- solo performance 5/11/09 Alphabet City Soup
@ Niagara, NYC (photo by Marissa Bea)
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.