November 8 is… Instant Band Night 7: Generations
Where musicians who’ve just met form bands on the spot!
The first rule of Instant Band Night is: 👏 YOU 👏 DON’T 👏 HAVE 👏 TO 👏 PLAY 👏 AN 👏 INSTRUMENT 👏 TO 👏 ATTEND 👏
The second rule of Instant Band Night is: We guarantee you (the audience) an astonishingly excellent time.
The third rule of Instant Band Night is: Invite your friends!!!!!!!
In case you’ve never been to Instant Band Night, here’s the deal:
1. The stage has a drum kit, guitar, bass, keyboard, and mics.
2. We draw names out of hats to make instant bands that get 7 minutes in the green room to plan a 5-minute set.
3. A hat-drawn artist will also take the stage alongside each band to draw their gig poster on a meeting room easel pad.
Come play or come watch; you’ll have fun either way! Bring your people, crack a beverage: let’s do this.
* * * w e ‘ l l * s e e * y o u * t h e r e * * *
Q: Do I need to be a musician to show up?
A: No. Absolutely not. Hell no. Come see the show and have a good time; you don’t have to get onstage.
Q: I’m a musician; am I guaranteed a slot in a band?
A: We literally draw names written on slips of paper out of coffee cans, so there’s a chance you may not be called; in a purely mathematical sense, it’s a function of how many musicians of each type show up that night (there are five musician cans — DRUMS, GUITAR, BASS, VOX, MISC — and one can for artists who’ll be picked to draw the bands’ gig posters). We say: surrender to the spirit of random chance, or maybe slip the MC a bribe of some sort.
Q: Do I have to be an amazing musician to throw my name in a can?
A: Probably not. Your band’s only gonna be onstage for 5 minutes, anyway; how bad can you possibly be?
Q: I play an instrument other than what’ll be onstage, like the sax or trumpet. Can I bring it?
A: Hhhheeeeeelll yyyeeeessssss you can bring it. PLEASE DO. We had a guy bring a bassoon once, and he rocked the living shit out of it — and, by extension, us. Woodwinds and brass, which tend not to need extra amplification for a space of this size beyond being pointed vaguely at a mic, are most welcome. If your instrument requires an amp, that’s cool, but you should get in touch with Jon about showing up early for setup.
Q: Do I have to pick my cover tune beforehand?
A: Listen. You and your band (who you’ve JUST MET) have 5 minutes onstage to do whatever the hell you can think of in the 7 minutes prior to walking up there. You wanna try to pick a cover everyone can agree on? Great. You wanna try writing something new? Fantastic; it can definitely be done. You wanna pick a key and tell each other to just fuckin’ wing it up there? You are a RAGING PSYCHOPATH and we love it. We’ll see you in 7; get in the green room!!!!
Q: What does BYOB stand for?
A: We don’t sell drinks at Instant Band Night, so you gotta bring your own. Get a cheap sixpack of something. Maybe a bottle and some cups. We’re not here to godmod how you get down.
Q: Is this in the East Bay?
A: It is. Do not be alarmed: it’s within walking distance of MacArthur BART, and as a bonus, you get to tour Oakland’s version of the Mission on your way over. Or you could just take a Lyft from SF (or the BART station if you fancy). Got a car? Drive on over; parking around the East Bay Community Space is pretty simple. You can do this. We believe in you.
(photo by Luuk Wouters on Unsplash)