Thursday, January 14, 2010

Monday Night Open Mic, January 11, 2010

It had been a while since I'd lasted all the way till the end of a Monday night. I understand why the early slots usually feature acts with upcoming shows that need promoting, but I realized the other night that means that in those early hours those of us who are regulars are usually seeing acts with which we might already be familiar. It's in the later hours that the suprises appear.

I spent most of the early part of the night geeking out with Josh the Magician. Coins and cards were flying in the seats by the front window.

I did pop in to hear Ray Brown sing "My Garage Apartment." And a little later I watched Ku entertain with stories about how her family of 5 Korean siblings bored the hell out of family friends who came over and were forced to sit through a full-on recital by each kid. Very funny stuff from Ku.

The standout of the evening to me was Livia (or maybe Olivia) Gerber, who sang two really nice songs and got a gig. I loved Livia's voice which is a little unusual, and she seemed to have a kind of laid back attitude.

There was also the young woman who performed an a cappella rendition of a bluesy classic. She sang with so much over-the-top ornamentation and excessive nasal tonality that for the first time I had to bite my lip to keep from bursting out in laughter.

I was sorry I missed seeing the ballon guy after chatting with him downstairs. I was waiting and waiting but then got caught up in conversation.

The surprise novelty hit of the night was performed by Norm, a marshmellow of guy with a large Afro. Norm covered a rap tune...something about beat the pussy up...but in a folky-antifolky kind of style, accompanying himself on guitar. It was funny as all heck.

Emily Moment stayed till the end and played a nice song "here's to twenty nothing."

Also, 3gcrew were around. I still can't quite get the gist of what these guys are up to. I mean it's in the hip-hop vein, but the mc guy spits these verses, that sound like some sort of rapidfire robot talk. I'm not a skilled enough listener to detect any real words there. There's something entertaining about it, though.

I've been skipping over folks here and there, and if I skipped you, I'm sorry. Ben got up to do his set and kicked off with Here, There and Everywhere. He stuck with the Beatles tunes for just about his whole set (slipping in an original at the end). Those of us still there at that point were hopping on the stage and singing or playing along.

A handful of folks sat around afterward for tea: Level II, Emily, Ben and 1 or 2 others. We finally got kicked out about twenty to four.

It was nice to have a night where I didn't have work the next day so I could stay all the way through. It's still about being willing to sit and listen to waves of ambitious folks burning to express themselves. The payoff are the nuggets of greatness or oddness that you come across, and Monday had enough of both to remind me of what I have always found so compelling about Sidewalk Cafe.

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