November 7, 2007

Albany Poets Presents!, November 6

As advertised, this was the challenge laid down by Mary Panza to perform the best dramatic reading of the worst song lyrics and you win a featured reading at the Poets Speak Loud open mic at the Lark Tavern in the future, even if you have already featured. So the hardcore showed up, with the best of tunes & worst of tunes.

Our host, el Presidente, Thom Francis started us off with with Neil Diamond's "I Am I Said." Thom had devised an interesting method for scheduling readers: no sign-up sheet, instead we each got a numbered raffle ticket for each song we wanted to do (but only Keith & Thom went twice -- the rest of us confident in only one worst song).

John Raymond did "The Impression I Get" by the Mighty Mighty Bostones; like many of the night, something I'd never heard or at least didn't recognize in the context of Valentine's naked stage. He was followed by Keith Spenser's first entry, the long narrative "Paul Revere" by the Beasty Boys.

Dain Brammage was the first of the "food" sub-genre with the classic rock "Yummy Yummy Yummy I Got Love in My Tummy" with the great visual of his obviously love-filled gut. I (Dan Wilcox) was up next, hoping for victory with the obviously bad lyrics of Harry Nilsson's "You're Breaking My Heart" ("... so fuck you"). Oh well, it was 1972.

Actually, by most accounts the official worst song lyrics of all time, performed tonight by Don Levy, is Richard Harris' "MacArthur Park" -- what's with that cake anyway? And Thom Francis almost couldn't finish Paul Anka's "Having My Baby." Someone actually pays for this stuff.

I've always had an affection for Blondie since the time I saw them perform at CBGB, even like Debbie Harry's disco stuff, so Keith Spenser's rendition of "Rapture" reminded me that the rap-like Man-from-Mars section was preceded by a lyrical section whose words I never knew or understood -- which I guess means there are more bad song lyrics out there than we know.

Chris Brabham was a winner with "Fishheads" -- which is really, really bad. Actually, Mary picked 2 winners: Chris & Dain, which proves the power of "food", such as it is. The winners will be the featured poets in April at the Lark Tavern. Congrats to them both. Look for this as an annual offering from AlbanyPoets.

Check out the AlbanyPoets website soon for info on the annual "Airing of Grievances & Feats of Strength" next month at Valentines, first Tuesday.