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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. 

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Banjo Jim's...

Just back from another open mic night in the East Village with Lacy. Open mic afternoon or evening is more like it. This one was at Banjo Jim's on Avenue C and E 9th Street. I've been to the bar before to see an old friend play with a blues band the first year I lived here. Historically, The East Village and Alphabet City has been one of my favorite neighborhoods and one that is still, in my mind, a quintessential New York neighborhood. There's something about it that's simultaneously edgy and homey, and the sense of history in it is everywhere. Some of my favorite New York adventures have taken place there, including the time I went to that speakeasy with Norah Jones' producer.

And I love the people in the East Village. This particular open mic had a really great neighborhood feel to it. All the musicians seemed to know each other well, like old friends, and they even knew each others' songs. Some of them started to sing along in harmony as the last few musicians got up to sing. You kind of got the sense that these guys had been supporting each others' careers for years.

At one point, an 8 year old girl got up to sing a song, a capella, that she had written. I found it very brave of her and in fact, touching, that someone that young could write something so heartfelt and get up and sing it in front of tons of other musicians. And everyone loved her!

We ended up having to go pretty early because there were some 20 people already signed up when we arrived. Our songs went over well though, I think. And we're getting better at playing together and more comfortable. We've kind of talked about how it'll be beneficial to start playing certain open mics over and over so we'll feel more and more comfortable with the crowd and be able to really rock things out. This is one of the ones I think we'll probably repeat a few times. Eventually we're talking about doing full sets as well in some of these places.

After the open mic finished up, we went to a great restaurant on Avenue A called Yuca where we sat outside despite the cooling temperatures. Mexican and Peruvian inspired cuisine. I had half a chicken and ate the whole thing, washed it down with a margarita while watching the bustle of Alphabet City breezing by. All in all a great evening that we capped off with a long-ish walk down to W. Houston Street to meet another good friend of mine at XR bar for one last drink before Lacy had to get back to Brooklyn and her car so she could head back to Philly.

And now here I sit typing this. Should be in bed though because tomorrow morning, the choir at Brooklyn Unitarian is performing my piece, "Wherever You Go." I promise a recording soon. I'm out for now!

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