Wednesday 6 August 2014

Baltimore House: "live blog"

(written while sitting there:)

Baltimore House: Aug 6

... There are always the usual suspects - same people show up to the same open mics. Interesting. It's about... What? Just playing live? Trying stuff out? Getting yourself out there? Getting the professional ball rolling?

   Seems to me that, in a way, playing the same one time again defeats the point a bit, @ least if the point is to get out of your comfort zone and get exposure... And, as I was saying to Glen Brown earlier today, when it's musicians playing to other musicians, there's only so far that can go...

   Anyway... First guy is playing originals. They're rhythmic, harmonically complicated, and boring.
Heard the second guy last time, and this time out he's waayyyy more interesting! Originals, m4s, Beatles and Dylan covers... And his own Yamaha, which totally fits his "thing"... 3rd act has a Martin and some ridiculous high-heeled boots. Reminds me of Cindi Lauper. Yup. She's a good fingerstyle player, and she writes ok songs, but there's a disconnect btw the two I can't quite put my thumb on... Do the songs need to be more plugged in? Does her voice need more smoke damage?

   Anyway, then me: happy w my set, but everyone loud-chatted through it. Meh. Frustrating. After me: Aaron Schwartzman. Honestly. Even his personal, specific, slightly-too-close-to-real narrative tunes. Is he being ironic? Funny? Is it a send-up of the open mic thing? Of singer-songwriterism? Seems genuinely nervous... During his set, someone comes up to me where I'm sitting - an older guy - and tells me off for strumming my last song. "What the fuck is that?" he asks, good-naturedly... says he wanted to slap me. Makes me think of Barzin and his whole "vibe". Uncompromising. Tells me he was listening and clapping the whole set. Yay! Small victories.

   So I pack up, unceremoniously turn tail, and run for the Corktown. There are 9 people in the pub when I get there. I count them. Not many BUT they are allll listening. And my age. And I listen to Andy Griffiths, to Tomi, and to Frank Koren, and I play a set, and this is the right crowd for me. They listen, they chat with me while I'm up (just like @ a Bruce concert), it all feels friendly and relaxed. It's the Odd Fellows demographic. MY demographic.