Thursday, July 2, 2009

'If you ask for a rise it's no surprise that they're giving none away'

Time to venture into the belly of the beast, the heart of the capitalist system; or at least one of its clogged arteries.

Despite what goes on above ground, Wall Street seems no richer than any other station - and certainly it proved that way today. I played for about an hour with no bailout.

It's also not that pleasant a station to be at - only one line runs through it, so there's no interchange areas, plus because the platform is meant to move high numbers of passengers at rush hours, the entrance area is especially large, so the ends of the platform are quite narrow.

Everything's designed to speed happy workers efficiently topside so they can get to their cubicles as quickly as possible. Can't waste a moment in driving that economy wherever it's going these days.

So with folks not spending any time on the platforms, and trains coming through pretty frequently, it's probably not a surprise that I didn't land a bonus today. Nothing at all to do with my choice of songs; oh no, that can't be it.

I wasn't going to put up with striking out today. I've had enough sessions by now with nothing in the case, so I headed back down to Canal Street, which hasn't let me down so far. I played for another hour down there and ended up with $4. Running total is now $33.17.

Not quite enough to get me dinner with a Washington Post reporter, but we're heading in the right direction.

Wall Street set:

Lawyers Guns And Money - Warren Zevon
Money (That's What I Want) - Beatles
How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times And Live - Bruce Springsteen
The Ghost Of Tom Joad - Bruce Springsteen
Bad Karma - Warren Zevon
Keep On Rockin' In The Free World - Neil Young
The Times They Are A-Changin' - Bob Dylan
There Is Power In A Union/All You Fascists Bound To Lose - Billy Bragg/Woody Guthrie
My Beautiful Reward - Bruce Springsteen
You Got Lucky - Tom Petty

Canal Street set:

Lawyers Guns And Money - Warren Zevon
I Want You Back - Jackson Five
Waitin' On The World To Change - John Mayer
Roxanne - The Police
Knockin' On Heaven's Door - Bob Dylan
Johnny Strikes Up The Band - Warren Zevon
Rosalita - Bruce Springsteen
Rise - Eddie Vedder


In what seems to be developing into my quest to track down every pan flute-related act on successive days, I ran into MUNY veterans Agua Clara who were playing at the 42nd Street Mezzanine.

(Apologies for the poor definition on this video - that particular area isn't very well lit, and the passing traffic obscures the band even more. I also managed to miss out an entire guitarist stage left)

They weren't using backing tapes and sounded pretty good, in a pan-flute sort of way. And while not many passengers were stopping, they certainly have a very enthusiastic pitchman hawking their CDs.

At Canal Street, I again ran into David the hand percussionist and we chatted a little - all the while he was banging his chest and knees with tape-wrapped hands. I asked if I could take some video and he just said "maybe another time, man". He was getting plenty of traffic today. I also saw Calebe Arruda again playing violin, this time at 34th Street. He gets better every time I hear him.


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