Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Stimulus @ Cafe Vivant

This last Friday I played a gig at a cozy little coffee house on 33rd St. in Saskatoon called Cafe Vivant. Smearing artichoke dip across my soul and dousing my heart's flames with Stella Artois, I proceded to perform quite the unique set. I had chosen to write passages of poetry as segue between songs and thus created a "rock-opera" of my own design. It went as follows; I would read each passage and then play the song highlighted in bold, offering only seconds of applause between songs as I always feel overwhelmingly humbled at the end of the song in that space when you are either praised, judged or ignored.

>Our hero's story begins as any lonely minstrel's would; obsessing over his songwriting in order to stuff meaning into that small small hole in his heart that hurts so badly when empty. Not even the completeness that nature has always offered can passify his (APATHY).
>His treks through traffic persuade him to become preoccupied with his digitized rainbow of control; (LIVING IN THE AMBER LIGHTS).
>When those with power are drunk on it, he is left to seek integrity in the most obvious place; nature, (SUN & OCEAN).
>Submerged in a world where power is out of reach, our hero turns again to a colorful drug-induced world of his own creation, where the caged tiger within can chew through the bars and roam. (SEVEN CAGED TIGERS - stone temple pilots).
>Still clinging to a sub-par source of solace, the hero finds a girl who makes every sweetness he has ever known taste like bitter ashes. (BITTERSWEET & WARM).
>Our hero envies the girl's acceptance of every harsh reality he has struggled with. The acceptance you concede when (YOU KNOW YOU).
>He feels his shortcomings swell like a sewer drain in spring thaw. She has caused the will to change to coarse through his veins faster than the will to leave the mall courses through a grandfather gone shoe-shopping with his wife. If only he knew his feelings were in vain. (IF - pink floyd).
>Our hero feels the truth, the magic, the hope, all of it... disappear... (PRESTO - rush).
>Imminence of the hero's returning anguish comes to him in a dream. Winter and a direct dismissal are enough symbolism for him to cry upon awakening, dreading their (SEPERATE WAYS).
~Set Break~
>Conserted to leave the past behind, our hero again takes comfort in his world of musical complexity and morals become a stronghold, as well as (NOBLER PURSUITS).
>A persisting dream of the girl prompts our hero to dwell on her memory and collide the music he had found solace in with the dreary ache of his love-declined heart; (JUST WITHIN REACH).
>Our hero becomes absorbed in defeat, saying to himself "...maybe alone is my destiny. I have never needed territory. I have only sought love only to have been denied it time and again." (I, THE THROW AWAY - matthew good band).
>Filled with only dreary, ache-filled sounds, he is cast from the music scene within the town as a noisy watchdog is put outside in the rain; helpless to (FIND COMFORT).
>Finding himself in a cocoon of solitude, he resorts to the meager companionship of his radio in his attic. "Radio, your light is bleak and a fine dirge for (I, OF THE MOURNING - smashing pumpkins).
*At the very second I finished belting out this one, there was this eruption of applause that I remember remarking on with "that felt good" :O)
>Turning to his television for the daily news, our hero finds a refreshing sense of loathing, stirred by images of powerful territories invading the weak, those ravaged, exploited in times of struggle by the media, (BEING USED).
>Amid a stormy night alone in his house, our hero reconciles his grief and loneliness by feeling the connection to everyone on the planet; left to hope that THIS storm isn't the one that ends it all, doubting, (STRANDED).
>Seeing hope doesn't always happen when face to face with a lover. Sometimes hope is just found in the natural progress of time and change; (THE TIMES THEY ARE A'CHANGIN - bob dylan).

The size of the venue, being SMALL, accommodated only 20 or 25. Therefore, during the songs I had an awareness of everyone being very attentive. This has only happened once or twice in performances so I was very flattered and content even with the total occupancy of the show beneath 30. Afterward, my good friend Simon and I ventured off in search of a frosty cold pint in celebration of a show well done.

The next morning I spent my third Saturday in a row at the farmers market, busking with my guitar. I used to do this all the time on Broadway when I moved to the city the second time in 2005. I also spent a fair chunk of the summer months busking at festivals in the city with my good friend Ryan. But lately I have been infatuated with recovering the sense of self that my good friends love me for. So I have gone back to the drawing board if you will, trying my luck at making people turn their heads toward my talent for music.

Cheers to my loyal reader(s) :O)