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Author Topic: Street / subway musicians
Babbler # 560

posted 14 March 2004 09:19 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Every day, on my way to work, I see one and usually two musicians in the subway. Generally there's one at Yonge/Bloor station, where I switch trains, and at Yonge/Eglinton, which is my arrival station.

At Eglinton, there are two musicians in particular that I love to see there. The one guy plays a steel guitar, Spanish-style, along with a machine that spits out the bassline for his music. He sings along with it, in Spanish, and he's got a great voice. I always wish I could understand the lyrics, because he sings them so passionately. Makes me want to dance.

Then there's this other guy, who plays popular songs on an acoustic guitar. Every time I see him, he's singing a really catchy song that has formerly made the charts, and he's also got a fantastic voice. The guy is a real performer, too - his voice carries well and fills the space without being oppressive.

I have managed to refrain from asking one or the other of them to marry me - so far.

Oh! And there's this guy who plays the accordian. I know, lots of people hate the accordian, but I love it, having grown up with a grandfather who plays German polkas on it. This guy, however, often plays classical piano pieces on it - my favorite is Rondo Alla Turca. He sometimes plays quick polkas too. Another one who makes me want to dance all the way to work.

From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 214

posted 14 March 2004 10:28 AM      Profile for Tommy_Paine     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I usually find them annoying, to be honest, and I don't throw a looney or a twonie thier way.

The one time I was impressed enough that I wanted to pay, I had no change on me. Two women, with violin and cello, doing a fine rendition of Vivaldi's "Four Seasons".

From: The Alley, Behind Montgomery's Tavern | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 4014

posted 14 March 2004 10:36 AM      Profile for Hinterland        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Oh, I love "Rondo alla Turca". They could play on the bagpipes, even, and I'd like it.

When I pass a street performer, I always ask myself "did I get any kind of pleasure from that?". If yes, then a little something is deserved (usually a loonie).

From: Québec/Ontario | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 478

posted 14 March 2004 11:09 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Last year there was a terrific violinist in the St Patrick station in the mornings. Terrific or not, I try to give all the performers I pass a loonie -- someone would really have to look like a lazy rip-off artist for me to pass him by.

The subway musicians have to be licensed, yes? I wonder who chooses, and by what criteria. On the one hand, it's great to feel that you're getting a free concert from someone who is near pro level; on the other, I'd hate to think that the pros were driving out spunky neophytes, or even the just doggedly competent.

I don't know whether this is still true, but some years ago in Paris the licensed performers all seemed to be pros, ultra-accomplished and most socially interesting. I remember watching a fantastic South African drum and choral group at one interchange, eg -- everyone was jigging along with them.

I also remember rounding a corner once and coming on a small group of listeners gathered around an older guy who was sitting on the ground, back against a wall, his head thrown back, singing in a wonderful bass and with obvious deep feeling the Volga Boat Song. He was very shabbily dressed -- I doubt he was licensed. But the crowd exploded with applause when he finished -- the man next to me turned and exclaimed, "For-mi-DA-ble!" Anyone who can get a Parisian that excited has really accomplished something.

From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged

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