So it's Christmas. Bah, humbug. I've come back home to enjoy a family Christmas, right? Well, my father has to work at the hospital all day today, so for the first time in my 24 Christmases, we open all of our gifts Christmas Eve. Not a big deal, but it makes Christmas morning rather anticlimactic. I crash at the folks' house. So now I'm dragging my butt out of bed even earlier than usual to get back to church on time. I play drums in their praise band. I have to get back home, load the drums, and get into church. My sister plays bass in the group, so she hitches a ride with me. We show up to find out that not only is the band leader GONE (meaning no guitar to drive the team), he told the pastor that my sister and I weren't going to be there this week. Thus, the pastor programmed a lot of hymns and things that are completely un-drum-able. Plus, they didn't have any copies of music or anything for my sister. Heck, they thought all they had was a piano and some singers. Right, so I guess I can't fault the band leader, because I WAS gone last week to our extended family's Christmas celebration, but I talked to the guy a mere two weeks ago. I told him I would be gone the next week but "I will be here Christmas day." He understood that enough to tell me that we were only doing one service and no Sunday School, so band practice would be a little later than normal. He made no mention that he might be gone. And I never got a phone call telling me anything had changed. Grrr. So I left the kit in the car. I grabbed a pair of cymbals to roll on, I grabbed my triangle, and I grabbed my project for the day - trying to work out an acceptable wired in-ear monitor solution for my band's drummer with a mini mixer and a set of middle grade isolation earpieces. I got the earpieces to work just fine, but found no use for the silly percussion (Christmas carols). Side note: My sister tried to play bass, but got frustrated and went back to just singing. It gets better. So we get off the stage following the frustrating pre-service rehearsal, and I'm met by the lady who heads a committee that hired my band to play for the church New Year's Eve party. Two weeks prior, SHE had saught ME out to ask if we would be willing to play. We were excited, as we were almost desperately searching for a NYE gig. My drummer even went and got some special NYE tshirts printed up. Today, though, the air was different. "Has anyone talked to you yet?" she asks. I shake my head. "We're not going to need the band on New Year's Eve," she tells me. She goes on to explain that the mysterious "they" (that everyone always talks about when they don't want to name names) think that our band would be too loud for the family oriented party. She points out that we're still completely welcome to show UP and enjoy the party. I'm having to hold my tongue more than usual after the rough and frustrating morning, but my sister (bassist in my band) overheard the conversation and ended up storming off to avoid blowing her top. I went out to go talk to her, and got her calmed down (it sucks to hear "we didn't think you were coming" and "we don't need you" in the same morning, at church no less). I then went to talk with the lady again, explained how our drummer had printed up some tshirts, and we agreed that the church would still pay our band what we agreed on... and if we wanted to, we could play for the youth lockin after midnight. Sometime during the service this morning, that lady handed my sister a check for 150% of our rate, which made me feel a little better... And we'll probably go ahead and play for the kids late. It did bug me, though, that I wasn't called and told earlier. Heck, if the church thought that I wasn't even going to be in church that day, I have no idea how long they would have waited to call me and cancel. Would they have waited until we're walking in the door Saturday night? I was also rather insulted that they thought it better to eliminate the group (btw, we were replaced with karaoke and a "talent show") than to talk to me and discuss the volume issue. Heck, I want to know why they booked us in the first place if they were concerned about volume. The venue didn't change. The group didn't change. The band didn't change. Frankly, I was very aware that we weren't playing for our typical teen - young adult crowd, and we were planning accordingly. But no. No discussion to make sure we'd take that into account. Just an executive decision that we couldn't POSSIBLY be MUSICIANS THAT CAN PLAY WITH DYNAMICS. Yes, I'm overreacting. I know. I'm just very upset with the way this whole day is turning out. Not a good day for the musicians in the crowd. But hey, we made some money, and more than usual. I just hope we can work out the playing for the kids... we'll rock it hard and loud, and rock it like a NYE party should be rocked. Please tell me I'm not the first to be upset by a situation like this. I just feel very underappreciated. And the fact that I got more compliments this morning on my TRIANGLE than I usually do on the whole set doesn't help. Rant off.