The beatbox competition was a ton of fun. I lost, as expected, but I had a great time even though I sort of choked. (The consolation is I probably would have lost anyway.) The very first battle was a well-known professional beatboxer with a hip-hop band in Philadelphia, against this little girl from Sacramento, completely unassuming, who (reading her bio) is apparently an incredible ninja musician, and beat this other guy right off the bat. The night went on like that: a few guys who weren't so great, but for most part everyone was phenomenal.
Besides the hip-hop vs. rock cultural differences, the technical differences are a lot more clear. Beatboxing is about fluidly moving from one thing to another, often with interrupting vocals or spoken bits, and each phrase lasts maybe 20 seconds. For the most part these guys are rappers, not singers--they can freestyle lyrics, but not sing well in key. Similarly, they're generally not great at keeping a tempo, something that's pretty important when you're the rhythm section for other people. So we all have our strengths.
Something like twenty people I know showed up. It made me happy.
I think, after a long hiatus, that I have learned to really enjoy the challenge I give myself of having and learning from multiple relationships at once. It makes me nervous, keeps me on my toes, makes me think and learn and talk. It will also, guaranteed, hurt; but not as much as not doing it.