Posts Tagged ‘Soho’

Well on day one Lisanti went into the Wild.  On day 3 Chris Lisanti got fucking wild at the Wild Cat.  Its only fitting that I started Day there at the Kitty.  Last night, gay night was especially gay.  I am pretty sure with the exception of my friends Mark, Adrienne (not my ex-Adrienne) and maybe a handful of other people everyone was playing for the other team.   At first I was taking things in strides. I was a little bummed about how the weekend played out getting blown off by that chick I mentioned in both the surflog and yesterday’s blog “Busy Bee, Spring Break Day 2“.

I was determined not to let the instance turn me to depression drinking.  Then boredom kicked in and around 1am with no real prospects cruising around the club Wild Cat Adrienne said “Get a shot with me”.  I am on spring break after all and have not really gotten hammered in a long time.  I’m lying I got hammered on Friday night with this UCSB graduate school chick I met.  I thought I might be able to pull her, but then she was kidnapped by her friends in the last minutes of last call and taken home to Goleta.  Goleta chicks are near impossible to bring home and visa versa.

Its a solid $30-50 cab ride, pain in the ass bus ride or long, long walk (trust me I walked it once) home for both parties.  Rule of thumb downtown: if she wants me to come home with her and it is back to Goleta I pass and when I try to bring them home to the Mesa it is usually the same effect.  Its just too far, thus the best one can hope for is digits and shoot for a follow up date.  I got her number, now I just have to decide if she was worth giving a call.

Man that got off track.  Anyway, Adrienne and I got a round of Fire Ball Shots (whiskey).  Now I don’t drink whiskey because for whatever reason whenever I do it brings out the worst drunk I can possibly be.  I get angry, emotional,  and crazy in a scary way.  Everyone who parties knows there is no such thing as doing one round of shots no matter how drunk you are.  They are addictive.  There is something about the bartender pouring your choice of poison into those little glasses and the looks on your face and those around you.  Everyone knows that you are on a one way ticket to being out of your mind.

Yeah, one round led to three, the last one taken at last call.  That my friends is the last thing I remember.  What happened after that is beyond my reasoning.  I went to black out town, population me.   This time there was no Kooky to help me put the pieces together.  Somehow I managed to get my jacket from coat check and sign out my tab.  I also managed to walk home, but barely I think.

Fast forward to 9:30am.  I woke up on the floor of my apartment directly adjacent to my front door to a text from Lindsay about if I wanted to surf or not.  I was fully dressed, jacket, shoes and all.  My pants were torn at the knee and the hip and I had a few bruises on my body.  I assume I must have fell down a few times on the walk home, but that is speculation, anything could have happened for that matter.  I checked my outbox/inbox of my phone to see if I sent or was received anything.  Apparently I sent Wild Cat Adrienne a very incoherent angry message, which I apologized for and she was cool with.  That was the only lead I had and she had no recollection of anything after that last shot either.

Whatever, I am still alive.  Since I was up I got changed and decided to go for a surf and it was a good thing I did cause Rincon was breaking.  It was tiny, waist with the occasion chest high set through the Cove, but it was flawless.  I mean oil glass and running down the Cove perfectly.  Some how despite being a bit messed up still I surfed exceptional.  I am talking a top notch backside performance anyone would be proud of.  The crowd was myself and about ten other people.  I was super stoked for the session.

From there I had just enough time to scarf down another bowl of cereal and run to class or nap time as I like to call it.  Unfortunately we had to do group activities in class cutting into my sleepy time.  It was fun and I found out about this cool jazz show that went down tonight of which I have just got back from.  On another note before I get into the show I think this will be the last semester I am going to spend in the Culinary program at Santa Barbara City College.  The program is very unimpressive to me and I just feel that I am wasting my time.

Instead if you remember back to a few blogs ago I mentioned something about how I really wanted to go cook in Italy.  That is exactly what I am going to do.   There are a few different culinary schools out there that offer intensive three month programs where I can earn a master chef certificate in Italian and European Cuisine, a stage 2 sommelier certification and a pastry and baking certificate.  Basically I will do in three months what will take me at my current rate years if ever at City College.  The last five weeks of the program I am required to cook in different restaurants all over Italy.

Who knows maybe I will even meet a nice Italian girl and bring her back with me to America.  There will be more on this in blogs to come as I figure the whole thing out.  It is about time I do something positive for me for a change.  I think a break from both the Wild Cat and Santa Barbara may be good for my health.

