Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Lach's Antihoot, Tuesday, March 16

Lach's Antihoot got off to a new start last night at Webster Hall. I wandered up about 7:20 or so and saw some familiar faces outside, Debe Dalton chiefly among them. The room inside is large and kind of slick, with comfortable places to sit. There's a stage with a cool back drop that looks like a big wrought iron fan--a kind of Art Deco look. Lach is stationed behind plexiglass partitions in a booth at the back of the room. There's a large bar to the left of the stage. Leading into the main room is a side room that I have a feeling will become like the Sidewalk basement, a place to hang out, practice, chat. While hanging around before things got going, I had this disorienting moment from encountering Lach as Antihoot host in a new setting. After all, the pattern and rhythms of the Sidewalk open mic nights hosted by Lach had grown so familiar over the years.

The crowd was kind of slow to build and Lach delayed sign up a little. Unfortunately I had to leave for a while and so wasn't there for the evening's kick-off, but from what I heard it was pretty much as usual with Lach explaining the ropes of how the evening works. I came back later in the night and somehow things felt more familiar. Bernard was hanging around and people were singing their hearts out on stage.

It seemed to be a kind of quiet kick-off for the Antihoot. There were any number of folks from Sidewalk there: Master Lee and Mr. Patrick, Steve Espinola, Vin, Charles Mansfield, Don Cameron, Rob Shapiro. There also were other performers who seemed new to the scene, who somehow found out about the Antihoot, and there was also a group of mysterious folks in darkened areas along the wall who were hanging out. But the large room made it feel as if it was a little sparsely populated. The new event probably does need some time before it catches on but I have no doubt it will.

As usual, even in the brief time I was there, I heard some really interesting music, some of it from folks I wasn't at all familiar with. Is there a bottomless source of people in New York needing to express themselves? It seems so. The greatness of open mics is the opportunity given to anyone who has the urge, the drive, the desire to tell the world how they feel. Even with Lach back as host, this one will probably take on a character that's different than what came before. So, let's say welcome to the new Antihoot, and thanks for providing us a stage.


  1. Dear Herb,

    I had the strangest dream last night and you were in it. I was going to the old Antihoot, but when I got there it was in this completely strange room with candles, and mirrors, and a big bar, and tables and this really large stage and all these people were milling around.And mirrors upon mirrors and mirrors upon posts and then the Antihoot began and Lach played This isn't a song and Egg and then Lance Romance and Chris Maher were on stage except they were called MILF city and they did songs in the classic Lance Romance style about birmingham alabama and gene kelly and fred astaire being ghost dancers and I said to myself this could be sacriligious I hope Patti Smith isn't here or she might be offended but then I realized that if I didn't know better that second MILF City song could have been done by Domino and which way has the influence flowed if at all, and then, then all of a sudden you showed up and said something about the piano at Goodby Blue Monday and I was all of a sudden outside smoking but it was on 11th Street and I was talking to Mike Winkler about A-440 and he was saying all this far out stuff about frequencies and the middle range of human hearing and I went back inside and it was like I Charles Mansfield was on stage and he was sitting dead center in from of this cast iron peacock fan looking thing and I didn't realize it was a peacock fan looking thing except Charles looked like he had this huge cast iron peacock fan, and then and I remember Don McCloskey did a song about a a figga skata it was a rap and at some point Lach is announcing that there are dollar shots of tequila for 12 shots only and I have a wrist band to show I am of legal age but they won't serve me at the bar because I want coffee and then I am sitting next to Debe Dalton and laughing at something Rob Sharpiro is saying and then I was on deck and Debe Dalton was playing and I was had no songs I had practiced and Debe finished and she came down off the stage by these steps that went off behind a black curtain and there was no man not to pay attention to behind the curtain and then you got up on stage to play the keyboard and I think Susan Hwang did too and then everybody in the place took out their instruments and started playing chaso and Lach told me he wanted to hear about Jerry Lewis and the ghosts of all the recording artists from when Webster Hall was RCA Studios and I start ranting and all this stuff is flowing out of me and everybody gets into a musical groove and Lach comes running up on stage and plugs in his guitar and I am saying stuff about the cast iron peacock and RCA and NBC and French people and the Antihoot and then when it finishes I am talking to Charles Mansfield who says that was great when you were saying the thing about the cast iron peacock fan because as you were saying it you looked just like you had a peacocks tail behind you and I said Dude it was you who looked like the peacock that's why I mentioned it...but man, Herb that space it was like the ballroom of a cruise ship or something and then I was talking to Mike Winkler about time travel and placing our consciousness over there in the corner instead of in our heads...

  2. That weren't Rick Shapiro at the Webster Hoot! At least when I was there, it was his twin brother Rob.

    --Steve E.