June 14, 2006

As the internets go nuts for the new Bey-Z collab (no, not a chick, he got a honey bun!) we're still waiting for Beyonce to announce the final lineup for her all-female backing band. Not just because we want to watch them get their Robert Palmer on, but because we had our girls Jen and Minna down at the NYC tryouts. Check what Jen had to report after the jump.

So Beyonce announces she's looking for an all-girl touring band. Minna, who plays keyboards in our band Illumina, says to me: "I think we should go! It would be my dream!" She loves Beyonce. As do I.
We agree to go to the audition and learn "Work It Out" from the Live at Wembley DVD, which I just so happen to own. B is looking for drummers, bassists, percussionists, guitarists,
keyboard players and horn players. Auditions are held in six cities
nationwide. Headshot and resume required. I had to Photoshop a collage of photos of myself to make a "headshot," so Minna gets to Sony Studios on 54th St before I do. They put us all in a large room with lots of
folding chairs, entirely full of women. Some practice on their saxophones; some practice on their drum pads; one girl brought a portable DVD player and plays the "Work It Out" scene again and again
and again while playing the drums on her knees. After the tenth time hearing it, I decide I hate the song. At this point I also decide to not try out, seeing as I've completely neglected to bring my guitar. Besides, my headshot looks like crap and let's face it, I am not exactly what you would call a "skilled" guitar player. The women in this room are fuckin' pro - some of them scream "Session Player", with well-toned midriffs and sequins on their outfit somewhere, never stopping their practice drum rolls for an instant if it means taking their eyes off the prize. When one performer comes out of the audition room, she tells all the other women she was sitting next to all the details,
gasping about the quality of the drum heads while those who cling to
The Dream bite their lips nervously. And some of them, well, they eat Yodels and Pringles, which is what we did while we waited for about two hours until they finally called "keyboard players!"

Minna gets up, makeshift headshot and resume in hand, gets in line with the other seven or eight keyboard players, and is then taken into a room behind a large black curtain. If you get close enough to it, you can faintly hear "Work It Out" and i wonder how many times the six people on Beyonce's creative team have heard the song today. Half hour or so later, she emerges. "HOORAY!" I exclaim.
"Dreams....dashed" she sighs. So, off we went, down 53rd St, realizing we were probably too indie rock for what Beyonce wanted anyway, and that we could never
cut it in the rock-for-hire/session world. Which is okay, because I wasn't so stoked about the idea of playing guitar in high heel boots and a miniskirt on the stage of a massive stadium anyway. Assuming I had been gutsy enough to try out in the first place, of course.

Posted: June 14, 2006