Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Remember MTV Unplugged?

A few weeks before my trip to Appleton, I contacted a Kieran Grogan, friend of mine, about possibly playing a show in the short amount of time I was back. He only had a few days to work with but was able to come up with a coffee shop and a date. Sweet. The only downside was that I was going to have to learn how to play my songs.

I walked into the coffee shop on the night of the show and looked around. Nothing had been set up, there was no form of speaker system, stage, or even a spot clear of tables. I saw no sign on the door on the way in or any mention whatsoever that there was supposed to be a two hour show that night.

“Hey, are you playing music tonight?” someone asked when they saw my guitar.

“Uh, I think so.”

I started thinking that maybe I had gone to the wrong place when Kieran walked in. He talked to the manager and found out that they had expected us to bring microphones and a PA system with us. However, they hadn’t mentioned this before. We looked around the coffee shop, which was full of people talking, clanking cups, and laughing.

“Wanna just do it unplugged?” Kieran asked me.

“Sure, why not.”

We convinced a couple people to move to a different table so we could make room to play. We sat towards the front of the coffee shop and the people in the back probably had no idea we were even there.

I went on first. I noticed any song with finger picking would be inaudible so my set list got cut in half. Kieran ended up doing the same thing. Playing shows is always a little weird since I never know what the hell to say between songs. I usually just babble like I had just huffed a bunch of glue until I get my shit together to play the next song. The usual standby to fill this time is to introduce the next song. But, for some reason, I can never remember the names to any of my songs. So that’s out the window. I also seem to have problems with my own lyrics. I can sing along with any shitty pop song from the mid-nineties but if I wrote it, it’s like I never heard it before.

Since there was no form of amplification, any talking you wanted to do had to become a yell. Since I had nothing to communicate worth yelling about, I kept quiet. If I said anything it was to whoever was directly next to me, and even then I was sometimes not heard. Oh well. It’s not really important for people to know that changing strings sucks, or whatever the hell I decided to say.

After we had finished we talked to a few people and walked out the front door like we were spies that just completed a secret mission.

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