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****** Musician's Meanderings******
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Steve Hashimoto's Journey Journal - 03-30-2003:

We now return to our regularly scheduled programming.

Some true tales of the state of cultural awareness in the city of Chicagah
and its environs.

Pat Fleming and I had just finished a pretty nice gig at The Gateway (by the
way, it is a cool place, following story notwithstanding). There is a row of
booths along the wall right next to the bandstand, and, naturally, two women
in the booth closest to us talked throughout the entire evening (3 sets).
When we were done they asked me for a business card, and one of them actually
said, "You guys are WONDERFUL! You're so unobtrusive! You'd be perfect for a
party we're planning." I think I'll put that in my next ad for the Musicians'
Union Talent Directory -- Unobtrusive Music for Clueless Occasions.

My trio played a concert series (I ain't saying where -- I'd like to get the
gig again next year, being a bit masochistic) and the grand piano was as bad
as any piano I've ever heard, and that includes Andy's, the old Wisefools,
and the old O'Sullivan's (you piano players who've been around a while know
what I'm talking about). When I gently suggested to the woman in charge of
the series that she try to have it at least tuned for the next victims, she
said, "Oh, I didn't think that that was important in jazz. I only know
classical music." Moral: Money is not the antidote to cluelessness; it's the
cause.

This is a classic tale that I've told before but it fits here so well that
I'll repeat myself. I was playing at The Grand Victoria in Elgin with Tom
Mitter's Trio, and the gig (this was after they moved the trios from the
corner of the lobby, which was a nice spot to play in, to the current spot
just outside the sports bar) was already a trial -- they never turned the
sound of the 20 TVs just behind us down, and there was an air-conditioning
duct positioned just perfectly to periodically blow right in Tom's face (and
by extension, onto his reeds). But it was ok; we had an attentive audience of
a couple of Latino children and the occasional friendly drunk. During our
last set a well-dressed yuppie scum planted himself directly in front of the
bandstand and proceeded to have a lengthy and extremely loud and animated
cel-phone conversation. Tom tried to ignore him but it was impossible, so he
switched from tenor to soprano and stuck the horn basically right in this
clown's free ear and played, loudly. No reaction. Finally, during a brief
hiatus (I guess the guy stopped to listen to whoever he was jabbering with)
Tom tapped him on the shoulder and said, "I hope we're not disturbing you,
sir." The guy gave him a little hand wave, like, "No, it's fine, carry on."
The lesson: irony is worthless in the land of the clueless.

This week Steven Hashimoto will desperately search for clues at:

SUN. 3/30: As you read this I will hopefully be in New York, playing with
Anne Pringle and Mark Burnell at UPSTAIRS AT ROSE'S TURN, 55 Grove Street
(true to my destiny vis a vis The Big Apple, the club we were supposed to
play at, Judy's Chelsea, closed down tonight).

MON. 3/31: One more night in NYC.

TUES. 4/1: LEOPARD LOUNGE, 1645 W. Cortland, 10pm-1am, with The Steven
Hashimoto Quartet (Neal Alger, guitar; Bryan Nichols, piano; Heath Chappell,
drums). Hopefully I'll also be there.

WEDS. 4/2: CITY LIGHTS, 3809 N. Harlem, 9pm-midnight, an open jazz jam
session with The Joe Valentino Trio (Joe on drums, Paul Coscino on piano).
Bring your axe on down and play some!

THURS. 4/3: ROSEMARY'S, 122 S. 1st Street in DeKalb (behind Otto's),
10pm-12:30am, with The Brian Duke Trio (Duke on drums and a player to be
named later).

FRI. 4/4: WISEFOOLS PUB, 2270 N. Lincoln, 1 set only at about 11pm, with Al
Rose & The Transcendos (Al on guitar & vocals, Laura Blye on vocals, Steve
Doyle on guitar, Carter Luke on keyboards, Sarah Allen on drums); then later
on, as always, at THE GREEN MILL, 4802 N. Broadway, 1:30-3:45am, with The
Green Mill Quartet (Barely Winograd, bari sax; Bob Long, piano; Rick
Shandling, drums) for The After-Hours Jam Session.

SAT. 4/5: a jobbing date with the fabulous Shmuel.

SUN. 4/6: THE GREEN MILL, 4802 N. Broadway, 8-10pm, with poet Marc Smith and
The Pong Unit (Mike Smith, guitar; Dave Flippo, keyboards; Ted Sirota, drums)
for The Uptown Poetry Slam.

War, huh, good God, y'all! What is it good for? Absolutely nothin', say it
again...