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Open mic acts that completely blow

josepp 19 Mar 11 - 12:30 PM
catspaw49 19 Mar 11 - 12:55 PM
gnu 19 Mar 11 - 12:56 PM
Roger the Skiffler 20 Mar 11 - 05:00 AM
Roger the Skiffler 20 Mar 11 - 05:01 AM
Bobert 20 Mar 11 - 07:59 AM
DrugCrazed 20 Mar 11 - 08:37 AM
Bobert 20 Mar 11 - 09:00 AM
DrugCrazed 20 Mar 11 - 09:11 AM
Maryrrf 20 Mar 11 - 09:43 AM
Phil Cooper 20 Mar 11 - 10:24 AM
Bobert 20 Mar 11 - 11:06 AM
Tootler 20 Mar 11 - 11:22 AM
GUEST,999 20 Mar 11 - 11:36 AM
josepp 20 Mar 11 - 11:57 AM
Little Hawk 20 Mar 11 - 12:02 PM
Bobert 20 Mar 11 - 12:15 PM
Amergin 20 Mar 11 - 12:16 PM
Little Hawk 20 Mar 11 - 12:19 PM
Bobert 20 Mar 11 - 12:32 PM
Maryrrf 20 Mar 11 - 02:48 PM
SINSULL 20 Mar 11 - 02:59 PM
reggie miles 20 Mar 11 - 03:06 PM
GUEST,pete from seven stars link 20 Mar 11 - 03:35 PM
josepp 20 Mar 11 - 03:55 PM
The Fooles Troupe 20 Mar 11 - 05:35 PM
Acorn4 20 Mar 11 - 06:41 PM
The Fooles Troupe 20 Mar 11 - 07:02 PM
Don Firth 20 Mar 11 - 07:37 PM
Little Hawk 20 Mar 11 - 08:32 PM
dick greenhaus 20 Mar 11 - 09:07 PM
Amergin 20 Mar 11 - 09:28 PM
josepp 20 Mar 11 - 09:43 PM
Bobert 20 Mar 11 - 09:50 PM
Little Hawk 20 Mar 11 - 09:57 PM
josepp 20 Mar 11 - 10:12 PM
Smokey. 20 Mar 11 - 10:12 PM
The Fooles Troupe 20 Mar 11 - 11:45 PM
The Fooles Troupe 20 Mar 11 - 11:46 PM
Smokey. 21 Mar 11 - 01:05 AM
The Fooles Troupe 21 Mar 11 - 02:15 AM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 21 Mar 11 - 02:27 AM
GUEST,999 21 Mar 11 - 02:34 AM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 21 Mar 11 - 02:48 AM
Bert 21 Mar 11 - 03:16 AM
Little Hawk 21 Mar 11 - 03:26 AM
Nigel Parsons 21 Mar 11 - 04:52 AM
Roger the Skiffler 21 Mar 11 - 06:40 AM
Roger the Skiffler 21 Mar 11 - 06:49 AM
Bobert 21 Mar 11 - 08:46 AM
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Subject: BS: Open mic acts that completely blow
From: josepp
Date: 19 Mar 11 - 12:30 PM

I do open mics just about anywhere they'll let me but at my favorite spot there's this guy whom I won't name--just in case. He's the worst performer I've ever had the misfortune to see and here's the biggest problem: he's at every open mic at this place--never misses a one. Now, I go there only sporadically. I didn't go this week, for example. But it doesn't matter which I day I go, he'll be there. So far, only once was I fortunate enough to wander just as he was leaving. I could have jumped for joy and high-fived everybody in the joint knowing that I missed him.

He's not just bad--he's excruciating, embarrassing, horrible. Now, normally, I wouldn't be this hard on an act but this guy thinks he's great. He actually thinks people enjoy him because he gets polite applause. I know this because I heard him bad-mouthing other acts on the bill once. "They suck, I don't know why they're here." I was shocked. THEY SUCK???   If he knew he sucked but just did it because he liked to--I could tolerate it. Shouldn't make a difference except that it does. The fact that he thinks he's great makes him intolerable to listen to. Has this guy ever recorded himself and lstened back to it? There's songs I used to do that I stopped doing when I recorded myself and realized I sounded like shit.

