Last night at the Gypsy Den

gypsy-den-john-carilloI went out to the Gypsy Den‘s open mic last night. I of course felt like this was my first opportunity of the year to go out and be Todd A. John announced me as “the Hit On List.” Natch. It did cause a moment or two of doubt that I was doing the right thing by going by my own name.

I played two brand new songs: one that I’ll probably end up calling “I Fall Hard” and High School Isn’t that Hard. They both got a pretty good reaction. The first one especially. People clapped along. It was a good feeling.

I hung out with Paul Hines for a bit and talked songwriting. That’s always enjoyable.

And then I got cornered by a real character. He was this jaded, drunk, pompous windbag who wanted to brag to me about his modest accomplishments as if they lent him serious cred (“we were in a magazine,” “I’ve been played on the radio”) and sell himself. At one point, he practically begged me to give him 50 cents for a button for his “band.” I refused over and over. It got pretty pathetic. He also tried to play me his “new song” that was on his iPod. I refused that on the reason that “I don’t want to put your ear buds in my ears.” Then he asked me to join him for his set. He wanted me to read from a book while he played toy piano. I refused that on the basis that I don’t do performance art.

Anyway, I note this encounter because he began bragging to me about going by a band name even though it was just him. Even though (I hope) I’ve never explained my use of “the Hit On List” by basically comparing myself to David Bowie and the Magnetic Fields, it pretty much convinced I was doing right by putting my “band” name aside for now.