Make Music New York has got to be one of the most amazing musical events anywhere. Hundreds of venues and thousands of bands provide free music all over the five boroughs. The sheer variety of music and musicians is overwhelming. We had so much fun last year we just had to do it again!
Thanks to MMNY’s new log-in system, we were able to pick our spots. I did my best to target kid-traffic areas. We hit Peanut Butter and Co. first, the Village’s groovy little sandwich spot.
Click for full size!
Sadly, there weren’t a lot of families around at that early hour. Sure, a few strollers came by, but we were never mobbed as I’d hoped. Instead we played for the shop owners across the street: chinese guys at the Fresh Burrito place, stylists at the hair place, a few hard-hats passing by. People seemed to be happy to be hear music on their block, except for two people. One was a crazy-seeming bag-lady type who muttered angrily as she pushed past us on the sidewalk. The other was someone who actually flagged down a cop car and reported us. So halfway through our set, two cops rolled up to check our permit. Everything was in order so they left us alone, and we all agreed it was a true rock’n’roll moment (well, not really; getting thrown in the back of the squad car would have been a TRUE rock’n’roll moment but we dodged that fate). Also, I should note that Chris had already received a traffic citation and a parking ticket before we even started playing.
At the end of the set, Justin opened his bag to pack up and found our mailing list. Oops. But it was a good warm-up for the day, if nothing else. We learned how our “unplugged” setup worked and what tweaks to make, and had fun playing our songs stripped down.
Anyway, we finished up and scarfed down some Peanut Butter sandwiches and hung out with the next group, A Band Called Honalee. They were great, talented, young and spunky and deeply committed to the folk music of the 60s. Then we headed to our next set at Books of Wonder.
I love this bookshop; I used to work right there on 18th street and I would often poke my head in. I even got J.K. Rowling’s autograph there one time (this was long before I became a dad, mind you). It’s gotten a lot bigger since those days! If you haven’t been there, check it out.
As we were setting up a BUNCH of strollers came rolling up, looking for The Fuzzy Lemons. They’d seen us LAST year at MMNY, apparently, and had come out to see us again. I thought that was pretty freakin’ cool. They were requesting songs by name, which is a really good feeling. And I remembered to pass the mailing list around. After our set, the owner of Books of Wonder said he wanted to talk to us about doing some shows in their store in the future. Not too shabby….
Click for a pic of our fans!
Finally we went to Bleecker Playground. (By the way, Justin and I walked the entire day: from the studio to the PATH, from the 9th street stop through Washington Square Park to Sullivan, from there to 18th, from there to Bleecker, from there back to the PATH at Christopher. When we got back to Hoboken we got in a cab. My feet are KILLING me.)
Anyway, as we were setting up at the playground a nice big mob of kids formed around us. They all wanted to talk to us and ask questions and touch the instruments and just be generally pesky. Chris had two or three little boys on him and his drum kit the entire set. At one point he yelled to me “Lord of the Flies!” But again I remembered to pass around the mailing list, and there were some people there who knew a couple of our songs by name, so it was a good set. About 5 or 6 songs in we started to slow down, we all kinda hit the wall at the same time, but we pulled through and finished strong, I think.
It feels good to be wiped out after a day of gigging in the sun… but pooped is still pooped. It took the last of my energy to put my kid to bed without falling asleep during storytime. I’ll have to think long and hard before booking three slots next year, but there’s no way we’d miss MMNY!
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- Humidity: 60%;
- Heat Index: 79°F;
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- Pressure: 29.9 in.;