He did McCartney's "My Love" once and you know the part where Paul sings "My love does it goooooooooooood." You have to be a decent singer to hit that note which is one reason I'd never do the song. Didn't stop this chap. He managed to hit exactly the least musical note EVER and did every time that part came around. It was bad even for him because I've never heard him hit a good note. Oh my god. The lady sitting next to me turned to me and winced and I couldn't blame her.

I guess the only good thing about him is that I know that even if I'm having one of my off-nights (where, trust me, I have SUCKED horribly) I'll still never suck as bad as him because he is, by default, the worst performer I have ever heard. I'm not demanding that an act be fantastically good or even particularly good--I'm not that good myself--but please at least be listenable and don't pound out the theme to "Spiderman" on the pianny. That's really not entertaining--honest it isn't. Oh, and when the host says that you get 10 minutes to perform--that means 10 minutes not 17. Again, if you're really good, I can forgive that easily but when you suck like nobody ever sucked before, don't grant yourself that extra liberty because you're not worth it even if you think you are.

Now before 50 people respond with their typical angry and condescending remarks that they can't seem to stop themelves from posting if the OP is named Josepp, I'm NOT expecting any replies. I'm just venting. Open mics are for everybody, I guess, but it seems that some people really stretch this democratic ideal to the limit. When they say free speech does not mean you can yell fire in a crowded theatre, maybe this should be extended to open mics. Saying open mics are for everybody does not mean you can waste 10 to 17 minutes of people's lives taxing their charitable nature especially week after week after week after week.


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Subject: RE: BS: Open mic acts that completely blow
From: catspaw49
Date: 19 Mar 11 - 12:55 PM

He's not just bad--he's excruciating, embarrassing, horrible. Now, normally, I wouldn't be this hard on an act but this guy thinks he's great. He actually thinks people enjoy him because he gets polite applause. I know this because I heard him bad-mouthing other acts on the bill once. "They suck, I don't know why they're here." I was shocked. THEY SUCK???   If he knew he sucked but just did it because he liked to--I could tolerate it. Shouldn't make a difference except that it does. The fact that he thinks he's great makes him intolerable to listen to. Has this guy ever recorded himself and listened back to it? There's songs I used to do that I stopped doing when I recorded myself and realized I sounded like shit.

ROFLAMAO.........Thank you for this paragraph Jo..........You really did get a hearty laugh out of me.......Thanks!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Open mic acts that completely blow
From: gnu
Date: 19 Mar 11 - 12:56 PM

Well... at least he makes the other comics look better.


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Subject: RE: BS: Open mic acts that completely blow
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 20 Mar 11 - 05:00 AM

Sorry, didn't see you there, josepp. Ask me for a request next time.

RtS


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Subject: RE: BS: Open mic acts that completely blow
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 20 Mar 11 - 05:01 AM

Oh, no, couldn't have been me, I don't do Beatles songs.

RtS
Voice made for mime


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Subject: RE: BS: Open mic acts that completely blow
From: Bobert
Date: 20 Mar 11 - 07:59 AM

That's always been one of the things that all open mics have in common... Usually it's just the inexperienced who are nervous and might be better in the comfort of their homes who mess up so much... But then there are guys like this who really do SUCK and are either clueless or don't care...

Hey, it's 15 minutes!!!

Go out for some air when this guys turn and...

...be thankful it ain't you...

In other words, get over it, it's life...

B~ (who generally doesn't suck but we've all had a few bummers)


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Subject: RE: BS: Open mic acts that completely blow
From: DrugCrazed
Date: 20 Mar 11 - 08:37 AM

I appear to have got lucky at my open mic and never had anyone like that.

Shit, does that mean it's me?


