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Admiring Marble

I love.

The radiant sweetness

of distilled, love-drenched

sweat.

The feel of yours becoming mine

as hyperventilating souls are one.

I see a feather.

One of a bird seeking freedom

in the wide open pupils of

You.

Freedom; the absolute

trust and eternal feel

of shackles undone.

I know not what love is.

‘Tis a presumed notion of an emotion.

A word binds the feeling within,

in exile to it’s singular delineation,

but I

I wish to feel the entirity

of all,

Within the gently carved

Marble stone of

your soul.

I am a tourist

A bypasser admiring

Renaissance, statuesque

Beauty

Knowing I can never own

Such a masterpiece.

I gaze in worship.

The masterpiece is you.

A Sunday Smile

Polaroid of me at the Ferry BuildingIt was a gorgeous day on Sunday the 18th. The bay was a pristine regal blue, which was really just a reflection of the completely clear sky. The breeze was just the way I liked it, like a gentle woman streaming her fingers through your hair. It was actually such a great day that I thought I’d pop open a beer and guzzle it down before noon. I slung my accordion onto my back, made a side sweeping motion with my index finger and thumb on the front brim of my fedora, and walked out the door.

As I was walking around in my neighborhood, the buzz of the alcohol started to creep over my shoulders and made me feel really lethargic. “Shit, why did I drink? I always forget that drinking alcohol gives me bad luck,” I thought to myself. I sucked it up and started walking towards north beach. At this point my limbs were like jello, which made it difficult for me to carry the monstrous machine. I had only had one beer, but I hadn’t eaten all day. “Fuck it,” I thought, and my strides became twice as big.

I found a nice corner on Columbus st. and played for a couple hours, making me around fifty dollars. Watching peoples’ faces light up as I played made my face light up even more than it already was.

I was starting to get hungry, need to piss, and the beer was starting to ware off, making me tired. So I decided I would go find a restaurant, buy a cappuccino and use their restroom. All the money-stuffed tourists jammed almost all the restaurants to a pulp. All except for one. The reason people weren’t going there was because it was one of those kinds of restaurants that you knew only the richest of the rich went to. I walked in and was greeted by a waiter who was dressed in a tuxedo and had a folded white linen napkin hanging over the sleeve of his forearm.

I asked him if it would be alright if I sat the bar. I mainly wanted to get out of the wind so I could count my money, and be able to set my accordion down. I ordered a cappuccino, went to the restroom, came back and started to count the money. One bill after the other. The bartender asked, “Oh a street musician, new to the area?” I responded yes to both, which sparked a pretty good conversation. As I was leaving, I wanted to pay, but the bartender, Sammy was his name, said it was on him. I very gratefully thanked him and went on my way.

I walked down Columbus a couple more blocks to the area where there are large trees dividing the road in half. I set up shop again, and this time, I noticed the door girl at a restaurant across the street who was smiling at me. I’d occasionally smile back at her. When I was done playing I yelled across the street and said, “You have a beautiful smile!” that made her smile even bigger and coyly look at the ground. I waved goodbye and went on my way. Never got her name.

I then stumbled into what I think is now my favorite cafe in San Francisco. It had the word bohemian in the title so I knew it must be good. I sat down inside and ordered an espresso. As I was sipping the espresso, the waitress came up to me and said, “we really like what you’re doing. We’ll give you a free meal if you play in here for a couple minutes.” I accepted. The place was filled with italians, french people and some eccentric artistic looking people. Everyone loved the music. I even got tips on top of the free food and espressos that the cafe gave me.

After that I went to the 16th and Mission BART station and played some more. I didn’t count how many hours i had played that day but I’m pretty sure it was around seven hours of just playing. There was a lot of walking involved though, so it turned out to be a 12 hour day. The last big event that excited me was when I was playing at the BART station, and teenaged girls and their mother started dancing to my music. It put a huge smile on my face, which caused me to dance with them. It was a blast.

I counted my money at the end of the day when I got home.

$120 to the penny. Great experiences, great people, great coffee, great food and great money. A true Sunday Smile.

Overcast clouds were overlooking 2nd street, where a coffee shop with orange lit windows sat. Eccentric artists were working diligently to finish their self-praised “masterpieces”, while chess players turned the cogs of logic in their brains to resist a swift defeat.

It seemed as though everyone in the vicinity was uninterested in the static-electricity that was battling outside in the sky. Or maybe they were distracting themselves on purpose from the social stigma of “gloomy weather”.

I stepped outside to light my firmly rolled cigarette, and right as I exhaled the toxic smoke from my lungs, the sound of an accordion slowly started to fade into my ears from down the street.

Just as I was starting to think that all life ceases to exist when a rainy downpour starts to flood the streets of a city, I saw a peculiar girl with short, light brown hair, dance in the middle of the intersection, soaking every inch of herself in pearly droplets that came from the heavens. She was very content to be exactly where she was.

I looked over to the accordionist who was standing under an overhand with a fadora that covered his eyes, and a cigarette who’s orange lit end contrasted the navy blue concrete and sky. It was as if in that very moment I understood and truly felt the important connection between musician and dance.

I closed my eyes, swallowed a river of fresh air, and thought to myself, “How do I become as blissful as the dancing girl that I just saw?” Just then my phone started to ring, disturbing that bliss that I was trying to attain in that moment.

Hey, to all those readers who don’t know me, my name’s Danny. I live in Northern California, and play the accordion. I’m new to this whole word press thing, but I figured I’d join up to share my adventures with the world.

