Blog- Will Sing for Coffee

Coffee is the universal language of contentment. It’s impossible to drink it and not feel more contemplative, more poetic and more united with nature.

Playing coffee houses and clubs is new for me.

Last spring Break my dad approached me with the prospect of starting a U2 cover band. I was honored to be The Edge Unplugged. We call ourselves We2, and we play acoustic covers of U2 songs.

We debuted at O’Brian’s Irish Pub in downtown Temple that same week. This summer, we opened up for the pseudo-famous Terry Scott Taylor in Hope Chapel in Austin.

Our friend Steve put together a music night on Aug. 22 at Awake Awake, a coffee house run by Hope in the City. We2 was the second of three bands that night. We crammed nine songs into our set list, everything from “New Year’s Day” to “Vertigo.”

There is nothing more disappointing to a coffee connoisseur with a dairy allergy than finding you can’t get a soy latte after seeing it on the menu.

“We’re out of soy,” the cashier said. My heart sank. There I was in a coffee house, choosing my favorite creamer, and everyone else in the room must have had the same idea. In no other place than Austin could a coffee house run out of soy milk.

The dim lights reflected off large-mouthed coffee mugs, and the whir of a cappuccino machine broke the silence between songs. Grace Pettis, the daughter of pseudo-folk legend Pierce Pettis, was queen of the capos. She pulled out a capo to change the key of almost every song. She had a cut capo, too. This gave her music a high melodic resonance. I have never played with a capo, and I revere those guitarists who can. Her trio played acoustic tunes from Grace’s new album, scheduled for release mid-September. They sounded lovely. I was terrified.

We2 rocked the little house. I was terrified to play Vertigo that night. We only practiced it for a week before the gig. I tried playing it every day to build calluses for the chords.

“Uno, dos, tres, catorce!” I yelled, and we began the onslaught of complex chords and lyrics. I put my hands on autopilot because if I thought about what I was playing, I was sure to screw it up. We ended the set with “Beautiful Day,” my favorite song. At the end, everyone clapped.

As soon as I unplugged my guitar, Gina Chavez was in the front of the monitors, extending her hand and complimenting our harmonies. Gina sang smooth and jazzy, like a steamy caramel macchiato. She was in perfect pitch the entire night, her voice a myriad of flavors.

I hope in the future, my life includes many more coffee shop nights.

Author: Evangeline Grace Ciupek

Evangeline Grace Ciupek is currently studying English at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, and plans to graduate in May 2011. She joined The Bells staff Spring 2009. She is usually found reading enormous books assigned to her by professors, battling bugs in her parents' garden, playing acoustic guitar, or knitting the lone sock she's been working on since last Thanksgiving. While a career in journalism remains somewhat undesirable to her, Evangeline is grateful for the opportunity to improve her writing skills through involvement on The Bells staff. Her dream career would be that of a starving artist.

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