Wait, the calendar said January 1, not April 1
So a couple of days ago I was sitting inside the Naked Lounge at 11th and H, the one inside the old TraveLodge, listening to Kevin Seconds on the evening of this first day of 2010. It’s a nice little space, fabricated with designer-tweezed details to make it appear to be a funky performance venue, with a quarter-octagon stage in a corner and deep terra cotta coloring and ersatz exposed brick and a few abstract nudes on the walls and funky plastic Jetsonesque portachairs packed in tightly around round plywood cocktail tables anchored to the floor on metal poles.
I’d planned to make it there in time to see David Houston, who was set to go on first, because maybe it’s good to start the new year by watching your friends play music. But then another local singer, Autumn Sky, had posted an item on my Facebook page two days prior, inviting me to join her and a few other people on a bill at Luna’s, one of my favorite places to perform in town. Of course I jumped at the chance, because I figure it’s almost always good to make music with new people, in front of audiences that may not be familiar with me or my music. And because Autumn’s been playing around town a lot in the past year, I figured she had all the details nailed down, and the stuff about Luna’s being shuttered for a holiday break until January 4 on the café’s website, I figured, was outdated information. A no-brainer, right?
Anyway, when I rolled up at around 7:45 that night on my bicycle with my guitar, the venue was locked up, and there were a bunch of people standing around outside on the sidewalk, including James Cundiff and Tyler Ragle, two musicians who also were invited to play. But the person who invited us, Autumn Sky, was nowhere to be seen.
We hung around long enough to make a couple of phone calls to Art Luna, the proprietor of Luna’s, who didn’t know anything about the gig. Autumn thought she had booked it three months ago, but hadn’t followed up with Art to firm up the date. Now, my experience with Art is that you have to follow up with him a couple of times and make sure you’re still good to play, because otherwise someone else might step in and grab the slot. A lot of club bookers are like that; if you don’t stay in communication with them, they assume that you’ve lost interest, while someone else hasn’t.
Now, it might be easy to assume that we’d been punked by Autumn, especially because she hadn’t bothered to show up that night. “I didn’t know anybody’s phone number,” which she told me once someone did get her on the phone, doesn’t quite work as an adequate excuse; it’s probably better to drive down to the venue beforehand and let everyone know, in person. And it takes a person of courage to step up, but that’s how it’s done.
But Autumn’s pretty young — younger than my daughter, in fact. And she did send a not of Facebook apologizing profusely for the mix-up. So no hard feelings, at least from me.
What’s nice is when you get those indicators served up by an occurrence in your day-to-day life that you’re not responding to events the way you might have at an earlier point in your evolution. For me, not jumping to any kind of conclusion and wanting to fix somebody’s wagon from the get-go is a place I’ve been for a while, but I really don’t think about it all that often until something like this happens. I guess that sitting every day for a half hour with my eyes closed, focusing my attention on the air moving in and out of my nostrils while observing what thoughts are arising, must be having some beneficial effects in the time I’m spending off the meditation cushion.
Oh, and sorry about missing a post yesterday. I had a family holiday event. I’ll post something else here later today.
Oh, and one more thing: If you’re interested at all in coming to see me play music, I’ll be at Luna’s this Friday, January 8. I go on first, at 8 p.m. or so. —Jackson Griffith