February 10, 2011

Live from the Living Room, February 9

Now at The Pride Center of the Capital Region -- actually the same ole place with a new name. So it's a good thing I got there early because they had to turn 25 to 30 people away because of occupancy regulations, most of them teenage groupies (for Murrow) inappropriately dressed in mini-skirts & lace.

Murrow was the featured act; you know, Thom Francis on Words, Keith Spencer on Guitars. It was a relaxed, sit-down show of "greatest hits" & a few new pieces, beginning with the piece about "leaving this place called home," composed of a couple poems written 10 years ago. While that was "not a product of my divorce" Thom's next piece, "Shower" was, with its compelling images of holy water & a confessional booth in a shower stall. "Space" was a new piece built on things he heard at work. Untitled for many years (& many performances) "Third Can" is quintessential Murrow, with Keith's quiet, pensive bass guitar riff matching the poem's mood. I like the frustration of the life/poem pondering in "Write, Right?", & the classic, monotonous riff of driving the interstate in "Trucker" (with Keith's explanation of how they first put the piece together). They ended, as they often do, with "Female Pedestrian" (which I always thought was untitled & have called it variously in my Blogs), a crowd pleaser & crowd pisser-offer (depending upon the crowd). Murrow among friends, you might call it -- & no one rushed the "stage," such as it was.

There were but 3 of us for the open mic. I read 2 poems (Valentines' Day on the horizon), an old love poem constructed mostly of lines from Hank Williams' songs, "This Feels So Bad It's Got to be the Blues," & the more recent (& hopeful) love poem "Some Morning." It was quite a thrill to have Shannon Shoemaker back in the poetry room, & she read a poem about what many of us have been feeling lately, "S.A.D." (seasonal affective disorder), with a hope for more sun soon, then a new Valentines' Day poem, not quite so hopeful, "Bouquet." Our host, Don Levy, finished us off with a poem from his history of the days of the readings at the QE2, "Iffy's".

It's still Live from the Living Room, at the re-named Pride Center of the Capital Region at 332 Hudson Ave., Albany, NY, & it's still straight-friendly & still on the 2nd Wednesday of each month. It's comfy cozy.

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