Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Mill Avenue: Good times, good people, and Awkward Moments!

It has been a little while since I have written a new blog post. This past week was another great night of Busking on Mill Avenue. I had a few experiences that are most definitely blog worthy.
The first experience was really awkward. I will recap what happened. So, it was just after 5pm on Thursday night. I set up my amplifier and tuned my guitar. I began to sing and play the song "How to save a life" by the Fray. Midway through singing the song I heard and felt a large thump behind me. I jumped a little and my heart started beating super fast. I wasn't scared or anything…. I was mildly startled ok! Before I could turn around there was a very large hairy body in front of me. Luckily it wasn't a man. There before my eyes stood a huge horse. The horse had to be a Clydesdale, it was so tall. Now I know I am short, but I am telling you this was a tall horse. Sitting on the horse was a police woman. As soon as I made eye contact with the horse in front of me, it happened. The horse lifted its tale and began to drop large objects that were the size of apples and smelled the opposite of roses. Now having a large horse in front of you pooping, does not attract people to hear your music nor does it smell good, AT ALL. I moved my guitar case and avoided getting sprayed by the smelly hail storm in front of me. The police officer apologized. She explained they were training the horse and it was startled. How that huge terrestrial mammal was startled by me, I will never know. After the horse left I couldn't help but laugh at the awkward scene that had just taken place. Good news, they cleaned up the poop. By the way here is a technical diagram of the events.
Now, in the title of this blog post it says "good people". So let me introduce you to a man named King Shadow Blue. What is his real name, I have no clue. I met King Shadow Blue on Thursday on Mill Ave. I was taking a 15 minute break when a happy man walked by with a guitar case in his hand. Now I meet a lot of people on Mill Avenue, some of which are unpleasant. I have met people who do hippy dances in front of me while I play and people who scream and yell because they are intoxicated. King Shadow Blue on the other hand was one of the most pleasant people I have met on Mill. He told me that he wants to start a blues band that plays on Mill Avenue. He also told me about his children and how much he loves performing.
So I just wanted to send a shout out to King Shadow Blue, a nice guy with big dreams!!
In closing, let me just take a minute to say that I have the most amazing girlfriend. Katie has recently started singing with me on Mill Avenue and it is the best. She is a very talented singer and a pro at singing harmonies. I will soon post an Mp3 of us singing together. 
So come check out Mill Avenue on Thursday nights and you can experience some good times, good people, an awkward moment or two, and hopefully enjoy my music.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Mill Ave: The Best Busking Locations

Busk: "to entertain by dancing, singing, or reciting on the street or in a public place" (Dictionary.com).


Mill Avenue, the hot spot near ASU campus. It is where the college kids go to party and Mill Avenue is also the place where you can find some of the best Busking real estate in the Phoenix Area.
Throughout my Busking (I capitalize it because it is important) experiences on Mill avenue I have come to learn a few of the best places to busk. I will rate the best places to busk in terms of three categories. 1. Comedy 2. Traffic Flow 3. Money

Comedy: in front of the Post Office and La Boca
So what do I mean when by comedy and how does that relate to Busking on Mill Avenue?     Well as a frequent busker I have come to realize that Mill Avenue is full of comedy. Look at the people on Mill Avenue and what they are wearing. Just the other day I was walking down Mill Avenue when I walked by a man singing in a honky tonk country voice (not my favorite I might add) with gold paint all over his face. Now the real question is what does gold paint have to do with country singing?.…no clue but it looks funny. What I am getting at is Mill Avenue is full of comedy. There are two main locations I have found to be the most comedic places to busk. The first location is in front of the Post office on Mill and 5th street. I found this out while performing with my band a few weeks ago in front of the post office. While we were playing there was a young man who apparently loved our music along with a few inhibiting substances. I will refer to him as (Elvis). He came up to us while we were singing and got right up next to the guitarist of my band and started to swing his hips and dance to his heart's content. He then said some explicit words and complimented us on how much he loved our music. Honestly in his incoherent state I bet nails on a chalk board would of sounded good to him. Any who, the point is that is his dancing was hilarious. It was hard to perform while watching him, we thought we were going on Mill Avenue to perform; instead we were witnessing a free comedy show. The other spot that I rate as the most comedic place to perform is in front of La Boca restaurant. In a previous Blog article I wrote about the Hobo Medley which took place in front of La Boca restaurant on Mill Avenue.

Traffic Flow: in front of the Post Office and Corner of 6th and Mill

The point of being a Busker is to perform. Well the best way to perform is to have people walk by. I have found the best two spots to have a lot of people walk by (Traffic Flow) are in front of the Post Office and on the Corner of 6th and Mill. When I performed at both these locations I felt like I always had a steady flow of people walking by. In addition, I saw some of my friends that I did not expect to see. The nice thing about the traffic flow at both of these locations is minimal hobo interaction. Whenever I have performed on the side of Mill Avenue closest to the Post Office I have encountered fewer hoboes. Now I have nothing against hoboes, however some of them can be on some pretty serious drugs and honestly it scares people away. So if you are looking for the best places on Mill to reach a large audience, go with the Post Office of the Corner of 6th and Mill.

Money, Dinero: Rula Bula in front of the Post Office

Now one of my favorite things about busking is when someone walks by and throws some money in your can or guitar case. Seeing those green pieces of paper with dead president's faces on them ironically brings a lot of joy. When that money hits your guitar case it is like someone told you well done! I have made the most money when I have performed in front of Rula Bula on Mill. A few times I have had people give me five or ten dollar bills. That makes me feel good. However, I have also got a decent amount of money while performing in front of the Post Office. I have also had people ask for information so they can book me for shows when I perform there.


The best place to perform if you want a laugh, people walking by, and money:

The Post office on Mill Avenue