Thursday, April 3, 2014

Seeing Spots

  • 4 Dollar Thursday
  • A New Follower
I don't want the blog to be "all" about money; but for it to be all about busking (playing for er, money) then the financial aspect should be included.
It is all about busking IN NEW ORLEANS, of course, and it must be noted that the lucrativeness of "your" busking city may vary; with the average trending upward as you get away from here.
I describe New Orleans to people as "the place where the best; and lowest paid musicians in the world are."*
*Pay does not factor in the fact that one can get drunk and stuff their face with gourmet food; pick up enough tobacco to re-roll a pack a day; find blunts of weed, clothing, cell phones and even cash "just laying there, and have people in line behind you pay for your stuff in stores.
A new follower; Sara -circus acrobat
"the place where the best; and lowest paid musicians in the world are."
That being said; I went to the library and blogged; as I sipped upon Pabst Blue Ribbon beer spiked with vodka.
I met a guy named Lloyd, who had been staring into a whirling image on his computer screen, studying what he said was "Telekinesis 101."
I stared into the center of the spiraling thing, which looked like you could either be going into a tunnel or coming out of one (kind of like seeing either the famous vase or the famous two faces) and then after Lloyd instructed me to look at a blank page, I did, and saw an impressive after image which looked like snowflakes crystallizing and shooting out from the center of the page.
Lloyd talked to me for a while about his attempts to move objects with his thoughts; and other esoteric subjects, so hence didn't surprise me much when he produced a large sack of a light green vegetable-like material and handed me some.
He cautioned me against drinking alcohol, though -citing the fact that he himself had recently quit the practice because "It didn't make me feel good-" and that's when I knew that our time together had to soon come to an end. 
Marilyn, or Frank playing sax?
The Royal Market
I made a beeline for my third beer of the night -being advised by anyone to quit drinking is one of the "triggers" which make me crave alcohol- and then played on the corner of St. Louis and Royal streets; a spot liked by the likes of Brian Hudson and/or Christina Friis and Frank, the saxophone player who leans on the lamp post there and plays.
I was playing pretty sloppily and I'm sure that my sound barely carried across the street. I felt like I was playing the wrong songs at the wrong times, at times. One Asian couple paused to listen as I played a Beatles song, dropped a dollar between my circling sharks and then wandered off, taking their bewildered looks with them; as if they hadn't recognized The Beatles song.
I think I made 4 dollars, all the while being inhibited by the thought of "you really need an amp and a mike at this spot, so that you can be more subtle and use more finesse..."
I was thinking that either Brian or Christina might show up, whereupon I would gladly relinquish the spot; maybe even after hinting that I had held it for them, (and collecting a few dollars "fee") but, by 9 p.m. I was pretty sure that they weren't coming; and so I moved off to go see another spot..
The Balil Spot
I moved to right around the corner from the gallery where Balil works. Balil who gave me the Indiana Scout guitar; and who once pointed the spot out to me and said that he thought that it would be a great spot; because of a combination of acoustics and foot traffic. It felt like he was presenting it to me along with his permission to play there and his blessings.
It dawned upon me that he may have taken a small offense when I declined. I decided to remedy that. The acoustics were good and the (few) people that walked past looked like "the tipping kind," but they had also just come off of Bourbon Street and were well-skeezed. There was still steam coming off of them from all the skeezing.
I may have made just one more dollar; then decided to try the Lilly spot.
That too was pretty dead. It just wasn't "happening." I felt like I had been playing the wrong song in the wrong way in the wrong spot; all night.
The well dressed gentleman on Royal Street who had stood a few feet away and listened to a bit of my "Carcass Song," with and expression on his face as if he were looking at an actual carcass; comes to mind...
I went under the dock before midnight and was soon eating pasta in real butter and olive and sesame oils with some beets added with some soy tempeh fried in the left over oils on the side; before going to sleep.
It just wasn't "happening." I felt like I had been playing the wrong song in the wrong way in the wrong spot; all night.

Friday (now)
I woke up and, after trying to work the kinks out of my neck, made the 35 cent deposit to the-jar-which-under-no-circumstance-will-ever-be-touched, and came into the quarter with just under 20 dollars cash on me.
I owe the jar 17 dollars.
I've started the day with coffee, not vodka, and will see how that "goes."
I might compare the results to what happened the last day I started with coffee and not vodka; (about 3 weeks ago LOL!).
It is 5:15 Friday evening, and out into the quarter I go to have my first swill and a puff off of Lloyds "telekinetic" bud and then to see what transpires, exercising my right to be in a good mood regardless of circumstances; if I can...


alex carter said...

Potka! More on this later..

You have a point, there in NOLA there's gonna be a busker or three at every available spot, because everyone and their dog goes there to busk. But, factoring in the free food, drink, pot, money, misc. found stuff IF one is the kind of person to pick up on such things, it can be a very good place to live.

I'd still at least like to visit. I'm torn though, because for me the one factor is that, theoretically, there, I'd pay less rent than here. But, I'm only paying $60 a month now, here, where crime is almost nonexistent, and there are, really, openings for 1,000 street musicians. Plus the local music scene is growing visibly, the no. of places with "live jazz" etc are growing exponentially.

San Jose was DEADville 5 years ago. Now, it's not New Orleans level of hoppin' but it's almost a whole different town from where it was. And there's more overlap in the rent amounts than you'd think. People can and do rent places, like a room or garage, for a few hundred a month here.

Iru Streetiam said...

Have been posting some of your posts on Street I Am -

alex carter said...

What ol' Iru here is doing is what I suggest, for you and for myself: Don't even try to post shit online beyond text (and from San Jose, CA in my case, even text is really hi-tech and just about impossible) but get good at MUSIC and let the Kool Kids, the ones with $500 a month data plans and solid gold cased iFones do it.