Thursday, May 31, 2007

Cancelled gig

We had a gig cancelled tonight due to inclement weather. The Stone Boat, where we were to play, is an outdoor venue, in Ritan Park, o e of our favorite places downtown. It’s an exceedingly lovely place to spend a beautiful spring or summer evening.

And the weather this spring has been outstanding. For about six weeks now, we’ve had day after day of clear skies, no pollution, lovely cool nights, with stars and moon visible. All of this is, or was rare here, and seeing it day after day has had many of us wondering what is gonig on.

At first, everyone sort of cynically assumes that factories have been shut down for some specific reason and you hear folks say, “Is the IOC in town?” I thought something like that myself, but the clear air went on day after day, and I started to wonder what was up.

Some say that they are starting to shut down factories around here and move them elsewhere, because of the Olympics.. others that construction is finishing up and slowing down (though I se absolutely no evidence of that – still cranes everywhere).

In any case, the weather has been great and we’ve been enjoying it.. last week, it became summer and we had two 90+ days last weekend, but even then the nights were really nice.

So today was the first crappy day in a while and it fell on my outdoor gig. Bummer. Looking out the window at the wet street today and realizing we were doomed reminded me of a rainy day in Little League.. being 11 years old, waiting all week for a baseball game, only to be rained out. I was pumped for this gig. We played twice in three days last week and were really pulling it together. Now we have to wiai two weeks for our next gig (same place). We will try to rehearse next week, especially as we need to break in a new drummer.

One thing I learned through today’s event is that our bassist Mr. Li lives a 90-minute bus ride outside of town, almost to Tianjin. I had no idea. Woodie and I were talking about canceling the gig and he said we had to tell Li by 4 pm, then explained why. Really amazing.

I listed this gig online here:
www.cityweekend.com.cn/beijing/events/7468/?date=2007-05-31

..and when I signed up, I put my cell number on it. About an hour ago (10 pm), I got a phone call from a Chinese guy. I could only understand a bit of what he was saying and I said (in Chinese), “I’m sorry but I’m American and my Chinese isn’t all that good. I don’t understand what you want. I think you have the wrong number.”

Usually when I get a Chinese-only call it is either a wrong number or a salesman. But he said [still in Chinese] “No, no wait, my friend can speak English and handed the phone over.

A German guy got on and said, “Ve are looking for zee Voodie Alan concert. Vere is it?”

“Ah! I’m sorry. It was cancelled duetot the weather. Thanks for the interest. Please come two weeks from today.” I thought this was pretty funny.