The MSG Network (For non-locals, that’s Madison Square Garden, not the bad stuff in Chinese take-out.) is conducting the most real reality show around. It’s called NYC Soundtracks. Sixteen subway musicians compete for a music contract and the chance to perform at Radio City Music Hall and the Garden. Auditions were held, and through a weekly process of elimination, the viewers will vote for their favorite busker.
The first clip has interviews with a few of the buskers. Keep watching until you get to Gibron Soul, the orphan-turned-minster-turned-guitarist from Toledo, Ohio, and the Peabody Conservatory graduate from Baltimore who says, “Playing on the trains is a good way to get humiliated and get a girlfriend.” (And possibly both at the same time, eh?) The second clip is a busker from West Africa who plays an instrument I’ve never seen before, but makes a beautiful sound.
According to one subway busker, most important question of your whole entire life is, “Do you like it, or do you love it? ‘Cause if you just like it, then it’s only a hobby. If you love it, it’s in your soul, part of the energy that animates who you are.” Amen, buddy. Puts a whole new spin on those weepy models who “want this more than, like, anything.” This is real and it’s raw. And if you’ve ever tried to “make it” in a field where the odds are stacked against you, you’ll feel their passion and hunger in your bones.
If you don’t get the channel, you can watch all of the episodes and vote here: http://www.msg.com/soundtracks/