3 Days to Yoshi’s

Lua Hadar Blog

September 27, 2013

3 days to Yoshi’s

if you see a woman all dressed up and schlepping, that’s the singer.


I cannot believe that I have the presence to SIT DOWN AND WRITE SOMETHING three days out from singing at Yoshi’s, but this is what is going on and it seems to be what I need to do and what I feel like doing. It’s only happening because the Giants are playing, so I’m grateful to them.


It’s rosy twilight twenty miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge and there is silence except for the refrigerator and the clicking of my nails on the keyboard. I’m feeling exceptionally blessed when just two days ago I felt I was swimming in worries.


Here’s how my day ran today, and don’t get me wrong! it was a good day; this is a day in the life of a so-called ‘independent performing artist,” like many in this city and this country and this world.


I’m grateful that I am preparing to sing at the holy grail of jazz clubs, Yoshi’s, this Monday night.



I’m not suggesting anyone would actually care what time things happen but I think it is a slice of life.

 So, yeah, here’s how this day ran:


8:00 am with large espresso: I do Buddhist chanting at my desk to conquer the creeping negativity in my mind, and launch into  emailing close friends asking them to do me a favor and recommend my show to someone they know or share to social media. Bless them, they respond!  I’m panicking about ticket sales for a Monday night in Oakland.


8:40 am: I connect with my friend-who’s-so-close-he’s-like-a-brother who has just arrived at SFO from Pittsburgh. The one in Pennsylvania. I can scarcely think of anyone who I’d invite to attend the band rehearsal and stay at our house the night before Yoshi’s. But he’s like a brother.


9:20 am: I call the magician dressmaker. I’m wondering if I should change what I’m wearing. Feeling insecure about that little black dress. Chic but maybe not enough. Could she do an emergency hem on something I’ve excavated from my closet? Yes, she can. 11:30.


11:00 am: After shoving vitamins and a slice of ham in my mouth (low carb breakfast) washing my hair and gathering my postcards and posters, I race to San Francisco, listening in the car to my rehearsal tracks – the new songs I’ve been learning all month with Jason Martineau for this show. One in Portuguese, one in French, one in Italian. Several more in English that have only been rarely done by us. Jamming.


11:30 am Dammit I’m late. From the car I text friend-brother to meet me for lunch on 24th Street and Sanchez at 12:15. I call magician dressmaker and its still ok at 11:45.


11:45 am Magician dressmaker pins a radical hem on my purple velvet gown. We try to envision how it will be, pin, discuss, change. She will turn it around if I get back before her sewing class of young girls arrives at 2.


12:15 pm Lunch with friend-brother who has flown in from Pittsburgh to see me, the show, life. Catch up. We pick up where we left off last year, as if it were yesterday. It’s always like this.


1:40 pm Having devoured a massive salad with steak on it and an eggs florentine, we have the energy to trot back up 24th Street to the magician dressmaker who has indeed done her magic. But it needs an adjustment. The kids for the class are coming. A phone call arrives. The kids are late. They’re all together. They’re all late. I thank the universe.


2:10 pm Adjustment made. Good to go. I have something to wear at Yoshi’s that I feel good about. This is huge. I drop friend-brother in the Castro with a stack of postcards and go off to Oakland to put posters and postcards in music stores.


4:00 pm Having made friends at a couple of music stores, I drop in at Yoshi’s. I’ve received an email from the box office manager about a table for my video director, who is – may the Gods smile on him – attending with a group. But I haven’t heard if my videos play correctly on Yoshi’s screen or if they need to be in a different format. This is beginning to worry me.


4:30 pm I’ve taken a photo of Yoshi’s marquis and I check in with both the box office manager and the tech person, who’s in the middle of setting up and sound checking a very big band. He is still cordial to me and stops to update me. I leave more postcards.


5:00 pm  Perfect. Friday afternoon rush hour when there’s a Giants game. I’m sitting in it, but at least I’m finally moving slow enough to navigate my rehearsal tracks on the iPhone. So I sing along, trying to memorize the pattern of the Italian one, remember all the words in the French story song, and pronounce Portuguese like Tom Jobim.


And now night has fallen in Paradise and the crickets are louder than the refrigerator. 

The only light in the room is this screen and the keyboard that illuminates my clicking nails.


The dress is solved, I’ve at least connected with the tech man, and the box office manager was really sweet. The songs are beginning to stick in my head. Maybe it’s the low carb diet but I feel clearer. Or the feeling of friends around me.


Tomorrow I put all the music together into books.

Communicate with the French documentary maker who is coming.

Pack the DVDs and CDs up in the sales kit.

Write the checks and the love notes.

Make the dinner for the rehearsal.

Decide on jewelry.



I always say, if you see a woman all dressed up and schlepping, that’s the singer. It’s her gig.


And if only doing all this constituted a living, I’d be satisfied.





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