Sunday, May 09, 2004

I haven't said anything yet in May. Wow. What inspires these long blog silences I get into? I think this time I will blame it on busy-ness. It is spring, and we bought a generator, so we are spending free moments in the centre of town singing our lungs out. Here they call it a "street live" which would sound more like sutoreeto raibu, but hey, it makes sense, we sing live on the street. I mean what the hell does "busking" mean anyway? But boy are those hit and miss. One night you are singing to six people and a hundred the next. Last night was good because about 50 people stopped by to listen, and CD's sold left and right. So my wild mood swings are swaying to the positive side today.

Though there are moments when we feel like musical prostitutes. For the most part we sing our original tunes, but we throw in covers of songs we really like. When things get really desperate and nobody is stopping, we have been known to abandon any sense of artistic integrity, launching in to one of the five or six foreign songs that every Japanese person knows and loves. For example, last weekend at one point we couldn't get a crowd to save our lives. So we kicked into an off the cuff version of the Carpenters tune, Top of the World. Bam, 20 people. Yes, they came for the Carpenters but they stayed for Jason's lyrically complete rendition of Country Roads. I didn't have a clue what they words were so my harmony pretty much consisted of la la, but that is not so vital in Japan anyway. Though Diana did point out afterwards that a lot of people were mouthing the words, so I guess I better learn 'em too.

Those two are probably the biggest hits. Other than that, any major Beatles tune is safe, and, more recently, Bon Jovi. But most Bon Jovi anthems don't translate that well to three voices and two acoustic guitars. Though we did play around with a jazzy version of You Give Love a Bad Name once.

So that is why last night was so good. We sang primarily our own songs, and the crowd just kept growing. And I clearly stated that the CD was all originals, and people still lined up to buy them. It must reveal something about the pathetic insecurity of a songwriter, just how much joy he gets when somebody actually wants to pay money to listen to his songs. Fact is, if nobody buys them, at the end of the night I usually just give whatever is in my bag away anyway (though I suppose publicizing that could really hurt sales) just so somebody will be listening. Hurting, I know, but I'm just being honest.

Afterward we went to a Motown bar where the band is really tight, to listen to what, genre-wise, would be on the far other end of the pop spectrum of anything we do. After being all intense for an hour is nice to being able to go "shake it like a polaroid picture". We talked to some of the musicians there and I couldn't decide if they are living a great life or a crap life. Gigging from 10 til 3 am, sleep til 2pm, then up and do it all again, 6 nights a week. But they looked like they were having a good time, so we were too. Anyway, there's a blog post.

No comments: