Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Open Mic, Monday, November 17, 2008

Brer Brian made a surprise return to the Open Mic on Monday. His days as a regular were before my time but I met him on a few occasions, including a journey with Jon Berger out to Bed-Stuy to the church where he plays in the band (see the Urban Folk article on the subject). With a tiny trumpet in hand and what is a new mountain man beard since the last time I saw him Brer sat in on quite a few folks' songs, including mine. Brer is a frequent provocateur over at the Olive Juice Music board but in person he couldn't be friendlier. Maybe he'll become a regular once again. 

Interestingly enough, Lach was there Monday, too, hanging around with Henry at the beginning of the evening. It was nice to see him too. Henry is quite cute and was taking tentative laps up and down the stairs while Lach sat schmoozing in the basement.

Ben K. kicked things off. I was a little fuzzy on the songs he did: one was from his Stingra opera, but the second was something that might have been new. It was an interesting song but I'm fuzzing out on the details. I remember liking it though.

Emily Moment was first up with two new songs, including one she played with Debe that had the line "he won't do anything he don't want to do, if he makes a move you can bet he wanted to to." The more I've been listening to Emily lately the more I've been noticing how nice a voice she has. She certainly was a key member of the Sidewalk Cafe Gospel Choir when we all sang "Tower Records is Gone" together.

Corby, sang a song called Warm Smile, played on piano. Brook Pridemore did a new song and kept saying that the bridge of it was terrible. I think he even dropped the lyrics (intentionally) when he got to that point. Brer played trumpet with him on a song.

Chris Brodeur/Touching You, provided what was probably the highlight in extremity last night. He called a volunteer up to the stage--Julie Hill I believe was the lucky participant--and serenaded her with the song that went something like "If your vagina was burning afire, I would still love you...." I really can't do justice to Chris's out there performance, but eventually Julie ran off stage after Touching You did a little too much touching. His second song was his classic Subjugate Your Tits. Chris came out into the audience for that one where he worked on building up a bit of hysteria. I noticed that Chris had the words Crush and Smash tatooed on his respective arms.

Mike Hatchet played two songs, including a bluesy number "Sunday in Savannah." Jen Abounader did the Calliope Waltz "nothing much to see, just me and my calliope." Holy Ghost Tent Revival was back with a song about a broken heart and one called "Love Emergency."

Isaac Gillespie played a couple songs, including one with Jordan Levinson and Alex P. A guy named Duck played at the piano. His first song was filled with sea metaphors "eyes like the sea," "I'm alone on a ship I don't own," "I'm here on the shore," and his second song was something like "Equanamous Fucks." Not sure if it was my hearing or the sound in the room or just the song, but I was losing the words on that one. It probably had something to do with the impossibly high falsetto in which he sang and then the key change that pushed him up into an even higher falsetto range.

Jordan did a new song with Isaac and Alex P, all about how she's going to become a rock star and change the world. 

I came back after a bit of schmoozing to catch Brer Brian sitting in with Joff Wilson, who said he decided he can play songs other than "When the War is Over," now that it seems as if we might be making some progress to bringing the troops home from Iraq. Hudson Kay, a gal from Tennessee played a song with some bluesy touches on piano. 

Dinosaur Feathers, a trio, performed Teenage Whore. Jon Telethon played I am Not the Expert, which, in a switch up, he did on piano rather than guitar.

Susan Hwang did another in what it seems will be a series of songs about Zombies. Eli did a clever song that was called something like "My bass player's a 17 year old prep school jerk."

I decided at the last minute to ask Brer Brian if he would sit in with me on "New York City Funk." Although he'd never heard the tune, I kind of vaguely went over it with him. This is the kind of spur of the moment performance I never would have considered doing a few years ago, but, thankfully I've gotten to the point where I can enjoy the spontaneity that can come from hanging out in the Sidewalk arena, and it was a lot of fun to do that song with Brer. I started off the set, though, with "Chopping Wood," which I also had fun playing.

I didn't hang out too much after playing my set, I'm sorry to say. I did catch Nick from Brief View of the Hudson, who said that Brian Speaker convinced him to write a positive song, and performed "It's a Brand New Day."


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