Sunday, September 8, 2013

Here's How I Played Music in the Azores

Blog, I know you might be wondering how I was able to get two gigs playing Dirty Curls songs on an Azorian island in the middle of the ocean. Well, just like everything that requires you to make an ass of yourself in front of strangers, it's all about who you know. And I happen to know this guy:

Don't worry. He's big in Portugal.
Sergio runs Praia Rock Café, which I actually wrote about here after my first trip to Terceira back in May of 2012. Turns out Sergio came across that article a few months later and befriended me on Facebook since he remembered me from my visit. Ever since, I've been invited to copious beer pong events that I have no interest or ability in attending.

But when I was standing in line to check my bag at Logan International in Boston at the very beginning of my trip, the couple in front of me asked about my guitar*. We were all on our way to the same place, so they were wondering where I would be playing. I hadn't actually planned on playing a show while I was on the island, but was open to the idea. I mentioned I knew Sergio at Praia Rock and they knew exactly what I was talking about, because this world isn't that big after all. And maybe because Terceira could easily fit in the 494-694 loop (for you Minneapolites' reference) and has a population of 50,000 and everyone knows everyone else. Seriously. That bag check line was like a big Portuguese family reunion. So was the plane. And customs.

Anyway, long story short, I contacted Sergio about playing and he agreed and got me set up. Dirty comedy music that is sung explicitly in English may seem like a weird choice for a bar in Portugal, but like my first article mentioned, the bar is located right outside of the front gate of the base. It's swarming with Americans. So much so, there's American shit all over the walls:

American shit = money and license plates.
And so I got to play dirty songs about threesomes and Joe Biden for Americans who were able to appreciate all the naughty humor that goes with something like lusting after the vice president. The first of my two nights on stage lead me to be invited to sing for the main act, Tommy and the Time Machine. However, while I can hold my own singing erotic bluegrass with my guitar, it turns out I have a tough time incorporating my voice into a classic rock cover band because I get distracted by things like Pedro's electric bass prowess that is second to none.

But that other girl from North Dakota knew exactly what she was doing.
Despite my ironic stage fright, I still had a great time at Praia Rock. I have to say I teared up when the airport shuttle passed by it on our way to the plane. Sometimes it's only when you leave a place that you realize just how familiar it's become to you.

So thanks Sergio and Tommy and the Time Machine, and everyone else who came out to see me play in such a far off land. If I ever manage to reproduce humans who in turn reproduce more humans, I'll tell them about it as they're getting me ready for my sponge bath, or Sunday outing, or whatever it is that I won't be able to do for myself by then because I'm old.

*Fact: When you travel with an instrument, everyone automatically thinks you're cool and probably a little famous. So next time you travel, pack your shit in an instrument case (or just bring an instrument) and let the questions and awe rain down.

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