July 14, 2011
Professor Java's Wide Open Mic, July 11
At one point our host, Keith Spencer, mentioned that I don't often write about the music performers on my Blog. That's true, but not because I don't like music -- I happen to listen to & enjoy most types of music. & to the current scene's credit there is more variety in the music performed at open mics now than what I experienced years ago, where the first poem-length part of the performance was tuning up (not always successfully), then still another in a long string of "I'm going down that lonesome road" folk songs. But the reason I don't write as much about the musical performances is that I don't know that much about music & I don't always recognize the covers some performers are attempting, but mostly, poetry is my main, over-riding interest (next to stopping war).
That said, I would like to point out tonight's favorites, in no particular order.
Back again was Dwight, this time with his daughter Kendra, so it was "Dwight & Kendra" tonight, with another moving poem, beautifully put together with voice & guitar, about 4 Viet Nam vets -- good, simple lyrics; & in a nod to a poem I had done earlier, he began by reciting a poem, "Marriage."
& I liked "new guy" Herb Carter, Jr. & the big sound of his 12-string guitar (but it does take twice as much time to tune). Recognized his first song cover, but damned if I could tell you who it was, one of those '60s/'70s hippy bands, I think, then a good love song original, & another cover by a new group, "Head & Heart."
Other music performers included the return of the duo "The Midnight Society," using a "Stylophone" on one of their pieces; Seattle-angst rocker Alex Rohr; "The Normanskill Saxons" with 4 players tonight ("all 3 songs have never been performed by all 4 of us");
There were only a handful of us spoken word folks tonight & not very spread out in the program. I was first up with 3 Summertime poems, the recent "Imagining the Mews" & the older poems "Park Fantasy" & "Cutting the Lawn for the Ex." Carol Jewell is not at all intimidated by Keith & keeps cranking out those pantoums, this one on anger. Later in the night Avery also did just 1 poem, a piece about being at a drum weekend, sounding a lot like advertising copy with drum sounds, "A Composition for the Rhythm Section." Joe Krausman had trio of his funny/serious ponderings, "Specialist," "Internal Medicine" (actually about brain surgery & the little men inside our heads), & the cat poem (!) "Cat."
The 2nd Monday of each month, bring your notebooks, bring your guitars, harmonicas, keyboards, Style-o-phones, string bass, ukelele, saxophone, mandolin -- pretty soon there will be so much equipment we won't be able to move.