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Subject: RE: BS: Open mic acts that completely blow
From: Bobert
Date: 20 Mar 11 - 09:00 AM

Might be, crazed...

But here's the one that really bugs me... We have an open mic locally and the guy who runs it thinks that it's all about "him"... I mean, he'll do 45 minute sets while 8 other people are signed up sitting around waiting, and waiting and waiting... He called me up and asked me if I'd play his so-called "open mic" but after he hogged so much time, I got up and said, "Seein' as there are so many folks who have signed up and wating, I'll just do a couple quick songs and let them have a turn..."

He didn't even get what I was trying to tell him... duhhhhh???

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Open mic acts that completely blow
From: DrugCrazed
Date: 20 Mar 11 - 09:11 AM

Probably one of the advantages to being in a student run open mic :)

I'm firmly of the opinion that 10 minute sets are the point of open mics. I go to watch people and feel insecure about my guitar playing. If I have to watch 30 minutes of a soul style singer then I get bored and drift off - something I never want to do.


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Subject: RE: BS: Open mic acts that completely blow
From: Maryrrf
Date: 20 Mar 11 - 09:43 AM

I've seen that a lot at open mics, and often, if the person who is running the open mic isn't paying attention, they'll hog the show and take up huge amounts of time. Lots of preening before they start - tuning the guitar, long introductions....If it's "two songs" they'll pick the longest two songs they can find. It's the same phenomenon of very unnattractive people who think they're really good looking. Must be nice to live in that kind of alternate reality.


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Subject: RE: BS: Open mic acts that completely blow
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 20 Mar 11 - 10:24 AM

My life partner ran a coffeehouse which had eight acts in an evening. This was not an open mic night, more of a folk-vaudeville show. Every act got 10 minutes, except the featured act, that got 20. She found that some performers would plan ten minutes of songs, forgetting that applause and introductions take time. After someone introduced a short song with a looooonnnnggggggg intro, and everyone else decided to run over time because that act did, she put a dark room timer on a music stand on the stage. She would set the timer on ten minutes. It didn't have a buzzer or anything, but the performer would have an idea of how their act was going.


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Subject: RE: BS: Open mic acts that completely blow
From: Bobert
Date: 20 Mar 11 - 11:06 AM

I used to play the Herndon Folk Club open mic in Herndon, Va. and they had it right... You got 15 minutes and that was it... At the 14 minute mark a guy right in front of you would blast you with a lazer beam (lol) flashlight that got yer attention... No exceptions... Worked great...

BTW, people do open mics for different reasons... Experienced musicians do them to be supportive and to roll out new stuff that isn't quite ready for prime time... Beginners us 'um to learn what it's like to perform... And then there's everyone else in between...

I've heard some folks who when I first heard them thought, "Geeze, this is terrible" only to have them grow on me...

And we also have to keep in mind that there are "Gong Show"ers out there, too, who just like to be outrageous...

So, bottom line??? They are a lot like going to a pot luck supper... Some of the stuff you're going back for seconds and other dishes you don't want firsts...

That's what make both fun...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Open mic acts that completely blow
From: Tootler
Date: 20 Mar 11 - 11:22 AM

Surely this is a music thread and should be above the line, not in BS.


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Subject: RE: BS: Open mic acts that completely blow
From: GUEST,999
Date: 20 Mar 11 - 11:36 AM

I think that for open mics to work, time needs to be alloted and enforced by the session organizer{s}.

You have 15 minutes is fine. But that includes set-up time and extraneous time. I have seen electric bands take 15 minutes to set up THEN they do their 15 minutes. I usually leave by that point.


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Subject: RE: BS: Open mic acts that completely blow
From: josepp
Date: 20 Mar 11 - 11:57 AM

In a 10 minute set, I'm done in 7 and often less than 5. My philosophy is, if I'm good then leave em hungry for more and if I'm sucking then get off the stage. I always do numbers that have hooks in them so that a 3-minute song is an enjoyable 3 minutes that goes by too quickly. I never understood people who do a 7-minute song that just seems to do nothing or go anywhere. And you know their next song is going to overrun the 10-minute limit.


