Saturday, January 26, 2013

What's This Guy Selling?

Just Get Out Of Here!
Funny how; of all the functionality intrinsic to Blogger; there is a "delete blog" button. I'm sure that a dialogue box pops up to prompt you to confirm that you actually want to delete your blog "are you sure?"
There is really no time to blog in New Orleans. Not now. 
There will be plenty of time to blog after Fat Tuesday is over with along with the Super bowl, and as the street sweepers vacuum up the last of the beads which broke when two people tried to catch them at the same time; that would be a time to blog.
I can't explain why I have lost interest in blogging. It might be related to my loss of interest in playing street music and in being homeless.
This city requires a strong mind set and a thick skin. People naturally look at you with a "What's this guy selling?" attitude; and staying positive is the challenge; and unfortunately; drugs and alcohol are not the panacea.
It can beat you down. I have gotten the advice from more than one concerned person to "Leave. Just get out of here!"
This particular trip to this city has brought upon me the discovery that there really are a lot of very good musicians, in the world in general, and many of them mark their calendars for the Mardi Gras; and, already it is hard to walk more than 100 yards without hearing at least one performer; blending in with the chaos.
Not everybody can have an abysmal outing and just take it in stride. It takes that certain mindset.
Competition was never a motivational factor for me. Trying to play "better" than someone else comes with the Catch 22 that, in order to play better, the music has to be filtered through the ears and mind of a listener, who will either deem you better or not.
Some musicians consider certain pieces of music to be the benchmarks of ability. To be able to play them, you "have to be good."
Not that there is anything wrong with having role models...
There is a Randy Rhodes song called "Dee," which falls into this category. 
The piece is awkward and requires tedious fingerings; is thus hard to play (and there even exist outtakes of Randy himself in the studio; flubbing the thing up) and, in my opinion; it isn't a great piece of music. It is studied by worshipers of that late great heavy metal god; who probably think that they are following in the fret steps of the master. If you were to ask them: "You like that melody, huh?" They might answer that question without answering that question by saying "It's friggin' Randy Rhodes, dude!"
Which begs the question: Does a good musician play poor music? Is it better to play good music poorly than to nail a song note-for-note which moves hardly anybody; like an experimental tone-poem where the composer is laboring under the rigid structure of having to use all 12 notes of the chromatic scale?
Yesterday started out with me waking up to realize that I had 8 dollars and change. I couldn't remember where it had come from but I had vague recollections of playing somewhere the previous night.
Click Away
I went and got a couple beers and then started to walk to the big Rouses Market to eat what would turn out to be a large salad and a couple seasoned potatoes.
And to wash it down, a Fosters Lager while connected to their wireless, where I posted yesterdays musings; giving voice to my inner argument over whether or not to continue this blog.
"Delete Blog? Are You Sure?" is always one drunken, moody click away...
Then, I walked out the side door; and, gazing to my left saw a bottle of French "Brut" Champagne with only one sip off of it; sitting by a chair next to a food container which may have contained a meal with only one bite out of it; but I was full and so, didn't check.
I walked back to the Quarter; offering sips of champagne to everyone I met (with no takers) and got back in time to see crews sweeping up after some parade; and to talk to a bunch of musicians who all concurred that it was "slow."
My mood swung towards the darker side and I decided to take the ferry across the river; even as broke as I was; instead of trying to become a fountain of joy and music.
It was after I saw a blond haired lady of about 30 playing on Royal Street with an acoustic guitar through an amplifier; and I realized that I wanted to shoot her in the head, point-blank range with a pistol; and, of course I didn't even know her; that I decided that nothing good was probably going to come out of hanging around the "slow" quarter.
She sounded as though she had never gotten any criticism from anyone her entire life; and her lilting care-free melodies over simple chords transposed by a capo to keep them simple in any key; were those of somebody who has heard "you're so good," her whole life and has been coddled and nurtured and has grown to understand that a female can get away with the most simple arrangements and that their music is automatically "beautiful" as long as they can hold a note (the higher the better) and infuse it with a shaky (hence vulnerable sounding) tremolo which befits the inevitable subject matter of "If I could only have him then my world would be right," and if they are beautiful to look at, then the deal is sealed.
She wasn't especially beautiful; no more beautiful than Taylor Swift; to whom comparisons were no doubt drawn. Another artist who does so well; (for a girl). Females aren't held to the same standards; I get that. That is why a Tanya Huang is such a diamond in the rough...
Little things are bothering me. Dirty clothes; a pain in my right arm; the fact that I'm not in the mood to hear my own music...little things....

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