Thursday, February 23, 2017

Greek Salad Day

Slight eczema; itching scalp and a slightly congested nose this morning (afternoon) after having added feta cheese to my salad yesterday, to make it, along with the rest of the requisite ingredients, a Greek salad. That was Wednesday evening.

50 Dollar Wednesday

I was "out the door" at 10:24 PM, and playing at the Lilly Pad a bit after 11 PM.

An hour after that, I had made no tip money at all off the few people who passed, a lot of whom seeming to be on skeezing missions of some kind, either following around someone who had money, or vocalizing things like their intention to to drink a couple beers out of the corner store before going in the bar, rather than pay a whole 4 dollars for each inside the place, and other bad portents for the busker along that vein.

Then, one guy came along and said: "Wow, you're still going...you've been out here an hour, and then listened while I tried to play my best stuff, for about 15 minutes, asking for "harmonica songs" as he did, and who then stood up and stood next to the tiposaurus jar reaching into a pocket.

"Wow, I might be about the get my first dollar of the night," I said.


"Oh, is that right?" he asked, and then kind of winced, as if to say, perhaps, "I don't know how you can sit out here and jam away and not make anything, it must be harder than I realized, out here."

"Yeah, It's been like...well, you've seen the people who've walked past; nobody else (because he was then putting 2 dollars in my jar) has thrown me anything the whole time you've been here..." I knew that part of the reason for that was the very fact that he had been sitting there, leading some to think that I was engaged with taking requests from him, or at the least, that he already had my attention and they didn't want to interrupt. But, the fact was, I still hadn't made a dime at that point, and it didn't hurt to sound as "hard luck" as possible about it; to put a little skeeze into my game. I have a cat to feed.

He sat back down and I played some more, content with the only 2 dollars of cash (to go with about 20 bucks on my plastic card) that I had. It represented at least a can of cat food for Harold, which was really the only thing that I was Immediately lacking.

After I was able to play my best harmonica stuff, he handed me another 10 dollars.

"The guy who wants to play your guitar" pays off
Then, a guy came along who was perhaps Austrailian and who soon wanted to play my guitar "and you play along with the harmonica" and who did, to the tune of another 38 dollars going into my jar, between the 20 that he gave me after I had asked "Will you be able to throw something in my jar?"while he was begging me to let him play the Takamine, and the 3 fives and 3 ones that went in as he played for 3 of his friends -a guy and two young women, good-naturedly cajoling them to "put a tip in the jar, come on!" in between songs. That was probably where the 3 fives came from.

And then a group of young women came along and stood by, listening. 

I had seen them earlier, when they came out from behind the gate from the house next to Lilly's.
They hadn't tipped me then, as they had seemed very distracted and in a tizzy over their plans and hopes for the night, and animated with discussion over their best course of action, becoming focused ultimately upon the simple matter of "Which way?" before they set off.

Upon their return, and before going back through the gate, they stopped and joined us. I was playing the harmonica and the probably Australian (I never asked) guy was on guitar with his friends clapping and singing along.

"Come on, put a tip in the jar, each of you!," implored the guy on guitar.

Within a couple minutes, 3 of them emerged from the pack of about 10, and did so.

"There you go," said the guy on guitar to me, in a way to assure me that all of the money was to be mine. That was probably where the 3 ones came from.

I was kind of intrigued by the transformation in the group of girls, who hadn't even seemed to have noticed me on their way out.

After they had listened and clapped and sang along with the songs that the probably Australian guy played, which were a very good mixture of "busking material" with "Me And Bobby McGee," by Janis Joplin for the ladies, "Freebird," by Lynyrd Skynyrd for the men, and "House Of The Rising Sun," (traditional) for everyone.

The mystery of the girls sudden interest, given that the guy only played and sang about half as well as myself unraveled when, as they retired for the night, the last girl through the gate turned and said (to the Australian and his friend, I assume) "You are two very beautiful men!" before scurrying inside.

Only then did I make a closer inspection of the two. They seemed like a couple of average guys to me. The one standing up was probably about 6 foot, 4 inches and had a chiselled body, perhaps a soccer player. His hair was closely cut and trimmed and his face looked like Superman, the way he was drawn in the comics, not from any of the movies, more than anything else I could compare it to...

All told, the night had only lasted and hour and 45 minutes. During which I was making $27.85/hr.

Thursday Night (Now)
Yeah, now it is one of the biggest nights of the year; Thursday before Fat Tuesday. The only bigger nights are the next few leading up to it. There definitely might be some, on that day, who drop a 50 or a 100, saying that they had walked past me several times all week "and we never had any cash, but it never seemed to piss you off, so we wanted to give you this..."

Thus the additional importance of getting out there on the Tuesdays and Thursdays.
I really want to earn myself some free time to work on projects. I need harmonica and string money, but I want to get some method books.

I'm thinking of making a recording chamber in my apartment.

I originally investigated sound "dampening" materials which are not exactly what I need. They consist of things like layers of heavy towels. These are good for preventing sound from reverberating and leaking back into the microphone, but do little to contain the sound. I would have a nice, muffled chamber; which could still be heard out in the hallway.

The only way to sound "proof" something is by using heavy materials, due to the physical reality that sound passes through things by setting molecules into vibration. It would take a lot of towels to do the job of a half inch of steel.

I am thinking that perhaps cinder blocks could be the answer. I would use my one, very solid, wall -the one that has an elevator shaft on the other side- and the pretty solid brick wall that faces the outside, as two of the walls, and then square it off with two cinder block walls. They wouldn't have to be very tall, I could sit Indian style while recording, and then maybe cover it with plywood upon which I could lay a piece of shag rug, perhaps.

Then, maybe I could practice my Freddie Mercury style singing without being so self conscious...

1 comment:

  1. You were talking about making a recording studio in your apartment originally, you just were too busy getting drunk and stoned to do it. So, yeah, it'd be a good idea to do that, because you could sell CDs.

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