So the day before Saint Patrick’s day, I bought an antique accordion from a friend of mine. The accordion practically yelled at me to pick it up. I was pretty intimidated by it’s mighty sex appeal, so I decided to buy it. $300 cash. Biggest rip off of my life now that I think about it, but it wasn’t all that big of a rip off because I ended up learning a lot.

I got addicted to this thing as if I were addicted to cigarettes. I played it six hours a day. Sometimes even ten. I couldn’t stop. The droning sounds of bellow and reed made me light headed. I rocked that thing for two months, progressing at such a fast rate that I started playing downtown in front of random by-passers as if I had been playing for  years. I radiated confidence and happiness.

But then one day, I was walking down the street with my backpack(which was heavy) and my accordion(with no case) and I decided I wanted to sling the accordion to my front so that I could disperse the weight, and not throw out my back. One of the straps missed the invisible “landing strip” that stretched out across the shoulder it was supposed to land on. I could hear the Pilot in the cockpit(my brain) turn to the co-pilot and say “You idiot! You fucked shit up!”. BOOM! the accordion landed right on the sidewalk concrete. The reeds inside fell out of their sockets and into the framework of the bellows.

I was actually really embarrassed to be honest. There were people on the street just looking at me with no bit of expression on their faces. It was weird, but I picked up the broken accordion and kept walking. I spent four hours that night opening up the accordion, readjusting the reeds, and doing it all over again if I didn’t place them in their right sockets.

After about a week of the accident, I had almost completely forgotten about it. I had just quit my franchise restaurant job to go work on a local vineyard and learn how to make wine. It was really beautiful out there, working out in the fields, with the newly planted pinot noir vines. My job was to hoe around the bases of the vines and weed out the surrounding area so that they would have room to breath and grow into the fruit bearing plants that we think of when we picture a lush French landscape.

During my lunch breaks I would eat my daily sandwich and apple as fast as possible so that I’d be able to play my accordion for the rest of my break. I felt so European looking over 200 acres of vines, and playing french waltzes.

After about three weeks of working up at the vineyard, my accordion broke again. I don’t know what caused it this time. Maybe it was the constant back and forth driving through bumpy forest dirt paths, or maybe I just exhausted it, like exhausting a woman on a fun night. Whatever the case may be, it was done. I was so disappointed. My newly found passion was taken away from me, and I didn’t have the money to buy a new one.

After a couple days, I suddenly remembered that a good friend of mine owned an accordion. I texted him and asked him if it would be okay with him if I could go over to his house every now and then to keep up with my practice until I got a new one. He didn’t respond until the next day. He told me to stop by at our friends art studio to drink espresso and hang out. I immediately jumped in my truck, squirming the entire drive there with excitement. I parked the car, got out, and heard a beautiful sounding accordion coming out of the two story, brick building that was my friend’s art studio. I walked up the stairs and saw my friends Dragonboy, Seamonster, Goat, and Max. They were all drinking espresso and focussing very intently on the crafty projects they were occupied with. Dragonboy was the one with the accordion. He let me try it, and I fell in love. More so than with my other one.

After an hour of fingering keys, and really getting to know this new woman, Dragonboy told me that he’d be willing to let me borrow her, on the condition that I don’t let anyone else play her. I agreed.

This was a bigger accordion than mine. Mine only had one kind of sound, which was the typical gypsy musette sound, and only 72 bass buttons. But this new one was something else. You could change the sound of the treble keys to either sound like a clarinet, or a raspy brass instrument, and it had the full 120 bass buttons. I learned a lot on that one.

A week after I was playing that one I was in the local coffee shop that I go to almost every day and was jacked up on five cups of coffee, and on top of that someone had boughten me a triple shot of espresso. I was wired like an electrical circuit. I went off on my friends for an hour, telling them how much I want to emerse my soul into music. I kept hearing all these beautiful sounds around me that I was much more aware of while high on that much coffee. Well, I think I was in a sense praying to god, or manifesting that dream without knowing it, because the next day the universe, or god, or however you want to title the higher power, said “Here you go!” My truck broke. $1100 to fix. I lost my job because of it. The vineyard that I worked on was forty minutes away from where I lived, so my boss told me that he was going to have to hire someone else. It was upsetting, but also exciting, because now I could be a street musician.

So I started playing my friend’s accordion on the street in front of the bars from six o’clock in the afternoon to three thirty o’clock in the morning and made over a $100 dollars a night.

But here’s where things started to get tricky. This is where I’m at now in my life, and am trying to reach out to you readers out there who know what it’s like to have a fiery passion that’s being held back because of financial circumstances. I’m moving to San Francisco in a month because it’s been really tough to get by in the town that I live in, especially with the economy and all the bad luck that I keep attracting to myself(like the accordion and truck breaking, losing my job, and a lot of other things too). My grandmother has a house there that she’s going to let me live in so that I don’t have to pay bills and can get myself back on my feet. Her only condition was that I focus on school. So I’m going to go to the city college down there and street perform to make money to pay for the units.

But, there’s a catch; I have to return my friend’s accordion before I leave, which means I wont be able to street perform. I’m calling out to you readers to help chip in little by little to help support my accordion fund.

I want to make everyone of you to feel like you’re a part of this accordion that I’m saving up for, so I’m going to write a blog once a week about all the adventures that the accordion has lead me on.

Much much love,

Danny Staechs

My Chipin:

http://dannystaechs.chipin.com/my-new-accordion

My Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/dstaechelin

My Tumblr: http://dannystaechs.tumblr.com/