Now Playing 4-10-03
Head 'em up and move 'em out. Get along little dogies--it's time to boogie-woogie and mean it.
Open mics are all the rage. A few months ago there were only a couple of spots available to expose yourself (careful) to the public. Now there are no less than ten venues on four different nights of the week espousing the do-it-yourself ethic of the open mic.
Thursday Jeff and Keith host the longest-running acoustic open stage in town at Andiamo!, downtown on Sixth. Across the plaza above Sebastian's, Reiero and Matt have got a good thing going the same night at Stella Blue. For a more band-electric happening, wander in the Stumble Inn on 11th and Kansas for an "open musician's jam."
The o.m.s take a break on Friday and Saturday then begin in earnest again on Sunday. Lucky Patterson and the Wolf Crick Boys host a country-music-leaning night at the Underground City Tavern, cleverly called Underground City Limits. On the southside, Ralph Noe and the Repeat Offenders accommodate all comers at the Price Street Pub. The dark and mysterious Captain Charisma holds court at the recently remodeled Trail's End Saloon in Curran, straight out Wabash, a couple miles past Veterans Parkway.
Monday at the Alamo, the Illinois Central Blues Club hosts our longest-running electric open-stage music get-together. The Blue Monday Jam has been a forum for national and local blues act to strut their stuff since the mid-80s, always including an hour and a half at the end of the night to encourage interplay between musicians.
Andy and Dave take the lone Tuesday night spot at Bootleggers, off of Toronto Road near Lake Springfield, with an acoustic-oriented show. Wednesday features the Songwriter Circle on the first level of the Underground City Tavern with me as the host, and Jeff and Pete do a free-for-all at Dempsey's.
So check for specific times in the Illinois Times calendar, bring a guitar, a cord, some songs, and a few friends to hoot and holler for you. Try your hand at the big and beautiful world of show bidness.
Here's a topsy-turvy idea to butter both sides of your bread and leave you scratching your head. Check out the dandy fingerstyle guitar picking of Dennis Neff at the Sun's Up Koffe Kafe on First and Calhoun from 7 to 9 p.m. on Saturday. Neff is an accomplished picker and the intimate setting of the Kafe is a pleasant spot to hear such a talent. Then cruise to Dempsey's, 225 E, Monroe, to experience "lounge thrash for savants" by Chawbacon. Be a fan and pick up a copy of their recently released CD, With Pride. The second Chawbacon disc was recorded by Jonathan Pines at his Private Studios in Champaign and features a guest vocal appearance by elevator shoe lead singer, Trina Madonia.
That's all for this round-up, pardners. Watch out for the strays and sing yourself to sleep.