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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

open mic-night at the Rainbow

      So enough about Perez, already, right?


      As probably all of you know, I write music.  It's something that I have done for a long time now, and it's an intrinsic part of who I am.  I don't always have a lot to say in conversation (though some of you may disagree with that), but I can certainly sing a song about it.  I remember talking to my mom after one of my first real breaks-ups.  Here I was, left with a broken heart and a huge phone bill, and my mom said to me, Well, you know you can always write it out on the piano.  If he didn't give you anything else, at least he gave you some inspiration to write some good music. 

    And so that is exactly what I did.  I still sing those songs, actually (and I've added some more since then, too).  They are good; they come from a real place of pain or frustration or bittersweet love and they relate to the world because nobody lives in this place and comes out unscathed.  Anyway, the reason I am talking about my music is because I made a decision that I am going to play as much as I can for as many people as I can while on the road.  I honestly love to play for people--it doesn't make me nervous (most of the time); it gives me life.  So, I started tonight.  I found out that the Rainbow Bar and Grille on Sunset Blvd hosts an open-mic night on Mondays, which happens to be my only night off.  Perfect.  I also found out that the Rainbow is a favorite for bikers and people who should probably be on medication--make that definitely be on medication.  Perfect again.   Why not play some music for them?  

     Darby is gracious enough to lend me her keyboard.  And my housemate, Gabby, is kind enough to be my roadie.  We struggle under the weight of the keyboard and climb three flights of stairs to get it into the attic-like place where the open-mic night is held.  A compassionate surfer-like gentleman who I later hear singing about how he wants somebody to know his details immediately takes the keyboard off our hands (to what I can only assume brought his own immediate regret, since I overheard him saying that it is heavy as f#*#!!!).  Poor guy.  I hand the MC $2 (a dollar a song, I guess--we are allowed to play two) and ensure my spot on the list.  Then, we wait.  

  But, I must say we are entertained.  We listen to the aforementioned surfer, who dances with quick steps as he strums his guitar and sings about love, I think.  We suffer through a horrible comedian.  I mean, really really bad.  We only laugh because we cannot believe how very un-funny somebody who's entire point is to be funny can be.  Really, we are shocked.  But our misguided laughter unfortunately encourages him, so he starts looking to us for more laughter...And we start looking at the clock.  There are more singers--some terrible, some less terrible.  There is a rap duo.  One comedian looks at me and Gabby at one point and point-blank asks us if we got lost--I guess we didn't quite fit in or something.  Whatever. My friend, Emily, shows up with two of her friends.  Another dear friend, John, comes into the place.  At this point we have heard a lot of acts, and I am finally given the go-ahead to start setting up the keyboard.  So, I get to work with the help of Gabby and John, and am not paying too much attention to what is going on in the room. That is, until I see the man behind the microphone. Wearing some sort of...hideous creature mask...and rambling like a madman.  While I am setting up, he accidentally unplugs his mic cord and proceeds to accuse me of unplugging it.  Uh-uh, not on my watch.  So, I kindly intervene that I wasn't anywhere near the jack and couldn't possibly have unplugged it.  To which he replies that there were many haters in this city (me being the foremost hater, I suppose).  My friend, Emily, later said that you could call Jessica Latshaw many things, but hater would never be one of them...Anyway, this man did realize that he had, in fact, unplugged it, and apologizes accordingly.  I accept--since I really am not a hater.   

  Then it's my turn.  And you know what?  I am not nervous--I am truly excited to share.  I feel like people are really listening, too--like I have their attention.  I play 2 songs (gotta get my money's worth, I gotta say) and it is really really fun for me.  An Irish duo called Jezebel had gone on a few acts before me and were quite impressive.  So when they later said kind things about my music, it meant a lot--I guess because they were actually very good.  

   This was small--but it meant something to me.  It was a baby step towards a dream and God knows you have to start somewhere.  It also meant a lot to me that some dear friends came out and supported me (and John held the keyboard for a full 10 minutes--good thing he is built like a greek god, I guess).  So here's to a day of small beginnings and not knowing where it will lead, but hoping for something good.        

12 comments:

peaj said...

Glad to hear the far coast got to enjoy a little JLC keyboard and singing goodness.

Glad it went well for you and felt good. However, it does sound like a long way to go for a little self expression - stairs, waiting, unfunny comedians, accusations.

Ah, what you did for love. Wait, that line would make a great song...

Robin said...

A wise woman, your Mom....glad you have kept writing your songs!

The Drew said...

I'm proud of you, Honey. I wish I could have been there. I'm sure you were awesome.

KathieK said...

Good for you, Jess! What songs did you sing?

jason j said...

Don't hate!

JoshGEORGEBUSH#! said...

WAS PEREZ THERE? LET"S KICK HIS BUTT!
i've been to the rainbow. it is totally famous for various rockers hangin out there. Lemmy from Motorhead, Nikki Six from Motley Crue, Lars from Metallica, and now Jessica Hater from ACL.
does anyone else have to put in the wiggly letters like over and over before it works? attention to detail is not a strength...

peaj said...

However, it does sound like a long way to go for a little self expression...

Ya know, this didn't come out quite the way I meant it to. I meant to say that it shouldn't be so hard for you express your great talent. You have something good to share, and it seems like it ought to be easier and something that people help make happen, rather than something that they (intentionally or otherwise) get in the way of it happening.

If that is how you read it, great; I won't suggest otherwise.

Jessica Latshaw said...

JoshTHESECOLORSDONTRUN:

I am sorry about the wiggly letters. I hate them. If anybody knows how to get rid of them, please enlighten me. Also, do you know of any other places to play here?

jason said...

I hate the wiggly letters. I think you can turn them off under the comments in your blog settings? But then you risk getting spam comments. But it's probably worth it!

Glad you got so much support from your cast friends, that's awesome!

Jessica Latshaw said...

thanks, jase-I did it! no more wiggly letters! woo-hoo!

Jessica Latshaw said...

Oh, and Kathie--I am not sure that most of you have heard these songs, but to answer your question, I sang Maybe my Thoughts and I could be the Girl (which probably doesn't mean much to most of you!)

KathieK said...

You're right, I haven't heard them...but I am sure they are wonderful. Maybe you can sing them at the next VCF talent show, if you're in town, that is.