Wednesday, October 17, 2007

From McGrath's to Mulholland

Sometimes life takes you from one extreme to another. Okay, we're not really talking extremes here, but nonetheless.

Last night, I made a triumphant return to the open mic at McGrath's in Alameda (pictured here... for the record, I don't know who those guys are) to sing with Rosa. Perhaps it's an overstatement to call my return triumphant, but it certainly was fun. Some of the regulars now know me and were very friendly last night, even though I haven't been there in two months or so.

Rosa sang "Fire and Rain" by James Taylor, along with two of her original songs. She was, of course, amazing. I just sent her an email offering my services as fan club president when she puts her real band together. I also told her I'd be her occasional back-up singer, if she wants one. As for me last night, I sang "Landslide" by Fleetwood Mac and one of my old stand-bys, Keane's "Somewhere Only We know." Ironically, I was nervous about "Landslide" because last night was the first time Rosa and I had performed it together, and we'd had to spend a little time working out some kinks beforehand. But that number went really well. However, when we got to "Somewhere Only We Know," a song I've sang at McGrath's before, as well as several karaoke bars, I kind of forgot the words. I do that a lot with that song; I have know idea what my problem is.

Luckily Rosa pulled a major Wayne Gretzky and saved the song by playing the verse chords until I found my way back to the right lyrics. Actually, she thought she'd messed up and was trying to figure out where she was, but either way, it worked. I managed to remember what verse I was supposed to be singing, and we made it to the chorus unscathed.

There were some other good performances last night, too. One band was a duo that called themselves Peter and the Wolf. I think the singer/songwriter was named Peter, making his bass player the Wolf, I suppose. They were pretty good. Then, after Rosa and I had wowed the crowd, this guy who looked about 16 years old took to the mic. He sang "What I Got" by Sublime, "Under the Bridge" by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, some song neither Rosa nor I had ever heard before about the vulgar manner of having sex, and "Bubble Toes" by Jack Johnson. He was my favorite not only because he looked so young and innocent and not only because he sang well, but because he forgot the words to all of his songs. If he even knew them in the first place. Let's just say I could relate to that.

So that was then, and this is now, and this afternoon I write to you from sunny Los Angeles. I'm not on Mulholland Drive at the moment, but Mulholland sounded better alongside McGrath's in this post title. Where I am is Los Feliz, happily looking out at the Griffith Park Observatory. I'm about to go jogging along Los Feliz Boulevard, and tonight, I'm dragging my sister, Fabulous Patti, to karaoke. Tomorrow night, I'm going to have dinner and cocktails in Silver Lake with FP, my friend Kristie and hopefully, my friend Debbie, who just moved here to work for Barack Obama's campaign. And on Friday, I'll be catching up with some high school friends, two of whom I haven't seen in 20 years!

Then on Saturday, it's back to the Bay for Anne's wedding in Berkeley.

I'm no fortune teller, but I'd say it's going to be a good few days. I'll say hello to Hollywood Boulevard for you.

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