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Checking out the open mic scene at the Boheme...

So, i checked out the open mic at the Boheme.

It was _not_ intimidating looking. Bunch of musicians giggling at each other's performances... tolerant and even happily, enthusiastically cheering each other on. I think I could do this.

However, the desire has left again. I had it for about 2 days this time.. I guess i'll retreat into my musical shell a bit more for now... Its deeper. Its like, the feeling of: I have nothing to offer these people. They're all better than me, I totally completely suck, and all I can do is covers... I shouldn't even be breathing their air. Now, I *know* this is just my crazy mind talking, but damn, its doing a convincing job on me right now. Which is why i've instead preyed (yes, preyed) upon non-musician audiences... at church, and most recently, at the mall.

Playing at the mall felt WRONG. I felt i was there under false pretenses. And I played the wrong kind of music for the gig.. it was not what was called for in that situation.


The way out of this, of course, is to walk through all this yick yack in my head, and suit up, and show up -- to go ahead and sign up for perhaps 2,3,4 open mics.. and just play some stuff. I may not be great, but I'm not horribly bad either. And be up front about it -- no, i'm not a song writer; i don't have original stuff; i do have a deep love and appreciation of certain pieces of music, and I would like to share those pieces of music with you.

I did have the thought of opening up each one with a made up song describing why i was on stage. I seem to think of them when I'm in the shower. Like..
"when I was a young man, of 24...
(Man o man I used to snore)
I used to dream of being on stage
and that I'm older, in my old age.. {act really old}
I find I can just take the actions
get up on stage, against all factions..
so here I am to play some songs
for you."

(i just made that up. I enjoy being on stage. Its just, after getting on stage.. the whole talent thing, y'know?)


I really did enjoy performing Wish You Were Here with Chuck. I've always dreamed of doing that one on stage. I even took the solo in the middle and at the end of the song, and I did a pretty good job with that. And the singing wasn't too hard, either. Mayber I can talk him into us doing that one on stage again. Or maybe Lady Gina, are you getting anywhere near feeling musically creative again?

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Sorry I missed you at the mall! Even though you're down on yourself now, did you have fun at the time?

Well, Wish You Were Here wasn't what I'd call an invigorating anthem to keep the shoppers chock full of holiday cheer, but it's still a good song.

Covering songs is a tricky business. First of all, most of the great covers I've heard weren't quite as popular such as "Season of the Witch" by Donovan instead of "Mellow Yellow". Second, most good covers aren't just accurate reproductions of the originals--they're changed up a bit to sound fresh, giving the crowd the chance to hear an old favorite in a new and exciting way like the Kronos String Quartet's rendition of Hendrix's "Excuse Me while I Kiss the Sky". Most people enjoy a good cover of light-hearted songs like "Wipe Out" by the Sufaris or "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" by the Tokens but those aren't what I would call Guitar God type songs. The trouble is that nobody but guitar players really wants to listen to Guitar God music like Pink Floyd or
Eric Clapton. And lastly, the biggest problem with covering popular songs is that everyone is going to be able to point out even your smallest mistake because they know the material as well as you do.

Personally, I think playing covers isn't a bad thing. One of the greatest Bassists alive, Mike Watt, had an all Madonna songs cover band for a while. He made those songs all low-fi and crunchy sounding to great effect. I'd love to play a few early 90's indie rock songs that should have been number 1 hits instead of stupid boy band songs. It would be great fun to take typical sing along songs like "You are my Sunshine" and play them all dirgy and slow like a goth band would or to take "Crazy" by Patsy Cline and speed it up into a Riot Grrrl romp. If you were looking to do something like that, plus maybe a few originals, I'd be all over it.

Yes, I definitely had fun. I am a stage whore. I admit it. And I want more....

On the idea of doing "creative covers" of songs plus some original stuff ... for me, all I want is to have some music I'm excited about (cover or no), and perform it on stage, with other (equally excited) musicians. I'm definitely open to it.

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