Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Why Open Mics Turn Me Into A Creep

We just got back from the open mic at Brocach downtown. It was packed. Mikey broke two strings, Fry played with his usual subtle weird grace, and I gnarled and twanged the crap out of that hacked cheap Les Paul copy my old band mate Doug left here when he split for the west coast of England.
Open mics are weird. They turn me into more of an asshole than I usually am. I get bored and restless and a little bit fascist watching the performers.
It's hard to be patient and forgiving when you know what dynamics and tone could be. More often than not it's people playing too many chords and not leaving any air in the music. I got spoiled playing with Bess and with Michael, both of them understand music and that the spaces you don't fill are as important as the ones you fill up with your playing.
It's not a cheap bar to drink in. Tap beers go for five bucks or more, but they do give you one free beer if you play. It could be worse.
And sometime in the last year downtown Madison filled up with homeless people, a lot of them with brain parts missing or damaged. Tonight I saw people sleeping in front of office buildings on cardboard
All those empty buildings and houses foreclosed and we still can't find a place for the botched, bungled or just plain down and out.
So much for the myth that we're the greatest and best country in the world.

1 comment:

Rev J D said...

Thanks for that reminder on keeping the open space in music.

Regarding the homeless in Madison: envision with me, in a serious way, how we can realize the dream of getting those people who need buildings into those buildings that need people?

You're creative -- step by step, how can we make it happen?

A. There are people without homes and building without people. Banks own these foreclosed empty buildings and can't get people to pay for them.
E. People who were previously outside of buildings are now in those previously vacant homes and they now have a sense of normalcy in their lives.
F. Those people have a better time getting a leg up, get jobs, pay taxes and grow the economy.

"Sometimes a scream is better than a thesis." Ralph Waldo Emerson