jwgh: (Default)
Tonight CMonti came by for practice, and we played music for tomorrow's show for about an hour until 8 pm. Then he said, "You know, there's this song I've really been wanting to play at the Tazza open mike: 'Cowboys Are Frequently Secretly Fond Of Each Other'."

I have that song in iTunes, so I played it a few times, we figured out the chords and lyrics (the latter with the help of the Internet), and we put together a passable two-guitar version. Then we headed over to Tazza, looked for parking for a while, found it, and headed in.

By this time it was slightly before 9 pm and all the open mike slots were full, so we stuck around for a few acts, then took off.

While leaving, we encountered:

* [livejournal.com profile] refuz, who noticed me leaving and came over to say goodbye.

* Chris Rosenquest, who apparently had earlier posed semi-nude for a RISA calendar (I think; some calendar or other, certainly), an incident which he referred to as 'the biggest mistake of my life'.

Earlier, when I arrived at Tazza, I encountered:

* A guy who asked if the thing I was carrying around in a guitar case was a guitar, and then exaplained that he was a heroin addict who had lost $400 in a four-day blackout, and that one of the cars on the street was his, and that he also played the guitar, and that if I gave him some money he would give me his license. (He was a little scattered, as who wouldn't be?)
jwgh: (killdevils)
While I'm waiting to call a customer (I have an appointment to do so at 10 am) I might as well post about last night a little.

For some reason not a lot of musicians turned up for the open mike, so everyone got to play longer than usual, 3-4 songs instead of the usual 2. I liked everyone who played and bought a CD by one of the featured artists, Emilia Dahlin. (I haven't had a chance to listen to it yet.)

A couple of unexpected folks were there (not to see us): Steve, who comes to a lot of the Nick-a-Nees shows, and [livejournal.com profile] saucypunk's Jesse, who's a friend of one of the featured artists (whose name I unfortunately don't remember -- I believe her last name was Hecht).

Chris and I played after Dahlin and Hecht. Our plan was to concentrate on songs that featured some harmonizing, so we did 'Tear My Stillhouse Down' and 'The Dire Wolf'. Then Becky Chace, who organizes the open mike, told us to do a couple more, so we also did 'Stealing' and 'Lady Luck'. People seemed to like us and applauded after Chris's guitar solos, and Becky was very complimentary, which was very nice!

Hopefully some of the folks who were there last night will also come to Nick-a-Nees tonight. We'll see!

Oh, and I finally got to hear the famous a capella rendition of 'Rocketman'.
jwgh: (Van Halen)
I went to the Tazza open mike tonight, which was fun. This was the fourth time I went there, but it was the first time I remembered to bring CDs to sell, so that was good.

I went on first and, because there were a lot of people who wanted to play, the open mike started a little earlier than expected, around twenty to nine. The result was that [livejournal.com profile] chaos_are_me missed my first song (I got to play two songs) and [livejournal.com profile] plant_geek missed my entire performance, which was a shame. But we all stuck around and chatted and listened to the acts that followed. One interesting act was a duo; one played a badly out of tune guitar while the other sang sea chanteys. They were spirited enough that the crowd sang along, which is an impressive thing at an open mike!

I ended up selling two CDs, one to [livejournal.com profile] plant_geek and one to a complete stranger who we managed to confuse quite badly. (The CDs each have a different label and the labels are designed by different people, one of whom is [livejournal.com profile] chaos_are_me, and we may not have done the greatest job explaining this to him.) I wonder what he will make of the CD? Hopefully he will like it.

I ended up playing an original song, 'Lady Luck', and an Irish tune, 'Mick McGuire'. Actually, I went to the trouble of reconstructing the songs I have played at this open mike the four times I"ve been there, so I may as well reproduce it here:

First time: That'll Never Happen No More (by Blind Willie McTell), Big Road Blues (by Tommy Johnson)
Second time: Leaving Home (by Charlie Poole), Waist Deep in the Big Muddy (by Pete Seeger)
Third time: Hybrid Car, Watching Killer Robots Eat Your Head (both originals)
Fourth time: Lady Luck (original), Mick McGuire (?traditional?)

As promised, I bought drinks for both [livejournal.com profile] plant_geek and [livejournal.com profile] chaos_are_me. Plus some bread pudding for myself.

I think the next time I go will be on Wednesday June 28 (so I can promote the Killdevils show that's happening the next day).
jwgh: (Van Halen)
I went to the West Side Arts open mike today. It turns out that many of the people who had signed up either cancelled or simply failed to show up. I was actually one of those, because my sister and her family came to town today to go to the zoo and bring me cake and I didn't think I would make it there in time; but when I showed up they were in dire need of performers and I got to borrow someone's guitar and play a couple of songs, which ended up being 'That'll Never Happen No More' and the new song I wrote for [livejournal.com profile] christychristy's birthday. The guy who introduced me described me as 'intelligent', which I made some reference to in my little set, and afterwards he explained to me that he thought my songs were intelligent, which I don't know what to make of exactly, but, OK.

But none of this is to the point! Here is another stab at it:

This coming Wednesday, I'm giving blood at 6:30 pm, and my usual procedure after giving blood is to treat myself to a meal somewhere, trying to avoid a meal that will make me feel completely horrible the next day. In this case, I'm thinking of going to Tazza, which has some decent sandwiches these days and which also has a pretty decent open mike on Wednesdays (with no cover). I should get there pretty early, which means that I should be able to get a slot to my liking, which hopefully means the first slot. (The open mike starts around 20 of or quarter to 9 pm.)

