Free Thoughts 3/24/14

I recently went to a concert at the Stanhope House.  It's basically a large bar that has a stage.  Apparently, it's mostly a Jazz/Blues venue, but I went with my brother to see Pharoahe Monch, a rapper.  And because he's a rapper, the opening acts were also hip-hop... all of them.  There was 8 opening acts, each performed 3-4 quick raps and were gone.  I would have much rather had 2-3 opening acts with longer sets, but as it was there was a good variety, by which I mean more white rappers in a single room than the 8 Mile movie auditions.

The M.C. of the night was also the first emcee of the night, an overweight Irish rapper with a vibrant red beard... and he was impressively good.  There was also an angry ICP (look it up) reject with red and white face paint on.  Even more interesting was his hype man was garbed in all black and wore a chromed out baby mask.  His hype man wore a mask and couldn't say anything! Not sure they understand the point of a hype man, but I will say he provided the comedy for the night when he turned his back to the crowd so he could lift up his mask and drink from his beer while Face Paint continued with the show.

My real reason for writing about this night is to acknowledge how hard it must be to get on stage and perform your art like that.  I was watching as one particularly bad performer was on stage, and despite not having a good flow or even decent lyrics, he worked the mic like he owned it with a confidence that's needed in this world of music.  No matter what type of music or the size of the venue, these musicians (whether good or bad) are putting themselves on display in a way other artists typically don't have to.

Authors, we write privately, edit our own work, then facelessly submit our work online to a publisher we'll likely never meet, who accepts or rejects us in an email, usually in what's called a 'form letter', which means they basically copy and paste the same rejection they gave the previous author.  Then we, as authors, make some adjustments and send it on to the publisher.  Rejection for an author is a faceless infraction that usually results in a better piece after more editing.

Musicians on the other hand, have to preform face to face and look their audience in the eyes as they either cheer or boo.  Even their practice rounds have to be live for feedback on whether or not their getting better or not.  I practice on a sheet of paper, and if I'm not happy with it, I can crumble it up and throw it away (sorry recycle).

All this to say, I'll always respect musicians for performing regardless of quality while I sit here behind my pad and a pen.

What I'm Reading Now 3/31/14: UPDATED

A History Of Comics From One Fan's Eyes: Part 3