March 11, 2008

Albany Poets Present! March 4

[3 Guys from Albany (Charlie, Tom & Dan) returning from the Mid-West Tour.]

It was the usual open mic with some poetry performance/music groups clustered around 3 Guys from Albany (Charlie Rossiter & Dan Wilcox), hosted by el Presidente, Thom Francis. I expect that you will soon be able to find this on the Albany Poets website, www. -- duh!

The Johnny Bravehearts are Mary Panza(on words & attitude) with Monica Roach on electric cello & John Weiler on electric guitar. Unfortunately, the poet (Mary P.) had to almost scream to make herself heard above the music (mainly the guitar). While Mary's poems tend to hit you over the head (or in the balls), sometimes it is the range in her voice that can carry the effect. With a loud, wailing guitar her voice has to elevate to a near continuous shout.

Open mic poets were set in as needed between the performance acts, with Shaun Baxter's almost-classic "Global Warming" the first up. Alan Catlin followed with "Mr. Lucky," then Kevin Lee Gilbert with a poem he described as "short, to the point & reasonable," which it was (I think).

Charlie Rossiter was on his way through town for a series of readings in Connecticut to promote his new book, The Night We Danced With the Raelettes from Foot Hills Publishing ( These are poems about "occurrences in and around College Park, Maryland in the 1960s, for the most part to the best of my recollection." So I joined him for a 3 Guys from Albany set in which we included a tribute to the other "3 Guy", Tom Nattell, ending the set with Tom's poem "I Beat My Drum."

The evening continued with open mic poets. Nicole Karas described a visit to the GYN office, then Tom Molinaro did a characteristic rap-style poem, post 1984. Chris Brabham performed his giving-the-finger-to-his-stressors-while-on-his-motorcycle poem.

The House Band of the Apocalypse is Thom Francis "on poem", with Aaron Chrisiansen & Keith Spenser on guitars. Thom's poems were mostly quietly meditations with respectful guitars behind him; the guitars had a chance to wail when Thom stepped back -- an effective combination where the poet was not overwhelmed by the music/noise.

John Weiler put down his guitar & brought it all back home with the funny poem about a lobster shoot -- no kidding!

It was nice to have Charlie back in town & a fun venue sponsored by AlbanyPoets to start us off on our Connecticut tour.