I went to a more-or-less local street festival today (across 2 “state” lines, if you consider DC to be a state, but really only about 10 miles away), and it was a blast. It was in an area that I’ve always heard interesting things about (it is known as where old hippies go to die, take that as you will!), but have never gotten to.

And it was a bit of an adventure to get to.

I walked the 4 minutes to the bus stop. I’d had to look up online to know for certain how long it would take me to get there, and what transfers I’d need, so I was prepared, and knew exactly what time the bus should arrive. I know this isn’t always reliable, but give or take a couple minutes, it is usually pretty close.

The time came and went. Five more minutes passed. I called the handy number posted on the bus stop to see when the next bus was estimated to arrive, and they said three more minutes. Okay. The bus finally came, 8 minutes late. This only mattered because of the connections I was getting, where a bus 8 minutes late can mean an extra 30 minutes on the trip. So the bus driver toodles along, and tries to go to one stop, which happened to be the site of a 10 mile race today. The station was closed, but somehow the bus driver didn’t know that. He turned us around, and instead of going to the next closest stop, he tried to figure out another way to get there. We went within 30 seconds of the other stop, and we were getting sort of annoyed and antsy at what he might be thinking. Seemed like all of us knew what was going on, but he didn’t. One passenger went up there to tell him that the one stop was closed, and he should be taking us to the other one.

So the bus driver backed up on the entrance ramp to this one street, and cut across four lanes of traffic to join in the left turn arrow. It was very weird, and slightly worrisome, but I did catch the connection I needed, so I guess all’s well that ends well!

As seems to be the case for most street fairs, what I enjoyed the most was the music. (Though the falafel sandwhich was quite good as well! As were the odwalla bars the co-op was giving away…and the apple!) I haven’t experienced any of the local music here yet, and that’s something I enjoyed a lot in Denver, so it was good to hear some of the musicians, get on their mailing lists. I’ve missed that about Denver, I suppose, and I really liked a couple of the bands I heard today, so I’m encouraged.

And I used my little P&S digital to take some video of the musicians I liked, which was fun all on its own. Not bad quality (other than my lack of video talent!), considering it is sort of an “extra” and not the main function of the camera!

This video is the very first I’ve ever uploaded to YouTube. A bit of an experiment, I suppose! It is Melanie Mason, and she seems to do quite a bit of blues, which is one of my favorites. She had a very rich sounding voice, great overall experience. This particular song, “Make Me a Pallet On The Floor” is a John Hurt song, but she had some songs that she’s written herself as well. Blues do tend to be recycled, so I never knock a blues musician for having some of the old blues in their concert repertoire as long as they do have some original songs as well. I will definitely look forward to hearing more of Melanie!

I totally agree with this review:

“Mason’s supple acoustic guitar work is exemplary.” –Hal Horowitz, Blues Revue

“Lonesome Is I” CD review

At least I agree with it based on the acoustic guitar I heard from her today, and handy for me, “Lonesome Is I” is the CD of hers I bought while I was there!

Okay, this took hours, literally, to figure out how to a) compress and b) compress in a way that was merely horrible rather than embarrassingly horrible. I know, for next time! But man, it is disappointing how much better it looked on my computer. A 300 MB file was compressed to 6MB. There is a 100MB limit for YouTube, so clearly there must be some sort of middle ground I could hit, if only I knew what the hell I was doing!

Eh, learning experience. Enjoy the sound if nothing else. I’m not displeased with that, at least, considering it was all recorded with a little ultra-compact P&S.