Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Cool Thing About Small Towns in E.County

Actually, small communities can be cool almost anywhere, but I live in east San Diego county, so there you have it.

In Crest, a community that burned down in the Cedar Fires a few years ago, they regularly hold a musical night in their rebuilt community center. My impression is that many of the townfolk pitched in to build this place. It is a cool little building with high, open beam ceilings, and fairly steeply pitched roof.

I'm still not sure how the music thing works. They have food and snacks, bottled water and maybe other drinks. People tend to bring their own beer, wine, and other alcoholic beverages. There are several long tables and plenty of chairs.

It seems like a couple of guys handle the music stuff. They have a PA and microphones, and cords for plugging in. All the guitars I saw were acoustic, but they all had the plug thing on them, so I guess they have pickups somewhere in or on the thing. Those two guys also play music together. They do good harmony, with one playing a drum (jimba?) and the other on guitar. I like much of what they did, particular the original song. I'm partial to people who play their own stuff, especially when it is good.

There was also another group besides us. Two guys on guitar, gal on tambourine, and all three doing vocals. I think the one guy should have left his ax at home and just sang. He was just a hint off time with the other guy. The other guy was pretty much the front, and is capable.

As a matter of fact, that guy had asked me to play a tune with him at an open mic. I'd forgotten at first but it came back to me. I was surprised to see people from open mic on the other side of El Cajon at this shindig. I'm kind of glad he didn't ask me to play with them because the other guitar player issue would have made it tough for me. I get thrown off by things like that. I have a terrible time if one string is a hair out of tune. I guess it is because I don't know what I am playing as much as feel it, and when it isn't all in accord, it feels wrong and hinders the flow.

This kind of playing is not like the stuff I did in Memphis. I couldn't hear or feel much of the time there. It could be loud. But that stuff is easier to fake. When people can clearly hear vocals, and even understand the words, as well as hear guitar, and even the person next to them yacking, and the thing requires a slow single note interlude featuring you, it is abundantly evident when you are not with it.

We played mostly things that we did not record. Did I mention that all the chairs were filled? It is not a huge place. I guess there were a hundred people, give or take.

Each group played about half an hour, then we went through the rotation again. That is good because even playing easy melodic stuff, I get wound up tighter than a cork screw and am just settling in after thirty minutes of playing. The first group asked me to come play on one of their tunes and it worked out well enough.

A couple of people wanted my phone number for reasons only partially clear. One guy sounded like he's getting various musicians together for some kind of jam somewhere, and the other one I think wants me to play I don't know what. Well, play my diatonic harmonica, but when why where and how are unknown.

It's swell to be popular. I thought my playing was sub par tonight for some reason. Truthfully, I think the group was a little too tight--not in the tight group sense, but tense or something. Maybe just tired. Even so, their harmonies and general vocals were impressive. We fell down on the instrumental end more than anything. The people don't know, but if we hadn't they'd have liked us even more. I'd say we were a hit with this crowd.

Can you believe they have me singing the bass line harmony on some things? I'm not like one of those real bass singers who you hear. My voice sort of just adds a little fullness and bottom end. It is not as prominent but it works. I'm no bass, but I have a natural sense of harmony so what the heck.

To me that female voice in the mix makes it. Something about the sound of her voice I just like. There are people who can sing circles around some other people, but I like the one in the circle better just because of the way the voice sounds. Timbre and all that. Castor and camber.

People just donate money--throw it in the tip jar. Some goes to cover food, and not tell what the guys running the deal pocket, We made gas money because we don't live that far. About $10 each. The point is, I always feel better when I get paid to play, even if it isn't much. That ten bucks is more prized than a lot of other ten bucks I've earned and spent. An irrational view in economic terms, but that is how it goes. I think they actually took in a few hundred dollars. Maybe they use it to help maintain the place.

I think all the band members were getting complimented by people. They say I'm a harmonica whore because I'll play with about anyone who asks, like group 1. It is a running joke. Sad but true. What the heck, if someone can play and wants me to fill some background, I'm fine with it. I guess I am really easy. I prefer to think of myself as a warm person rather than easy.

It is easier to find a relaxed enjoyable event like this out in the boonies than it is in a city. I'd have found it a good time even if I didn't play. What a cheap date that would be. "Let's go see some live music. My treat!" Then you can just pretend to go up and put something in the money jar. Due to its location, faking it would be a cinch. And it would be much more fun than some dumbass expensive restaurant. I hate those places. Fine dining is for others, not for me. Of course, being a non-carnivore, those places rarely serve up anything all that great.

OK. Some Italian places do, but as expensive as they are, they aren't like some of those pain in the neck stupid joints. I almost went bankrupt about a month ago when I was with nobody you know and we decided we were hungry in Carlsbad. I thought I was entering an upscale diner, not den of extortion. Seriously, I couldn't even look at the break down. I just signed over the farm and pretended to be nonchalant, then lived on crackers and tortillas for a week or two.

Nobody you know would have paid, too. I forgot the excuse she gave for offering. Now that I think of it, good for her. Then again, she may never whip that card out again when it comes time to pay. That's OK. She's in another state by now. But the thing is, I just don't feel right not paying for things, or at least most things. It isn't her fault I've squandered my potenshya. (pronounced the way it is spelled, for emphasis).

Oh well, out of sight, out of fake diners who drain your blood and smirk at you. Maybe she ordered goldfish, and they were serious about it. It was some kind of swimming thing. Geez. Fish are all over the place. How scarce can they be?

I seem to have veered off the thought. Such is life. I no longer have a thought.

Oh, those kids who announced that I was sooo old that time they lied and said they weren't playing, but did, called for the second time in a week. Both times I no answer, they no leave the message. Eventually I know I'll talk to them and be nice. I find holding a grudge very difficult in this case. They are kids and don't know a lot. Look at what people have been exposed to over the last twenty years, especially kids. They've had nincompoopery bombardment from day one, even more than I did.

I'm not saying I would stop them from groveling and confessing and apologizing if it came to that. No grudge, but that may be the only path to my good graces.

It is tempting to put my mind to writing something good, since the Copper Creek--need to see if they'll change the name because there are too many other bands named that---vocalists are so good. I see potenshya there, should they use it as I see fit.

About Me

My photo
Ballistic Mountain, CA, United States
Like spring on a summer's day


Blog Archive