Which brings me to the actual offer:

I will buy a drink for anyone who is willing to go to an open mike to see me play. (To hold up my end of the bargain, I will try my best to get an early slot.) My basic feeling is: it is the least I can do.

So if anyone wants to come to Tazza on Wednesday (there's no cover but I think there was a $5 minimum last week, although hopefully I would be paying for most of that for you) then please do! If desired, you can comment here and I will call you as soon as I find out when I'll be playing, so you can make a more rational decision.
jwgh: (piano)
I was feeling crummy tonight -- I think the result of some bad pizza at lunch -- so I decided to go to an open mike tonight.

This is possibly not quite as dumb as it sounds. Before the Bad Pizza Incident I had plans with [livejournal.com profile] cgoldfish, but she fell prey to the same pizza I did, so the plans got cancelled. So I settled in for an evening of watching Lost and eating candy, when it occurred to me that (a) maybe I should eat something more healthy than candy and (b) Chris Monti had mentioned he was going to the open mike at Tazza and that the Tazza open mike was pretty good. So I figured I'd head over there, have a sandwich, and play my set.

Last time I ate at Tazza, which was maybe a year and a half ago, it was pretty disappointing -- the food took a long time to arrive, then was cold and not very good, even though the place wasn't busy at all -- but tonight it was much more satisfying. I got a pesto chicken sandwich and it was good.

I signed up to be the first performer, which for whatever reason most people avoid. Performers got two songs each (most open mikes give you three, but it's somewhat variable), and I ended up playing two covers: Tommy Johnson's Big Road Blues and Blind Willie McTell's That'll Never Happen No More. The woman who organizes the open mike, Becky Chace encouraged me to return and asked if I had brought any CDs to sell, which I had not, because I still have trouble remembering that I am a semi-professional musician.

The way it works at this open mike is that there are a few open slots at the beginning of the night (starting around quarter to 9), then there's a featured artist, then Becky Chace herself plays for a little while, then there are some more open slots. Chris had the second slot in the second group of open slots, and I had planned/hoped to stay to hear him play. In the event I ended up wimping out in the middle of the set before him and took off, because I was feeling pretty crummy. But I was there long enough to hear a bunch of the performers (including the featured artist, whose name I forget, and Becky), and they were generally good -- there was one performer I didn't care for but I liked everyone else (and one consequence of the ten-minute rule is that the performances go by pretty quick, so there's always something new to hear).

Becky asked if I was going to return and I think I will in a couple of weeks. (Next week I'll be in DC.) Chris Monti suggested that if I play there a few times I might be able to get a featured artist slot, which I think might be a good alternative to the other venues I was posting about the other week -- among other things it would be free. So we'll see how that goes. (Also, next time I will try to play some original songs and to remember to bring some CDs to sell.)

So, yeah, I will probably go back to the Tazza open mike in a couple of weeks, which is to say Wednesday the 17th. If anyone's interested in accompanying me let me know.

Maybe I should go to bed now.

OK, dammit

Aug. 3rd, 2005 09:22 pm
jwgh: (Default)
Does anyone in Providence want to go out for a drink tonight? This heat is killing me.

Oh, for the rest of the evening: I went to Fall Rivers to the open mike at the Narrows Center for the Arts. Chris Monti played first, I played second, and then the featured act, a guitar/fiddle duo who were quite good, performed. Then I went home because I was feeling a little ill from the heat and there was no air conditioning.

Chris played a couple of originals -- 'cats' and 'King Solomon and Zen Master Nam Cheon' -- and a Dylan tune, sounding good as usual. I played a Blind Willie McTell song ('That'll Never Happen No More'), an original ('Lady Luck'), and a Chris Monti tune ('Thorn In Your Side'). I kind of screwed up the last tune and felt acutely self-conscious during all three songs, but overall I think it went pretty OK -- as I was leaving some dude said I sounded good and asked me about the McTell song.

I gotta practice up if I'm going to play at westsideARTS next month!

Anyway. Drink! Tonight! Anyone?

Update: I'm gonna pick up [livejournal.com profile] cgoldfish and head to Trinity Brewhouse. Join us if you dare!

Update #2: I'm back home. Ah, air conditioning.

open mike

Apr. 28th, 2005 01:12 am
jwgh: (piano)
As threatened a couple of days ago, I went to the open mike at the Narrows Center for the Arts in Fall River tonight. Chris and I both went but played separately.

There weren't very many people there, but I liked pretty much all of the musicians, and the fact that there weren't that many of them ensured that I actually got to play (unlike last time I went to an open mike).

I had planned to play guitar pieces, but the soundman offered to set up a keyboard for me, so I ended up doing three piano pieces: Leadbelly's "Bourgeois Blues', my own 'Hybrid Car' (which I did in the wrong key unfortunately), and Ray Charles's 'I Believe To My Soul'.

I also got some knitting done, so I think that at the knitting party I'm throwing on Friday I actually have a shot at finishing, or mostly finishing, the slippers I'm making.

Anyway, the open mike was pretty good, so if there are any musicians in the Providence/Boston area are looking for one I would say that it's worth checking out. There's a $3 cover. [more info] [calendar] Next week I'll be busy going to a [livejournal.com profile] knitdrinkprov thing but hopefully I'll make it out to Fall River again sometime soon.


jwgh: (Default)
Jacob Haller

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