Friday, August 7, 2009

'You know you make me wanna..'

Michael Shulman's MUNY banner reads "Paganini XXI Century", and he seems like a cross between Darryl Way and Ritchie Blackmore. He specializes in "shred violin" and he certainly makes for compelling viewing.

Here's a WPIX story on him from a few months ago, and here's his website and his MySpace page.

At least he seems to be having more success than Thoth, the Central Park violinist has been recently.


I played at Houston Street on the downtown 1 line today. It's a surprisingly busy station, made worse by the fact that there's two express tracks running up the middle between the up and down platforms. It's also a pretty narrow platform, so that when someone is coming towards you who may not have, lets say, the best of intentions, there's no way to avoid them.

That happened today when a woman about five feet tall and maybe 70 years old approached me and just shouted for about thirty seconds about nothing in particular; although it sounded like she was angry with either her doctor - perhaps logically - or President Obama. Maybe both.

One of the reasons I like playing at the stations around Greenwich Village - like here or here - is that you honestly never know what might happen. I just kept singing and eventually she walked off to check the phone booth for change.

I played for about 40 minutes and made a dollar, taking the running total to $97.38.

Today's songlist:

Knockin' On Heaven's Door - Bob Dylan
People Get Ready - Curtis Mayfield
I Want You Back - Jackson Five
Beast Of Burden - Rolling Stones
Rosalita - Bruce Springsteen
Here Comes The Sun - Beatles
Tumblin' Dice - Rolling Stones
Waiting For My Real Life To Begin - Colin Hay

This is part of a mosaic installation at the Houston Street station by Deborah Brown called 'Platform Diving'.


Along the way today, I saw Raices Group on the Mezzanine at Union Square and Jason the 12-year-old pianist on the platform downstairs. When I got out at 42nd Street to change, I came across Grupo Wayno, who today were just one guy; not Wayno, but Peruvian founder Luis Vilcherrez, who single-handedly brings the score to Mariachis 5 Pan Flutes 5.

It's getting tense.

Notice the video for Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' playing in the window of the electronics store in the background. Ola Ray is screaming. It was just that sort of day.


'It Might Get Loud' looks awesome and opens next Friday. Here's the trailer.

Of course young James Page's first screen appearance was pretty cool too...


Hard to imagine, but tomorrow is the start of the last weekend of this project. Unbelievably, I'm down to the last four busking days, and I'm determined to make them special.

Over the weekend I'll be writing about some of the things I've learned from doing this - I started with some of these thoughts yesterday - and also where the blog and myself go from here.

Have a great weekend, everyone.

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