so maybe i’m not the brightest bulb on this planet’s string of christmas lights (uhhh, “holiday” lights). sometimes i think i have too many “bright” ideas. my mind abounds with plans and scenarios. “in a perfect world…..”
probably the most nerve-wracking and frustrating part of my relationship with my family in the first-third of my life was the almost endless litany of my, “you know what i’m gonna do?” plans. family, friends, girlfriends – they eventually grew tired of me. that was until i made my move or more rightly, i caught the coattails of fortune, the big math or whatever you want to call it…. i did ridiculous things but had fun, then 116 Macdougal Street happened and the rest is very minor history in my own mind. after living my dream and not getting killed by it, this is what i learned:
1 -some days you get the peanuts, other days you get the shells.
2- just because you’re making money, don’t assume you’re a fucking genius.
i became a genius a year after opening Scrap Bar – (this is a specially-timed message just in case you know anyone who works(ed) for Lehman, BearStearns, Washington Mutual, AIG or any other greedy bonehead outfits. also please note, if they claim they were just “doing their job” and working along the the guidelines given by management, be careful not to be equated to other humans who were “just doing their jobs” and were otherwise “blameless” – everyone knows when they’re crossing a moral bridge. we all hope to get across, do some business over there and get back before we’re caught on the wrong side of it. the martian lizards* are excellent bridge-builders. they know that when most humans get to that side, they’re so taken by their own hubris that they get lost and can’t find their way back, sort of like what happened to Barbara and Adam Maitland, the recently-deceased characters in Beetlejuice; whenever they walked outside of their home – it was all chaos and sandworms. With greedhounds, it’s all Style and Clout, lost either way.)
so ended my life lessons up to that point.
goodbye blue monday was a nice idea. it had no plan. it started, it developed and on it went. from the design/non-design/20th century pop/trash culture organic-palette to the arbitrary booking policy and the theater-to-be (as soon as i can swipe a projector) – everything that makes this place what it is, in whatever fitsANDstarts it grows…..is done “on the wing.” i get the greatest kick when i read reviews and comments – the “yeah, i get it….,” stuff – when i don’t even know myself where i’m going with this place. if you’re half my age you probably know twice as much as me, huzzah!
billy pilgrim lived from time…to…time. goodbye blue monday lives from situation to resolution with an occasional miracle thrown in. when you have audrey meadows as your patron saint, what can you expect?
shit, will i ever get to the point?
ok. it concerns a conversation i had with an advertising person when i visited the offices of the village voice. to wit; i ask why we’re never included in their weekday listings. ever. whenever i can afford to, i advertise with them. i explain that i am forever grateful that they felt we deserved the “Best Place to Hear New Music” award last year. that, as we were struggling to meet our bills, i still understood how important it is to get our name out there, especially because we’re way out here (in bushwick). thankyouthankyouthankyou…. i tell them that, as promised, i’ve begun streaming our music, live, but still, we are never listed anywhere, save our one-inch-square ad (it’s a “where’s waldo” kind if game i play when i get the paper). i’m told that it’s because of the lack of band recognition that gbm is passed over by the powers that be. i counter by saying that people have to start somewhere, then notice an ad regarding a four-act show at an open page of the Voice laying in front of us, something that they were “co-sponsoring.” Pointing to the ad i say,” i have to have bands like these to get thrown into the weekly listings pool?” – i point to two of the acts, one being a female duo named “Macaque” – and say “well, they played my place last year. now they’re playing bigger venues, and god bless them. i don’t know how true it is, but someone told me that Vampire Weekend‘s first gig was in my place almost two years ago. so, in essence, i’ve been paid a high left-handed compliment by you guys, almost guaranteeing my venue’s anonymity! ain’t that a hoot!”
i’m ok with this. word of mouth is a magical thing, even after two years. we’re still being discovered for the first time by so many people. people are moving here and we’re becoming a neighborhood nexus. i have my nervous moments when i don’t get a full or half-full room to see three or four acts – some from out-of-town, others just starting out and still others who, because we don’t pay (though we have the tip bucket available at all times), might think we’re a nice place to practice. whatever. we have a wonderful roster of extraordinary musicians and performers (that is growing and growing) who come not from all over the city and country, but the world; who care so much that those scary moments are fleeting.
that’s pretty neat.