conscious accessing of the foundation poured into me at Berzerklee. And unconsciously it’s there all the time. How many times have I bitten my lip so as to avoid uttering out loud, “No dude, you need to use a mixolydian flat 9 sharp 9 flat 13 scale over that V7/6?” Or, “Diatonic harmony is so played out. Modal interchange is the new hotness.” Let’s just say if I had a nickel for every bite, I’d be a good deal wealthier than your average musician. Berklee was the place where I realized that I better get cracking once I saw the phenomenal talents all around me, some of whom are at a world class level. It doesn’t take but one improvisation lab to understand that it might be a good idea to start practicing a good bit harder than you have been. So in a way, this show will be a kind of homecoming, a chance to tip my cap to the place that opened a lot of musical adventure to me. The guys are pretty stoked too, because while I already said what we can safely expect NOT to happen, we are all expecting some things TO happen:
- We will play this show with all our might and wiles.
- Some number of people will be genuinely blown away, which, considering how many excellent acts are going to be plying their trade at SXSW, is saying something.
- We will watch and cheer on our talented fellow Berklee showcasers The Field Effect, Holiday Mountain, Rebecca Loebe, Bear Language, Red Oblivion, Chloë Sunshine, Air Traffic Controller, David Stewart Jr. and Melissa Ferrick, who you can hear on Berklee’s 2013 Party Sampler. Congratulations, guys! We’re excited to play with you: some for the first time, some for a return engagement.
- We intend to ourselves be blown away at least several times by stumbling upon random bands who are quietly (so to speak) going about their business of kicking ass in the world. Then joining forces with them for more ass-kicking down the road.
- We are going to get drunk. Very drunk. But we’re not driving anywhere, so relax!
- We’re going to make friends.
- Some unforseen ridiculousness will happen to us, and we will incorporate it into our mythology. Like that time we got lost trying to get to White Castle and wound up in the middle of a massive police sting at 3 a.m. while they tried to determine if the gear in the back of the van was actually a stolen ATM. It wasn’t. But you haven’t lived until you’ve been surrounded by four staties flashing their cherries and shining white lights down your eye sockets. Good times!
So once again, thank you Berklee! For the first rate musical education, and for the opportunity to show off what a Berklee boy can do. Gird your loins and prepare!
TLO SXSW PRESS
- Live High Five: Interview with Matt King from THE LIGHTS OUT; Heading to @SXSW for Berkelee Showcase in March!
- “A pop-rock beer-drinkin’ mayhem machine”
- Berklee Groove: Q&A with Berklee Grad Rishava Green, Frontman of The Lights Out
- “The best parts in music feel like they are discovered rather than composed, so listen to find parts instead of working to write them.”