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no room for hipsters

the occupation of Ashley and Levon

Yesterday was another 50 blocks or so job searching.  The plan has been to apply to everything online and then start walking while I wait.  I posted a musician ad on craigslist which got me somewhere; now I’m filtering through myspace band pages and seeing what gigs might be worth the time.  Or any that pay.

It takes a positive mindset and a lot of activity; I’ve been unemployed lots of times.  One problem I’m facing is that unemployment is so high that a Starbucks manager told me they are being swamped by career minded people, people that they don’t generally want.  Career minded, meaning “this will work until things turn around for the banks.”  

Have a look at my resume and yes, I look like one of those people.  “I assure you I am not, Mr. Manager (who is younger than me), I went a long way away from my barista early 20’s but now I’m ready to come back.”  I interviewed at the Starbucks at 85th and Lex and was sent to 80th and York for a second interview.  I passed four more Starbucks on the way there.  Today I got a call from the one on 87th and Lex (yes, in sight of 85th and Lex ((with 84th and Lex around the corner)) for my third interview.  Yes, it takes three interviews to be considered at Starbucks.  As I rode the bus back I had my fingers crossed.  I came a long way to work at Starbucks, but I’ve made my peace with that.  I need to pay the rent next month, and health insurance is always convenient if you can get it.     . 

I’m going to go ahead and change subjects before I start complaining and ruin my fragile positive attitude.  

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When I’m not playing the numbers game with the job search, there is a lot of inspiration going on.  I’m fulfilling a lifelong ambition.  It seems like everything was thrown at us to not even get here, so how could I not be excited?  Harlem is tough like I said, but it kind of suits my mood.  People in Harlem get by.  

Our roommate Lynsey and I are collaborating on songs and getting them out there.  She knows the producers and musicians and we’re working on stuff like that.  She also has the answers like when we don’t know what train to take.  She cooks for us when she knows we need a break from our rice and spaghetti rotation.  She’s my vocal coach, which if we’re going to be honest, is a good thing.  The three of us are all Southern so we’ve nicknamed the apartment The Country House.  This week we celebrated the liberation of Mexico with a feast, along with her friend who is a studio engineer.  We have friends and that means a lot.  

You can hear a rough version of our song at myspace.com/sheslb.   Its a new page, so give it lots of hits and spread the word.  The song is “Something Good,” and its me on keys and her vocals and lyrics. 

I finished another song I started two weeks ago and I’m going to try recording a rough version of it tonight on GarageBand.  I’m reworking my entire demo with wider instrumentation.  Here’s a mini lesson on home recording: you can make a keyboard sound like anything with GarageBand.  Its the magic of MIDI.  Thats as far as I’ll get into that, but hopefully this round two will be a large improvement.  Especially if Lynsey and her friends get on board.  

Ashley has been researching the laws concerning street vending and we plan to take paintings this weekend to Union Square and sell them to tourists.  I’m bringing my guitar and playing the seven songs I know on repeat.

This Saturday I’m playing at 29th and 2nd for a popular open mic that specifically calls for pianists to even out the supply of guitarists.  Finally grabbing the mic, it seems.

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