Recently the OK Maira lineup has changed from the original group who played on the recording. Contrary to many other band member changes, this one happened calmly, efficiently, and with no angry screaming whatsoever.

Mike Zobac informed me that, while the bass playing experiment was fun, if he was going to continue playing in this band he would need to play the drums. He didn’t feel that his bass playing would come along fast enough to be worthy of performing, possibly in public, possibly in front of judgmental strangers.

Besides being a barely adequate bass player, Mike is a great drummer and had the good sense to marry me. I would do anything (not harmful to self or others) for him to increase his happiness. He is my favorite human being. So there wasn’t really any hesitation on my part to agree to his request.

This left the bass playing position vacant, however. Good bass players are very hard to find. Well, good bass players who are willing to rehearse for free are hard to find. I thought of Julie, but she had been pretty underwhelmed about playing the bass for awhile and had no qualms about leaving Parlour Steps behind to focus on her optician/vintage eyeglasses collecting and design/blogging/online business/well-paying and inspiring career not related to music. So I didn’t ask, for a long time.

One day, I played my demos for her. And she said, “Oh, I would play these songs”. “Really?” I said, trying to play it cool. “Well, would you maybe consider jumping in here and there, in case Mike’s not available or something?”She said yes to that. I was emboldened. When Mike asked to be transferred to the drum department, I told Julie this. And from there it was a short leap to her agreeing to join the band.

So, ladies and gentlemen: meet the lovely Julie Bavalis. At first glance, she appears to be merely a very cute woman with impeccable style and amazing glasses. And she is all of these things, as well as smart and funny and kind. But she is also a really good bass player. Julie has such good time and good feel (and great intonation and tone).She and Mike had enjoyed playing together 100 years ago when we were all students in the jazz program at Capilano University. They were stoked to play together again. And I was delighted that I had a solid, tasteful rhythm section that liked and respected each other. Not only that, they speak the same language…they can communicate well about feel and groove and they understand each other. This is a luxury, having a drummer and bass player who actually talk and listen to each other. They really really care about making the song sound as good as possible and they’re willing to try a lot of different ideas to get there. Be still, my heart.

Now I have a delicious, solid lineup of players who like each other and aren’t planning to leave town. It’s ridiculous how awesome this group of people are. Gradually I feel the thick layers of cynicism about music melt away from my heart. Maybe it’s worth it to try one more time, make a band out of nothing and see how far it can go.

Besides, I’ve have found the perfect program at UBC that will educate me for my future not related to music career. Might as well cover all the bases.