First day of spring. The oddly non-rainy weather continues in Portland. I don’t want to squander a nice day by not playing a show, and yet…I’m not really dying to play today. It’s more like a feeling that I need a little more practice after a couple of weeks off, and it might be months before the weather is this cooperative again.
An errand took me to Williams and Shaver, so I brought my gear along and walked around a little…but it didn’t feel right. I drove down MLK toward Russell, site of previous show, but I wasn’t feeling that, either. I headed to Alberta and 21st, but…not that it’s old hat, I just wanted to try a brand new location.
I continued down Alberta to 29th Ave. and found an empty storefront to play from. And while it’s just a few blocks away, somehow it felt quite far from 21st and Alberta. But just as Salt & Straw draws the family crowds at 21st Ave., Tonalli’s Doughnuts draws the family crowds at 29th Ave.
And speaking of crowds, at one point a group of 12 or so people accumulated to take in the show. This is kind of unusual; mostly people are in too much of a hurry (“Ice Cream!” “Doughnuts!”) to pause for mere music, and I play a lot of songs to no one in particular. So it’s nice to have an audience for a full song or two.
As the crowd dispersed, a couple with a baby arrived and waited for me to play another song. I tried to think of something a baby might like, and started into “I’m Not a Bear,” which I first performed at the Bear Show almost exactly one year ago. It went okay, although I did feel a twinge for the mother who was ready to applaud and decamp after the chorus, only to be interrupted by me starting up the third verse. But at that point, the baby started to get into it a little more, so no hard feelings, only smiles all around.
I played a bit longer, and was really starting to feel that sun beating down on my face. Fully sweaty, atop tired legs, I decided to call it a day. As I was removing my drums, a young couple was perching themselves on the bike racks by the curb. I apologized, but told them they had bad timing today. They asked if I play there often, and when could they next see me.
Well, I was having a good time playing there, and I do hope to return, but I can’t say for sure when I might get the chance again. So I told them I’d check my song list and if I found a song I’d meant to play but didn’t, I’d play it now. And there it was: “Entropy.”
I re-tuned my guitar, strapped on the drums, and began to play. If I may say, I detected a few reactions during the song. First was a kind of delight that I really was doing all of this stuff at once; then there was surprise that I can actually sing; and finally, a kind of satisfaction that they’d just heard a pretty good song. (It’s kind of an epic song that proceeds from the origin of life on earth to the inevitable degeneration of the universe.) It was a nice finish to a good show.
And then I too visited Tonalli’s and enjoyed a chocolate old fashioned. Before leaving the shop, I picked up an apple fritter for Señora Demasiado, and brought it home to her.