Sunday, October 24, 2010

Head-Holes

*photo by Jeremy Hahn

So, I’ve never blogged before in my life, and with my new camera in tow to help illustrate the goings-on of my everyday fortunes/blessings/accidents/shit, I’ve decided to give it a go. I think this feeling of wanting to express myself as a real person could not have come at a better time. You see, most people are able to have a singular voice. Good or bad, it is theirs and theirs alone, and you can take it or leave it. But now that I’m playing in a band that has reached a place we’ve only ever dreamed of reaching, it has definitely come with its setbacks. I am no longer a singular voice. I am no longer just Kelcey Ayer from a small surf town in southern California with a crazy personality and an even crazier Colombian mother who creates new forms of profanity daily (shit-damnit, etc.). I am the keyboardist/singer(one-of) of Local Natives. I am not a person anymore, but something different. I don’t have the privilege of saying whatever I want or doing whatever I please... I represent something. Whatever I do, I have four other people that I carry around with me that people can see even when they’re not there. We are each like mutants with four other heads attached to our bodies, and in some way we have to figure out how to carry them. I have to walk differently to support the weight, I need an additional seat when I’m flying for the extra head-room, I need to cut extra neck holes in my sweaters and shirts for their comfort; adjustments must be made or else you just topple over. Or piss people off. Or rip head-holes in your sweaters or shirts.


Last week I did the one thing that anybody in a band can do as a sure-fire way of supremely souring the vibes of a live show besides just telling an audience to fuck-off. We were two songs into the set, I think we just finished “World News”, and I said, “Hello Vancouver!”. We were in Toronto. I can remember the feeling as the incorrect name came out of my mouth. It was one of those things where you knew that you were saying something wrong, something that would have consequences (like when you say something really out-of-line to your girlfriend without thinking, a joke about their weight or something (not that I’ve ever done that, I’m very nice)), and there’s this moment of disbelief that lasts for a portion of a second. Then the horror strikes. Right after I said it, I put my hands on my head in shock as I heard an amalgamation of cheering, laughing, and booing. I immediately stepped back from my keyboard and laid on the floor, a move that seemed completely appropriate from my mixed feelings of embarrassment and shame. Taylor then chimed in and greeted the audience with it’s actual city name and things moved forward. A few songs later I attempted a futile apology, but there was no way I was going to make up for this mistake. The damage had been done, and if people we’re going to take offense, no words of mine we’re going to change their minds. Hell, if I was watching a show where someone said San Francisco and I was at home in LA, the very least I would think was, “What? Yikes.” But I’m forgiving and always think positively to an absurd degree.


We’ve been touring straight for almost two years. It started slow, but as time went on we found it harder and harder to fit in breaks. This year I think we’ve spent a little under a month at home with all breaks added up. And in all that touring, even in places in Holland with names I could hardly pronounce, I have never said the wrong name. This was a freak accident. I even said Vancouver with such conviction and pride, my mind truly thinking not that we were somewhere else, but that there was here. It’s funny too, earlier that night, Taylor and I walked out of the Thai place we had dinner at and he immediately turned in the complete wrong direction towards the venue, sparking a conversation about how I pride myself on always walking on the grid of an atlas in my head. My dad is a pilot, and I like to think he shared some paternal bond of his navigational skills to me. But in reality, all of this doesn’t matter. These people don’t know my track record. They don’t know my father’s profession. They don’t know me. I’m playing to complete strangers every night who have no idea who I am, just that I am part of a combination of people in a band. People judge me all over the world based on the music we write. That’s the weight. But I guess it’s the weight that I wanted. And if you topple over a couple times, it’s understandable. You’re one man carrying five heads. I imagine that that is how some people go crazy in this business, or entertainment in general. Holding yourself up to having the strength of five men, or whatever the case may be, is delusional. You have limits. Caring not to know them is suicide.


I guess if the worst thing that happens in my career is that a few people in Toronto think I’m a jackass, I should be ok. What I did doesn’t mean I’m a jerk, just that I was dumb for a couple minutes when I’m usually not. But I’m sure I’ll have more fuck-ups in the future, so maybe it’s just another adjustment I’ll need to make. If I want to keep being human, being myself and not some cog in a machine, these mistakes will need to happen. I can only hope that people realize we’re people too. That’s it. So, I guess if you’re from Vancouver and reading this, I’m sorry. Just kidding Toronto. Too soon?


-Kelcey ;)







18 comments:

somewhere else said...

Just don't do it in Sydney and you should be fine ;)

Laneway, looking forward to it!

Jenn said...

hahahaha.

Dude, it happens.....

The few who care will get over it. I still love you. I saw you perform in Chicago for Pitchfork, loveeeeely.

COME TO CHAMPAIGN, IL. University of Illinois campus..... people would literally freak out.

melaniexx said...
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melaniexx said...

Just when I read "Booing" the beginning of Airplanes with the "booo" thing started. Is this a sign ?


