Friday, November 30, 2012

There are two bad musicians in the Bryant Park station—one or the other can usually be found in the passage from the 7 to the F. Sometimes both. One is a slight, dreadlocked guitar player. He stands with a Stratocaster weighing heavily against his hip and plays nothing but mumbly-bumbly open chords that dribble out of his little amplifier into a murky puddle on the floor. Not even chords to any song. Not reggae style, not nothing.

The other is a keyboard player who seems beset with mental problems. He plays clumsily, naively, sometimes looking up at the rush-hour crowd as though he were expecting a round of applause. He pounds out each note and chord with the same force, a hamfisted touch. But it must be said: he plays recognizable tunes. Today it was "Killing Me Softly With His Song."