Tuesday, March 13, 2018


I'm going to figure out how to right this ship and start getting more hits on the blog.
A rare glimpse of the girl who
sometimes wears equestrian boots (far right)

Certainly, if I focus more upon smartphone-friendly stuff, perhaps 20 second humorous video clips with a little self-made background music, I might find that that is where it's at.

The fact that the term "skeezer" does not lead a Google user to this blog, where it has appeared a thousand times, is a clue that the text of my posts is not very find-able.

That's too bad because someone might Google: "Will kratom make me feel like going out to busk?" and entirely miss out on an essay I might have written on the very subject.

Definitely, using the "alternate text" box to describe the photos that I post is something that might take me a few extra seconds to do, but a habit I might want to get into.

This used to be because browsers responded so slowly that, while a page loaded, and before the photos were rendered, the text would occupy the empty receptacle for it with words describing what the user is not seeing. That might, at least, have prompted people to hang on a few extra seconds so that they could see whatever the text has intrigued them with.

Now, it is more so that people who search "images" rather than "web sites" for a given term might see the photo in the results, and be led to the blog that way.

Don't get me wrong, it's not terribly important to me now, to have a lot of traffic to the blog. It was nice, in the past, to have written what I thought was a humorous little story about the rats under the wharf, for example, and then to find that it had been shared, maybe 8 times, but shared at least.

Songs In The Key Of D

I downloaded a list of songs from SongKeys.com, sorted by the key of D major, and by "popularity."

"I love They Promised Us Jetpacks!!"
What a gargantuan task, listing the top 2,500 songs in a certain key, by popularity. Certainly record sales would be a criteria, along with the number of "streams" of the song, which explains Taylor Swift's having outdone the Beatles in that particular category, and her presence at all.

The popularity quotient should be further qualified by how much the people enjoyed the music. Sure, the planet's population was significantly smaller 45 years ago, so there weren't as many people around to purchase a 45 rpm recording of "Taxman," by The Beatles, but I'll bet it was enjoyed more, per capita than the latest Taylor Swift offering...
If the data analysis puts the song at #555 all time, but those people really loved the song, it should be moved up a bit. 

There is a definite United Kingdom slant to their listing, with a lot of Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin in the results, and more pointedly, a disproportional amount of bands like Oasis, that are more popular on that side of the pond.

One band that I kept seeing in the listings was called Five Finger Death Punch.
I have never heard of that band which has songs in the key of D which are ranked in the top thousand in all-time popularity. Pretty good for a band that, ten years from now, maybe nobody will have heard of. They must sound kind of like The Foo Fighters, right?
They Promised Us Jetpacks, is another very popular band, too, I guess.

And, what about songs like "Happy Birthday," done in the key of D major? Wouldn't that song be one of the most popular, even without a recording of it ever having been purchased by anyone?

That's like saying the most popular beverage in the world is water.
Water doesn't count though, because, even though everyone in the world has tried it at one time or other in their lives, it is often not a vote for it's popularity; it might be the only choice at the oasis.

I need to dig more deeply into popular songs in the key of D.

It would be nice if Pandora Radio had a way of filtering songs by key, maybe they do.
I have been able to use their database using terms like: "Singer songwriters, lyric intensive, progressive, British..." and see an Elvis Costello song listed in the results.

Then, the software will usually try to foist off a work by Nick Lowe, or Eric Burden and the Animals, on me after that; maybe Joe Jackson.

That would be a great tool for a busker; to be able to take a song that she does well, as a reference, and then compile a list of "similar results," to learn and add to the repertoire.

So, now, I go off to do that, It is Tuesday night, a little chilly out and I would like to go out to busk and make 30 dollars.


  1. Hmm, I've stated the reasons for my blog, and you also have two reasons: To have a diary you can go back and read, years from now. And as a way to get people to give you money.

    I know of a guy, named Ran Prieur, who started out publishing a "zine", remember those? Then he got into blogging when it was about the only game in town, but also I think he had the right kind of roughing-it-but-went-to-the-right-kind-of-prep-school vibe about him that he was able to live just by writing his somewhat interesting blog and people would just send him money. He was an early user of Paypal for instance.

    Then just when his blog was beginning to get really boring, he came out and admitted he had enough stocks and bonds and such to provide him about a thousand dollars a month anyway, and soon after his mom died and left him a house. So he's got a paid-off house, a decent living, a girlfriend who's probably a wife now, is writing boring first-world-problems shit, and those of us who hung on his every word about how to dumpster dive and hop trains (or at least hitch hike) etc think he's a putz.

    I'm not saying go out and dive Dumpsters (although you'd save a lot of money that way) and all that, but for every busker there's something like 1000 people who want to be a busker and don't have the guts. Make a blog people can follow, and live the busking life vicariously through you.

    You're ostensibly an English major, use your writing skills to make the kind of blog you'd want to read if you're Joe Flyover and the only interesting thing that happens in your town is when the cows get loose.

    Having next to no money is an adventure. The kind that terrifies the squares. So you talk about how you had/have next to no money but here's how you got over it: you got into that apartment by virtue of being a veteran, and if it weren't that, you'd probably be renting a room or something by now. You didn't have money for clothes, again a thing a square is terrified of. But, you talk about getting clothes from various homeless places. A bike is super helpful for getting around, and you showed how to "adapt and overcome" by buying a bike for $30 "off an Israeli lady".

    People like that; they like to read about someone in a situation and put themselves in that situation and think, "wow, that guy's really resourceful, I guess that's what I'd do, too".

  2. The simple truth is, there really only are three blogs about busking, by buskers, that are updated at all. Marvin Naylor's is updated every week or two, and you and I are pretty much daily.

    Yet there are several movies out about buskers. "Once", "A Street Cat Named Bob", "The Busker", and that one about the guy who played the cello in Los Angeles.

    So I suggest you make your blog as much as possible about a dream many have: to run off in their mid-50s with very little money, to New Orleans to join the cir, uh, be a busker. You might even consider something like making customized guitar picks that have your URL on them, or cards or just print up flyers or something, so people know about your blog.

    It would probably help if you mentioned more New Orleans-y stuff. Search Engine Optimization. The trouble there is, you're not a New Orleans-y guy. You're a guy who just happens to be in New Orleans, who's into a California band and an English band. I doubt you're going to start your mornings on beignets and chicory coffee from here on out, but you could try to mention a few things.

    Another thing that may help is to put more in your postings about your interactions with the public when you're busking. Marvin Naylor is great at this. His blog, out of the three, is the purest busking blog.


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