Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Open Mic, Monday, October 20, 2008

Ben K kicked things off with a "Crabs on Banjo" song. Brian Speaker took the lead vocals on "Lions, Bears, and Chickens." Interesting that after creating the songs by improvising them on stage, COB has to then learn the songs so they can perform them afterward.

Urban Barnyard played as a three-piece group--with Phoebe, Casey and Dibs. They did Gay Penguins and the song about the Parrot in Tokyo that knows it's address. The gay penguin song is about the catchiest thing there is. And when Phoebe comes in with her belting voice after Dibs has started the song with a softer, rhythmic feel, it's a great moment of rock power. 

Frank Hoier did Lovers and Dollars, and then a song he said was in the style of "Hound Dog Taylor." The song was the one that went "Have you seen my baby, dressed in black...." Gotta give it to Frank for knowing his blues men. "Hound Dog Taylor" is a new one for me and I'm into this stuff. 

Mike Hatchett played a couple songs at the piano. I was very impressed that he was able to solo on harmonica while keeping a fairly intricate pattern going in his left hand on the keyboard. I seem to remember he did this in both of his songs.

Jeff Lewis presented one of his large comics, an illustrated biography of Barack Obama, which he presented while singing a song he'd written about the Senator.  Jeff's a really good illustrator. I wonder how long it takes him to do those things. This one was pretty elaborate.

The Lisps played "Yes, Yes, Yes" which they asked us to sing along with, and then they did a song called Try. They said it was the first time they had done the song without the lyrics in front of them and Sammy kept looking at her hand where she said she's written some of the words. The Lisps are an interesting group. They seem to be heavily influenced by cabaret-style stuff--maybe Kurt Weill or that kind of thing. It's always interesting to me to hear bands, especially ones with relatively young members, who integrate influences from early eras of music.

Brian Speaker played "Another Chorus," and "The Collector." Debe Dalton did the one that goes "You Ask Me if I'm Mad at You, well mad is something I don't do." and "Big Bad Wolf." She also balled out a couple folks who were talking at the tables nearby.

I was doing a bit more wandering around than usual Monday. I guess I was in more of a social I just caught brief moments of Alex P and Casey. "Dots Will Echo" talked with Ben about the plateaus of child rasising--and then sang a song called "7 Deadly Sins."

After asking the audience whether they wanted to hear something fast or slow, The Telethons played a requested song, "Ace of Spades." Some day I'll write more about The Telethons, but there's such a mixture of interesting things going on in what they're doing. Kind of a combination of new wave, punk, traditional rock and roll. Plus, it's amazing what they accomplish as a duo.

TJ--juggled to some funky music that Ben put on. He juggled four balls and then rolled one off his head which he worked into a five-ball pattern. I can tell you that takes a lot of practice.

Torn Curtain played...I'm Your Guy. I came back in the room while Domino was playing "A top like this" I think it was about her "top" as in an item of clothing. Jordan Levinson did a bluesy tune..."Me and My Poppa Bear."

It had been several weeks since I'd performed anything at the Open Mic and I figured I'd better get up there so people would realize that the guy who hangs around in a suit actually plays. But it's been a while since I've written anything new, so instead I figured that as a lead up to the "I Heart Boo" show on October 31, at which folks will cover other songwriters on the scene, that I would play a cover. I didn't want to do the song I'm planning on performing at the actual show because a) I need to practice it more and b) I don't want to give it away ahead of time. In the meantime, somehow I came across a fan video made for the Moldy Peaches song "Jorge Regula." Honestly, I've never been all that into the Moldy Peaches, but after listening to the song for a while it somehow wiled its way into me. I think I was intrigued by how tied the song is to the whole Sidewalk world that I've become so involved in. It has references to AFNY and it's my understanding that it is based on a performer who still turns up to play at Sidewalk from time to time. Plus, despite its utter simplicity, with many listenings the song started taking on more meaning for me. Maybe the thing about the Moldy Peaches songs is that they are sort of frames to which people can bring their own feelings and concepts. So I worked on learning the song. In the meantime, I wanted to be able to perform it in the call and response style  in which the Peaches do it, but I cbut I was having a hard time rounding up anyone at the last minute to do it with me. So, I'm standing around out front Monday, waiting for my slot to come, and I start chatting with Dibs, and all of a sudden I find out that he was previously a Moldy Peaches addict and that they were the reason, basically, he started coming to Sidewalk. To make a long story longer, at the last minute I managed to draft Dibs to do the song with me. Dibs has played with me in my own group, The Key Lime Pie Revue, and I always enjoy talking to him and performing with him. It was really serendipity that he happened to be around and was a Moldy Peaches fanatic. The song went well, although I was a bit initimidated because it turned out that there were folks in the room who were around in the days of the Peaches. I sort of thought maybe it would just be newer folks there. Oh, anyway, it was a lot of fun. Jorge Regula, the piano guy, the a/v guy, the AFNY's a nice song for a guy like me to play. 

Yet again Monica from Norway was hanging out but I had to leave before she played.

I did see a few more acts here and there but like I say, I was in a more social mood than usual and ended up hanging out with some folks at the bar for a while before heading home. 


  1. I thought "Jorge Regula" was great

  2. Hey-you're my one loyal reader. Thanks for the comment about the song.