block party fun

Got everything set up to play tonight and then a monumental downpour hit Wilmington for the second time in the day >.< Tore everything down, shut off the moon bounce, and scampered to bring the meat in off the grill…ate inside and met people from this block party by candlelight since the power went out…rain subsided and they got the generator started to inflate the moon bounce and run the PA system ^_^

Really fun acoustic set. I’m not sure if that was The Honey Badgers, or a Battleshy Youths duet, or Michael Natrin featuring Mitchell Ebbott, but either way it was enjoyable yay (:

 

Mitch-banjo-setup-yay

 

re-creation

I wrote this post last week but didn’t want to finish it until after my trip updates were posted ^_^

Something my pastor mentioned in passing last Sunday (while wearing my Canada trucker hat during the sermon) is that recreational time is “re-creational.” We need time off to be created new. Time to be refreshed, but also reborn. This road trip was just that for me. It gave me time to focus and de-stress and learn and grow and think and write and pray, away from the distractions of my very small world.

I recently changed the strings on my guitar. For someone playing every single day like I do, this should probably happen once a month, but I do it closer to every 6 or 7 weeks. Anyway, this seems like a simple or menial or annoying task to most people… When I open a pack of strings, I think about the engineer who designed the strings, the metals, the machine to mass produce them. I think about how differently these new strings will sound from my last set, which I lamentably have to toss in the garbage. I think about acoustics and sound waves and bridges and soundboards and the minute changes in tone and timbre these new strings will have and how they will sound the first time I get them in tune; how they will sing with me the next time I take the stage. The guitar is re-created with a new medium for voicing notes and chords. Metal is a good friend. That’s all.

boston!

My friend Cara and I are on a road trip across/around/above/in/through New England. We started Monday morning by stopping at the world’s largest dairy store, Stew Leonard’s, in Danbury, CT. I was skeptical when our friend Elizabeth told us to meet her at a grocery store, but it was actually very impressive. There were animatronics and no aisleways (just a maze of free samples) and incredible fresh foods and it was all very delicious. We got a tour of her fancy house, then headed east.

We got to Boston Monday night and looked everywhere for a place to camp but there is no camping anywhere near town so we got a hotel room and headed to “Boston’s best open mic” at the Cantab Lounge in Cambridge. You cannot open a tab there. It was a ton of fun. You can listen to one of my songs above all these words (Cara was nice enough to film). The featured performer was Evie Ladin of the Stairwell Sisters. She played banjo and she and her husband danced and did incredible body percussion. I will upload some videos of her later.

Monday was my first night sleeping in a bed in almost a week, so that alone was pretty incredible. Tuesday we went to the Sam Adam’s brewery and took a fancy tour and got free samples nom:
Cara!

Then we got a fancy Irish lunch and took the train downtown to see the fancy shops at the fancy Faneuil Hall Marketplace and look at the aquatic creatures at the New England Aquarium yay fun day:

sea kittenz

Cara’s roommate’s older brother let us stay at their fancy house on the Boston College campus so that was very nice and I slept with a Carebear and now it is morning and we are playing with the cats and babysitting the baby yay ^_^

Heading to Maine this afternoon!?

just ten minutes

Tuesday night I played at the new World Cafe Live at the Queen‘s first ever open mic in Wilmington. It was pretty amazing. They have “Queen’s Golden Crown” Ale brewed specially for them by Dogfish Head. Omnom

World Cafe Live

Anyway, I will give lots of details because I am bored right now. I drove to Wilmington in the rain. I hate rain and hate city driving. I hate whining too. When I got inside at 6:40, I was #13 on “the list.” Signups started at 6:30. That is actually a good thing because it means other musicians will be playing before me and people will be there to see them do better and worse and have something to compare me to. The theater itself is gorgeous. Lots of restoration and very nice new everything. I was nervous going to a bar for the first time without knowing someone there and luckily I saw Jacopo sitting at a table. He is an extremely talented Italian that Em and I met sometime in the past few months. He plays classical guitar and kazoo and just came to Delaware from San Francisco. We sat together and talked and watched the other musicians the whole night. Lots of fun. Here is him performing with a disaparating busboy walking by:

Jacopo!

They have a very professional setup with full lighting and monitors and everything was clean and new and fancy and nice people were there to see music. WCL supplies the drumset and keyboard too for bands. The limit was a 10-minute set. This was difficult for most people for some reason because they would either play for 7 minutes and end early, or play for 15 minutes and apologize. I figured out three songs to play from Grow, and shortened a few sections so that I knew I would fit inside of 10 minutes. I brought up my phone as a timer and played for 9:47. I got to lead the first ever open-mic singalong there yay and there were very friendly people who sang along and shouted and stood and swayed.

Afterwards I gave our CD and press kit to the program director and asked her what she thought and she gave me lots of compliments that made my entire year worth it and then she asked what I do so I told her I am an engineering student. Then she said, “Wow, most electrical engineers are strange and weird but you seem pretty normal.”

…I guess I’ll take that as a compliment to how well I can fool people ^_^

Overall, very fun night. I would recommend checking out the Queen. She is one fine lady.

 

Running sound and worship for the UD InterVarsity retreat this weekend. Can’t wait. Rain is expected but right now the weather is gorgeous yay