April 9, 2010

Albany Poets Presents: Bad Lyric Night, April 6

This was the "15th Annual" bad lyric night with "93 people" in attendance, or at least that's what the (undercover) police report said -- you know how bad their information is! But seriously or not there was a contest for the best reading of a bad song lyric so folks came from the Vermont border & the North Country as well as the wilds of Delaware Ave. to compete for the fame & big prizes.

I was hopeless with my recitation of "The Star-Spangled Banner" (did you know that there are 4 stanzas to this thing, & that the first stanza -- which is all we ever hear at Yankee Stadium -- is a series of questions?). Needless to say, I was not among the winners. But I also read my poem based on another lyric ("Memo from Turner"), the ironically titled "Memo from a Rich Man" for Albany's errant Police Chiefs & unreliable informants.

Ed Rinaldi read "In Heaven There Is No Beer" (which are actually very fine lyrics) then a couple short poems of his own, "Clockworks for Play," & what he called a "short Nature poem." Dain Brammage's lyric was "Piss Up a Rope," which I don't recall ever hearing on the radio. But I certainly heard of "I Write the Songs," an execrable lyric read well by Brenda Rusch (who won 2nd place!). She was ultimately beat out (hmm…) by Albany's own Don Levy who won first place with his recitation of "Afternoon Delight" (which is totally off my radar). Keith Spencer, who received the 3rd place award, has to be given the dubious distinction of having brought the event to a new low with "Who's Your Daddy" -- I mean, do we (meaning the public at large) really have to hear this shit?

Inexplicably, RM Engelhardt said he was doing the William Shatner version of "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds", the Beatles tune, which was simply reciting the lyrics as a poem, which what we were all doing tonight anyway. He also did the rap rhymes of "Back in Black," his theme song, & read his poem "Soul Parade" (available on his website if you want to look it up).

Bless had no lyric but said he was celebrating his second divorce with his short zinger, "Epiphany" -- congrats & best of luck, my friend.

Prizes were Albany WordFest tee-shirts, spoken word CDs & even some old vinyl albums of things like "Donovan's Greatest Hits."

Albany Poets Presents! is the first Tuesday of each month (but bad lyrics night only happens once a year, approximately) at Valentines on New Scotland Ave., in Albany, NY about 8PM, more or less.

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