For a couple of months there, it almost seemed that Orpheo & the Wrench had disappeared under a mountain of debt and indifference. But no, O&W was not gone, merely slumbering, lying in wait for the moment to resurface. Now we are here again, ready to retake the daylight with a vengeance! Grandiose words, but not without basis, for we have been invited to join the Denver stop of the Bold and the Brutal Tour! Gorilla Music (of Battle of the Bands fame) is hosting this showcase of Denver talent, including ORPHEO & THE WRENCH among others. On December 22, we will once again take the stage at Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom and give this city another chance to recognize our greatness.
What does this mean for you, our loyal fans? Well, here is a chance for you to throw the full weight of your support behind us and help launch us to the top of the bill! How? Simply by contacting us via email, facebook, twitter, text message, phone call, smoke signal, jungle drum, or even in person and purchasing a ticket for the show. That’s right—you too can be a part of O&W history simply buy shelling out $10 for a ticket and cleverly avoiding the $15 at-the-door price.
So get in touch with us, buy up those tickets, and help make December 22 at Cervantes the time and place where the Orpheo Wrench Rocket begins its takeoff! -Orpheo
We, Orpheo & the Wrench, are an open-mic band. We are a lot like Tenacious D, in that we are a couple of unheard-of guys who spend a lot of our time sitting around our dumpy apartment smoking weed, writing music, and talking like we are about to embark upon a meteoric rise and start a revolution any day now. The major difference being that we are not acting—this is actually our lives. In this the entries that follow, you will be given insight into what it means to be an open-mic band.
Our culture romanticizes the life of the “starving artist”, but just like so much that we romanticize—cowboys, pirates, the zombie apocalypse—the real truth is much uglier, much bleaker, and frequently much more monotonous. After almost three years on the open-mic circuit, working jobs we don’t care about to pay for rent and groceries as we go out week after week just trying to get someone—anyone—to care enough about what we do to pay us for it, music can feel very much the same as any grinding work routine with lousy pay and no opportunities for advancement.
Even if you truly feel you have something to offer the world of music, it doesn’t seem to matter. You go out to an open-mic, and you sit around with a bunch of random fuckoff strangers who don’t even acknowledge you. Sometimes you sit for hours on end, spending money you don’t have on beers you don’t need, passing the time by smoking cigarettes you have no craving for. You stare blankly at the other performers, idly critiquing each one, occasionally soaking in the performance when those with skills and/or stage presence are on, but mostly you just count down the timeslots, waiting for your own fifteen minutes.
If you’re lucky enough to get a decent time, and there is still a decent crowd (i.e. a crowd containing anyone besides the bar staff, the other performers and their girlfriends), just before you go onstage, the panic mounts in your stomach and your hands shake. This is what you’ve waited around all fucking night to do and damned if it doesn’t go well. This is the moment where that tiny voice, that ray of hope dares to shine weakly through the nerves, “Maybe this is the night! Maybe the right person is here! Maybe they will like you and be so moved that they just hand you your “big break”! Maybe after this performance, everything will finally start to be okay!” But you have to silence that voice, as endearing as it is. You have to tell it to shut up so you can focus on the performance, otherwise all those wild delusions will never be anything but just that.
You begin your performance. You tell a few opening jokes, and a few people laugh. You play your songs and a few people clap. You finish your set and sell a CD or maybe two, and a few compliments are tossed your way but let’s face it, only a few people are there at all. Afterwards, on the way home, you feel high because you know that the rush of taking the stage and the afterglow of a good performance are the feelings that keep bringing you back and keep you believing that this is actually what you want to do with your life.
It always wears off because the fact that you’re good at this and you have something to say won’t defeat the world’s resolute indifference. You go home, you have one last drink, you get stoned, stare at the internet for a while and pass out. Retreat, and submissively accept the routine of the vapid ceremony known to the outside world as the waking American dream. It’s so easy.
But no matter what small variations come with each turn of this cycle, you always wake up the next morning, drink some water and try again. Good art is a long process which is the best medicine. Our own process is a do-it-yourself work-in-progress. Right now it happens to be a game of create, wait, create some more and keep waiting. More updates to follow…