Monday, December 14, 2009

Monday Night Open Mic, December 7, 2009

Can you tell me why people from Holland are referred to as Dutch? Shouldn't they be Hollanders or something (see below).

Ben Krieger brought in a theremin and kicked things off by using it on a couple of his standard tunes..There's a Squid on My Head and Mom and Dad play Rock and Roll.

Brian Speaker played a cool song that was called something like "And God Said," which I think he might have writen for the Bushwick Book Club's Bible Evening.

Ariel Bitran asked Ben to join him and accompany him on theremin. They played Deep Blue Lake, one of Ariel's songs based on Zelda and another called (maybe) You're Mr. Right. Anyway--I think it was on the first song Ben played an awesome theremin solo and the theremin throughout the song was cool.

A group I'd never heard called Historic District Commission consisted of a lead singer with two acoustic guitarists backing him up. They were pretty good--nice work from the guy who mostly played lead guitar and a nice sound from the vocalist.

Jason Trachtenberg played--and spoke about his group called The Pendulum Swings--his new big band.

Domino--I loved her song about Mo Pitkins closing-- ah hah, ah hah, ah hah, ah hah, ah hah...

I performed in here somewhere--not sure of the order. It had been a while since I'd played on a Monday and I wanted to get out there a bit. On the spur of the moment I decided to use the theremin, which I worked into my song "Fishes." Although it might have gone better if rehearsed, I'm kind of glad to reach the point where I don't mind experimenting on stage. It's a long distance from where I started when I first played Sidewalk.

GI Dave-was back-hadn't seen him in a long while.

I still haven't been able to catch their names, but for the second time I noticed two sisters, who sing primarily in spanish--they started with a song called Baile (dance) in which one of the sisters accompanied the other on guitar-- and then the one who handled vocals on the first song played John Lennon's Imagine by herself on the piano.

Master Lee appeared with his backup group--comprised of Ariel Bitran and Touching You--who were introduced as "Chink Floyd." Many cracks from the audience followed, including something like Dark Side of the Sun Yung Moon, and playing the Great Wall.

For the next set an acoustic guitar sat on stage in a spotlight while Lach vocalized what the guitar might be thinking while waiting to be played--a fun anthropomorphic moment...Lach then appeared on stage and played This Ain't a Song and Men Don't Come Back.

Josh the magician--I was glad to hear there was a magician on the list. Josh was kind of goofy, reading this comedy stuff he'd written which featured a lot of words written backward. He did a trick with a dollar bill in which he transformed a normal bill into one which looked like it had been cut into quarters and reassembled with the sections scrambled. He then magically transformed it back to a regular dollar. Later Josh entertained with some trick at the bar and he and I got into a long conversation about magic. Glad to know there are still some magic, nerds, um afficionadoes, out there in the world. (

Two performers from Amsterdam, were, I think, possibly, the standouts of the night.

Lena--played a jazzy song about why she hates weddings. Nice jazzy guitar work and vocals. A light swing feel. There's not all that much of that around Sidewalk so it was good to hear.

The she was followed by Suzanne who played a song called "85" about being that many years old. Accompanied by a friend on trumpet. Really stellar stuff with an ethereal feel... especially on the trumpet parts.

Jon Berger entertained with some of his classier works, like Gussie Got Fucked and The Magical Negro

That's about the point I wrapped it up--or at least the point I went to hang out in the bar.

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