Tuesday, August 20, 2019

The First Thing I Saw Was A Skeezer Skeezing

I am in my apartment, where suddenly a lot of things beside busking are rearing their heads as becoming equally appealing as alternatives.

Even though I am flat broke, and out of tobacco.

The screenshot above, taken a few minutes ago shows a typical Tuesday night in late August on Bourbon Street, with nothing on the horizon to look forward to except the Southern Decadence festival, of which I have bad memories.

I totally need to figure out the shortest distance between myself and some kind of job. Some under the table thing would be just fantastic.
I feel that the busking thing could be taken up a notch and I can add some equipment to my inventory.
Namely, a clip on microphone that could go right on the harness that holds the harmonica, and could be attached by wireless, to a small amplifier that I could hide inside my backpack.
That way, I could still appear to be unamplified, but would have a little bit of reserve volume, and a bit of echo and reverberation, to keep pace with the times, when it is just getting louder on the street in general.
I spent about a half hour putting this together,
I might as well post here

It would be easiest to buy the stuff using money that is somewhat guaranteed, rather than be faced with the dilemma of having one huge tip fall in my lap and then have to wonder when the next one might come, and should I run out and spend every cent on a microphone and a wireless setup etc. and then maybe wind up having nice sounding gear but no toilet paper in my house, type of thing.

At least with a normal job, if I am scheduled to work x amount of hours, then I can pretty much count on x amount of money being available for toilet paper and buy my music equipment accordingly...

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Suite For Didgeridoo, Guitar and Bass

Boy, have I ever gotten a shot in the arm in some way, and had my energy level go through the roof!
I got off my ass and walked the 200 feet to the computer lab to post the song above, and it took less than 3 minutes to load up to Soundcloud.
This song was recorded using Jacob's i-phone.
His microphone is better than the one in my LG Aristo phone.
There is a super amount of compression in the recordings, but this only means that my singing, which I was sure was going to be buried in the mix, is audible. I actually couldn't see where Jacob had laid his phone, else I could have stepped toward or away from it as the music may have required.
Jacob's job is to sit and watch the house which has been enclosed in a huge tent, to make sure nobody tries to trespass upon the house which had been fumigated that day, and breath the deadly poison.
It is the cushiest imaginable job. It is being paid for being.
Sitting in a car with a laptop, watching a movie, then maybe grilling some burgers in the driveway and having a barbecue, jamming with acoustic instruments in the same driveway. Hell, taking a dip in the pool in the back yard if there is one. It's all in a day's work when you sit and guard a Terminex site.
It's actually too bad for me personally that the job is such a walk in the park, because Jacob's boss might have been able to employ me, since I told him I was looking for work when Jacob introduced me to him.
He is an older guy who used to be a very good guitarist, who could play Van Halen, but who then injured his hand in some kind of accident and now doesn't play at all. He drives a pickup truck and is a "religious" man, if his mentioning God frequently is any indication.
I think the particular job is just too cushy for Art, as that is his name, to give out to a chance acquaintance, such as myself.
It's the kind of job reserved to be given out as "favors" for someone.
Someone like Bob, who is Jacob's guardian (ex guardian, since he is over 21 now).
Bob may have been in need of a favor, and that particular job is a godsend to Jacob, who really abhors physical labor, according to him.
I need to find someone who has a shittier job to offer, at least as "bad" as mowing lawns, if I want to pick up a few hours here and there.
Not enough to throw a monkey wrench into my current rent arrangement, but enough extra money coming in to keep a wi-fi connection in my apartment, buy new harmonicas, and to not have to go out to busk on those rare occasions when I am not in the mood to.

But, there were were, at the job site, playing acoustic instruments until almost midnight in a neighborhood where the houses are packed pretty closely together; and there I was singing "Look out, the house is poisoned!," which I know is poor grammar; but a splendid time was had. A guy named Josh, who lived next door came over upon hearing us and introduced himself and asked if we would like a didgeridoo and Jew's harp player to join us.
The recording is the result.
I added "piano" and "timpani" in my studio. I put the terms in quotes because the instruments were digital samples of said actual instruments.
I wish I had a set of tuned timpani in the apartment, along with a grand piano...

"Hotel California!"

28 Dollar Friday Night
I am home after having made 28 bucks busking, arriving out there, as I did, at almost midnight, and playing for what amounted to about 2 hours.

At one point a small group of Latinos arrived and I thought I recognized one of them as a guy who has stopped by my spot probably 3 times in the past 5 years, and who I see around the Quarter in other places, and who usually tries to get me to play “Hotel California,” and then walks off without tipping.

But, it wasn’t him, and I wonder if the 20 dollar tip he left might have been larger had I not eyed him suspiciously when he walked up with a “arent’ you the guy who is usually drunk and asks me to play Hotel California and then doesn’t tip?” look on my face.

This guy’s resemblance to him was quite remarkable, right down to his having the same “Buddy Holly” eyeglasses on his face and wearing a baseball cap.
And, after he asked: “Can you play Hotel California?” my reaction was:
“I’ve played it for you before...” ...you know I know how to play it...

But, either it wasn’t the same guy, or the guy was in the process of skeezing the other two guys he was with and maybe he had told them that he was new in town, as part of the skeeze, and what I said contradicted it.

But, he quickly produced a 20 dollar bill and then requested the Eagles song again, which I did. I started to wonder if my singing voice has deteriorated since I was 27 years old, because I was struggling with the high notes which I can remember hitting back in 1989...

I had been down to 43 cents and had played for probably the first 45 minutes without making anything.
When the first dollar went into the basket, it was Harold’s food.

Finally enough money came in so I could get nicotine cartridges and a Bang energy drink.

I determined that, as bad as it is to be addicted to nicotine, it is better than being so and not having any.

My addictions are keeping me from having brand new harmonicas, if I want to look at it that way. Which is a shame, seeing as they are where the money comes from...

Well, at least I don’t have to scale down the side of a cliff on a rope ladder and cut a bee hive off the face of it while being stung in the face...