Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The Return Of the Two

Last night, I got to the Lilly Pad with Monster Energy drink in hand to discover that a guy was sitting on the stoop.

It was a guy whom I had seen before, who had refused to move from the stoop that time, and who had sat there, listening to music through headphones as I played my ass of, 3 feet from him.

He could have sat anywhere else and listened to his own music, but had refused to move, even after I had nicely explained that if affects my business negatively when someone is sitting there, on the grounds that he had been there first.

That first time, maybe about 3 months ago, I hadn't called Lilly. It was a slow night and it was already late.

This time I called.

He had refused to move again and told me that he had been there first.

I told him that that spot was the only one that I could play at, to which he replied that that wasn't his problem.

I told him that I had permission from the lady that owned the property.

"I know her, too." he said.

About 5 minutes after I had notified Lilly about the situation, the window opened behind the shutter behind the guy's head, and the voice of Chantilly (Lilly's older daughter) said: "Um, could you please move, I'm trying to...?" and she hadn't even gotten the word "sleep" out before the guy apologized obsequiously, then moved off to the next stoop, to try to sell his weed, as that's what he had said he was up to.
The Return Of The Couple From Fort Worth

The couple from Fort Worth, Texas defied the odds by actually coming back the next night after telling me that they would do so. "We'll come by tomorrow night, and we'll have more money for you," the guy had said.

They hung out and I played.

The guy said he was looking for some weed, and I directed him to the guy on the other stoop. Maybe that will be some salve for the relationship between myself and rainbow hat guy, I thought.

The guy went and bought weed while his girlfriend stayed close to me and was quite adamantly insisting that I play some music by the band called "Disturbed."

I didn't know any Disturbed music, but began to quiz her about the qualities of their music, in hopes that I could play something by a band that is kindred to them.

She seemed pretty drunk, and I noticed that she looked a lot like Britney Spears, or Jamie Lynn Spears or Jessica Simpson or Ashlee Simpson, I'm not sure which.

 She had straight(ened) blond hair and a pretty well "made over" face, anyways.
Ashlee Simpson

Jamie Lynn Spears
Most tourist who say they are going to return the next night never do, so it was unusual to see the couple again.

I played for a while while they hung out but I think they only wound up putting a dollar in my jar; after having made a special trip to come hear me again. They might have been so drunk and stoned that they plumb forgot to tip me. I guess they might return again tonight...
Jessica Simpson
Britney Spears
She didn't look much like Iggy Azalea at all, though...


alex carter said...

What's nice about these modern smart phones everyone has is, at least theoretically, they should be able to "call up" some music by a band called Disturbed, on YouTube.

My own big problem is I actually know a fair amount of music but really often I don't know the name of the band much less the name of the song. So I'll look like someone who's grown up in a monastery or something, saying "I don't know any music by X", and then if someone can call up music by X, and it'll turn out I know 'em well.

The funniest example of this is the time some country singer came into town and there were fans of him all over the place, frankly a lot of drunk, staggering, fans and this was *before* the show ... so I was having a beer and some food in the upstairs eating/drinking area of Whole Foods and in the process of asking if a seat was free, got talking with a couple of "pre-gamed" fans. I said I didn't care much for new country music, only the really old stuff, but I did like this one guy who sings a song that goes "I've got friends in low places" - it turned out the country star that attracted so many fans that night and boosted San Jose's alcohol sales, was the one who sings that song. The more you know!

It's good to see the art supplies I sent you going to good use.

alex carter said...

Oh, I was going to say, when I recognize that I know the song by X well, as they're playing it, I'll often sing along or with a prompt from them (singing it) I will sing it ... and whatever my failings (like a very rudimentary ability to read music at best) I can generally sing things so you can at least tell what they are.

Rendering songs unrecognizable is a *real* problem.

One day my friend Leroy, who plays the sax downtown, and who happens to be African-American, played a tune that seemed filled with profundity and sadness. It was bleak in the way that some of John Coltrane's more angsty masterpieces can be, and it seemed to convey the pathos and sadness of the situation of his people, here in the US 100's of years and still not completely accepted, the loneliness... It was The Chipmunks Christmas Song. I know this because I asked him what it was. "I didn't recognize it", I said. "Maybe I should play it a little faster," he observed.

One evening I was playing by the Old Spaghetti Factory and among other things had a try at "Moondance", a sort of jazz-ish number that used to be played on rock and roll stations a lot. A song you've kind of got to "nail" or it will sound like mush. About a week later, one of the regular buskers here, up by the theater, and I were talking and he said "I heard you playing 'Moondance'". Whew!

Daniel McKenna said...

That song has a walking bass line that could be a showcase for a rhythm guitarist like Dorise, or myself if I download it onto a CD and then put it on repeat for a whole evening of playing along with it...
Right now I'm doing that to a Gene Vincent song "Crazy Legs" and one about racing the devil, and just the little fragments of his guitarist' riffs that I have copped have impressed at least one other person...

My killer song last night was Kid Charlemagne; the C harp is in just about the same mode as Larry Carlton, I think it was, was

alex carter said...

You might be able to get a bass and make your own walking bass lines, to play along with ... another real possibility is something called a loop pedal; I've seen those used on the street and done right, they're amazing.