Wednesday, November 16, 2011

performing at MoJoe's

every day on my way to work I pass by this giant red residence on Uhlandstrasse which looks like a magical place, with bright coloured kids' playgrounds, beautiful palm tree landscapes, and a curious sign that says: "NO GUN. NO FISH. NO RACISTS." which personally I think is a pretty good philosophy in life. every time I walk past, I wonder whose magical home this is.

I've finally figured out that it belongs to none other than Lize Ehlers, the equally magical girl who runs the Song Night that I performed at last month. She explained to me that her husband works in destroying land mines and weapons and is allergic to seafood (and hates racists), which would explain the sign at their house. I think I'm going to make this slogan my new toast.

Lize also has a regular gig performing at MoJoe's Lounge, and invited me to join her last night as a featured musical guest. the music of Scary Bear Soundtrack is finally getting African exposure!

It was a great show. Lize and I took turns going on stage and performing a mix of originals and covers. I'd recently bought a cheap used bright blue guitar with a pickup from a pawn shop that plays surprisingly beautifully, so it was my first chance to play it publicly.

Lize, singing a Nina Simone number

what made me particularly happy was all the people who came to the bar to see us perform. virtually all of the friends I invited came out, including the Americans, Leio, Saima, the other musicians I'd met at Song Night, Tshuka from French class...okay, let's be fair, I don't have a ton of friends in Namibia, but it was nice that the folks I did know did come out, and apparently that night there was twice the number of people that usually come out on Tuesday evenings. This is in stark contrast to life as an indie musician in Toronto, where there was always so many shows happening on any given night, I'd have to beg and bribe any of my friends to come out to my shows. Sula from the Ogopa record label and Red Carpet Magazine came to see me perform as well, and he invited along some legendary folks from the Namibian hip hop scene including The Dogg. Hanging out with some of the biggest Namibian rappers was all kinds of surreal and awesome. Hopefully they liked my sound.

We took a brief pause for a wine-tasting session, which is one of the reasons why I love MoJoe's.

I closed off my set with a classic Canadian cover of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah. I am pretty sure there is an unstated rule somewhere that all Canadian musicians must perform this song at some point. I invited fellow musician Michael to come up on stage and join me in a duet, and he sang beautifully. We're going to be performing this song again at another gig in a few weeks, and it's going to be awesome, for details I can't release just yet.

Sean finished off the night with a stirring rendition of "Georgia On My Mind" which made Georgia-born Julia a little misty-eyed. Crystal, the woman leading the wine-tasting who seemed to like my music, sent over a bottle of wine to my table with her compliments, so we lingered a little bit longer. Windhoek definitely knows how to treat you feel like a star.