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no room for hipsters

the occupation of Ashley and Levon

 

in the band with Brent James Grunow

in the band with Brent James Grunow

When I signed off here last Wednesday it was on a very dismal note and it was a very dismal day.  Thursday I auditioned for the band I mentioned and had a day to learn 12 songs before we played the Living Room in SoHo on Friday night, shot a documentary about Brooklyn in a motorcycle garage used for band rehearsal spaces, played a house party on Saturday in New Jersey, and played again at the Living Room.  We play tonight at Rockwood Music Hall and tomorrow night at Crash Mansion.  www.brentgrunow.com

my singer on the left, Kenneth Cole on the right

Brent JamesGrunow on left, Kenneth Cole on the right

Last week was a week of learning: cramming material for shows, packing keyboards around the subway system between Harlem and somewhere, and trying to say “iced decaf triple grande light whip sugar free cinnamon dolce latte in a venti cup” very loudly. 

When I left SoHo Saturday night from the gig around 1:00 I was trying to remember about six turns I needed to find the green line.  About the time I got to Houston it started pouring.  Completely dumping, and me carrying all my gear.  My directions got blurry and soon I was lost.  But lost in the playground of the rich and trendy, so no need to worry.  My phone died when I was talking to Ashley from the gig in New Jersey that afternoon and I couldn’t call anyone for help. 

Drenched, I walked many many blocks hoping to get to a bus route that I thought I knew.  The rain got so hard that my gear was in danger so I ducked under some scaffolding.  It had been a long day (I had been at Starbucks before NJ) and I was wet and lost in the middle of the night trying to get up to Harlem from the bottom of Manhattan.  I swallowed hard and hailed a cab.  

When I crawled out of my backseat puddle about 25 minutes later I had my gameplan ready.  Ashley had our only set of keys and I was not going to be standing out there with all my gear.  The gate had a phone but our room wasn’t set up to buzz someone in.  I knew this but tried anyway, then set up my keyboard stand and used it to jump the fence.  The service entry door to the building is jammed sometimes.  I was lucky and it was (but I’m still going to call about that).

The seventh floor was quiet.  I tapped on the door lightly, hoping Ashley had waited up.  I tapped a little louder.  Would I even want Ashley to open the door?  She might, if she were aware of the two things painfully clear to me: my phone was dead and she had the keys, meaning this circumstance at some hour would be inevitable. 

Ten minutes later I was banging.  Then, terrified at the idea of waking someone else in our building up, I hammered a low steady pace.  I did this for so long I seriously thought about sleeping in the stairwell.  

Finally I heard the door as the sleep walking Ashley gave me the look of death (she later told me that it was reciprocated).  She was back asleep before I could put on dry clothes and fall into the twin sized air mattress on the floor that we sleep on.  I had to be at Starbucks again in a few hours and all I could think about was a discussion with myself on drinking too much coffee and its effects on my voice.  

a day's work

a day's work

After the gig with Brent tonight I’m playing at an open mic.  This time I’m sure about the piano situation.  Its an off Broadway theater with a piano, and I’ll have my keyboard anyway.  I carry it like my briefcase now.

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