The Rockula Update -or- Street Busking Mark 2- Electric Boogaloo

Street performance has become more and more of a priority
Up until last weekend, I had just played my drums on the street but last weekend, I got to bring a full elelctronic configuration
I got permission from July Alley to use their electricity
I was expecting to set up over at Kettle Art (run by the eternally cool Frank Campagna) which had a different set of parameters to consider so I didn’t plan on getting electricity to MY SPOT
I had to locate some tape at the last minute to tape down the electrical cord
Saturday I brought some rubber slip mats

This was the first time I have ever gotten to put my electronic ideas to the test and I think I did fairly well
The setup consisted of the SPDS looping pad, a Kaoss pad and the BR864 multi-track as well as the Brock Spock electric Harp guitar (which attracted attention by itself)
I took out the 8 track and added the mixer and a DVD player for Sat
The DVD player was for the video projector

Of course, in my head, I imagined that people would be stopping to marvel at my amazing display of multi-tasking wizardry but most people just walked by
I got the usual drunk people wanting to play the drums and a guy played guitar but I would say that I got more attention when I was just playing the drums
This has caused me to re-consider my artistic aspirations
Judging by the tips I got, people are less interested in my accomplishments and more interested in my ability to play the drums well
Lesson learned
I will just have to limit my artistic busking excursions to a few time a month

Which leads me to the next forward step
I finally got off my ass and went downtown to scope out busking sites
There were several possible sites but have settled on one for sure
I went over to the Farmer’s market and checked out their office
It turns out that they offer a 6 month busking lisence
The only drawback is that you have to do it from 9am to 3pm
Plus, i don’t think they are going to let me use electronics
Thanks to my friend Lily Morris for the tip

The next big news is that I am playing the WTF Festival in Austin March 14th during SXSW
http://www.wtffest.com/
I will be playing short sets throughout the day
In addition, I have some ideas about how to busk during SXSW but I don’t wanna give away my secrets
There are several configurations that I can use including an all-battery powered setup in case I can’t locate a power source

One more thing that I am doing is playing for a psychadelic project called “Intodown”
So far, it is just me and the guitarist/songwriter but we are both multi-tasking
He is running guitar effects and also triggering the backing tracks with Ableton Live
I am playing drums and doing electronic noise during the quiet parts
We plan to add a solo instrument
Preferably a sax/flute/trumpet etc.. person

The Video/DJ thing has been good for my enthusiasm and I plan on pursuing it more
Right now, I have an in with the Fallout Lounge
I plan on developing a live “Countrockula’s Theater for the Insane!” concept there
The Butthole surfer’s tribute band called “Sweatloaf” has asked me to do visuals for them
The next thing is going to be March 5th at the Kessler

On a personal note, Alan went away for 2 weeks and left me in charge of the rehearsal building
It was a big boost of confidence for me and it gace me a lot of energy to start working harder on my individual projects

All of these things are, not only postivie steps but constructive ones as well
-I have relaxed a lot of my stances on what I can and can not do
-I have also conquered my anxiety about what I can get away with
-There are lots of different things that I can do well and instead of expecting people to accept all of them all at once, I should apply them to fit each situation
-I have relaxed my attitude about everything having to be “art”
-I am a really good drummer dammit!

The flipside is that I have a lot of ingrained anxieties and fears that have kept me from trying new things for quite a long time
Not only that, I have a lot of doubt that I can actually do all of this
My work habits are improving but I feel guilty when I waste days on end doing nothing productive
Can I handle success?
Deep down, I have believed for a very long time that I didn’t deserve it even though it wasn’t a clear sentiment in my head
It was more like an underlying tension that kept telling me “Why bother, they’re just gonna ignore you anyways because they don’t get you”
I can’t remember a time when that voice wasn’t whispering in my ear
Even at my highest points

It’s not even that I don’t believe I have worth
It’s that I am too selfish to be worth something on anything but my own terms
Now that I am having success doing things for other people, I am starting to see how it is opening doors and creating new opportunities

I have been looking at more and more videos of people busking over in Europe and England as well as Japan
NYC has a permit system for the subways so that seems like a decent goal to set
There is a busker-fest in Lawrence Ks that I have been trying to get in with
That would make a good excuse to set up a gig in Mpls

I am still piecing all of this together but it is starting to look like a new and interesting way to apply my talents


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