Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Bottom Of The Barrel

0 Dollar Monday
It is 7:30 PM on this Tuesday night.
It is 58 degrees out and feels like 58 degrees, according to the weather site. The 11 mile per hour breeze is annoying as hell to a busker, who has to be ready to chase money down the street that may have missed the tip jar.
Last night, I made nothing at all after about an hour of playing when I saw maybe 20 people walk past who weren't skeezing or checking the trash bins for unfinished drinks.
I had stood outside a bar and watched the Patriots finish off the Buffalo Bills at about 11 PM; the Patriots games being one of the few indulgences that I allow myself to be drawn away from busking by. 
I thought that I played well; and that was some kind of solace to me; I did my part, but the money just wasn't to be had. I was under the influence of about 10 mg. of hydrocodone which I had gotten from Howard.
Howard has undergone his second surgical procedure in about as many weeks, and the VA has given him another batch of free narcotics. The first procedure was a double hernia fixup; and then, they flipped him over this most recent time and removed a cyst from his back.
He gives me the pills and offers to split 50/50 whatever I can get for them on the "market." Perhaps because of his Dutch heritage, and his upbringing, he chooses to tough out the pain, rather than rely upon medication.
The market consists of one particular lady that lives here, who has a boyfriend who will spend 100 dollars on 30 of the things. This makes it safe for me to deal in narcotics. I guess this is just one more way to benefit from the situation here.
And, they gave me a turkey last night. A whole turkey, just thawed out, which I overcooked, thinking that turkeys needed to sit in the oven for hours and hours, based upon my childhood memories of my mother getting up at 5 AM Thanksgiving morning and taking the next 8 hours to prepare the spread of food that would be consumed at around noon, an hour before the football games were to kick off.
I should have treated it as just a large chicken and used my same cooking instincts, but I set the oven for 275 degrees and left it in the oven until I could smell roasted turkey meat in the next room. By then it was too late, and I now have about 15 pounds of dry, stringy meat that Harold the cat even turns its nose up at. I guess I will force it down as a food source that gives no pleasure, but still nourishes.
It may have been a cheap, low quality turkey to begin with, if there is such a thing.
The lady with the boyfriend told me to keep the fact that I had the pills quiet; as there are residents here who might jump a person trying to steal what they think might be pain pills on them. Of course there are those types of people here, at the bottom of the barrel.
I have never really been a "pill head," but tried a couple just to see what they were all about. They didn't take away from my musical ability, and gave me an overall feeling of "well being," but I could tell that it was a false sense.
I brought 3 of them with me into the Quarter to use as emergency backup resources, should I have not made a cent and needed trolley fare; I sold 2 of them for 5 bucks and then used the money for a couple beers and to get home.
I very much want to post up music to replace the "crappy recordings made outdoors" in the sidebar of this blog.
I am thinking of taking all the little snippets of partial songs that I have and putting them together with a voice over, in order to make a mock "documentary," about a fictional self that I will create.


Alex said...

This is why I don't listen to your music any more, its just too awful. I know you want us out here to listen to your new stuff, but I just feel like Charlie Brown when Lucy wants him to kick the football.

Besides, my internet access is decreasing steadily. I have this crappy tablet so I can post this, but can't allow myself any video or audio, as that would exceed the data limit.

I can listen when I have real internet but that's only a few hours at most, once a week. And not this week because of the holiday.

But if you are now living indoors, you may be able to produce some music that doesn't sound like crap. You might look into the tipitinas organization because I believe they help local musicians out with recording, as well as replacing instruments that get lost or stolen, etc.

Daniel McKenna said...

Yeah, that is something that I should ask Dorise about; It would be time saving to grab another musician and say "Could you put a bass line to these chords" and lay the track down with the ability to interact, instead of laying down the guitar first with no reference to what the bass is going to do along with it....

Plus, I'm not a "real" bass player -I play the lines on the guitar and then hit pitch shift minus 50% and voila
So, I might get the added bonus of having a bassist (or keyboardist) that has some chops, and can maybe take the song in a new direction...

Then, there is my other idea of plugging the laptop in and setting the Snowball in front of the PA at Checkpoint Charlie's and then playing a half hour open mic slot; and letting the guy behind the soundboard be the "engineer" of the recording...

Now, it's a matter of taking songs that I started a year ago and finishing them; (which mostly involves writing out the full lyrics on a poster board in big enough letters to refer to, so that I don't leave out any of the better verses)

If nothing else, the new mic and my acquired skills with Audacity should bring to fruition the (tongue in cheek) lyrics of The Snowball Microphone Song:

"Now I can suck in full blown stereo
You can tell I'm no musician in high definition
You can hear the disparity in digital clarity
Now I can be out of key using high technology..."

I DO feel like Mr. Holland sometimes, though, plodding away my whole life on what will one of these years become my "opus" (Mr. Hollands Opus is one of my favorite movies)
the tipitina scene might jump start some things..

Alex said...

I've seen that movie and its not bad. I love how the red haired student is failing at clarinet, and to make the scene work, she puts a lot more mouthpiece into her mouth to make a squeak. That's exactly how you make a clarinet squeak.

I'm back to A-B-C on sax and will not be busking for a while I guess. I've discovered I have high blood pressure and am following the DASH diet, basically a hippie dippie diet.

I dont think the high pressure of trumpet is good for me. Sax, maybe OK.

What's crazy is, you've got a lifestyle arguably better than mine, on far less work. I'm a half assed vet like you, too. I wonder if I should make tracks for new Orleans, put in my time under the Natchez Pier, and get a free apartment?

I may seriously consider doing this once I'm halfway decent on the sax...