Hello Everyone! Welcome to the first post in our of what will be many entries about the happenings of the indie rock band Cortez Cortez. This will serve mainly as a retrospective for us, to remember what it’s like starting out and playing gigs and all that fun stuff. All three of us are pretty much new to playing out on a regular basis, so we have a lot of learning to do.
Anyway. We had our first show in philadelphia on Dia De Los Muertos, the day after Halloween, at the 3rd and Girard bar. We heard about the place from my friend Ted (@dudeinaplace), who hooked my up with Luke Leyden, the main organizer for the FDV collective in philly. The collective operates out of the 3rd and Girard Bar (conveniently located exactly where it’s name says it is!)
The 3rd and Girard Bar is interesting. It’s a pretty run-of-the-mill corner bar, save for two things: an insane beer selection (They have a double-length printout of all th beers they have available, and after i picked it up i was informed there were more on the back) and a neat little upstairs room, about 15x50 featuring a bar on one side and a tiny stage filling up the other. The narrow room is lined with chairs and photography, presumably from the VHF show that this event was the closing for.
I showed up around 5:30. I had been at a show the night before (Melt Banana and Man Man in Union Transfer Station! Hell YES) and had stayed at my old fraternity house at Rowan University the night before, so i had nothing to do that day. I grabbed some pizza, from a little pizza place around the corner. About then Kenny and Andrew showed up (Andrew, for those who don’t know, is a friend of mine and Bills who has been to just about every show we’ve played, and as such has earned the titles of Manager, Roadie, and Best Fan). I went over to the bar while they ate to scope it out.
I was the first in, but shortly behind me was Luke, the organizer of the events (who, coincidentally, is from the same town as Kenny. Small world etc etc). He was kind enough to help me start lugging the PA system crammed into my car into the room, and I started to dig through the mountain of wires and speakers and set it all up. Once Kenny got the drumset in, our gear took up the entire stage, leaving us just enough room to actually operate.
About then, the opening band’s guitarist showed up. We were just about done setting up, and suddenly realized we would have to move all our stuff out of the way for that band to set up. Thankfully, they were only a two piece and we managed to shove our stuff into the corner and leave them enough room to play.
A few beers later, Anthony Jr. Got ready to go. The fairly straightforward setup—one guitar, one drumset—was surprisingly full in the small room. A melodic, quiet, ambient, folk-tinged rock characterized by the open-tuned guitar and almost jazz-like drumming that was soft and sweet and thoroughly pleasant (their music can be found RIGHT HERE )
Their set wrapped up and we got on stage and set up our stuff. After standing around for a while to make it appropriate punk rock time, we got rolling.
And it was a fun show! The new stage was creaky and cramped, and my mic stand shook every time I jumped (which is often), but we played pretty well and only broke one string all set (we bring two nearly-identical guitars to every show, so this was only a minor setback).
After our set ended, we got a request to play 2 more! (It’s wasn’t really an encore, but I’m gonna go ahead and call it that anyway). For the last two, we pulled my friend Ted on stage to play “El Principito” by Andrew Jackson Jihad (which was extra fun because I was literally the only person on stage who knew how the whole song went) and our friend Amber to sing “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk, which is a song we play for fun at practices, but never properly learned, so it fell apart in a glorious mess.
And that was the set! We spent the rest of the evening trying to drive out of the city without getting lost (this didn’t work) and find a diner in Hammonton (we drove about 10 miles past it before we realized it) and crashing harder than I’ve ever crashed after a show. So, all in all, a good show!
And thus ends the accidental novel I wrote for the first blog post for the band. These will be a little briefer in the future (hopefully)
PS this also happened