I played the weirdest show of my life last night. I'm not going to say where, but it's a place with a fairly normal divey, maybe kinda arty bar upstairs, and a performance area downstairs. The downstairs has that garage/basement feel because, I guess, it's a basement.
So the act who was playing when we got there was this - ummm, how to describe, how to describe - folk-rap trio with a rapper/singer who looked like a soccer hooligan and whose lyrics mostly concerned his sexual prowess. I wish I could adequately convey this to you, but I don't think it's possible. I will say that he rhymed "ho" and "Santana Row."
I went upstairs after a while to get another beer and - what's this now? - there's a guy up there wearing a fez playing classical music on an electric piano. Did I miss the notice that a David Lynch movie was being filmed here? There were about 10 people watching him, including a girl with a fuzzy Burning Man hat and some oddly younger people who watched with rapt attention. Two guys at the bar were talking and Fuzzy Hat shushed them. Now, I hate it when people talk loudly at shows just as much as the next guy, but lady, it's a bar, not Symphony Hall. I don't know what the bar ownership is thinking, but being shushed by a fashion victim for trying to have a conversation while Fez Guy plays Pachelbel doesn't scream "fun night out."
So I went back downstairs and the next time I came upstairs to the bar the fez classical piano guy was gone, now replaced by three guys doing Grateful Dead covers on acoustic guitar and bongos. At this point, I wasn't even a little surprised.
We played our set downstairs and it was fine and we got a good response. But really, how do you compete against that?