Austin, Live (Indoor) Music Capital of the World, Day 1

Austin calls itself the live music capital of the world. Well, Vienna’s known as the (at least classical) world’s music capital and we saw how that translated to present day busking, so I wasn’t expecting much. A friendly worker at the Museum Alameda in San Antonio assured me I’d do well here, and today while browsing a sheet music store going out of business, one of the tenders was “Sure it’s one of the best places in the world to play on the street.” Wrong.

What with endless droves of musicians playing for free in bars just to be discovered, the attitude of passersby to buskers tends understandably disdainful. The general quality of buskers doesn’t help any. I went out to play 6th street on my first night, 2.17.11, and the only other buskers in the entire area consisted of a horribly attired reggae guitarist with a broken voice and a head-down bucket drummer. In the short time I played out there, we all fared equally well.

Austin’s streets are wide and well traficked, such that this ambient noise severely shrank the range of my projection. Add to that copious nightclubs blaring recordings or (surprisingly amateur) live music (the night was young, true) and it’s a pretty hostile environment. As I’d arrived quite early after a late night out with my coucsurfing host I felt rather exhausted – I only went out to test out the scene, thinking I’d stay if it boded well despite my cat/dog hair assaulted voice. Two short pitches later I gave it up and returned to Bram’s place.

Earnings: $0.00, 40 minutes
Song of the Day: Falling Slowly – Soundtrack of Once

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