Working At Music


Before last night, I hadn’t been to the Freight and Salvage since they’d moved. The new space is inviting, comfortable, and the energy in there had me reaching for my notebook with the beginnings of my next song in it as I was waiting for the show to begin. It didn’t hurt that their coffee is great, either.

I went to check out the open mike that’s held there on Tuesdays. Since the only open mike I’ve ever been to was held at a bar in Mystic Seaport, and I was drunk when I performed, I decided to go about this one in more professional fashion.

Mystic was actually serendipitous. It was my first sailing trip, aboard the Brig Niagara and the last stop before I left the ship was the sea music festival at Mystic Seaport. It was a nice bonus, but I’d come to sail in square rig, I didn’t really care where we ended up. We all went down to the bar and one of my shipmates signed me up, unbeknownst to me, since I’d been singing the whole trip anyway. I ended up singing after Tom Lewis, a guy I had been watching on the stage all weekend. Total surprise on all counts, and though it turned out fine, it wasn’t exactly fun at the time, and it’s no way to make a living.

I needn’t have been so cautious last night. The Freight is a great place to sing, and there was a lot of great music to be heard. The night started out with a really kick-ass ukelele player, and there was also a duo doing original showtunes that really blew me away. They did one song called “Can’t say ‘I do'” that was just incredible. I’m in a same sex relationship, and while the lavender picket fence holds zero appeal for me, that song made me cry. Not bad for $6.50. I bought an advance ticket for next week before I left. Next time the drum goes with me.

Today I’m off to stand in the street. Or wherever looks good. I never get to go to the Wednesday Market at Civic Center in San Francisco but since I’m off this week it seems a good place to start.

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