We had another successful session last night. This track is turning out to be really tough, but Randy is doing a great job getting through it, and as happens just about every time we have gotten together, we’ve had a breakthrough of some sort. Last night we were working on “Find a Ride”, and trying to get a groove-y drum track underneath guitar parts that aren’t always that linear. But we had a breakthrough on the choruses and the end part of the song, and we may have recorded the verses completely.
In other news, there’s another show coming up in June. So like the last one, I will be attending a few open mikes as a run-up. Stay tuned here for the schedule.
Paddy Mac’s is a good time…haven’t been there in 3-4 months probably. It’s not really an open mike showcase as much as it’s a bar that happens to have an open mike on Tuesdays. Tommy is a good guy though, he used to come to my open mike at Tavern 33/The Shire. It was a good tuneup for the show tomorrow, because I got to play at least half a dozen songs. They also have a $0.35 wing specials and Miller Lites for $2. Not bad.
songs: “there are times”, “Remember the Time”, “Big Empty” (Stone Temple Pilots), “The Remedy” (Jason Mraz), “Find a Ride”, “You Found Me” (The Fray), “Kiss From a Rose” (Seal)
The Tonic Room is an interesting place to play, and every time I go, I have a memorable experience. First off, it seems a little clique-ish, in the sense that there isn’t a lot of street traffic that walks in…it’s just people who are there to play and the people there to see them play. Not that it’s bad…it is what it is. So it starts off and I make a joke to this guy at the bar about granny-panties; I was just joking, and he launched into a 10 minute long exposition on grannies. Then, there were a couple of performers doing ‘joke’ songs, like SMB Jones (sniff my butthole jones), all of whom’s songs were about butts. (example lyric: ‘if the butt stars are aligned’). Then a guy comes up and starts singing songs about asians (the host was Japanese). Awkward. The sound was good, and people were pretty friendly.
songs: “Deliverance”, “Low” (Cracker), “Lookin’ Out”, “You and Whose Army” (Radiohead)
The Gallery Cabaret has been around forever, and they have been having open mikes there seemingly just as long. Last night was one of two or three they hold every week. Here’s what I wrote last night (while a guy was constantly calling me ‘writer guy’): ‘Gallery is packed. There are two separate mikes and they serve food and I know that some people come here just for the free food. Old people, young people, hipsters, it’s pretty mixed. $5 pitchers is an awesome deal. There are a couple of guys who I talked to earlier who are playing now. They came for the earlier open mike but got bumped to the later one. Now they’re playing together.’
songs: “eyes”, “western song”, and “Two” (Ryan Adams).
Last night’s open mike was the Store, a great place on Halsted and Armitage. At some point during the evening, they announced that it was the 5-year anniversary of the open mike there. I think I have been attending it sporadically for at least three years or more. Although recently every time I go, they ask me if I’ve been before, so the visits are definitely spread out. Here’s what I wrote after playing:
‘Nice place. I’ve been coming here for awhile now; it’s a nice venue for acoustic players. The bonus is that you get a CD of your songs at the end. Right across the street is Minnie’s, love the sliders there. Talent level of other performers is really good. I played all the songs with a pick tonight which was strange since I mostly play with my fingers. Still have some rust to shake off, but performance was pretty good. The host really liked the Soundgarden cover.’
songs: “dream song”, “Save Tonight” (Eagle-Eye Cherry), and “Like Suicide” (Soundgarden)
Started the pre-show open mike “junket” last night at Hops & Barley, hosted by Stoli and Joe. I’ve known her for quite a long time, we used to go to the Subterranean open mike on Mondays (pretty much where I got my start) waaay back in the day. It looks like I will be the featured performer there on June 14 as well, that should be fun. Here’s what I wrote while at the open mike…
‘First time in this place, seems like mostly neighborhood locals. It seems like a place that is more suited to cover songs, as nearly every song I’ve heard is a cover or sounds like one. I don’t like most of the cover songs I’m hearing, a mix between the song choices and how they were performed. One guy played some neat instrumental slide guitar stuff. Another guy played some Rodney Carrington-type funny songs which was entertaining enough. Stoli came on at the end and played a sweet little song on ukelele she said was going to appear on an upcoming children’s CD she is recording. I played “You’re the One”, and three covers, “John Wayne Gacy, Jr.” (Sufjan Stevens), “I’m Yours” (Jason Mraz), and “KRS-1” (Sublime).
Here are the open mikes I’m planning to attend before the show on the 21st. If you want to come out, just contact me on myspace to make sure everything is cool.
Wednesday, May 6th — Stanley’s On Racine
Sunday, May 10th — Hops and Barley
Monday, May 11th — The Store
Wednesday, May 13th — Stanley’s on Racine or TBA
Sunday, May 17th — Gallery Cabaret
Monday, May 18th — Tonic Room
Tuesday, May 19th – Paddy Macs
Wednesday, May 20th – Hidden Shamrock
Thursday, May 21st — Elbo Room