The Pipe Guy is a 10min medley of songs played on PVC pipes with flip-flops by a busker at a mall that is so good I can't stop playing it over and over.
NPR's Bob Boilen (host of All Songs Considered): "People ask me all the time to name my favorite Tiny Desk Concert. It's my desk and I've seen almost all of the nearly 400 concerts up close. So you'd think this would be easy. Moon Hooch have made it a lot easier." (video) [more inside]
If you have been one of the thousands of tourists drawn in every day to San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf, you may have been walking down past Tarantino's restaurant, taking in the tourist-trap sights, when one of the bushes on the sidewalk -- come to think of it, the only bush on the sidewalk -- suddenly jumps at you while growling. Congratulations; you are the most recent wharf-goer to fall victim to The World Famous Bushman. [more inside]
The Busking Project: Tracking a path across the globe to interview, photograph, film, and discover the life and motivations of the world's street artists!
Where can you see jazz1 shows,2 doo-wop performances,3 a vaudevillian dance act,4 found object5 percussion duos,6 opera concerts,7 international and intergalactic folk music gigs,8 and a pink gorilla playing the bass9? All for $2.25? [more inside]
"Puncture Kit was brought to life after sitting in London's Green Park with my new bicycle not long after arriving from Australia in June 2008... no car, no drums, and a need to create beats. With my bike turned upside down, a sketchbook and no desire to be tubing a drum kit around underground, I started dreaming of ways to use my bike as my transport and drum kit ."[more inside]
The tunnel musicians of Chicago can be heard amid the roar of trains.... I recently spent three nights walking through the tunnels for a closer listen. These are the sounds, and the people I heard. [more inside]
If you were doing some last-minute shopping on Grafton Street in Dublin on Christmas Eve 2009, you may have stumbled upon some musicians busking to raise money for a local charity. Look closely and you'll notice among the buskers are an Oscar winner and a Grammy winner. In just under two hours, more than €2000 had been raised. [more inside]
Bandstand Busking have decided to put liven up the underused bandstands of London by, well, you know, putting bands on in them. [more inside]
Gene Weingarten, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his story on Joshua Bell's busking stunt in a D.C. subway station, tells the story of an earlier busker performing in similar circumstances. With a spooky surprise ending: [more inside]
David Juritz a leading violinist left his house with a backpack, fiddle and completely empty wallet at the start of a 60,000-mile, twenty-five-country, round-the-world busk. He is raising money for Musequality (read about some of their support efforts, like the M-Lisada Brass Band). His comment about Berlin being a terrible city for busking put me in mind of this post about Joshua Bell. You can donate here if you feel so inclined.
No trip to San Diego's Historic Balboa Park would be complete without witnessing some awesome street performers.
The recent post about Joshua Bell was merely the tip of the Unannounced Performance iceberg, a phenomenon I've often marveled at. The Beatles famously did it in 1969 on a roof. Mos Def got arrested for it last year. REM reformed in 2005 at a wedding, something the Police did at Sting's 1992 nuptials. Sometime after midnight in Union Square NYC on Nov. 5, 2005, Arcade Fire blew a few lucky fans' minds. Bruce Springsteen jammed with a street musician in 1988. In 2000, Weezer took to the stage under the name Goat Punishment and U2 used to sneak onstage disguised as The Dalton Brothers. In 2005 it was rumored they'd played a Beatlesque rooftop gig in NYC, but you can't believe everything you hear. I could go on all night with tales of secret gigs and surprise busking sessions, but I'm sure you've got plenty of rare musical moments to share in the comments.
Busking around the world in 80 days. Wait a minute... busking? Can you really make a living off of playing music in the street? Yup. Well, maybe not.
What busking could teach the music industry An intelligent essay on how the music industry should adapt to the new digital realities, drawn from the author's experiences as a street (well, subway) musician. No one who could learn from it will read it, of course.
Busker Dü: You're short of money. You're not afraid to make a fool of yourself. You have no pride. You have a musical instrument to abuse. Well - that, apparently, is easy. At least if you're a Guardian journalist. But what else can a feller do these days to drum up that old "Buddy, Can You Spare A Dime?" spirit?