I was walking down Chestnut street yesterday while playing guitar, which was somewhat unusual — seeing as it was cold enough that i couldn’t feel quite where my fingers were on the fret-board and because Chestnut is a rather urban pedestrian thoroughfare. I couldn’t quite tell you why it seemed like such a good idea at the time, but somehow i just knew it needed to be done. So, off i went down the street, retuning and changing picks inbetween songs without breaking my stride. Well, at least, not until i broke a string, which waylaid me dead in the middle of a block with my schoolbag and guitar case scattered around me as i went about changing my D string with a grim sense of determination.
Each person that passed by my motley pile of possessions and rapidly uncoiling packet of fresh strings felt like a missed opportunity, and i miswound the string twice in my hurry to get up and running. When i finally got back to my feet to begin tuning i found a man almost on top of me – mid-thirties, denim jacket, not much taller than me. He asked me what sort of guitar i had and i immediately switching into the “shoot-the-shit” mode you need to assume while speaking to randomly chatty guitarists; they don’t usually tend to be the most informed persons in the world, which seems to fuel their need to randomly ask you what sort of guitar you’re playing when the company insignia is obviously displayed in gold lettering on the headstock. But, anyhow, against my normal codes of operation, i engaged him in conversation as i continued tuning up.
By some flaw of fate and luck, he was the opportunity i wasn’t meant to miss. As our conversation continued, it turned out that he wasn’t just shooting the shit — in fact, he was a local singer-songwriter who plays open mics in the area and even has a Saturday show lined up at the Tin Angel! He gave me his email address and a flier for his show, and told me to get in touch with him about playing an open mic sometime.
Herein lies the dilemma… i’ve got the email all written, its window hidden behind this one while i type. I took care in arranging it with the right balance of nonchalance and enthusiasm, ellipses and exclamation points. The problem that has arisen is simply this: what sort of music do i compare myself to? Our conversation already established his ignorance of Ani DiFranco (and probably, by extension, Peter Mulvey) as well as our collective distaste for Dave Matthews and Creed along with their hapless legion of fans. So, i’m stuck trying to condense my four-odd years of songwriting and over ten dozen songs into a witty little mad-lib of a sentence, like “Like a mixture of ___ _____ and ______with the pop sensibility of ______ ___ and the instincts of a pre-fame ______.” Or, something like that…
Any thoughts? I really need some help on this one.