February 5, 2017

A Girl With a Kazoo

Playing first at Woodies can be difficult.
It's 4pm, too hot, then rainy, and people are overhung and unsure if they want to go out.

I soundcheck, and start playing to at most 8 people - including me. Nerves shake my voice and stick my fingers to a concert ukulele neck, but I sound good.

The courtyard slowly fills. Silent faces watch, some listen in delightful rapture. I like seeing people rendered powerless by the strike or sail of my voice. Sometimes I sound like Alannis, sometimes like Jeff Buckley, sometimes like Lana, sometimes like me. 

But the longer I play, despite those watchful eyes and hearkening ears, applause disappears. Not because they don't like it - they're distracted talking.

Now, I'm a shitfuck who also talks, but god almighty my hands slap together the instant another artist's song ends. A five second lag and obligatory clap is disheartening as fuck when you just kicked the dick out of an intimate song. Aural wallpaper. Background sound.
I cracked out the kazoo for the first time since I played in Berlin, this new one is purple, matching my recent theme of excessive purpleage. 
Kazoo, ukulele and scatting all in one song - pretty hard to top that manic pixie dream girl combo.

When my set was over ten songs later, a German woman came up and praised me - riveted she was, noticibly into it the whole time, and her Lou Reed partner loving my song selections. She wanted to know when my next gig is, and judging her enthusiasm, I think she'll really come.
I don't like playing to near-empty rooms. I'm not dying for attention either - performing is a very dissociative act for me.
I want to see fingers tapping. Heads thinking. Humans feeling. I want to give everyone more than what they paid for or expected. 

I wish I'd been playing second slot again, got the bigger crowd.
But for now I relish the challenge of warming up a Sunday afternoon room, asking people to slow down, shut up, listen, by playing something I think they may like, meeting new people who are just as excited about music, and occasionally remembering - holy shit, I'm living my dream.

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