Dude, I’m always sitting next to the star, and I love it that way. Brandy called me tonight (Brandy of the red sweater in post below) and said she was going to sing, spur of the moment, at the Freight and Salvage’s Open Mic Night.
Let me tell you. It’s pouring here tonight. I mean real rain. Not that showery drippy crap, but real live downpours. And I worked ten hours today on my day off, and I had to stand in line after work to return things at places like Radio Shack, so I wasn’t sure I was in the mood.
But I used to sing. I suppose I still do, still can, but I don’t perform anymore. I remember that feeling, that asking someone if they’d like to come hear a performance, saying “it doesn’t matter, it’s a little thing, no big deal if you can’t,” but knowing deep inside, yes, I want to someone to hear me (or now, to read me).
So I put on the Must-Bolero (I’m liking it more and more, I gotta say) and an old Marsan watchcap and my Italian raincoat (I like to call it that, but I didn’t get it in Italy, I wear it TO Italy) and met Brandy at the Freight.
If you’re from the Bay Area, you know this place. An old boxcar of a building (thus the name), it’s historic and dark and sweet, with incredible acoustics. I’ve seen a lotta performances there but have always avoided the Open Mic nights, picturing…. I don’t know what I thought would happen onstage. I think I had my high-school’s Mock Rock in mind when I thought about Open Mic. Kids leaping with screeching untuned guitars, flailing arms to disguise sheer lack of talent. I forgot that:
1) It’s the Bay Area.
2) It’s the Freight.
Oh, yes, there were the people who were stone tone deaf. Couldn’t have got a C out of orange juice. I’m still not totally sure that one guy wasn’t just having us on. He sang the way my sisters and I do after a couple bottles of champagne, and WE’RE KIDDING.
Then there were a bunch of good performers. The ones who are leagues better than I would be if I got back up on stage, with good, clear voices, and gifted with their instruments of choice.
But there were four incredible performers. One man took a guitar and a computer and made magic – a whole orchestra wielded with a foot-activated touch pad. He used a BOW on that guitar at times. It was so mesmerizing I actually had to put down my knitting. Heaven.
And three of the female singers ROCKED – Marie Aquiles, Corrinne May, and Brandy Gadson. They were so flipping good that they were networking afterward. From the stage, the coordinator asked Brandy if she had also driven up from LA (as May had). People were asking for Brandy’s website (which she ain’t got yet, but will). And, might I add, she was the best looking of the bunch, too (she took off the yellow “Iron before washing” sticker on her new pants just before she went up).
I sat and was happy and proud to be in the audience where my friend knocked the crowd outta their chairs. Granted, it was a small crowd by then, having been thinned out by people leaving after they performed…. (I was so irritated by that. I wanted to chase each departing performer out and tell them that Brandy hadn’t sung yet, that they were going to miss the best part.)
Oh! I almost forgot to tell a fine moment – she wrote the song she sang, and used “glass house” in the lyrics. I just about bust at that point.
She was so good. (And if you get a moment, click on Corrinne May above – she’s got a stunning voice, too.)
Now I’m home, and it’s still pouring. Digit is grumpier than hell about it. He knows when it’s like this that in the morning it’ll be muddy, and mud means he gets his paws wiped when he comes back in, which he HATES. The sound of the rain makes up for tomorrow’s trauma, though. At least in my mind, if not his.
Long post. Happy to be back. Hope your night is warm and dry.
Get a Free Short Story!
Subscribe to get a free copy of Socks for Alex, a Cypress Hollow Short Story, compatible with all devices!