Background Noise at a Coffee House

I spent a Friday evening out on the town with my sister and a friend.  We walked around the west side downtown area before taking a taxi back home.

We went to a little redbrick pub and coffee house filled inside with fairy lights and bookshelves.  I got a warm slice of apple pie, a Reuben panini, water from the pitcher in a corner, and a Mexican mocha in a mug, finding rustic polished wood seats amid the bustling college town crowd.  I had an acoustic guitar leaning in a corner from my music lesson earlier.

My friends and I talked about the books scattered haphazardly over our table, and about Pokemon Go.  (My friends are trying to get me more into gaming; I like anime and manga, but I currently play video and app games about as well and as often as a retarded goldfish.)  Out around us, people drank, laughed, and chatted, the atmosphere languid and friendly and the lights warm.  A regular host of live music, this was a place of culture instead of drinking, the sort of place where a cup of coffee could last for hours.

Eventually, a pianist started singing and playing keyboard in the background; she was dressed in a checkered flannel shirt and tight jeans.  Like most musicians, she knew enough not to ask me to play something just because I had an instrument, which I appreciated.

I don’t know what happened, but she played for a few minutes, then suddenly grabbed her jacket and ran out in tears.  She’d said something about singing a never before performed song…  Had she expected more of a reaction to her music?  I wonder.  Because she was good – very good.  But the venue was not one that allowed itself to some crazy huge reaction.  The atmosphere was all wrong if that was what she wanted.

And yes, I have sung in front of others before, so I do in fact know a little bit of what I’m talking about.  A word of advice?  If you’re really that sensitive about a song, you should probably wait to sing it until you’re in front of a bigger crowd that’s paid to listen to people sing.  I know that’s scarier, but you’ll also get more noise and reaction that way.

You don’t get wild rounds of applause as the background noise at a coffee house.