Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Open Mic Spotlight

My quest to be a singer (read: rock star) is taking me to more and varied places these days. The latest would be McGraths, an Irish dive bar in Alameda. Yes, Alameda.

Rosa has become a regular at McGraths' Tuesday night open mic, and she's been asking me for a few weeks to join her there. So last night, I went, along with Doug and Diana. In addition to cheering Rosa on as she sang and strummed her guitar, I sang, myself. Doug played bass for both of us, and Diana was the perfect supportive fan.

While I never thought I'd be caught dead at a dive bar open mic in Alameda, it was pretty fun. Rosa sang two of her original songs, as well as John Denver's "Take Me Home, Country Roads." I don't write music (yet...), so I sang Kirsty MacColl's "They Don't Know" with Doug, Rosa and an open mic regular who joined us on fiddle, and Freda Payne's "Band of Gold" with Doug and another open mic regular who jumped in to provide some percussion.

Rosa has a beautiful voice, and her songs are really good. At risk of sounding egotistical, I'd say I was pretty good, too. We had to wait forever to go on because we signed up kind of late, and a lot of people were there. Who knew Alameda was so hopping on a Tuesday night?

As for the other performers.... well, by large, most of them were decent musicians, even if their material was somewhat forgettable. My favorite was the guy who ran the open mic; he had probably the best stage presence of the night. My least favorite was an Afro-Caribbean group, the members of which played out of time with each other. Poor fellows. They're probably quite lovely people, and they certainly get points for trying, but they gave cacophony a bad name. All in all, however, I'd give the evening a thumbs up.

Rosa is already planning more open mic nights for us.

Tonight, the mics won't be open to me, but I'll be acting as a member of the in crowd when I go to the opening night performance of the musical "Blues in the Night" and the opening night party afterward. First, however... this afternoon the spa calls.

I lead a very hard life, don't I?

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