Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Fun for Everyone!

Alright, I know I said in my last blog that I would write a new one well over a week ago but the sooner you forgive me the sooner we can move on and I can tell you about the FANTASTIC time I've had playing the Philly open mic scene over the past few weeks.

Ok, so, as I had previously stated, on December 3rd I was the featured performer at Drexel Univeristy's Late Night Series. Late Night Series is a catch-all open mic, which means that anyone-regardless of their genre of performance-is welcome to get on stage and make a fool of themselves.

The problem with "catch alls" is that it can be very very difficult to move from something like high-energy comedy to a sing-songwriter to a poet to up tempo music to whatever. You see, it can be hard to get the crowd to the energy level you want especially when the previous act is an up tempo act and you're down tempo (or vice versa). Nevertheless, the Drexel Open mic is, by far, the smoothest transitioning catch-all venue and that is due largely to the eptitude of their host in raising/lowering the energy levels accordingly.

It's always difficult stepping into an open mic. As I've stated before, when playing an open mic you are just some jerk with a guitar, trombone, suzaphone, accordion, or whatever. The audience generally doesn't care who you are (and why should they?). This is what makes open-mics such great proving grounds for a young artists. If you can win those crowds over you are doing something right. Especially if you can win over a crowd at a catch-all after some hack comedian just spent 15 minutes talking about his dick.

That's what makes catch-alls so special.

Your crappy song lyrics of the day come from Regina Spektor (again). Expect to see her wacky-ass lyrics here quite often.

A good friend of mine, quite consisely, I might add, tried to explain the song "Samson" to me with citations of symbolism, deep allegory, and love lost. I, in turn, tried to explain to him that the song was just a series of poetic-sounding non-sequiters that he was blindly trying to justify because he secretly wants to bang Regina Spektor. You be the judge:

"Samson went back to bed
Not much hair left on his head
He ate a slice of Wonderbread
And went right back to bed"

Yes, Regina, we all know how Samson loved his wonderbread

Until next time!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Turning Frowns Upside-down

Ok... so I know it's been a long while since my last post. However, in my defense, it takes a long time to look up awful lyrics worthy of this blog and I am extremely lazy. Also, if I were to blog about my recent shows it would throw me into a deep depression. If that were to happen I couldn't give you all the gift of song (which, conicidentally is what I'm giving everyone for Christmas because it's much cheaper than a Gergory Peck VHS box set-or whatever the kids are watching these days). But, as is my nature, I digress

Recently, I had fallen on some hard times music-wise which made it very hard for me to get out and keep playing. First, I started a new job which DEMANDED I be up before 1pm (I know, it sucks). This new-found early riser syndrome provided me with little energy for the late sets to which I had grown accustomed. As a result, my former "3 open mics+1 full show every week" attitude diminished to a "4 open mics+1 full show ever month" attitude which dwindled to a "fuck it; I'm going to take a nap" attitude.

Nevertheless, speak to any musician and they will tell you that no matter how tired they are, they'll get up for a good show. They will tell you that a crowd can energize any performer to the point where sleep is not an issue. This is what happens on good shows. They will also tell you that a bad show drains you so much physically that it is hard to operate. There's a big give and take of energy on good shows. On bad shows, it's only give and it sucks.

My past 3 full shows had been really bad ones. Whether it be due to unresponsive crowds, nonexistent crowds, or belligerent crowds is irrelevant. What is relevant is that it was disheartening and I took some time off. This is the explanation of my inactivity. This is my excuse.

Still, recently I've started finding my love of performance again, my songwriting has returned and my frown has been turned upside-down... which makes it a smile, if my math serves me. I still haven't gotten a "full set" since late October but I can feel it isn't far away. I play as a featured performer at an awesome open mic at Drexel University Tomorrow and I will surely blog about the experience on Friday.

Here are your awful lyrics for the day courtesy of Alicia Keys and JayZ. It's amazing they could be so wrong in just two lines

New York
Concrete jungle where dreams are made of

I'll forget that the sentence was ended with a preposition as that is something of which I am often guilty (avoided it there, tho). But... c'mon... think about it... "where dreams are made of." When does that statement make sense ever?

Have a pleasant evening