Local Artist

People often ask if I play around here much, and the past few days I’ve had the perfect illustration of why the answer is…”uh.” You’d think it would make sense, there are friends and neighbors and venues, fans even within easy driving distance. But – it’s fraught. You don’t want to be a nuisance (“what, her again?”) like you have nothing better to do.  In another town, people don’t see you looking like hell at the post office or buying toilet paper in the supermarket. You can maintain some aura of mystery, But the worst is, you make yourself vulnerable getting up there. It’s easy to put that out of your mind when you separate daily life from the hour or two you perform.

I went into work at the bookstore/bar the other day and I saw that the poster I’d put up a few weeks before for my HiLo show in Catskill had been taken down and replaced with one that said “Do you enjoy humor? Do you like being funny? Join us to talk about it.” And they’d torn off almost all the tabs on the bottom, to make it look like people were interested. Who tears down another person’s poster? And I work here, bitch! And people aren’t funny because they enjoy it. I had a good mind to call the number on one of the last remaining tabs.

Oh well, I thought. I can’t let these things get to me. My poster probably just fell down, and those nice comedy people found a clear spot to put theirs up. I probably handed them some tape to do it last time I worked and didn’t even realize.

But then the other morning, when I walked into our beloved local cafe, the very place I’m playing – BOTH of my posters were gone. Just, physically removed, by some person who clearly has a vendetta against me. Who have I annoyed/angered so much that they would go out of their way to mess me up? I mean, it’s only the second time in a year that I’ve played around here, so I don’t think I’ve been a nuisance. Did I cut in front of someone in line to get coffee? Take a person’s stuff out of the dryer at Clothespin Laundromat?

Maybe it’s a Trump supporter? I hear they play “The President Can’t Read” on the local radio station a lot. Disturbingly, this is the only comforting scenario.

I admit when Eric and I lived in France, we used to occasionally take down the posters of this duo called Vis a Vis. But they played nothing but annoying covers. And they put posters everywhere. I don’t take any solace in the idea that whoever took down my posters feels the same sense of justification.

Will the person (or persons! Maybe it’s a whole team saying “Let’s get her!” Oh shudder…) who’s messing with me be there at my Catskill show tonight? Will anyone be there? I mean, there were posters, but…

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12 thoughts on “Local Artist

  1. Andy Boller

    I’m a non-poster kind of musician myself. I post on various sites but heck, I play gigs for pay. I tossed my dreams in the river for rent & for the joy of simply making music that my audience already knew by other “well known” artists. When I was really into posters last century (70’s & 80’s) we would go around stapling up 8 by 10 xeroxed “art” graphics – telephoned poles in every college town still bear witness to the era, peppered with staples.
    In a direct answer to why people take down or cover posters, it is competition for attention. My advice? Every time someone puts one up where your poster was, put another one of your over it. Think of it as a game. Make it fun!

    1. Anonymous

      I should add that I am also too lazy to work a “real” job & too eclectic to stick to one style … now go slap another one over theirs – use superglue

  2. dinahmow

    Hereabouts, the poster annoyance, well, to me,at least. is not the putting-up so much as the never-taking-down !

    But it is rude to remove another’s poster. Currently, we have dozens of posters and huge billboards all around town, exhorting us to vote! I’d love to rip them all down, but soon it will be over…

    Get up there, Amy and knock ’em dead!

    1. amyrigby

      I’m vigilant in the bookstore because there are so many events and I want people’s posters that are still valid to be seen. And in the summer months it gets insane. It’ll all come back around for voting though…
      Thanks Dina!

    1. amyrigby

      My research is showing they probably don’t exist any more, since 2013 or so…there’s a chamber group now with that name. I feel sure we had absolutely nothing to do with the group’s demise!

  3. Anonymous

    In Edinburgh, unless you paid a certain company to put up your gig posters, they would take them down whenever they came across them …

  4. Dave

    The only reason I ever took down a band poster is because I liked the band and I wanted to hang the poster up! Maybe this is the reason? 😉
    Your Optimist,

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