This is what we do.

David Dewese played in my ad hoc country band a couple of years ago. Before the show, we met at his house to rehearse one last time. Then I changed clothes. “Do I wear the black jeans or blue?” I asked.

David explained that in his old band they never wore blue jeans. They thought they looked like those guys who play music as a hobby on the weekend or something. So I put on my black jeans and I’ve never worn blue at a show since.

Two weeks ago, I blogged about playing a show with David at a wine bar in San Diego. “This is what we do,” he remarked as we pushed tables out of the way and made room for our “stage.”

Last week, I played a show at 4th Street Vine in Long Beach. The orders for the show were that nothing could be electric. No amp, no PA. No more than two performers on stage at a time.

I tweeted from the show.

I don’t mean any of those comments critically. I was neither annoyed at the turnout or the show. I just thought I was factually relaying the events of the evening.

I could play open mics every week (and often do) and feel better about the reception I receive. Open mics are great practice grounds and social spots. But they’re protected. They’re safe. They’re blue jeans. That’s not really playing to the public but playing to your peers. It’s important to me to play in public. To say, “this is art I made up.”

This is what we do.