Stalk the Chorallaries, Part III

Today was pretty enjoyable. We got up early to get to the high school one of our members used to attend — a girls' Catholic high school. The building itself was gorgeous, all marble and dark wood. The students seemed to appreciate our music, and the member was obviously still recognized and remembered. Afterwards we went out for sushi with her father at a very nice sushi place in San Francisco — I had tempura and miso soup for the first time (mmm…), and the spicy tuna rolls were delicious.

The original plan had been to go to Stanford, hang out, and sing, but it was raining pretty hard so we decided to punt and head back to where we've been staying instead. We relaxed for a while, a nice antidote to the early morning, and then grabbed a quick supper before heading to a coffeehouse for our evening gig. An alumn{i,a,us} who is a member of an a cappella group called the Special Guests invited us to sing with them at a local coffee shop — they did a set, and then we did our set, ending with the Engineers' Drinking Song, to much general enjoyment. There seemed to be a lot of MIT, and specifically Chorallaries, alums around; either e-mail got sent at some point, or it's just an illustration of the predilection of MIT people to end up in California if they don't stay in Boston. The coffee shop was nice, and it was packed, which was a lot of fun. We sang well, too, sold a bunch of CDs (ah, crass commercialism^H^H^H^Hpersuading other people to help pay for our tour), and got to hang out with some cool alums — it was a good gig.

(As a side note, I'm still developing a feel for the demand for CDs — I brought the whole bag-full to the morning gig, figuring that high schoolers would want CDs and have the money to spend, and we sold two CDs, the first we've sold so far. I "learned" from that and, extrapolating from the fact that most of the other gigs in restaurants, etc. haven't netted any sales, only brought a dozen or so to the coffeehouse. We sold enough that I ended up needing to send somebody out to the car to get more. Nobody who wanted a CD didn't get one, though, which was good. Part of the problem was that I had a mix of old and new CDs, and the old ones don't sell as well, plus an annoying fraction of the CDs have cracked covers, which I don't like to sell. Not quite sure what the mechanism I should use to determine how many CDs I should bring… it's something you learn over time, I guess.)

The Chorallaries may be developing a barbershop auxiliary, at least if the impromptu practicing of "Coney Island Baby/We All Fall" is any indication ("…just like leading lambs to slaughter…"). We're not quite sure how to incorporate it into our concert, or how to explain the fact that the barbershop quartet actually has six guys (maybe like the "increasingly inaptly-named Hitchhiker's trilogy"). Eh, everybody knows MIT students can't count.

After the gig, came back and played Trivial Pursuit, Young People's edition, and watched Family Guy, which seems to be our routine. It'll get broken, though, since today was the last full day we'll be spending in the area. Originally the plan was to head up to Berkeley tomorrow, but given how bad the weather has been, the fact that we want need to be in Menlo Park at 5:30 PM to sing at a dinner with President Hockfield, and the variability of rush hour traffic, our plan is to get packed up in the morning and spend our time at Stanford hanging out, playing Frisbee, and maybe singing, before heading to the gig with Pres. Hockfield, and then on towards San Diego. Updates may be spotty over the next few days, since they may be over dialup — I have unlimited minutes and local access numbers, but I may not have time or energy. We'll see how it goes.