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Smoke On Her Face; and hair in her eyes (Peyote Coyote)
Topic Started: Nov 11 2015, 04:22 AM (1,866 Views)
MurderWeasel
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((BB Gunnerson continued from The First Mistake))

BB was sitting off to one side on the floor, busy tuning her bass, when the new girl came in. Everyone started talking louder which made it pretty hard to make out the notes since she had her amp dialed way down low. She didn't really like leaving this sort of thing half done, but when introductions went around she at least looked up and said, "Hey," and gave a nod. She was allowed to be cool and reserved if she felt like it—she was, after all, the bass player.

Coleen wasn't someone BB really knew well. Sure, BB had seen the girl around school. She was pretty hard not to remember, with how her face was jacked up, but the novelty wore after about the third time glimpsing her. She was here now and that was pretty cool. As long as she was going to make some music with them or sit off to the side and not be a nuisance while they were making music and save any goofing around or making out with band members or whatever until practice was done or at least on pause, her presence was fine. BB was pretty sure Coleen was supposed to contribute today or something but hadn't paid that much attention; when the information had been imparted to her she'd been busy trying to explain who Scott Walker was and why anyone should still give a fuck.

Vanessa made a bit of a faux pas with her nickname for Coleen, but it wasn't like BB had never said anything dumb to a new acquaintance. Vanessa had her heart in the right place, mostly, just not always her tongue. It didn't seem like Coleen was going to turn around and walk right back out, so all was still good. Vanessa even took a shot at redeeming herself by asking what Coleen played. That was a line of discussion BB could get behind.

"And what sort of stuff do you like to listen to?" she asked, looking up from her bass for a second before turning the peg to tighten her A string.
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"Sweet," BB said. "That's pretty legit. I've got some stuff you may like. Do you know Scott Walker?"

She was just being nice when complimenting the girl's taste, really, but she smiled like she meant it. Soft rock was about as close as you could get to the bottom of the barrel when it came to music that was even vaguely cool. Pop was vague enough to encompass early Beatles, Michael Jackson, and Skrillex, but it probably meant whatever fad all everyone was riding at the moment. In BB's experience the only people into theatre music were actors and people who listened to no music except theatre music. Opera held potential, though. And, hey, even though Coleen probably had absolutely no clue who Scott Walker was, he just so happened to land at the nexus of pop, soft rock, and theatrical music, with a helping of operatic vocals in his recent stuff. Funny how things worked out.

Of course what BB was really looking forward to was taking Coleen up on her offer to listen to absolutely anything. The rest of the band had learned not to offer that sort of blank check by now.

So far everything seemed to be going pretty well. It was nice that the newcomer was taking everything slow and easing into their group; nothing was more obnoxious than someone inserting themselves into an ongoing project without respect and messing up the delicate creative balance. Peyote Coyote wasn't big enough to have its own Yoko Ono yet.
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"You might like him," BB said to Coleen. "He's this singer from the Sixties, started off with stuff sorta like the early Beatles, then got weirder and weirder. He inspired David Bowie, and now he's collaborating with this pretty great drone doom group."

Hopefully The Beatles and David Bowie were accessible enough touchstones for this conversation to build off of. Otherwise, there might be some trouble. Of course, if Coleen really was utterly ignorant of the classics that might have potential too; some pretty interesting stuff had come out of artists trapped in their own insular little worlds, free from the musical innovations of everyone else. Like, The Shaggs weren't exactly BB's jam, but they had legitimate influence.

"And all that other stuff's good too," BB said, waving her hand at the table. She wasn't trying to be dismissive; the stuff the rest of the band listened to was awesome enough for sure, just with a few more compromises for broad appeal than BB's all-time favorites. "I mean, except our demo. That's the best.

"You know," she continued, "you should stockpile a few copies, so one day when we're famous you can flip 'em on eBay for some cash. I mean, assuming we don't reissue it or tweak it a bit for our debut or whatever. But it's a really limited collector's item at the moment.

"How many demos did we press again?" she called over in the direction of the others. She couldn't quite remember, though technically speaking they could just run more off whenever they wanted to. Still, the idea of it being limited was appealing. Especially since that meant they could actually run out of their first edition.

BB hoped this wasn't all too much for Coleen to take in. The band had sort of spun off into their own corners working on stuff or whatever Vanessa and Cameron and Brady were doing, but that wasn't really that unusual. All part of the creative process. She gave her bass a few more plucks and realized the amp was still tuned way down.
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Juliette Sargent drawn by Mimi and Ryuki
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"Yeah, uh, maybe in a sec," BB said, as Coleen's suggestion was quickly followed up by some shouting from off in the corner. That wasn't a good sign. She glanced over at Brady, then back towards the other two girls. Vanessa was a good person, but she was definitely making progress on cultivating a true rock star attitude; if they ever hit it big, BB wouldn't be at all surprised if she mastered the entire suite of prima donna tantrums: storming out of the studio, feuding with producers, firing session musicians on the spot, and so forth.

Peyote Coyote was pretty important to BB, and what was bubbling off to the side had "irreconcilable creative differences" written all over it, which meant some intervention was probably in order. She turned back to Coleen and gave her an apologetic smile.

"Guitar players," she said, and shrugged. "Don't worry about them. Do you want something to drink?"

