Saturday, March 28, 2009

Monday Night Open Mic, March 23, 2009

I had the realization the other night that hanging out at the Sidewalk Open Mic combines two factors in the experience. One is the comfort that comes from seeing friends and hearing performers that you've become familiar with and the other is the potential for discovering something totally new. I was glad the other night that I was on hand for two acts I hadn't seen before that really stood out.

Earlier in the evening I noticed these two gals standing around in matching blond page boy hairdos, I Love New York t-shirts, and newsboy caps. When Ben started giving the on deck call to Le Funky Bitches Fantastique, I had a feeling that might be them. Le Funky Bitches arrived on stage and delivered their introductory patter in something like a female interpretation of Steve Martin and Dan Ackroyd's "two wild and crazy guys." voices. It was amusing, but you wondered where they were going with it. Matching outfits at Sidewalk can be a tip-off to expect an attempt at Britney or Mariah inspired pop. However, when Le Funky Bitches launched into song they did an amazing version of this country tune with great harmonizing and strong singing all around. Then one of le bitches did her own song about um....her affection for men...for many men. It had the refrain "I can't fuck them all." Writing this at this moment is causing me to laugh all over again at how brilliantly funny this performance was. Somehow I had worked my way up to the front row at that point and I will not soon forget the moment when le funky bitch switched into this guttural, gravelly voice to belt out "I Can't Fuck Them All." It's always nice when performers coming from a comic intent also have musical skill. I hope LFBF returns to Sidewalk (maybe they should share a bill with the Young Dads)...I'm just now noticing that they were on the bill last night at the "Borscht" evening at I missed that chance but will have to catch up with them another time.

The other act that really stood out the other night was Jakko and Jay. I walked in once they had already started playing, but there was just this incredible energy coming from the stage. Jakko and Jay were a duo on drums and acoustic guitar, with the guitarist singing most of the vocals. But a lot of the energy came from the drummer. I got the impression they'd played South by Southwest...and also that they might be from Finland. Ben offered them a spot right away and it seems as if they also played Brooklyn Tea Party.

It was a very crowded night the other night. The sign-up took a while and there was a line out the door. Some of the folks who played were: Tidal Friction (some nice rap lyrics), Pete Scalzetti, Phoebe, me. Wilder Worldwide played as a duo on violin and piano. The played a song about origami and I liked how Storm, the violinist, used a credit card to tap her violin both on the body and on the strings at points throughout the song. There were lots of comedians the other night. Maggie Nuthall, a guy named Fred Sophe (?) who did recession jokes, a gal named William who talked a lot about eating, and a guy named Brain who spoke about action movie stars of the 1980s (Stallone, Schwarzeneger, Bruce Willis). Waylon Daniel played with a group that featured a tuba player. And Julie Hill did her version of Hallelujah using the loop machine.

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