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Can You Do That In Public?

October 17, 2022

Present tense. The 4th track of the album, Frogs of Cypress Point, is newly remixed on Bandcamp. I have a new plan for this track, but it has decent groove to it now, the official “dance number”. Speaking of new, Patrick Smith’s new CD is here, and I need to make it a point to listen on a decent audio system–I have not given it a proper listen even, but it is inspirational to have new work from a guitar brother.

October is a window of opportunity for me. The holidays have not taken over the landscape, so there is still a possibility of presenting music to the unsuspecting public. In an effort to get some experience with performing my set, I am now one of those nuisance public performers, busking here and there. I do this in different places, and it can be hit or miss. Yesterday, I situate myself on a bench around the corner of the Trader Joe’s entrance. Light foot traffic and parking lot noises are the background. I have my portable Vox amp on battery power, running my Boss loop pedal into it, and intersperse my songs with looping harmonics and chords. As I arrive, there is a man sitting on an adjacent bench eating his lunch. I am careful to be more of a background to lunch player, as I have clearly encroached–he won’t even acknowledge me, super weird. As I leave, I notice another player in the median of the parking lot. He is on a mission.

The next location is much better, outside of a Mr. Tokyo restaurant where people wait for their food orders. There is a stream of folks, nearly constant, a brother and sister sparring with each other in line, now with a guitar soundtrack, coincidentally. The amp is situated to pipe sound along the corridor of the strip mall. I focus on the parking lot in front of me and work through my set. I am able to hold the sense of hearing the music as if someone else plays it. I see the mistakes in the context of the music as it may be heard. There is a feeling of performance taking place, and it sounds good.


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