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Subject: RE: BS: Open mic acts that completely blow
From: Little Hawk
Date: 20 Mar 11 - 12:02 PM

I LOVE your description of that guy, josepp! ;-D Yes, I've seen the odd act that was about that bad at open mikes here and there. I've even seen acts that KNEW they were terrible and they did it just to play the fool, but the ones who DON'T know they're terrible but think they are great are fairly rare, fortunately.

Someone should put together a video showing several such performers and release it as a musical comedy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Open mic acts that completely blow
From: Bobert
Date: 20 Mar 11 - 12:15 PM

Yeah, 6-7 minute songs are not for open mics... If I have 15 minutes then it's 3 songs... Period... That allows for 1-2 minutes set-up, which BTW is another topic and a little yack time, which is also another topic... If each song comes in at 3:20 to 3:30 then all works... With blues songs that generally means 3 verses with a short break...

Also good to finish with something that if you find yourself pinched for time that you can wind down quickly (less than a minute) if you get the flashlight...

BTW, I've done several blues challenges over the years where you get 30 minutes... One second over and they take points away... Always good to manage yer stage time... Part of making one a better performer...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Open mic acts that completely blow
From: Amergin
Date: 20 Mar 11 - 12:16 PM

There is a great open mic in Portland, that is anything goes, you can get up on the stage and do anything you want, as long as you do it within your allotted 15 minutes. The organiser keeps everything tightly within that time. As usual it is a mixed bag, some great performers, some mediocre, and some terrible. I don't mind it except for when the egos get up there...and they think they're wonderful, but then are utter crap. I find at these things that the larger the ego, the crappier their talent/skill.

The worst open mic I have been to was last summer on a First Friday Art Walk in Vancouver, Washington. The people who ran the place were talking loudly when people were trying to read their poetry (including me), and then expected everyone to watch them in awe as they danced and chanted some thing on stage....because they're artists you know....and so everything they do is beautiful...Me and the organiser were so pissed off we left, went off in search of drinks and good music, and never went back to that place.


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Subject: RE: BS: Open mic acts that completely blow
From: Little Hawk
Date: 20 Mar 11 - 12:19 PM

I can understand your approach to doing songs, josepp, keeping it to short ones with a good hook, and sometimes I plan it the same way, but sometimes I don't. It really depends on which songs I'm feeling like singing that day. I basically sing songs because I feel like singing them for some reason, not necessarily because I think they are the songs that will go over the best...but that depends also on where I'm playing and what the objective is. In other words, am I there mainly to entertain? Or am I there mainly to express myself in the way that I enjoy the most? Or both? Anyway, there are some long songs I like to play, simply because I like what's in those songs, period. That is, the words interest me. I don't know that I've sung any songs that "do nothing" or go nowhere.... (?) I don't think so. But someone else might think so if they can't relate to it or if they've got a sort of limited attention span (not uncommon these days).


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Subject: RE: BS: Open mic acts that completely blow
From: Bobert
Date: 20 Mar 11 - 12:32 PM

I agree... Three short songs is more memorable than one long one whether I'm playin' or someone else is... Heck, if you can't get folks wantin' more with 3 then somethin' wrong...

BTW, another good "another topic" is how long a set should be for certain types of music at festivals...

I mean, lotta folks, regardless of how talented, ain't all the versatile... I'll be the first to admit that I like to do 45 minutes and no more... I can hold an audience that long but 2-3 hours of blues is too much... I was playing at the ski-lodge at Massanutten Resort a couple three years ago and they make you play 3 hours... Too much...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Open mic acts that completely blow
From: Maryrrf
Date: 20 Mar 11 - 02:48 PM

45 minutes is about right for a set. After that you and the audience needs a break. I've done some of those three hour marathon (and a five hour show - but that was a St. Pat's day a while back at a pub, so the audience was pretty noisy and distracted anyway. Even if it's a long evening, the sets need to be broken up.


