Borders' Bookstore in Albany New York had an open mike night the evening before the American Thanksgiving holiday. Jessica and Matt were the youthful and ambitious announcers. Open mike will be held on the third Wednesday of the month is what Jessica told me. She admitted that last month was her first time ever doing this and last month was the first one at Borders'. There was a small crowd of about 15 people in the coffee shop, including a guy passing through from Indiana.
First to open were Joshua and Josh on the piano. They did a snappy ragtime rendition duet. I didn't recognize the music but I knew I should have.
I read three of my poems next. I had to hurry up and substitute a bit of language. I curse fluently and my prose poems are no exception to that rule.
The Spanish Dragon one man band did a spirited rendition of George Michael's "I Want Your Sex."
The American Elk followed up on acoustic with a couple covers of No Doubt and ended with the Marcy Playground Classic "Sex and Candy." He sounded just like John Wozniak. He treated us to various voice contortions done with skill during his set.
Ken Nelson from Indiana led off with three instrumentals on his 12 string Fender guitar which he had written himself. Of the three-- Daybreak, Firefly, and Tucson Nights, I thought Firefly was the most technically satisfying and was reminiscent of the flamenco playing found in a certain Spanish restaurant Down Neck years ago.
Matt read a poem by a woman named Lori who had also lived in Tucson. He had a fine reading voice. Her poem was about the dreaded high school class reunion and was well received.
The Spanish Dragon and The American Elk duetted on a song called "El Presidente." Both young men demonstrated a nice range of vocals.
I read another poem and two lists-- one is called "How I Realized I had a T.B.I." and the other is a tongue-in-cheek list of possible jobs not necessarily approved of by the local unimaginative VESID office.
Ken Nelson did a cover of "House of the Rising Sun." [I would have liked to hear The Spanish Dragon and The American Elk do it instead as their voices are far more suited to it]. He finished with the self-written instrumental "Dunes" which was most excellent.
Mate was tiring so we left at that point.
The next open mike will be held the third Wednesday of December. Barring snowstorm, I will be there.