One of the main reasons I started this blog was so that I could talk about all the music I listen to and shows I go to, yet I rarely get around to that. Ok, it’s time to change that around. Last night was a real reminder of why I love going to see performances all the time. After getting some Tasti-D-Lite at the Frozen Monkey, I headed down to the Artkore Open Mic with Lisa and her friend Michelle. It was really great timing because who was there but my good friends, My Pocket Zoo. I had spent the better part of yesterday sorting thru my photos to get ready for a “reboot” of my gallery and was bummed that it’s been so long since I’ve seen those guys play. Well, they rocked the house so much that people demanded that they be allowed to play a third song (non-featured performers are limited to 2 songs or about 10 minutes for poetry/spoken word/comedy). They kicked off with an awesome version of “Starfish” only to follow up with their classic cover song “Like a Virgin” at the behest of bassist Alan Tepper. After lot’s of chanting and screaming, they came back with a highly energetic rendition of “Ukelele Boy Band.” Life is sweet. If you’ve never heard of these guys, or none of this makes any sense, make sure to check out their website and download some mp3’s.
But My Pocket Zoo was just one of the highlights. Just before them, Gibby (of High Speed Chase fame) did a couple acoustic numbers including an incredibly vicious of theis punk-anthem “Hate! Now!” Afterwards, a rather unassuming guy named Sean came up and played some incredible music ? a Cat Stevens. Unfortunately he got a little lost in the shuffle and people didn’t pay him the respect he deserves. I know he’s somewhat of a regular at the OpenMic and I hope he continues coming.
After hanging out for a while, we decided to go and Lisa and I headed over to O’Donoghue’s to check out the Dirt Floor Orchestra. A couple weeks back we saw these guys play at the Ristra and, between the two of them, crafted some of the most beautiful music I’ve ever heard. The band consists of Bobby Syvarth, a guitarist with amazing skills, and Dan Myers, who used to play saxophone for From Good Homes. Last night only Bobby was there, but he’s practically a one-man band. He uses some sort of loop-recorder on his pedal setup to create several layers of sounds with his guitar. These basically act as the backing band to his regular guitar work, which he uses to deconstruct cover songs and create his own versions of them. There is something truly special about his rendition of “Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes.” And his mellow style gives Dan such a perfect construct on which to play a saxophone and just jam. It was really a pleasure to listen to last night, although I got increasingly frustrated with the drunk guys behind us playing stupid bar games like that Golf arcade machine that seems to be everywhere. Whatever, at least Lisa and I got to enjoy the music. I also plan on checking out the Open Mic night they do there every Sunday – it’s good to have variety.