October 2012

October 2012
Mr. P.C. By

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Dear Mr. P.C.:

Now that so many people have smart phones, there's no more conversation with my band mates on our breaks. Each guy just starts texting, or surfing the net, or playing his favorite app.

It used to be that "the hang" was one of the best things about gigs, but now it doesn't exist, because there's no one to talk to. Everyone's in his own separate cyberworld, and it makes me really sad.

What am I supposed to do on my break now that the hang is gone?

Apps Leave One No Entry


There's an app for that! With iHang, you can hang with anyone you want, anywhere, anytime! Lonely on break? Ditch the game geeks in your band and spend time with people who share your love of social interaction.

When your break ends, iHang is just beginning! Up on the bandstand, mid-tune, you can pretend to be reading chord changes from the iBook, while in reality you're hanging with friends—even other guys in other bands, in the middle of other tunes! What could be better?

Once you tell your tech-savvy band mates about iHang, they'll be all over it! Soon you'll be hanging with them more than ever—on your break and on the bandstand; before, after and during tunes. You'll happily say farewell to those archaic analog days you've been longing for.

iHang: Better than being there!

Dear Mr. P.C.:

If I fill the pocket of my tux with Swedish meatballs at the buffet of a wedding I'm playing, does the value of the meal outweigh the cost of dry cleaning the tux? Dave T., Newark

Dear Dave:

Hmmm... your fundamental assumption seems deeply flawed—do you really have to dry clean the tux right away? After all, the pocket in question would only be brown and slimy on the inside. As long as you can keep your hands out when you're not eating, there's no reason you can't just make it the designated food storage compartment. It can be our little secret; you might even line it with saran wrap, tastefully stapled in place.

But my question to you is: Why aren't you filling both pockets? Unless you've put the second pocket to some specific use—like maybe storing the wads of bills you receive on cash gigs—I can't understand why you aren't doubling your stash.

Of course, if you're wearing a white tux, it changes the calculus considerably. Meatballs will be strictly off-limits; instead you'll want to pocket white, phlegmy or opaque foods like mashed potatoes, chicken gravy, and vanilla ice cream.

Dear Mr. P.C.:

I was playing an actual jazz gig recently at a well-regarded venue and, in the middle of our set, someone came up to the stage, handed me a hundred dollar bill, and asked me to play "Happy Birthday." I showed the leader the bill and we went ahead and played it but, in retrospect, I'm wondering if he really wanted a solo bass version.

Was I wrong to ask on the rest of the group to join me in such a demeaning, yet profitable, course of action?

Ed, New York

Dear Ed:

I admire your ability to put such a positive spin on it. Because apparently the guy felt it was worth $100 to get you to stop whatever you were playing at the time. And I'm not talking about the full band—if that's what he wanted he would have given the money to your leader. I'm talking about you, Ed.

But it gets worse. Consider this: If it really had been his birthday, wouldn't he have asked for "Happy Birthday" as a gift, instead of spending his own money?

It wasn't his birthday, Ed. It was a hundred dollars worth of sheer desperation, fueled in equal parts by your tasteless note choices, heinous intonation, and spasmodic time.

Have a question for Mr. P.C.? Ask him.


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