Friday, April 07, 2006


Get ya CDs heeeaah!

So last night I went to see Turtle Island String Quartet with Mel and her friend J. It was at the Library of Congress (a neat venue, if only to serve that I can now smugly say that I saw a string quartet at the LOC) and began at 8 p.m. We got there a bit early, so that we could be sure of grabbing seats. The three of us were in line...we were probably a quarter of the way from the front...chatting away. I kind of stood outside the line (we were in a triangular formation), and I was occasionally distracted by a passionate older couple in my line of vision. (Ear-nuzzling? In the LOC? Why not, I suppose.)

But that's neither here nor there.

This guy approached us, and he looked vaguely familiar. I heard a strange silence and realized that Mel's heart had stopped beating. IT WAS "THE HOT ONE" from Turtle Island! Think Justin from Nsync. Joey from New Kids. Fred from Scooby-Doo.

The hot one (aka Mads) rather awkwardly made an introduction, and then even more awkwardly asked us for a favor. He wondered if we would be willing to sell the quartet's CDs during the intermission and after the show. We were all a bit stunned. Looked at one another. He threw out the carrot of giving us 10 % of the sales, and that was enough to nudge us over the edge of the "whoring ourselves out as retailers for the night" cliff.

While watching the first half of the show, I felt a bit as though I was in mass, and had to bring up communion. You know you're not the main event, but you want to do your part well.

Intermission came, we ran up the stairs, Mel with the boxes of CDs. We went to the little table, and attempted to artfully arrange the goods. The swarms approached. At first it was a bit dodgy because we didn't have change for $50s (who carries $50s?! just kidding. I do. All the time. Obviously.), but then the money started flowing, and the CDs were going like hotcakes. At the end of intermission, J was carrying $520 in his jacket pocket.

We sat back down, the music began again.

Just to be clear here, TISQ (is that an acceptable abbreviation?) is amazing. The only reason I haven't really mentioned the actual music yet is two-fold.
1) It would have ruined the flow of my story.
2) I don't know what I'm talking about when it comes to music, so it's inevitable that I'll sound like an idiot.

But basically, these guys are amazing. Absolutely amazing. The four played on instruments that are stored at the Library, and some of them are 200-300 years old. I'm certainly not a connoisseur of string sounds, but even I could hear the difference. Those who are actual connoisseurs (and there were a great many of them, because this was an event for the American Federation of Violin and Bow maker's conference) were oohing and aaahing and falling into fits of ecstasy.

(Annoyingly enough, I didn't buy a CD. But I plan to this weekend. Oh, and during the concert I decided that I would have sold them for free, just for the blogging rights.)

After we finished up selling, and Mads gave us our cut without even verifying the amount that we gave him (I love that there are still trusting people in the world), the three of us headed over to Eastern Market to grab some food. Since it's DC, and the thriving metropolis is dead after the final work bell, we ended up eating at the perpetually empty Hawk'n'Dove.

(Which, now that I think about it, was entirely appropriate as we had been hawking CDs...)

Our cash covered the meal, with $14 to spare for each of us. So, yes, we were actually paid to see a free concert.

The entirely random and extremely entertaining night ended with a mad dash to the Metro, in order to make the midnight train.* J, being tall, was walking very fast. I, being fairly tall, was walking as fast as I could, with a little skip/jog every few steps. Mel, being not so tall, was jogging the entire way.

Is it egotistical of me to think that my life would make a great movie? It probably is.

*suddenly, I feel like Dr. Seuss.

TISQ is a perfectly acceptable abbreviation.

I'm glad you came with us. :) Good times!
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