I accepted the invitation to host with a heavy heart. The Thirsty Soul was closing, and it was the last open mic night. I was the first guest performer and the last host. I met many talented people. Some were just peeking their heads out into the world to share themselves for a night. Others were jumping from open mic to open mic in the city. And some, like myself, were reliably present each week.
This particular open mic was sparsely populated: It was Bongo Billy, Pete, and I. With an empty Red Room, I hooked into the Bluetooth and Bongo Billy and I jammed to the Alley Cat and Mama Don’t Allow It. I unremarkably rolled into the last Facebook stream and acted out my best open mic night host impression and belted out some tunes, followed by the others.
The furniture tapped their legs. The chandelier shrugged. The sound system reminded me how much it dislikes acoustic guitar pickups. And so it was. With Pete’s Taylor in arms, I eeked out Redneck Vacation and finished up with my final performance of Chinese Buffet in the lush, comfy, New Orleans-styled parlor to the applause of a small circle of friends.
Great to see old friends at the open mic to usher in a New Year, the Year Of Vision as they have cleverly dubbed it. Not much audience quantity, but much quality. I run through a few old classics, and even spout about 20 seconds of overt comedy, after which I proclaim that it was comedy. Rookie mistake, but that’s what open mic is for. Ahem. Scroll past this video to view my New Year video, “Year of Vision.”
Year of Vision
In 2020, I want to do a lot more of these little moment-inspired music videos. The music in this is 99% loops from the Mummer’s 2020 parade, and the video is 100% iPhone. Editing was exclusively iMovie on my iPhone.
I briefly toyed with click-bait ideas when titling this post, for this video received a copyright claim related to my version of John Prine’s Please Don’t Bury Me. However, it’s just the sort of non-troversy that I’ve grown bored of in other facets of my life, so why contribute to the demise of civilization in such a fashion? My punishment is that–if I were to join YouTube’s partner program–I could not monetize this video. My interpretation is: I rocked the piano so hard I broke the algorithm.
Do not allow this contemporary tale of woe overshadow the first tune I play in this set, though. Overstayer Question is a brand new tune that is short and easy to remember and perfect to play if someone sticks around too long at a party.
Completely energized and three days into quitting smoking, I ravaged the piano with unrelenting force. Featuring a couple of instrumentals, including Heart & Soul, and concluded with the Boogie Woogie.
Having a piano sitting around the house is awesome. I can’t keep my hands from pecking it, prodding it, tinkling its keys. The ability to practice without having to turn a bunch of studio equipment on has re-ignited the piano fire in my belly. I hope you enjoy my rendition of Heart and Soul; this is the first time I’ve ever performed it in public, and I think it deserves to become a regular piece in my sets.
Why can’t Robots go potty?
My buddy and loyal open mic companion Geoff suspects that I am the first songwriter to incorporate the “uncanny valley” in my lyrics. I don’t know whether that’s true, but I did quite enjoy publicly debuting the song Robots at the Thirsty Soul last Thursday. Also featuring Cloth Mother (first song about experiment on monkeys?) and Humiliation Compost Heap (the boogie woogie).