Monday, June 29, 2009

'There's no place like the Avenue, when the music gets a hold of you...'

When I was growing up, I had a few albums by the Average White Band. One of them, ‘Feel No Fret’ had a track on it called ‘Atlantic Avenue’.

Now, I know that their song was written about some upmarket street in Brazil, not the Brooklyn thoroughfare that takes you down by Target and Party City and past the Ex-Lax Building towards the waterfront; but since I’ve lived in this part of the borough for a while I wanted to feel funky enough to someday come and play here.

Today I was almost funky enough, so I played across the platform at Pacific Street - the consolation prize of funk, if you will. The two stations are conjoined, and are part of one big complex; depending on which line you’re riding you’re either on the Atlantic or Pacific platforms. The station as a whole apparently has the most transfer opportunities of any MTA station apart from 42nd Street. Many, many ways to leave it, in other words.

It’s also going to be a transport hub and centerpiece of the new ‘Barclays Center’ if the proposed and controversial Atlantic Yards development, featuring the relocated New Jersey Nets, opens as scheduled in 2012.

Whatever it will be though, it wasn’t the source of much of a return today. Any, in fact.

I played in a pretty prominent spot – right by a map – and lots of people were waiting on trains, but none of them felt moved to throw any change my way. I’m starting to realize that maybe the little Martin just isn’t loud enough to battle over platforms that are as busy as the ones I’ve been playing at recently. People have to come too close to hear what you’re actually playing.

I’m going to try the Yamaha for a few days and see if it changes my fortunes.

Today’s Songlist:

Waitin’ On The World To Change – John Mayer
Here Comes The Sun – Beatles
Little Sister –Ry Cooder
Tumblin’ Dice – Rolling Stones
Walking In Memphis – Marc Cohn
Lawyers, Guns And Money – Warren Zevon
How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times And Live – Bruce Springsteen
Bad Moon Rising – John Fogerty
The Ties That Bind – Bruce Springsteen
Waiting For My Real Life To Begin – Colin Hay
Peace Love And Understanding – Elvis Costello
Rosalita – Bruce Springsteen


I’ve seen this Pan Flute player around a few times in the past couple of weeks. Sometimes he has just one little amp, sometimes it’s a much bigger deal, with percussion and other accoutrements. I wanted to talk to him today, but his song never actually seemed to finish. I’ll catch up with him another time. By the way, I thought it was hilarious that he had chosen to set up next to a poster for a new talent/weight loss reality show called "Dance Your Ass Off".


Jobs news – I recently applied for a relatively senior editorial position at xxxxxx. They took a pass but said their ‘career center profiler’ would alert me the moment a job matching my experience and preferences became available.

Yeah right, I thought. But, sure enough, I get an email from their keyword bot this morning telling me that not one but two jobs matching my profile are now open for applications.

Both of them are in Africa.


A former colleague of mine, Peter Kafka, started an interesting ball rolling on his blog the other day, about the economics of online-only local “papers”. Take a look and especially read the comments; which touch on topics from salaries for ‘newsgatherers’ to a breakdown for the sort of projected pageviews needed to prosper. An interesting thread indeed.


Finally, for old times’ sake, here’s the Average White Band from a few years back playing in St Maarten. Who’d have thought nice Scottish boys had that much funk in them?

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