Thursday, June 18, 2009

'Long as I remember, the rain's been pourin' down..'

It was raining all day in New York today. Really raining. Nasty. And it just seemed to get heavier.

Most of the US Open Golf was scratched and the Yankees are in a five-hour rain delay at time of writing.

Miserable. If I had any Smiths in my repertoire, today would be the day. But I don’t.

What I do have, with a subtle lyric change for gender, is this; one of the most beautifully sad songs I know. Maybe today will be its one and only outing this summer.

So far, my experience has been that when passengers are drenched, they aren’t terribly predisposed to either listening or donating. I figured it’s a horrible day, why not go play at what some people think is a horrible station?

I’d come through the 62nd Street station in New Utrecht, in the Bensonhurst area of Brooklyn, a few weeks ago. I’m in the process of renewing my Green Card and the new INS office is there. Then, it was a beautiful day, sun splitting the trees; but even in bright sunshine the station managed to seem gloomy at best.

But whatever I might think of it, I probably wouldn’t be able to articulate it remotely as well as this.

The platform was way too wet and windy, but I found the passageway between the up and down platforms had pretty good acoustics, despite the street noise below. At least it was dry. A cop walked by and nodded, and it was school letting-out time, so there was plenty of foot traffic, but it was such an awful day that people just wanted to be home and indoors.

Unsurprisingly there’s a bit of a theme to today’s songlist:

Who’ll Stop The Rain? – John Fogerty
If I Had A Boat – Lyle Lovett
Mutineer – Warren Zevon
The Sun’s Coming Over The Hill – Karine Polwart
The Boys Of Summer – Don Henley
Here Comes The Sun – Beatles
The Waiting – Tom Petty
Atlantic City – Bruce Springsteen
The Naked Ride Home – Jackson Browne
Peace Love And Understanding – Elvis Costello

BuskerCam today is a lovely song that means everything and nothing, but is a joy to play. My kids used to love it.

And here’s Lyle with the genuine article.

I always feel better having played. Even on days like today when I don’t make any money.

But today was the first day since I started where I said to myself that if I don’t serendipitously come across some Subway music on my ride home, then I won’t go looking for it as I usually do.

I didn’t.


Happy 67th birthday Sir Paul McCartney, the most successful rock and pop composer of all time.


So I spent the rest of the afternoon applying for jobs: one at a charitable foundation sounds really interesting. Two others at the same news magazine, but both are labeled “temporary”. Maybe they’re not that confident they’ll stick around.

I got an email this morning from one of the recruitment sites that I’ve subscribed to. Alongside the usual “teach English in Korea” advert, which seems to be permanent these days (strangely, since probably the only English you’re going to need there is “where is the fallout shelter?”) there was a listing for a “Web Managing Editor”.

When I opened it, though, the educational and work experience requirements were all in marketing. There were no specifically ‘editorial’ tasks that I could see, apart from a knowledge of Photoshop.


  1. in addition to enjoying the blog in general, i always like your setlists. bravo and carry on!

  2. I enjoyed the video you posted of you playing. What a great post!

    I think more should feel a little more pleasant about the rain or at least find something to sing about.

  3. Thanks guys;
    If only I could sing it'd be a lot more fun for us all..!
    Have a great weekend.

    And ALG - thanks for the heads-up on Stephen Bruton. I'd missed that. A great shame.