Heater History, Part VIII: LexiContraBand and the Great Hall Meetings

Part VII here: http://www.heatergirl.com/archives/148 

As 2010 came to a close, I was still searching for a band. Within a few short months of 2011 beginning, I would be in two. One, of course, being Heater Girl, and the other the Alex Bien Band (in which I am the bassist). Though I would play with both these bands most often at the Not My Dog wednesday night open jam, the first harbingers of their formation would happen at a rival open mic.

At the end of 2010, the band formed by my two previous jam-mates, Alex and Andrew, and Darren had already booked a show at Skal in January of the next year and that I was more than welcome to join. After having jammed together a few times, we got it in our heads that rather than doing two separate solo sets, we could join forces as an acoustic duo and learn each other’s songs. While Darren and I discussed what to call ourselves, my english-major brain was convinced that the portmanteau LexiContraBand was awesome and everyone would think it was an awesome band name. Darren humoured me.

Over the course of December 2010, I also became consumed with the need to buy an electric bass. I’d played bass a bit in high school, borrowing my then-drummer’s bass for years (again, Nick, thanks for the extended loan), but never really considered myself anything close to an actual bassist. But as bassists became more and more in demand at the NMD open jam, I found myself playing rather often and enjoying it way too much. I eventually found that mythical I-need-to-have-it bass in the form of a used Fender Jaguar, but someone at the store where I spotted it had put it on hold before I could. The next two weeks of my life would then be filled with calls to increasingly less courteous music store employees telling me, “No, the guy hasn’t picked it up yet but he hasn’t cancelled his hold either.” Luckily, the other customer would never pick it up and literally on new year’s eve 2010, I would become the proud owner of a Jaguar bass.

The next week being the first of the new year, Not My Dog was closed so I found myself with a wednesday night devoid of an NMD jam. I had heard about an open mic at the near by Great Hall but never went to it because, well, I had the Dog. But since I had that wednesday free, I decided to go check it out. Outside of the venue, I struck up a conversation with someone who was also there for the jam. I told him how I was only at the Great Hall because my regular bar was closed for the week and told him he should come to that jam sometime. A few weeks later he would show up to the Dog and he and I would completely forget that I was the one who told him about it. A few months later, he asked me to join his band as his bassist, neither of us remembering til months and months later that I was the one who first brought him to the bar where we would first play together.

That very same night at the Great Hall, Stoo came by to see my set and talk to me about finally getting my solo EP recorded. I told him that I had purchased a bass and that Darren and I would be playing together at the end of the month. He asked if we had anyone to drum for us, and I told him that we were just planning on playing without drums for that first show and would only start seriously looking for a drummer afterwards. Then he said, “Can I drum for you guys?”

I was flabbergasted but did my best not to let it show. The three of us had played together plenty of times at NMD but I thought it would be presumptuous of me to ask Stoo to be our drummer considering how many other (and amazing) projects he was already involved in. I told him I’d talk it over with Darren. That would end up being a very short conversation.

So we had our lineup for the show at the end of January with Battleplan. What we didn’t have was a hell of a lot of time to actually get ready for it.


to be concluded next week with Heater History, Part IX: The Inception of Heater Girl.


wishing you all contentment and cotton candy,



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