One down, many, many, many to go.

Just got home from my first performance of the year and my first solo performance in a very long time. Again, if you’ve been following along, you’ll know I’ve been spending a lot of my non-retail work time practicing and writing songs for tonight. And wow, did tonight ever feel good.

I did a four song set, and wrote the first song about three hours before going up. It’s amazing what time constraints can do for your creativity. Out of nowhere, my brain decides to write a song from the perspective of Jason Bourne. And, in true fashion for me, I decide to write the most compact, quickest rap I’ve ever done. Ever. Think Busta Rhymes + Childish Gambino with a hint of Twista, and that’s what I came up with. Why? Because I’ve always wanted to try it. (By no means am I saying I’m at their level, but the flow and the delivery was definitely better than I expected, especially after only writing it earlier in the evening.) Got a good crowd cheer and applause after pulling off the fastest lines at the end of the verse.

I did two covers, in the middle. First was “Slow It Down” by The Lumineers. I fell in love with this song the first time I listened to their new album. Maybe it was the mood I was in when I first heard it, but that song just works because of it’s simplicity. I love the story it tells and, even though I’m not sure I get it completely, the images that I get in my head while listening are very clear and vivid. So, because of all of that, I decided to learn it. It was actually the first song I learned for this specific set, and had it down before I started writing the two originals.

The second cover (third song in the set) was from the show “Nashville”. Anybody who knows me knows that I’m not the biggest fan of country music, but the songwriting on this TV fiction blows me away. I did a duet with my good friend and musical partner-in-crime, Arlene Paculan, called “Fade Into You”, which is one of the most beautiful songs on the show, so far. I dedicated it to my best friend who got me into the show in the first place, and who shares a name sake with one of the characters who sings this song. Someone asked if Arlene and I could record the duet and send it to them. Looks like I’ve made a new fan.

I ended the set with my second new original. It’s a story about a part of my New Year’s Eve that just past. Remember all that talk and vague-blogging about being a risky song that may give too much away? This was the one. Crowd enjoyed this one too. One of my friends, not knowing which of them were mine and which were covers, said that the first and the last songs were her favourite, which as I explained to her after the set, were mine. (I do try to explain with some banter in between songs, but I think I may have just mumbled my way through those.)

The night went better than I hoped. Considering that half my set was written in the last 48 hours, and it was received so well, I can’t wait until I put out the refined versions for all of you to own and enjoy. I was so nervous waiting to go up on stage, and I haven’t been this nervous for a performance in a very long time. And right after the set, I had my customary brief numbness and chills, indicating the adrenaline rush. I must be on the right track.

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– Mickey

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