Marty E.(The Dirty Pearls) playing tambourine and Mystie Chamberlin (Just Another Folk Singer / Teh Typos) singing at Memorial Day BBQ 05.30.11 in Brooklyn, NY. Photo by Abigail Hennessy.
Mystie Chamberlin learning how to play (playing “Goodnight Sweet”) her pink Wildwood Daisy Rock guitar on vacation in Wicker Park in Chicago, IL. Filmed via mobile phone 04.20.08 by Cassie Weatherford.
originally uploaded by Just Another Folk Singer.
Mystie Chamberlin (Just Another Folk Singer / Teh Typos) playing “the lil’ pink guy (Daisy Rock Wildwood acoustic guitar) 09.05.10 @ the gates of Graceland (3734 Elvis Presley Blvd, Memphis, TN). Photo by Billie Jo Sheehan. Americanafest roadtrip 2010.
as filmed/edited by Ethan Minsker:
Marky is allowing me to add or remove a note from a chord and still count it as one chord. Last night he asked me how the challenge was going, and he told me that I should be able to write a one-chord song in 15 minutes. Now, I could blame it on the fact that I had to remove the guitar strings, re-screw the input, and restring my guitar (yes, I fixed the Bubinga ALL BY MYSELF! I can so play with the boys!), but perhaps I am trying too hard. So, I turned off the television and pulled out the lil’ pink guy (but only after spending a few hours checking out how my Chili Dog octave pedal sounds with my fixed Bubinga) and placed my fingers over the notes in the formation of a C-chord
After another hour of picking around, I started randomly strumming, adding a finger here, taking away a finger there, until I found something aurally pleasing. Marky says that is the easy part. I then placed the guitar beside me on the bed, and I opened my journal. I spent the next few minutes staring at a blank page. Then, I checked Twitter and Facebook on my iPhone. I responded to some text messages. I listened to Etta James, and I watched some White Stripes videos. When I was finally finished messing around, I finally picked up the pen and scribbled a few random words such as: hurt, head, bed, and arm. Then, I started humming, and meanwhile I thought about a trip to London that I took over three years ago.
I spent three days with a friend in Surrey then got a hotel room in London on Old Street, but instead of staying there I went out with to the Good Mixer pub in hopes to run into another friend whom I had met on my last visit. He introduced me to his lovely friend (are you still following?) whom I stayed with on Chalk Farm Road that night. I made it back to my hotel with just enough time to check out and check into another hotel in Belsize Park. I was restless, but I remembered a suggestion to check out the Boogaloo bar.
The Boogaloo bar is located in Highgate, a village in north London. I suppose there was an easier way to get there, but being foreign, I got directions from my bellhop and took the train to the Archway tube station. It took me a while of wandering around in the dark by myself to find this infamous bar. After about a 15 minute walk straight down Archway Road, I came across a charming little juke-joint with a small sign that unassumingly proclaimed: the Boogaloo!
I walked inside, and my eyes took a moment to adjust. The room was amber lit with modest neon signs and some candle light. A handful of people occupied the cozy space, some in the corner, a few at the bar and one or two making use of the red couches in the center of the room. I could not help but notice the tall, angular gentlemen sitting on one end of the bar. There was something about him. It was not that he was wearing tweed or that his bright orange hair seemed to catch fire, illuminated as it was by the amber light. It was, rather, the soft curves in his face, and the way he slouched over the bar with a pint of Guinness in front of him that suggested an air of defeat. I thought he must be waiting to melt into the floor, and I let my eyes linger on him momentarily as I carefully chose a seat all the way at the other end of the bar. Continue reading
The only cure to stage fright is to get on a stage and keep performing. I got an electric acoustic, the Bubinga Butterfly (Daisy Rock) to cure the feedback problem I had been having from mic’ing the lil’ pink guy. I began performing solo at open mics around the city at Nightingale Lounge, Banjo Jim’s and Common Ground. Niagara started a weekly variety show on Monday nights called Alphabet City Soup, where I played a few times. I even got booked at a few Undone shows at Corio, which were webcast on NYC Live Rock. Although I still felt the butterflies in my stomach, with each performance I gained more confidence. …Which brings us pretty much up to date (although I am sure I will reflect back on some stories/adventures every now and again).
Taking a cue from one of my favorite books of all time, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, I decided to read two books a week: a non-fiction work and a fun one. I did not think I would have the time with my day job and other responsibilities to try to read two a day, however in the two weeks since I have begun this project I have been able to read one a day (but I am still trying to keep it at two a week just to have time to practice and what not).
I do realize that in a recession I should not complain about having a job. That said, although I am happy to be working, I do find myself super frustrated most days. In 31 years of life, I have never been a morning person.
Then last weekend, I was feeling more frustrated than usual. As you’ve probably noticed, I’ve been taking stock on everything since I started this whole music thing. I have two acoustic guitars (I refuse to use that wrist slasher of an electric), I have a small practice amp, a few cords, a few pics, two capos, a stomp box and 11 original songs (they may not be epic masterpieces, but I composed them begin to end, and I think they are swell). I am also fluent in the two aforementioned covers as well as most of Jack’s Mannequin’s Everything in Transit album.
For my two non-fiction books for the past two weeks, I’ve done my research. Jessica Hopper recommends an octave pedal to fill out a guitar sound (I tend to hit a lot of the high strings in my current songs) in her Girls Guide to Rocking (It’s aimed for teens, but I really did get some good ideas out of it…plus she is a Chi-town gal). So I trudged through a steady downpour of rain to Guitar Center (again) to test what the Electro-Harmonix Pog sounded like with my Bubinga. I thought too many octaves sounded like an organ, but I figured I might get some use with the lower octave, especially if I had to play solo.
The next day, half-jokingly, I asked my friends on Facebook if I should get the pedal, a mic for my iPod, or a pick-up and pre-amp for the pink guy? It turned out to be a pretty busy day at the office, so I did not get to check my poll until later that afternoon. I was surprised to find a long thread of responses. To make a long story short, turns out I do not have to buy anything. Vito, Rev Luv’s guitar player, had both a pick-up and an octave pedal just lying around the practice space so he sent them to me. I wish everything in life worked out so easily.