Sunday, October 01, 2006

Poetry does not have to rhyme!!!

We've been here over a month, and we have done well in our exploration of the foreign terrain we now call "home". I desire a place to read poetry, exhibit film and offer a performance venue for Fae's lyrical song craft. The search took us to Greenwood, on this Sunday afternoon.

I had great plans to visit Pioneer Square, after canceling last Wednesday's proposed efforts to do the same. So, this weekend would breach another boundary! I also had another agenda for this weekend: the final acquisition of my bass amp!

A quick history into this search is this...I have two basses, both are Fender Musicmasters, named Gordon and Clayton, respectively. I have yet to reach my potential as a musician, but it will happen. In the meantime, I practice when I can, if only for five minutes. I know what I want in tone and sound, I know what I want to play and how I want to play it; it just takes the right time. So, in the meantime, I have researched amp possibilities. My only amp has been a Peavey Microbass with a Pyle speaker upgrade. It is okay, but not much on tone...the EQ is almost nonexistent! I am grateful for this little amp, and I will more than likely pass it on, or sell it on ebay. I began shopping on Musician's Friend many moons ago, and I read many reviews on various amps. At first, I wanted a small Fender Bassman, and then they restyled the line, which appeared much better than the first. Still, I had a difficult time finding any feedback on this amp until recently. My search continued with Ibanez, Crate, SWR, the G-K Backline Series, Peavey, Ampeg and Roland. The features I want are tone, sound flexibility or simplicity, and reliability. Most combos these days are equipped with all the necessary outputs required for live applications (XLR out) and for recording (line out), and I found it disappointing to see the Peaveys without this simple feature, and the cost was the same as other products equipped with such a feature. So, the long-story-short is the other end of the spectrum, simple!

Fender tube amps are incredible, so much in fact that I would eventually purchase a new tube amp for my guitars. Well, it just so happens that Fender made a Musicmaster amp in the 70' of the old silver face amps! I use to own a Vibrochamp, and it was amazing! So, I always thought it would be cool to own the amp that shared the same name as my basses. I have looked on ebay more than once, and I simply did not have the money. Currently, I do have the money, and I noticed such an amp on Craigslist in Ballard.

I contacted the guy, and we played e-mail tag for about a week. He said he would call, and then he didn't. Okay...he e-mailed again, and said he was simply busy, so I understood. We finally make phone contact, and play phone tag, finally resulting in our meeting today. I, with $300 in pocket and a bass in the trunk, drive through Greenwood into Ballard to his condo. We meet his wife, two black cats and the most beautiful transparent orange Fender Precision I have ever seen! Tangent: I love Fenders! So, I plug in and fumble over Clayton's fret board. The tone is pristine, and the amp, which weighs almost nothing, is immaculate. I was impressed by the fact that he had the original speaker rebuilt! That gave me a good feeling about this purchase. I released myself from three hundred dollars, and now I can proudly say that I have the bass amp for my sound requirements, and it will also serve as my guitar amp as well!

With that done, we returned to our original plan: exploration! After driving through a vast stretch of Greenwood, we decided that we no longer had time for Pioneer Square. So we returned to plant roots for the afternoon/evening and to seek out the Wayward Coffee House for their Open Mic.

After parking, we began our walk. We checked out a few store windows, and then we discovered the Wayward sign, walked in and ordered a coffee and a latte in a disappointing paper cup. We sat and admired the space, which has potential. Our mood settled low as we saw one patron reading, amongst five others sunk into their digital realms of social solitary. Our disgust left our cups empty and our feet ready for movement.

We walked around the corner to the Green Bean, the place we should have gone! I had a delightful conversation with people who are working on film projects with children in Mexico, if memory does not fail me, and I inquired about their open mic, which [unfortunately] is censored due to reasons of "family atmosphere", but I liked the vibe of this place and I would oblige their wishes. In this place, though very small, I may have my first chance at a venue for the Festival.

Our attention turned to Olive You for dinner, and then back to Wayward for their version of Open Mic.

The emcee was a very timid woman who read her own poetry throughout the event, and it was quite good. The first performer was an acoustic singer/songwriter who wrote clever lyrics and was enjoyable. The first poet reminded Fae and I of the typical Gypsy poet....and why does every poem have to rhyme?!?! Poetry is a collection of should flow, it should be uncaged! Very disappointing. The next poet was real, and I liked that. After her, was Laptop Bob! No joke...and he was very entertaining, to say the least. Finally, a woman from Montana who happened into town played two wonderful acoustic songs that were upbeat and beautiful. Then we left.

In summarization of it all, I have to say that my discovery of poetry in Seattle thus far, leaves a lot to be desired. At this Open Mic, I felt no magic, no didn't click! I expect more than occupying a time slot! I expect mentors and apprentices, magicians and wizards...there must be the eager mind ready to teach and learn at the same time. Leave all pretensions at the door, and aspire to elevate yourself. That was what I saw...everyone was on the ground floor. Not that I am a guru of spoken and written word, but I have my place, and I am comfortable...not too comfortable that I cannot learn, but comfortable within myself.


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