Only the fact that you write for the first time on a blog, that you took the time during your busy schedule to do it proves that you're not a jackass at all, more that you're very respectful to your fans and nice. Not all the bands would have done that. Please even when one day everybody in the world will know who you are keep thinking and acting like that.

Btw, your post really made me laugh!

Finally I just wanted to tell you guys how much I love you, you're an amazing band, And I truly hope I could see you again soon!

Cheers from France! (I heard you need some lessons, I'm right here ;)

frodon.sacquet said...

The union and the feeling that the five of you are such on the same wavelength I personally have while listening to Gorilla Manor is really, really special ; I don't find it many other bands, and it's the reason I love your album. If I had the occasion of making such beautiful things, I would think it worth to be completely part of a band ! But i think anyway that we can hear each one of your single personnalities when we listen carefully to your songs, especially during concerts.

Waiting for the next album!


Damien

kristin.ashley said...

You guys are just so amazing that I have so much I want to say to this post, that I can't get my shet together enough to make it coherent!!
Reading this post, Kelcey, just made me love you guys so much more than I already do. Yes, initially people judge you based on your music (which I can't see there being any bad judgements if that's the case), but it's posts like this one that let people see who is behind the songs!

on a completely different note, I LOVE LOVE LOVE Gorilla Manor and will be fervently awaiting the next album! haha

ps. Come back to Vancouver already! oops, Toronto***
:P

missi said...

first , Come to Detroit!
second, You seem like a great person, we all make mistakes.

your pictures are sick.

Your music is the only music I can listen to over and over again, and alot. other music I'll listen to for a week and get tired and never listen ot it again. But your band music is so diffrent I just ccant get enough! ( cant wait to see whats next)

(Btw I LOVE your band)

mayayaya said...

You're a thoughtful person to care about others apart from yourself. We all feel pressure like this on some scale, yours being more exaggerated due to your profession. This is a minor detail that if people judge you by shows more about their worth than yours. If you're constantly touring and you're tired then naturally you're going to make mistakes or mess your words up. It happens to EVERYONE, so if people can't appreciate that you're human too then fuck 'em.
Great band, and my judgement on reading this: great people.
Keep up the good work, we all enjoy it and i hope you get some time to chill soon.

Maya

tbow133533 said...

This is such a familiar story. Our keyboard player always asks everyone what city we are in right before hitting the stage because he's been in this exact situation several times. Its hard to remember where you are sometimes when the tour becomes routine. I love reading your blog. I'm like "wow... this is my life too!". I love touring and I'd love to do one with you guys some day. I'm a huge fan. I've played your music so much in the van, the other guys are annoyed... But how could annyone be annoyed with such great material? I love it all... So much I call... I want another album! What's up? Can't wait to see you guys live some day. Be safe out there!

Ted Bowne
(Passafire)

SoaneHonor said...

For someone who's never blogged before, you do it awfully well. You've got great writing skills.
Your concert in Utrecht in January was my first real concert, and it was my best as well. So, thank you.

Neil Walsh said...

Hey! nice post. I met you at the Crossing Border festival, we had a brief chat when you were in a lift and I was out of the lift and the doors kept closing and making the whole experience rather surreal. Anyway, just wanted to say hello! you were really great at the festival.

pleasekillcrys said...

i don't know who you are and i've never heard your music, but i ended up here. mostly, i'd like to say that i truly enjoy your photographs.

Brandon Frederick said...

I've never considered that in some sense you lose some individuality in being part of a larger creative entity - which is an interesting thought to me. Especially having to tote (and represent in a way) everyone you're associated with consistently.

I have to say that I've been listening to your album quite alot (also I'm lazy with rotating cds in my car) and I dig it more and more. Definitely one of the best (if not the best) new experience for my ears in a long time. (they thank all of you)

Hope you guys come 'round KC after you rest your weary feet.

Kerry said...

Really enjoyed what you wrote and am loving what you guys do. Just checked you out after seeing you on Jimmy Fallon. I love it when my instincts are right! I'm from Ontario and am sad that I missed that show in Toronto but I live closer to Detroit anyway....please go there! By the way...keep writing too...that too was real and enjoyable.

Wondernr@hotmail.com said...

Me gusta mucho su música. Tengan pensado veir para Argentina (: Acá mueve mucho el indie .

I like very much ur music. think about coming to Argentina. Here people loves indie rock, and loves Local too, Since ur been in the magazine ROLLING STONE the people are just crazy ,

Perdón, tengo 16 años & es lo qe se de inglés.

Sorry, I have 16 years. I lie in Argentina and that is what I know. Bye, Kisses from here. Hum, and listed ONDA VAGA's music, is looks like local. Here we said that local is an onda vaga yanki (:

melissa said...

Ah, you are just a gem. Can't wait for next sat.

jvince1 said...
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jvince1 said...

You guys sounded amazing at Lollapalooza, great job