Flower Power - Psydecar Spring Fling Goes Out On A Wing

report filed 4/4/00 8:18 am - Strange week last week. Fun, but strange. Most of the weirdness had something to do with images. Let's start with Big Mike's performance at Winstons on Wednesday. Big Mike is a local, good time rock and ska outfit here in O.B. A fun band with a 'party naked' vibe, Big Mike kicks out high energy, melodic grooves made for dancing. Nothing weird about that. The thing is, Big Mike brought down a lighting rig with all sorts of cool colors and patterned sequences, an enhancement that intensifies any live music experience for all parties concerned.

The weird part - this was the first show in a long time I decided to not shoot pictures, knowing that images from Psydecar's CD release party on Saturday would be the primary fare for this week's update. That was a mistake. Shoulda got some pictures... oh well.

Big Mike put on a very impressive show. One of the guitar players is the younger brother of local freelance music writer and poet, Ed Decker, and words from Decker's poems are the lyrics for many of BM's tunes. These guys have strong vocals on top of everything else... next time the chance to get snap happy with BM presents itself, we'll seize the opportunity!

Next up was the Psydecar's CD release show on Saturday. Billed as a 'Masquerade Ball,' all the band members performed in costume. Sporting jester hats, silky jumpsuits, face sparkles and big grins, Psydecar scorched through their new album, On A Wing, in its entirety for an almost nonstop first set.

The place was absolutely jammed. Really warm and sweaty too. After all, Spring is here and it's been even warmer than usual over the past week or so. Of course the music was hot as well. A few of the band's friends, Jose Serrano from Santana, former Psydecar member Chad Ferrin, and local singer, Tanya, all sat in at different points, adding to the already festive buzz inside Winstons.

The between set break was a much needed fresh air reprieve from the humid body heat radiating inside the bar. And that's where the weirdness again raised its pointed little head. For whatever reason, all of the pictures we shot were getting washed out with light, and not coming out well. The problem with bar lighting is usually the opposite - not enough light. And most of the time, the only lights are red and yellow (most performers fear that blue and green lighting makes them look unhealthy). But too much light is a horse of an altogether different color. The problem is that it took too long to correctly diagnose the source of trouble and make the necessary setting adjustments.

By the time I figured out what was up after experimenting with the camera during the break, the area in front of the stage became way too densely packed to get in position for taking photos. Not only that, it was hotter'n Michigan State's 3-point shooting up there (hail to the champion Spartans!)... we did manage to get a few shots that'll work, but a bunch of good ones got away from us this time... damn, those costumes were cool lookin'. Oh well, chalk one up to experience. OK, chin up and best foot forward...

Our man in the field, AG of WMO, continues to keep us up to date with his tour journals of Wise Monkey's US Winter Tour 2000. We've also got a review of John Scofield's new CD, Bump, but the oversized load of CD reviews we've been threatening to post for the past couple of weeks got unexpectedly delayed with an urgent e-mail from our good friends at Relix.

Seems that upon realizing the next issue would be the magazine's 150th issue, they decided to spin the issue's focus toward a retrospective slant. Part of the deal would be a brief history of Relix. At least that's what our friends at Relix were telling us in the e-mail last week, which went on to inquire if it would be possible to complete the history's write-up, 4,000 words or so, by say, Monday? Fortunately all the ongoing research for the Relix book came into play and in the end, it was more of a task keeping the darn thing to 4,000 words, (wound up closer to 4,600) than getting it done in time. Anyway, cooking up that little number relegated the CD reviews to the proverbial back burner. The good news - now that the article, Relix History 101, is done, the CD reviews are once again at the top of our 'to do' list.

So there you have it, a week of hits, misses, and a bump in the road... no worries though, Spring is spun - everything else is a matter of perception...