Back to the jazz show.  This girl in my group mentioned she was going to a jazz show at Soho, my all time favorite venue to listen to live entertainment at in Santa Barbara.  I took the stage there once myself and all I can say is that it was one of the best sound stages I have ever performed on (check out the blog “About Last Night” for more on that performance).  I asked her about the event and it turns out it was at 7:30 that evening.

I cruised and my buddy was working the door so I got in for free.  Turns out all the cats were local and they burned.   The majority of the cats on stage were so hot they had me hooting and hollering the entire time.   As it turns out they do these “Jazz Jams” as they call them every few weeks at Soho and anyone is invited to play.  The next one is April 2nd and I will guarantee that they will be joined by jazz saxophonist, Chris Lisanti.  I can’t wait to get up and blow with those guys.

I am even more stoked that it is a fairly regular thing.  Hopefully they like my stuff and invite me back to play on other occasions.  I guess I am going to have to do some heavy woodshedding over the next two weeks.  They had another saxophonist with them and he was exceptional, but in a completely different style then I play.  the group was ironically very “West Coast Cool”, where as I am definitely “Harlem Eclectic”.  West Coast Cool is a style of jazz that is more lay back and relaxed such as Wes Mongomery or Bill Evans.  Harlem Eclectic is more in your face hyper active like Sonny Rollins or John Coltrane.

That brings me to right now sitting here on my couch under my leopard blanket putting the finishing touches on this piece while Alfie lounges in felicity on my lap.  Goodnight everyone and stay tuned tomorrow for more Spring Break action.

I am sure I can find a bar just as gnarly as the Shitty Kitty in Italia.

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Last night I got dragged out by a good friend and then some of mine to go see this random band The Joy Formidable at Soho.  The event was $15 to get in and I hate spending that money on a group I have never heard and most likely was going to suck.  I have been to a few other shows there just because friends were going and have mostly been left less then impressed.  This group is from Whales, UK and when I first saw them take the stage my initial thought was they were going to just be another generic indy rock band.

It was this cute little blond girl fronting the group on guitar and vocals, a bassist and a drummer.  Then  they began to play and I was captivated.  I really dug what they had going on.  The combination of chords and melody of their songs reached me.  Remember indy rock is not really my bag so it is saying a lot if I am giving the group props.  The lady was a decent guitarist as well.  My first instincts were rather sexist figuring to get nothing more then some ugly power chords and distortion out of her.

I was really Impressed, fifteen smackers well spent.  My bar tab from both there and the Wild Cat on the other hand, plus the subsequent hangover leading to the shittiest day at work ever I could have lived with out. Such is life when your a party person and a drunk.  Buoy for me!!!

This song is off their new album The Big Roar.  Its called A Heavy Abacus and was one of the songs they played last night.  If you like the tune, check em out.  I know I will be downloading some of their stuff very soon. Enjoy.

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Eight years ago I sold my soul for a measly $100 a gig playing with a discombobulate excuse for a jam band called Wooden Satellite. The name itself was a god dam oxymoron.  I mean if you built a satellite out of wood it is surely going to burn up in the atmosphere.  That is what for the most part happened in our case.


The group was myself on the saxophones, a guitarist, drummer and bassist.  Practices were spent with a three way drunken fight among the three while I blew Coltrane on my horn.  The fights always ended with a good old fashion bong rip session.  It did not take long before I stopped going to practices.


The gigs were a joke always at dive bars, but they had a following and I always got paid.  Finally it all ended because we lost a very lucrative running gig at a local bar. The three idiots did not want to pay their bar tab.  I felt like I was in the movie Blues Brothers sans Aykroyd and Belushi and the talented players.  Lets loose a $400 a week gig over a $100 bar tab real fucking smart fellas.  Rip another hit.


It was at that moment that I vowed never to pick up my saxophone in pursuit of pleasing the ears of others, who did not deserve to hear what I had to offer.  Fast foward eight years later.  You can only begin to imagine the gigantic internal conflict I was faced with when asked by my friend Ken to get up on stage with his solo project and blow.


I had been playing my horns regularly again and thought why not take a risk?  I spend more time then not preaching to everyone here to go out and lay it all on the line.  Since I hate hypocrisy I made the decision to put myself out there vulnerable for all to see.


What the fuck am I talking about you ask.  Well as most of you know by now I have been working with a small nonprofit theatre company here in town called Proximity.  Last night we had a fundraiser at this quaint music venue here in downtown Santa Barbara called Soho.  Initially I figured I would just go for support but then found myself up on stage with three saxes around me just like old times.


