Band Member Lost, Band Member Found

by James Adams

This is the second installment of What’s Happening Wednesday, where you find out what XY Unlimited is doing right now – or at least right now-ish.

Losing a band member is hard work.

First off, all of your pictures immediately become obsolete. Sure, you could just photo shop new faces onto existing bodies, but some authenticity is lost along the way. And you have to watch out for all sorts of snags like physique, skin color, amount of body hair…it’s just not worth it. New pictures are your only option.

Los Angeles

Look at that – you can almost see the talented musicians crawling around, can’t you?

Then you have to find a new band member good enough to replace the old one. NOT an easy task. Right now you might be saying to yourself, “but XY lives in LA, a city crawling with ambitious twenty-somethings who can sing, play an instrument, learn complex harmony parts, and not creep out everyone they meet on tour!” Well, my friend, go put an ad on craigslist to that effect and have fun finding out just how wrong you are. 😉

Finally, when a band member leaves, you realize that you’ve actually spent more time over the last year with that person than with most of your immediate family, and that you are REALLY going to miss that band member, no matter how much you wanted to punch him that one time he took a really embarrassing picture of you sleeping.


We thought Jamey looked good in the jacket. What do you think?

Somehow, we’ve dealt with this process four times now. We lost our first high tenor, Felipe, to love (and marriage and responsible fatherhood). Tony, our subsonic bass, got fed up with Los Angeles and fled back home to Western MA for his sanity. Jamey, our replacement for Felipe, decided that he no longer looked good in the XY blazer. He could not be convinced otherwise, though we tried to bolster his self-esteem with all the compliments we could muster.

But this isn’t Memory Mondays, this is What’s Happening Wednesdays, and what’s happening is this: after long consideration, Zack decided to step down from full-time status and pursue a more stable artistic/philanthropic/sustainability-oriented job. Either that, or buy a yurt and become a farmer. This seeming contradiction comes as no surprise to those who know Zack’s brain.

Zack leaving the main orbit has been hard, and it’s gonna take everything we’ve got to recover. However, there are two things you should know:

1) XY will go on. I can say this with confidence because

2) By some miracle, we already found an amazing new band mate.

Christian Stranne

That soul. That torment. That red curtain.

The mighty hand of Zeus guided USC grad Christian Stranne to our ad on Craigslist. We’ve received approximately fifty replies now, and Christian’s immediately stood out: he sings, he plays keyboard like a boss, he writes songs, he arranges for a cappella groups, AND he’s a sociable, friendly, intelligent human being. We invited him into a rehearsal a few weeks ago, and within an hour we had cranked out one of (I think) the best cover arrangements we’ve ever crafted. Pure magic.

We’re still waiting for Ashton Kutcher to show up, tell us we’ve been punk’d and take Christian away to the sound of laughter and applause. You’ll be hearing more about our newest full-time member in the months to come, and no doubt watching him onstage with us once the new XY is ready for the world.

Zack, meanwhile, will join the ranks of XY warriors past, who we still call on from time to time to fight for the cause. We are blessed to have many such team mates out there, and to have such amazing fans that help lift us through tough times.

XY Warriors

XY Warriors from across the ages [clockwise from bottom-right]: Ian Brekke, Robert Dietz, Felipe Garcia, Tony Belanger, Brian Kim, and Zack Avshalomov.

We can’t wait to share what this new configuration has in store. Have any questions about our plans or what we’re doing to prepare for a whole tour with a new member? Ask away below.

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6 Responses to Band Member Lost, Band Member Found

  1. Michael Kohl says:

    OMG! I think I know where Felipe was in that bizarre picture!

  2. Mary pat aravanis says:

    Wish I was a fan in LA, but I am one in MD!

  3. pOpz says:

    Don’t worry about losing Zack. I have plenty embarrassing pics of you — if you need them?

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