She was thinking maybe she could get Coleen out of the immediate vicinity, both for her own good and to remove one of the objects of dispute, and then run some interference between the others. Without knowing the start of the argument, she could still guess roughly what it was about and what the trajectory had been. She was already trying to figure out how to spin this to get everyone on the same page again, to pacify Vanessa and include Coleen and encourage Cameron.
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Juliette Sargent drawn by Mimi and Ryuki
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"Things usually aren't like this," BB said, keeping her voice down. Brady leapt into the fray, seemingly trying to calm the founding members down, while BB moved towards the staircase with Coleen. "We're just really passionate about music, and every so often there are little disagreements about which artistic direction is best for the band."

Maybe she wasn't being entirely forthright and honest here, but it was probably for the best. The band was usually pretty harmonious, that much was true, but she was getting the distinct impression that this wasn't actually about the artistic merits of a new vocalist—it couldn't be, given that most of the band had no idea what Coleen even sounded like.

Unfortunately, it seemed like Vanessa came to the same realization at about the same time, and she called out before BB and Coleen could make their escape. BB paused, her left foot on the bottom step, and glanced between Coleen and Vanessa.

"I can get Coleen a glass of water or a Coke or something first if she wants," BB said. "Important to, you know, stay hydrated if you're gonna sing."

Her gaze flickered to her feet, then back to the corner where the rest of the band was assembled.

"Hey, you all know what 'Smoke on the Water' is actually about, right? Maybe it's, um, not the most auspicious project to work on. Have I told you this story?"

For once, BB's trivia was mostly a diversion—though she sort of doubted everyone present really did know what the song was about—intended both to buy Coleen a little time to decide what felt comfortable for her and to distract the others just a little and maybe calm the mood or at least redirect a bit of the exasperation.
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Juliette Sargent drawn by Mimi and Ryuki
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"That's great," BB said, abandoning her objections about the song's provenance in the face of overwhelming apathy towards musical history. "That sounds like a really great idea. I'll go get that water."

Then she darted up the stairs and out of sight of everything going on in the practice room. She'd done her level best to avert, divert, and subvert the brewing conflict, so now all that there was really left to do was get Coleen her water and hope she blew the song out of the park. It wasn't like BB even had that much reason to think Coleen was going to be excellent. Vanessa's vocals weren't amazing—that much was pretty evident to most anyone who listened to Peyote Coyote—but more pertinently the damage from bringing a newcomer on board had already been done so now it was best to hope for some payoff.

So BB fetched a glass from the cupboard and filled it up with water from a pitcher in the fridge and drank it all down, then rinsed it out and got a new glass and filled that up for Coleen. This all took a little while but she thought it was probably best to stall just a bit because it had sort of looked like Coleen didn't actually know Smoke on the Water. This way, the new girl at least had time to review it. Also, okay, BB was sort of trying to distance herself from some of the stress and conflict going on down below.

But the time came, so she made her way back down the stairs.

"Here's your water," she said, holding it out towards Coleen while glancing around at everyone else. She really hoped this was going to turn out well.
V7:
Juliette Sargent drawn by Mimi and Ryuki
Alton Gerow drawn by Mimi
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Coleen was pretty good. BB had moved off to hug a wall, but she took up a spot a little away from the others. She wasn't trying to shun them or anything, and stayed close enough to still be friendly, but she wanted room to get a good perspective and to try to read the dynamics of the situation (and, being honest with herself, to not be first in the line of fire if it all went to pieces). She was holding her bass again, not because she was going to do anything with it but to make it look like she was doing more than just standing around and thus hopefully keep her out of the spotlight a bit.

That Coleen knew what she was doing did not, of course, make all the band's newfound problems immediately vanish. Whether or not Coleen was a good singer was almost unimportant for anything beyond a musical perspective. What was more important was how Vanessa and Cameron felt about the whole thing. As long as those two didn't melt down over it, everything would be fine. If they did? Well, either the band, Coleen, or both were gonna get burned by this whole affair. So BB watched them, trying to get a feel for their moods. She wasn't having the most luck judging, though.

Still, at the same time, she couldn't help but feel a little smug. Without any sort of backing music, Coleen's words were very easy to make out, so BB could take some pride in the fact that everyone else in the room was probably figuring out exactly why she'd declared the song a bad omen.
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Juliette Sargent drawn by Mimi and Ryuki
Alton Gerow drawn by Mimi
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Vanessa didn't look very happy. Everyone else did, and with good reason—Coleen had pretty much nailed the song—but Vanessa looked like she was shaking slightly. That meant the best thing to do would be to move this along, and quickly. Coleen had given them a great opening, too, by suggesting that they show her what one of their sessions usually looked like. It meant that Peyote Coyote could do something as a unit, something that would be theirs and that Coleen wouldn't be part of just yet. The integration could relax its pace a bit in a natural fashion. BB couldn't have schemed up something better herself.

"That was really nice. And jamming sounds great," she said, smiling really wide—too wide? Hopefully not too wide—and sort of nodding at the others. "I've even got a few new ones we can try. I can get us started, and you can see how we do things, Coleen."

She gave the strings of her bass a couple plucks, to just about no effect.

"Oops. Forgot I'm not plugged in. I'll get on that."

She was making that up, of course; she wasn't stupid or inattentive and knew darn well she wasn't gonna get any sound. In fact, it was the opposite; she paid enough attention and thought things through enough to make the occasional little intentional mistake for the proper effect. In this case, she just wanted to let the tension out of this room a bit.

"I'm actually only half-tuned, too," she said. "I got distracted earlier. Give me a hand tuning up and setting up the amps and all, Vanessa?"
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