2 February 2006

End part one, turn tape over

Last night finished my four week re-introduction to playing out. Present this time--and suffering through another late start of 10:45--were Alicia and Dan (thankyouthankyou). The music had its rough moments in the unlikliest of places, but I got through the Yes almost without a hitch. The broken chords in contrary motion at the end of the piece (a la the middle section of Chopin's Etude in E Major, Op. 10, No. 3) were the riskiest section and make it a nice piece to show off with. I realized afterwards that I need to start positioning the keyboard at an angle to the audience--people will still hear mistakes but they might not notice as much if they're focusing on my hands. Sneaky. I also need to start looking at the audience when I'm talking in between songs. There's sortof an I-can't-see-them-so-they-can't-see-me deceit that I slip into.

This was by far the least interesting open mic. It started out with several new faces and some promise, but devolved quickly into Starbuck's pop and lesbian folk. I have refrained from criticizing because (1) we're all just trying to play some music and have fun, and (2) if I'm going to be part of this "community," I maybe need to hold my tongue. However, the music critic in me really couldn't take much more by the end of the evening. I feel that people get so wrapped up in the sound of their own voice or the resonant feel of an acoustic guitar miked to a large room, that they forget that there's a need to actually write interesting songs that are carried by those instruments. And if you feel bored strumming F C G for the millionth time: listeners are going to be even more bored. And if I hear one more cliched metaphor about love, I'm going to puke out a rhyming dictionary (no more saying that someone is your "world," "the love of your life," or that they mean "everything" to you, and if you're "put on the back-burner" it certainly makes no sense that you're also "crawling on the floor").

That being said, there were still some pleasant surprises and a few very entertaining songs. The Tom Waits-duo were there with some gravelly fun, and a couple of kids played some expletive-laden Dinosaur Jr.-type pop at the end. Rock.

Also, one of the other performers told me that Smith's Olde Bar has something called the SongSmiths Songwriter Series on Sunday's, Monday's, and Tuesday's. They look booked up most of February (with our friends from last week, The Annunaki, playing on Sunday the 19th!) but it looks like a good option.

[ posted by sstrader on 2 February 2006 at 6:46:01 PM in Music ]