Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Post Fueled By Apple Juice

3 Day Cleanse
I am on the second day of my "Dr. Christopher" (left) cleansing juice fast.
Monday morning, I woke up at the sign spot; having put myself there, so as to be in position to go to the VA Center, early, to do laundry and get a hot shower and then change into the cleaned clothes.
I should not say "woke up;" because I don't think I slept at all, due to an uncomfortable chill in the air; the fact that the spot is much brighter than under the dock; and there are more people walking around and more voices to be heard.
The dock spot has spoiled me.
I also wanted to recant some of the things that I had posted Sunday as soon as the library opened because I thought that I had been unreasonably harsh on certain individuals; and that guilt had kept me awake.
I wound up putting my head down on one of the tables at the VA Center and sleeping a couple hours.
I drank the 16 ounces of prune juice while there (used the restroom about 20 minutes later), and then headed to Rouses Market to get apple juice and distilled water.
I didn't know if I was going to play at all that night; and told Christina Friis so much when I encountered her at the corner of St. Louis Street..."I suppose I should try to play totally sober, just for practice...I might get used to it...or go through withdrawals."
I had about 30 dollars, but very little urge to drink alcohol, cigarettes tasted like licking an ash tray, and I didn't feel like a joint would have had much effect (I think one needs to have some carbohydrates or something in the blood stream for the weed to "hold onto.")
These are some of the "blessings" of Dr. Christophers fast. 
I would only have to buy apple juice and water the next few days, which I could use my food card for; so the money I had felt sufficient and pretty much secure in my pocket.
Christina Friis, last night
I helped Christina set up her amp and microphone.
She sang a few songs.
People instantly materialized to throw tips in her bucket. 
She uses one similar in size to Tanya and Dorise' and has similar earning power. People hear her voice a block away and already have their money ready when they walk up.
I suppose that, if Joni Mitchell was not recognizable but on that corner busking, her bucket would fill up the same way, and she would garner the same type of comments "Your voice is so beautiful," as Christina gets.
She is mostly a singer and uses only sparse accompaniment from her guitar and sings a Capella a lot.
There is a balcony along the second floor of the (posh) restaurant across the street from where she was, and several people approached to tip after they had come down after eating. "You made our meal," one of them said.
I Become Amplified
After a short while, she wanted to take a break and asked me if I wanted to play her "rig" in the meantime; because she needed to re-energize.
I thought about how weak I was feeling after not having slept nor eaten; thought about how that spot is more suited to the likes of Christina; looked down at the rags that I was wearing; no song came to mind to do at that moment; but then said "screw it;" it was a chance to sing through a microphone and amp.
It took a few minutes to get used to her guitar and to find all the right nobs on her amp and adjust them (these aren't your grandfathers amp with its 3 knobs) but I managed to make it (hack my way) through a Grateful Dead song.
Nobody dropped anything in the bucket. I started to have negative thoughts, like ...they don't want to hear this kind of stuff at this spot...but continued to adjust the levels and get used to the guitar.
A Beatles song produced 3 dollars in the bucket.
I played more Beatles stuff until the "25 minutes or so" were up and Christina returned from her break.
She threw another couple dollars in the bucket.
Then, while we were talking, a tourist came across the street and said "I enjoyed your set; especially the Beatles," and handed me 3 dollars.
8 Dollars in 25 minutes; and I hadn't even found my "sound" yet.
The power of an amp and a microphone.

Leslie Update
I ran into Leslie, Sunday night; who showed me his jail paperwork. He had spent a night there for "public intoxication."
He has a new place now. It is a lot further away from the quarter than was his last one; which was in the quarter; but he said that I am welcome to crash there.
I will have to get back to him on that...


alex carter said...

Amp, good. Leslie, bad. But I suppose you're about due for another holiday on the NOPD's dime, and hanging out with Leslie should accomplish that.

Daniel McKenna said...

Once bitten; twice shy; he didn't get locked up for being the "happy drunk" that he is in the afternoon, I'm sure; but rather the Hyde that he becomes at approximately 8 p.m.
There' a reason that he is desperately seeking friends; especially ones that have been making decent money lately..
But I'm not going to be like the dog which returns to eat its vomit LOL

alex carter said...

Oh Good .... I was kinda hoping you'd team up with Karrie, but the clean'n'sober Karrie may be a life form you can't interface with that easily ...

It seems Tanya and Dorise are all over the place, they even played "back home" on Kalakaua Avenue, probably one of the very few acts that make actual money (the earnings are horrible there, the whole place closes for all practical intents and purposes at 10, etc*)

Frankly, what you mention about "the best but least paid musicians" hit home ... for me, I don't want to visit until I"m "pretty damn good"(tm) and as for you, you might find that getting an amp, learning to play slide, or getting something unusual like an E-Bow may be the way to go.

*"Back home" being the island of Oahu, Hawaii, about which I have about the same feelings as ol' Satch felt about New Orleans. It's home, but the scars from the experiences just hurt too much, so it's OK for a visit .. once in a great while. I believe my love/hate relationship with the place, learning toward hate, is somewhat justified though. While New Orleans is based on French culture, Hawaii is based on a blend of Northeast missionaries (think ice-cold Calvinist assholes), Hawaiian culture (they independently invented a particularly cruel form of feudalism) and Japanese (ditto). It is not a warm place, other than in the weather. In fact, it's about the only place in the US that thinks Orange County, California is the paragon of human culture and existence. Whereas we all know it's Asshole Central.