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I live in Brooklyn, NY and I love it here.  I came here for my career in 2009 and haven't once looked back. 

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Pete's Candy Store

It seems like about a year ago I was blogging about a particular Nor'Easter that drenched me and my friend Claire on one of our first romps through New York City and leaked through my kitchen walls when I got home that night. Well here it is a year later almost to the day and Lacy and I had to deal with a similarly wild storm this evening while attempting to scope out the open mic at Pete's Candy store. Weird how weather can repeat itself like that.

We had a good rehearsal today...well, a very educational one. I'm still getting this laptop performance ready and we're still trying figure out the best way to set up our various setups. So, we learned a lot today about what works and what doesn't. We tried hooking everything, guitar and vocals through Lacy's computer, which is where the tracks and samples were being triggered as well. It works but it's a little difficult to share the interface. Plus, I was working with different software than I'm used to and wasn't ever comfortable with my sound. It's clear that if ever end up having to do it that way, we'll have to spend some time on working out the kinks.

In addition, I'm struggling with a little bit of a fret buzz I didn't even realize I had on my acoustic 12-string. For the longest time it only had 11 strings on it because, while I was trying to remove strings once a few years ago, I broke off one of the pegs in the bridge and wasn't able to fish out the rest of the old string, nor was I able to put a new string in there. For whatever reason I just left it like that. When I last restrung the guitar, shortly after Christmas, I replaced the peg and put the 12th string in there, only to realize a fret buzz a few weeks later on that particular string. Not only a buzz but a huge intonation problem; anything past the7th fret sounds like it's being played on the 12th fret. I imagine the neck's been warped for a while but I only now heard the effect when I put that highest string back on and tried to play one of Lacy's songs capoed at the 5th fret. One of those chord voicings plays a note on the 8th fret and it just sounds bad.

So before we can even play these songs acoustically, that will need to be taken care of. It's a quality thing on my part. I don't feel like I should have to avoid certain notes because the guitar won't sound good playing them. I should fix the guitar.

It turns out Pete's Candy Store will probably be better played acoustic anyway because it's just that type of intimate venue. Finding it was not hard but crossing under the BQE and getting over to Lorimer Street in the pouring rain was not fun. The venue itself, like I said, was intimate and cozy, and removed from the bar area. It was reachable during the open mic only by a side hallway. The music area was a long narrow space with tables lining the side. The crowd was mostly guitar players and singers, although one uke player and one stand-up comic did get up and perform though. Varying levels of talent made it very unassuming and comfortable. We even considered asking the emcee if we could use his guitar to do one impromptu but we decided against it last minute. I think we both really want to nail it when we finally do get up and perform. I feel like one or two more rehearsals will do it. Anyway, we talked to the guy afterward and he mentioned that there was another open mic up the street (the name of the venue escapes me at the moment) that a lot of performers will go and do right after his. Sounds like a plan!

The rain had gotten slightly worse by the time we left Pete's so we opted to take a cab instead of taking two to three trains to make up for the L train being out of service (stupid MTA). We had to go all the way to 8th and 14th and I think it was only running to Union Square. The wind was so bad our umbrellas were pretty much useless and, once in Manhattan, the wind was so bad it was knocking over trash cans and blowing large objects down the street. I think at one point, the force of the wind actually bent the shaft of my umbrella a little as I was trying to hold it against the wind. To make matters worse, our destination, Benny's Burritos, was being descended upon by a group of 18 people who effectively filled up the dining area and made our wait 45 minutes. Grumbling we opted to go across the street to a French restaurant on the corner of 13th and Greenwich Avenue. This place was expensive but at this point all we wanted was to get out of the drenching rain. The food and service was good though. I've always wanted to go into this restaurant ever since I first saw the building, one of those triangular shaped numbers like the flatiron that takes it's shape from the angle of the streets around it. I love those buildings, the ones like the Flatiron that taper toward one end. There's one in NOHO next to the Bleeker Street subway stop that just look so cool because it get so narrow at one end it's probably only the width of one person.
(Zoom into the center of the map and you'll see what I'm talking about)

View Larger Map

Anyway, this restaurant, Lyon used to be called Bruxelles but that incarnation closed down last year sometime and the new one opened a few months later. I'd go back, maybe on a date, but it's in the $25 entree range. We only ordered appetizers and sides but some of the entrees sounded amazing.

Right now, I'm sitting at work, not clocked in, in my little corner in the far conference room posting this blog. Lacy grabbed a cab to the bus depot from back on 8th Avenue and I jogged to work, ultimately slam dunking my tattered umbrella in the last city trash can before the front door to my building. They never last too long here. It was time for this one to go back to the ground. I've got several discs worth of software, twelve to be exact, to install tonight, so I'm getting started now before I clock in for work at 11pm.

For now, I'm gonna run and take care of that.

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