Thursday, April Fourth, is gonna be a fantastic night at the Sidewalk, featuring the likes of Hat Puzzle, Barton Lewis, some chick named Debe Dalton… fun performers, each and every one. But the funnest of them all (sorry guys!) is the Grasping Straws, brainchild of one Mallory Feuer, who’s been Sidewalking for something less than a year. How do I know that? From the answers in the interview below. Read all about the artist and her act, so you can appreciate The Grasping Straws’ stunning show with more strident success.
When did you start writing songs? Other things?
I’ve always been singing, but I didn’t really start writing songs until I bought a guitar shortly after my 20th birthday. I was very inspired by Jeff Buckley, so I decided I was going to make my 20th year the year I bought a guitar and got into music.
When did you start playing songs?
After I had written my first few songs, my boyfriend at the time used to encourage me to perform them for any friends who came over. It really helped me get more comfortable playing guitar and singing in front of people. One of our friends, Andy Choi of St. Lenox heard some of my music and told me about the Sidewalk along with some other local venues that hold open mics.
When did you find the Sidewalk? How?
The first time I went to the Sidewalk, it was to see St. Lenox perform in the Anti-Folk Festival last summer. I remember he played with the Charles Mansfield Band, and generally being really impressed with the sound and the vibe of the venue. I came in for my first open mic shortly after that.
How did you collect your Straws?
I started playing with Rob (the guitarist) over the summer. I had written a bunch of songs by then, and I was looking for someone to help arrange them because I was unhappy with my guitar parts. My brother recommended Rob, the bassist of his band, Nobody Takes Vegas. One day, Rob and I were busking under the arch in Washington Square Park, and I called up my friend Oliver to come jam with us on his cajon. I was always really impressed with my friend James’ saxophone playing, so when he asked me if he could be in the band, I was excited to see what he would come up with. James’ friend Jim is our most recent addition on the drum set. April 4th will be his first show with us!
What’s your academic program?
I’m an anthropology major and a creative writing minor at NYU. I chose anthropology because I think human evolution is really interesting. I took my first creative writing class to fill a requirement. I had no idea I would develop such a deep love for poetry. I wound up taking so many poetry classes, the minor just sort of happened.
What do you plan to do after school’s done?
As my last semester at NYU comes to a close, I’m experiencing a great amount of anxiety surrounding that question. I hope to be able to find a day job that is not entirely soul-crushing so that I can continue to live in the city and play with my straws. You know anyone who’s hiring?