Sunday, August 30, 2015

Unorganized Hancock Gets Their Wings

Unorganized Hancock performed on Saturday at the Z 105.5 Battle of the Bands at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee. The show was part of a weekend-long promotion for the local Junior A hockey team, the L/A Fighting Spirit. Each of the four bands that played in the contest were required to compose a new theme song for the Spirit hockey team. The winning composition will be played at all the home games when the team skates out onto the ice, and an excerpt will be played every time the team scores a goal, which I gather is fairly often because the team is really good.

Lewiston is a large-ish mill town located about an hour south of where we live. It's the second-largest city in the state of Maine, and it's home to Bates College. Lewiston is on one side of the Androscoggin River, and Auburn is on the other. They are joined at the hip and considered one metropolitan area, hence the L/A name for the Fighting Spirit.

The Spirit Weekend had all sorts of activities. There was a kind of carnival outside the arena. There was a street hockey tournament that brought a tear of fond remembrance to my eye, a chicken wing contest, a dunk tank to embarrass local dignitaries, and an exhibition game with the Spirit pitted against an all-star team from all the local prep schools.

The Battle of the Bands went off on time, more or less, and the day was a benignant 80+ degrees, and not a cloud in the sky. Our boys went on third, and played a few songs from their regular repertoire, then finished with their hockey fight song, which is the sort of a thing that makes you pump your fist and chant along.

All of the bands were different from each other, and all were good, which lent a lively competition to the proceedings. There was a metal band, a trio of triplet girls that played something like upbeat punk, and a sort of jam/prog band for alternative rock. Our boys have invented their own style they call Intergalactabilly.

They made a great show of announcing the winner. The hockey team voted to determine what song they wanted to skate around to, which is really the only way to judge such a thing. I'm not a big fan of music contests. The purpose of musicians is to entertain an audience. I'm not sure having judging involved helps that, but it's a popular format for music lately, and no one cares what I think about it. More on that in a minute.

They had all the kids from the bands gather around, and the hockey team made their selection, and the emcee from Z 105.5, a talented and genial fellow named Matty B., made a few anodyne remarks. My wife and I were on tenterhooks, which is another name for hot pavement.

Wouldn't you know it? Our boys won:

The giant check thing was a surprise, and seven sorts of awesome. My sons looked vaguely dazed and happy, which is pretty much the same thing in this world. They received their applause from the assembled crowd, the hockey team you see in the background, and the other bands, all without throwing up on themselves or falling off the stage. It was one of those moments in time that you will remember sweetly forever.

All the kids from all the bands made friends, and finally made me see some kind of point to a Facebook page. They established a little network I hoped would continue.

I told my children that they had done something wonderful, but it wasn't winning a contest. They had made people smile, which is exactly what they're supposed to do. They made friends, which is a big bonus. I told them the big check isn't a payment for beating other bands. My boys had sold a musical composition. That's an amazing accomplishment for a band made up of two children and two plywood cutouts.

The owners of the L/A Fighting Spirit, Rod and Lisa Simmons, are wonderful and commendable people, kind to a fault to my boys, and I hope their hockey team wins all their games 12-0.


Leslie said...

Of course they won!! I cannot wait to hear the song. Grinning big.

chasmatic said...

The band is good, of that there is no doubt.

Being seen to be good and given recognition by others is the validation.

Like Leslie, I want to hear the song. I would like to hear a CD's worth of UH.

C'mon Sipp, don't keep us hanging. We will pay cash.

benjaminthomas said...

Congratulations! What a wonderful thing.

julie said...

Really wonderful. Well done, gentlemen!

Larry Geiger said...

Dude! Way to go men.

tirane93 said...

whoop whoop! go kids go! congratulations all around especially to ALL the kids for being friendly during a competition that could have turned ugly.

Johnny Glendale said...

Congratulations! As parents, I imagine you're proud-to-bustin'! Yay UH!

Sam L. said...

A Big Score For the Heir and the Spare! Congrats! Money for something and no chicks to fight off.

Thud said...

What to say other than, fantastic!

Gringo said...

Congratulations! Before the competition it was apparent that they were good musicians.Take Five, Buddy Holly, whatever. Good to see that they have gained recognition for their skills- and all the practice time it took to acquire those skills. I recall reading about the Heir's frustration with fellow band members who didn't want to practice as much as he did. So he teamed up with the Spare, who did like to practice.

JC said...

Congrats on the band, and their orginization

Philip said...

Bravo!! And to echo chasmatic - when's the CD coming out?

Anonymous said...

I feel like Charlotte in the web...
Amazing but certainly not surprising.
A son you can be proud of is among God's richest blessings.
Two must be indescribable.
Huzzah from the far left

chasmatic said...

Sipp, I'm gonna start posting dumb jokes and links to the Osmonds songs unless you give us something about a CD. We're all in agreement, even the commenters I have not spoken with,
and it was a plea for leniency that has me refraining from ... wait for it ... Joan Baez.

My uncle Letsgo "King of the Bantams" Lozko always said "Chicken no good if keep in coop. Gotta spread news."

So there.

SippicanCottage said...

Hi everyone- Thanks for your kind words about our boys. They done good, didn't they? I really think everyone from my blog audience should take a bow along with them. You've all supported them right along, and we're very grateful. Please understand that it is very difficult for us in our current circumstances to produce a recording that you could purchase. Everything the boys accomplish requires painstaking work with limited resources.

The boys are currently working on re-recording the hockey fight song so that it can be played at all the hockey games, and they will perform it live on opening night inside the Androscoggin Bank (Lewiston) Colisee.

chasmatic said...

Sipp, of course we support you and the boys. We like winners. Whoops, I reckon I should be in the first person singular but I think I'm saying what a lot of your audience feel.

You've posted some videos of the band doing covers and the sound quality was fine with me. Just stick the tunes on a CD and we'll keep them as "basement tapes" even though they are CDs and not recorded in any basement. IIRC your basement is in the same shape as my uncle Letsgo Lozko's chicken coop. The Chicken Coop CDs doesn't have a ring to it, uh?

Or, let us know what you need to do the job.

Sunnykm said...

so where is the song!!??


SippicanCottage said...

Hi Sunnykm- Thanks for reading and commenting. There's a handy-cam version of their contest performance of the song here:

The studio version is miles better, of course. There wasn't any video to accompany it, so they haven't put it on YouTube. I'll urge them to fix that.