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Subject: RE: BS: Open mic acts that completely blow
From: SINSULL
Date: 20 Mar 11 - 02:59 PM

Graet thread.
We have all been there.
I remember a particular open mic that started with a local singer-songwriter. His first was an interminable dirge on the birth of his first child - a boy. We all listened politely. Then he introduced his second offering - another interminable dirge on the birth of his daughter who (fortunately) was born the same week his favorite uncle died. He managed to fit both events into a twenty minute ditty. Pure pain.
That same night some local high schoolers showed up with their moms. Seems they were singing Amazing Grace at home and Mom decided her daughter was meant for the stage. One particularly awkward girl was a drummer. Amazing Grace in four part dissonics (I invented the word for the occasion) with an out of tempo drummer who flounced off the stage in a rage when the other three would not keep up with her. To add insult to injury they sat in the front row the rest of the evening and whispered and giggled the whole time.
There was some first rate local musicians on the bill. Some quite famous. Worth the wait. But I would have been happy to see that clown from the Gong Show escorting these two acts off the stage.
Bitchy of me but honest.
SINS


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Subject: RE: BS: Open mic acts that completely blow
From: reggie miles
Date: 20 Mar 11 - 03:06 PM

Firstly, isn't this thread about music and therefore shouldn't this be above the line, with the rest of the music threads and not in the BS section?

We all have our own path to tread. Some folks begin their musical explorations at a very young age and essentially, get a head start on those of us who might not be as fortunate. Others, like me, did not have the opportunity to get involved with music at an early age, despite our desire to do so.

Some seem naturally inclined to being able to play and/or sing. Maybe, it's just the right combination of genetics and/or cultural encouragement. I've heard some singers open their mouths and seemingly without effort, sing like angels and yet there are others who couldn't carry a tune in a bucket.

I attended one open stage where such a singer/player seemed to be making their first steps along their musical path. Though, I had been to this event before, when you could barely get in the door, much less find room on the list to play, on this night, the event wasn't well attended. Like the various descriptions offered in previous posts, this person made a lot of decisions that caused their performance to be more challenging than it needed to be.

They not only played long, slow paced songs, that would have been a challenge to play effectively by a very skilled performer but they also chose songs that were originally performed by singers with a tough vocal range to emulate. Yet, they insisted upon getting up and trying their best. They toughed it out through forgotten lyrics and their stumbled fingering of tricky chord formations.

I found myself unable to turn and look away from this performance. I was transfixed by the show of determination that this person was giving in their struggle to learn to play and sing in front of an audience. I found it fascinating that they were willing to get up on stage, something that many folks would not even attempt to do under any circumstance and despite all of their weaknesses, try. I applauded the performance for that reason.

As bad as this fellow you describe might have been, it's no reason to discourage his exploration of music. I'm thinking that there are far worse things that he could be involved with in his spare time. Would you rather he be rifling through the glove compartment of your car, while you're on stage at the open mic?

The mistake that you've described, that he made, choosing to sing a song that was vocally challenging to emulate, is a common one. At least, it's one that I've heard many make. I've even heard players getting well paid to offer their music at various events who had this affectation.

Sometimes, it's just a matter of finding the right key in which to offer the song. It may be a matter of the individual being inexperienced and not knowing how to make that determination. Training and educational instruction in music can help to eliminate some of common mistakes that we make in our musical pursuits but what if that's not available or affordable? Sometimes, it's simply not having the capability to reach the same notes in a given melody structure that another, more gifted, singer can easily reach.

We, who choose to involve ourselves in this activity, at whatever level, are all on our own individual paths of exploration and growth. We don't all manage to attain the same level, at the same rate. Nor do we all even reach the same level via our individual endeavors. It's a very personal exploration that varies in every aspect from person to person.

"In the eternal reoccurrence of Spring, some branches grow short, while others grow long."

