February 17, 2010

Wize Words (at Ballingers), February 11

Like the old TV show, this spoken word series has been "movin' on up" from the cellar bar to the main floor of Ballingers, & this night the place was packed. I got the last available table (because it was small, there was only 1 chair at it & it was right in front of a prodigious speaker) -- lucky me for a great night.

Now, as always, I am open to corrections on spelling of names, or correction of other details, since I'm just listening & have no written program to depend upon. Our host was the big, warm, gentle Bless who worked with the sign-up sheet in his head, for the great variety of poets & performers. The featured performers were the vocal group the fault line.

But first & around them came the poets, some with notebooks, some with scraps of paper & some with just what was written in their memories. Bless began with a piece about what he smelled on a woman one day. Then after Unique did his piece about an old love, I stayed on the theme with "I Want to Read My Love Poems to You…" Kaysan did "Take Another Sip" to reconnect with his feelings. Lots of energy in these poets, & in-between Bless keeps it going. Another virgin (Mr. Jay?) came to the stage about the missing Dads in the neighborhood.

The fault line did 2 sets while I was there & these 5 guys got more sounds out of their microphones with just vocals than some bands I've heard. They laid down bass lines & drum patterns & guitar solos all with their mouths & mics. And they were all over the stage & in the audience. I had to buy the CD.  Bless even used 2 of the guys to back him up on one of his pieces.

Another new poet to the mic, Miss Rain, did a "man-bashin' poem" for the ladies. Bless did one of his signature pieces on "Why Do I Do What I Do" (ending "so why do you spit?") to set it up for Passion to come up to explain why she spits ("because without spit there is no fuckin' poetry"). Sadly, this strong voice is moving on to somewhere else. Nickey Black is a regular at Wize Words & you've got to be ready for him, like his rhyme tonight on a stroll through the hard streets of the ghetto ("I Am the Place").

On a different note, & a very differen kind of high-energy, Miss Naughty Poetry, ended each of her 3 porno poems with a kitten purr & trill & you needed a cigarette after each, the audience in a writhing heap of laughter (& arousal?), I mean her last poem was titled "Suckin' Dick 101." Oh yes.

The Storm is on the schedule of the Third Thursday Poetry Night at the SJC for March 18. Her poem tonight was a rap on a relationship gone bad, with a mean punch-line. Shay's ("Shabina aka Shay") poems on love were a bit more focused, more philosophical, less naughty, but still in your face with "Availability is a Bitch" as the middle poem.

Now I was having a real good time but these old bones can only take so much so I left after the fault line's second set & after Bless delivered a to-the-point rant about where else in this city, state, nation or world can you have such a good time for just $5 -- "fiv' dollas" -- as you can right here at Wize Words. He's right (in fact, as they say here, "that's alright"), so get there next 2nd Thursday & find out for yourself -- Ballinger's on Howard St in Albany, about 8PM.


Jason Crane said...

Sounds great, Dan. Is this the thing that used to be at Simply Fish & Jazz on Fridays, or does that still exist too?

Anonymous said...

Hey Dan,

Thanks for the write-up!! Everyone else.......March's Wize Wordz is the SECOND WEDNESDAY becuase of the Elton John concert at the TU Center on the 2nd Thursday in March. Hope to see you there.


Anonymous said...

Wow, Bless' open mic sounds grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrreat. Wednesday is a better night, woo hoo I'll have to try that. no loyalty issues with Voorheesville on Wednesday night LOL.

- Tim Verhaegen