The music as Ken put it was “Electro-Funk-Pop” a very unlikely combination, but when all was said and done it came out awesome.  I had a few very close friends show up to the gig and the room was plenty packed with all sorts of cool cats out to support a good cause. I showed up and did my usual pre performance routine.  I put myself in a corner away from everyone where I could get in the zone and be alone with my thoughts.  Focus on the task at hand so to speak.


Normally I would have had a drink or two to set my mind at east, but I promised Ken no drinking before the show.  Then it was time to take the stage and my mind was a complete blank.  I knew what needed to be done and I was completely focused like the pinball wizard.  I was just a side man, but the thing about my playing is once I get going I never seem to be able to stay in that role


I looked out at the audience just as we were about to get started and I remembered how much I loved looking out from the stage into the lights, just barely being able recognize faces.  That moment of anticipation right before that first note is blown.  I recognized a new person in my life whom is steadily becoming an important character in Lisanti Land.  I was glad she came and could share that moment with me (look for more on this mystery woman soon, Im not quite ready to expose her to you folks yet).


The first two songs kept things mellow for me, a few easy riffs, some long tones and melodic lines.  The next few began giving me some room to blow.  By the end it was guns a blazing I had fully remembered why I got into music in the first place.  The crowd was on their feet.  I did my usual non-committal eye contact, half bow, turn of the shoulder thing that I always used to do on stage. Got my horns and stepped off.


The whole ordeal was eight years in the making and it went down in a mater of 35 minutes. In that short time I was reinvigorated.  Any doubts I had about my life after all the bullshit I had to cut through the last few months were gone.  I remembered exactly who I was and why I exist.  I define who Chris Lisanti is and no one else.


As I got off stage everyone was hugging each other and celebrating.  Turns out while we were performing my theatre company reached our goal of $20,000, the reason the event was happening in the first place.  The gnarly thing was we had only raised a little over $13,000 before going on and there was only about 16 hours left.  If we did not make the full quota we would have gotten nothing at all.  Big things are about to happen and just when I thought the golden age of Lisanti Land had passed we go and enter an even stronger age.  Cheers everyone.

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Groovin’ High Song of the Week: You Were Meant For Me, Jewel

There was a time when Jewel kept it real and was dynamo.  Her music really spoke to people.  I’m talking back when she was just some folk singer from Alaska with jagged teeth.  Even with those teeth her beauty was breath taking.  Alas like everyone else in the world her soul had a price and she was paid out for it thus ruining everything.   I’m not here to lament over Jewel’s current musical direction.

This song comes from her first hit album Pieces of You and is one of my all time favorite songs.  Its funny how when yo are in your most vulnerable state how important music becomes in your life again.  For a long time now I had begun to tire of music in general.  Sure I still always had it playing , but I just did not feel passionate about it.  Then I entered into my current state of torment and all of a sudden certain songs make me smile while others bring me to tears.  I have even broken out the saxophones again.

Tonight I managed to luck into a free ticket to see this guy Chris Robinson play at a very small venue called Soho here in Santa Barbara.  I had no idea who he was, but a new friend of mine, this French guy Alex is apparently a fan.  Turns out Robinson was in some rock group called the Black Crows and they were super popular.   I think I had heard of them.  I live under a rock remember, so don’t judge me.   I just recently met this dude Alex and in an effort to cheer me up and get me off the couch I decided to join him.

I have to say I was super impressed by the performance even if the style of music was not quite my cup of tea.  The band was super tight and the keyboardist absolutely killed it.  Think Joseph Zawinal but in a rock style setting.  I met this dude Alex at some random party this past Saturday, but that is a whole other blog altogether.  Lets get back to Jewel.

I was at this show and saw all these couples dancing and having a great time.  Everyone was having a blast.  I although very grateful to be out became very sad.  Truth be told today was a tough day for me.  I don’t want to get into it except for the fact that I spent the bulk of the day just wanting to crawl under the covers of my bed and cry. I persevered though.

That is when You Were Meant For Me popped into my head.  I played it on loop from my ipod like ten times just letting it speak to me.  That song embodies my current situation right now to a tee.  Its funny how much pain people who care for one another can inflict upon each other.  I guess pain is a part of life and something we all must go through.  I know I personally have been guarding myself against it for years and once I finally realized I had dropped that guard it was too late.

I’m sorry for crying in my Cheerios again, this is not what surfingruinedmylife.net was suppose to be.  Its late and Im going on another sleepless night awaiting an answer I feel more and more to not hold the outcome I would like.  Time heals all wounds and if we can learn something from them then just maybe it was worth it.  I know I have learned a lot in a short period of time about myself and how I want to experience the world from now on.  For right now I’m going to have get through this period of melancholy first.

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