0 for 2 in the NYC music scene

06 Feb

Something about the New York indie music scene that intimidates me, I think. I can honestly say I played my worst set tonight at Five Points Variety Hour (in Chinatown), which I feel bad and sad about, because Five Points is made up of amazing people and has such a great vibe. It was a bit like a comedy of errors tonight.

So, I developed a bit of tendonitis a couple weeks ago, after I played at the MLK singalong thing, so I resolved to not bring my guitar to this gig (on one hand, playing guitar is what caused the pain in the first place, and second, carrying it around doesn’t help either), meaning I had less than a week to transpose two songs onto piano. Of course, between last week and this week, I got bronchitis too, and was in Phlegm-ville and Snotsville all week. I’m not sick anymore, there’s just residual stuff, but doesn’t do wonders for, you know, breathing. Yummy.

What really took the cake was frustrating at the time, but totally hilarious after the fact. Five Points has a house piano that I used. Except there was something wrong with the pedal. It sustained when you didn’t press it, and stopped sustaining as soon as you pressed it. Worked completely opposite of what it was supposed to do. I didn’t figure this out until my second piece, and in my attempt to try and have some sustain in the piano part, drove my mind to work overtime on a piece never before played on piano, and rarely performed in the first place. It was like that time in Australia, where I had to drive with the driver’s seat on the other side of the car, and on the opposite side of the road, sleep deprived, in the rain and in the dark.

The only other time I really had a “set” in NYC (the MLK Singalongs don’t count – the audience is much more forgiving – or maybe I just forgive myself more for mistakes and imperfections because of the informal venue) was a Vivaldi Caffe in the Village a year ago. Also a piano set, also not great. I think I have to resign myself to the fact that sticking to what works is good (playing songs written FOR guitar ON guitar that I can play in my sleep), at least for now, when I’m still trying to make friends in the NYC music scene. This whole trying to reinvent thing and playing unfamiliar stuff in a new city just isn’t working very well.

Five Points was really fun tonight though. I’ll hopefully be playing again in their new venue sometime this semester.

Ok. I’m done whining for the night and making excuses for myself. At this point, I think I’m on the verge of pulling an all-nighter. Oops.

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Posted by on February 6, 2010 in Uncategorized


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