Life in Gig Land: 3rd Infringement Show – the Gypsy Parlor

Life in Gig Land: BIF 2016 Our 3rd Day  —  Friday, Aug. 5th

I’d submitted to play at the Gypsy Parlor several times. On more than one occasion, I had sent an e-mail, walked in in person, spoke with the owner one day, the bartender on another (after learning the bartender decides who plays there), and performed at their open mic when I was told I needed to do that first. I’d given up, deciding like most venues in the area, it’s very cliquey. But thanks to BIF-Buffalo Infringement Festival, we’d gotten a chance to perform there. (Same with the other venues we played. Somehow the Infringement peeps have the magic connections to convince venues to let less-than-famous musicians perform.) Our big chance! Woohoo!

And it was fun, as always. The décor was decidedly gypsyesque—colorful wallpaper with old pictures, mostly of women, appearing to be from the early 20th Century. Very gothic and unique. The guy who dresses in black and sometimes tells fortunes was missing last night but that was okay. We knew what was going to happen.

We had a nice little crowd and Phoebe Raymond, a local artist, showed up to draw pictures of the performers. Thanks, Phoebe! (She actually made Meria appear thinner and in better shape in the drawing than she actually is in real life.)Much appreciated!

Just before us, Erica Wolfling, a singer songwriter, played keyboard and sang like an opera singer. ericaw(Yep, she hit the Mariah Carey-like high pitches! No broken glass ensued, thankfully. Do musicians get billed for that sort of thing?) I mean, do venues fine vocalists for breaking their glasses when they hit high pitches? Hmm… I wonder…

Following us was an interesting band from Flint, MI, “Boudoir Noir.” They offered a multicolored light show, strong vocals along with strong visuals and a somewhat psychedelic sound. Hmm… sounds a bit like Haunted Gypsy without the light show, eh? It took them a while to set up but they had a very interesting and elaborate light show to set up so that would be expected. Clearly, they were a talented trio of musicians. The vocalist was amazing and did a great job of engaging the audience.

After this, was a burlesque show starring Cat McCarthy, a woman who’s notorious in Buffalo for uh… revealing quite a bit of herself publicly. Guess you could say, she puts the “buff” back in Buffalo… An introvert she ain’t! While I must admit that burlesque is not exactly my “thang,” only because I think that the notion that women are primarily sexual objects is a very old, outdated stereotype that holds women back in the business world (i.e., many men have trouble working with women on a professional level because they view women as existing primarily for sexual purposes.) This stereotyping of women also limits relationships between men and women as some men are unable to respond to women’s needs and to view women as simply human beings not so different from themselves.

Going over your little head a bit here, aren’t I? Abstract thinking anyone? I enjoy thinking about things on a deeper and higher level than most people do. What about you?

I do appreciate that Cat seems to feel very good about herself and her body during a time when most of us women are discouraged from feeling good about ourselves physically. By society’s standards, Cat is “overweight.” Yet she loves herself and her body. She is proud, not ashamed of her shape, and she displays it as often as she can!

(MeriLynn, however, is NOT a stripper, and she wanted me to add that sentence here in this blog. For all to see.)    cropped-cropped-cropped-Meria-Merilyn-standing1-1.jpeg

So… there we were: a band of gypsies with our instruments surrounded by a bunch of strippers. Oddly enough, there were few male strippers in this scenario. What else is new?

Yes, another stereotype is that of the musicians who date strippers. Not only dating strippers but performing for and along with strippers. That’s nothing new. Didn’t the Beatles start out performing at strip clubs in Hamburg, Germany?

But as we progress through the 21st Century, more and more of us female musicians are performing publicly, so it’s time we get with the program, people! We need male strippers. To continue the tradition of musicians interacting with strippers, this is a necessity. Come on, guys, do it for tradition! Do it for your fellow musicians! Do it for posterity! (Posterior-arity?) Now, more than ever, our society needs male strippers.

There, I’ve returned to shallow, non-abstract thought, haven’t I? Are you happy? Now, go back to your blaring TV set and keep sipping that beer. The game doesn’t start for another hour…

Bet you didn’t think this blog would end on a bizarre note like this one, did you? Are you happy you read me today? Hmmm???

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