Saturday, April 10, 2010

Grasping for Straws

With my first year of college quickly coming to a close, I find myself grasping for things to look back on as proof that I am, indeed, taking full advantage of the best (and most expensive) four years of my life. Maybe it was the depressing oppressiveness of winter in a city 100 stories high, or maybe it was the insular community in which I often find myself trapped, but somehow I am becoming more and more anxious with my apparent lack of success here.

Nonsense, many might tell me. Look at your position on student council, the grant you just received to knit for the homeless, your two fantastic best friends and the prestigious program in which you are incredibly academically successful.

Nonsense, I protest. Somehow my soul is lacking some sort of feed which will fuel me in the next three years. Is a transfer in the works? Not without a fight.

Last night I went to help out at an absolutely fantastic venue on campus called the PostCrypt Coffeehouse. PostCrypt is a small, intimate performance space in the basement of Earl Hall, the chapel on campus, serving up helpings of the ultimate acoustic music from around the city every Friday and Saturday night.

I had been there one before in first semester, and the venue has absolutely transformed in my absence. In my first visit, the hip, underground type of New Yorker who thrives on the unknown lounged around the small stone room, enjoying casual beers and popcorn while absorbing the fantastic music being performed. In my visit last night, alcohol's absence was strikingly apparent. The audience was composed of groupies of the artists, and as each and every audience member over 21 came up to the bar asking for beer or wine, I had to explain that alcohol was no longer permitted to be served.

Last semester, a comment on an online newspaper suggested that underage drinking might be going on at PostCrypt, a claim made with no evidence (or reality), and yet the University acted fast, shutting down PostCrypt indefinitely. Finally, after much negotiation, the venue was reinstated, now without alcohol, a hotplate, or any electricity at all. The only addition was a new security guard to intimidate and ensure that no alcohol was brought into the venue.

Now, I enjoyed my time at PostCrypt last night immensely. It is acoustic music which makes my world go round at the moment, and perhaps through earlier posts it has been made clear that I'm a pretty big fan of the obscure. The quality of music at last night's performance was unparalleled, and I am certain that I will be spending a lot of time at PostCrypt in my next three years here. However, I can't help but be disturbed by the crippling blow the removal of alcohol has dealt the on-campus venue, the oldest of its type.

Please excuse my rant, I am just incredibly disturbed by the apparent castration of a really great place. But putting negativity aside, I was privy to three incredible, incredible performers last night, my favorite being Caleb Hawley.

Caleb is New Yorker with incredible lyrics, evident heart, and a healthy dose of humor, making his awe-inspiring guitar skills (he's Julliard trained) proverbial icing on the cake.

I highly suggest checking out his music. My favorite song from last night was "who's your doggie," which appealed both to my love of acoustic guitar and my juvenile sense of humor.

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