Sunday I wavered between going to see the Shim Sham Rebellion in North Beach or going to karaoke with Mike before heading to Café du Nord to shoot the first night of Blue Bear bands. I opted for the latter since it was on the way to the venue. It turned out the Mint was hosting a "Castro Idol" contest, hosted by a drag queen known as Winnie Bago, to benefit a local AIDS organization. Mike, Rex and I all entered, but I didn't stick around long enough to see if any of us got to the finals. Given that finalists were determined by how much money was contributed while they were singing, it wasn't exactly a talent show anyway. I sang "Overjoyed" by Stevie Wonder, which is probably my best song, and Mike did a lovely rendition of Luther Vandross's version of "Superstar". Rex sang "Money for Nothing" which we'll perform at the show tonight. Before the contest, Mike and I also sang "Saturday in the Park" as a duet; I screwed up the harmony rather badly, but no one else seemed to notice. At least we weren't as bad as the group of five women who did a truly ear-splittingly awful performance of "Tiny Dancer". Mike and I had to sing the correct melody loudly at the bar to cover up the horribleness.
boyziggy came to meet me at the Mint after chatting with the sound guy at Café du Nord about recording needs for the show, then we had burritos at Azteca, and I went on to the showcase. The first set was the after school rock band, a quite cute and talented group of kids led by Steve. They even had T-shirts with the band's name on them. Of course the proud parents mobbed the stage, and I could barely wedge my camera in to get any shots. I was trying to use the 50/1.4 but couldn't get a good vantage point for the 80mm equivalent distance. I eventually switched to the 17-55/2.8 before the second set, but should have left the 50mm on longer as the lighting on the lounge stage was much, much darker than on the main stage. I did manage with various combinations of settings to produce about 80 usable shots (out of over 400), which I uploaded to a SmugMug gallery with much effort this morning (some network problem made the site unavailable for awhile).
Looking at the photos on my laptop, they look much lighter than on my recently-calibrated Mac Pro. I'd like feedback from Windows and other users on what you're seeing, if you get the chance.
Highlight of the evening for me: Super Adventure Club on the lounge stage. Trippy and fun. One of them teaches at Blue Bear, as do most of the second stage acts for this showcase week. It's great that they've managed to organize having music pretty much continuously during the set changes.
So tonight's my big show - I've taken vacation days today and tomorrow for the occasion. Right now I'm doing laundry, then I'm going to take a nap, then probably run through the set with Ziggy (I can hear him banging away on the keyboard in the living room right now, even though he has headphones on). Wish me luck!