The art of playing and singing might look easy to those who have little or no background in this pursuit. Certainly, for some, it doesn't appear to be a challenge. However, it is a discipline that requires inspiration, intuition, patience, time, practice, diligence and at least for me, a lot of hard work.

One morning, while flipping through the channels on boob tube, I heard Dolly Parton make a total boob of herself while singing on a morning talk show. She chose to sing one of her own songs, "I Will Always Love You", along with a backing music track and ended up offering her vocals in a completely different key. It was as bad as it sounds. I would have been thoroughly embarrassed after committing such a vocal catastrophe, while being so well known for my vocal abilities. You learn to accept that not every performance will be perfect or glitch free and just continue to do as best you can.

Yep, even the best and the brightest have technical difficulties, that they face, which can completely alter their efforts. This glitch was about as big a goof as I've seen and heard on national TV. That's not to say that there haven't been worse.

Any similar mistake, made by any self taught amateur singer, might not have made as much of an impact or been nearly as significant. It's expected that those with less experience would be more prone to making mistakes but when I heard this whopper of a flub being offered by Dolly, it caused me to ponder my own songwriting efforts. Until that point, I was a bit standoffish about bringing my songs out of the closet. After hearing this icon of the industry get up in front of the entire nation and make such a huge goof with one of her own songs, it caused me to reevaluate my decision regarding singing my songs in public. From that point on, I made a more concerted effort to write sing my own songs.

Since making that decision, to play and sing my own stuff, I've reaped some significant rewards via my songwriting, recordings and performances. I've had an overwhelming amount of positive feedback from listeners. None of that would have happened had I not been flipping through the channels that one morning and caught Dolly's blunder.

These days, some of the new genres of music being offered up have names that sound as weirdly twisted as the musical explorations are. Still, there seem to be lots of fans that appreciate it and support it. As esoteric as those explorations are, I would not dissuade anyone from their fun with music.

So, there you go. Offering poorly executed songs in public forums, like open mics or morning talk shows, while a bane to some folks, can be an inspiration to others. Who can say, for certain, how the actions of some will ultimately affect the decisions of others? None of us can know the future, or predict the outcome of how our actions will affect those around us.

In my own explorations along this musical path, I've influenced countless numbers of others to get involved in the same curious paths that I've explored, like playing washboard percussion, playing bottleneck slide guitar or making their own guitars, as I have, and playing musical saw. I like one of Gandalf's lines in "The Fellowship of the Ring". He tells Frodo, "Even the very wise cannot see all ends."

And, who can say what new genres might be spawned by all of the efforts of those who persist in their musical pursuits despite their less than mature abilities, shortcomings or technical failures along the way. Hey, in this day and age, anything can and does seem to happen. In the case of Dolly's blunder, perhaps a new genre will arise, where singers sing out of tune, or off key, along with their favorite songs. It might be called, Kara-yucky.


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Subject: RE: BS: Open mic acts that completely blow
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 20 Mar 11 - 03:35 PM

i always try to be encouraging to other performers even if not apparently much good;thats how i started!
but if a muso badmouths other participants i regard their act negatively,even if they are brilliant.
it was,nt till i started writing songs that i took singing lessons and its taken/taking years of effort attaining the [hopefully]status of a singer.
maybe its harder for those already gifted[or think they are!]to be gracious to beginners and strugglers.
here in the UK open mics are generally free,other than buying a drink so there,s not too much pressure for performers and little to lose for audience


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Subject: RE: BS: Open mic acts that completely blow
From: josepp
Date: 20 Mar 11 - 03:55 PM

////As bad as this fellow you describe might have been, it's no reason to discourage his exploration of music. I'm thinking that there are far worse things that he could be involved with in his spare time. Would you rather he be rifling through the glove compartment of your car, while you're on stage at the open mic?////

If he does that like he performs, I'd have nothing to worry about.


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Subject: RE: BS: Open mic acts that completely blow
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 20 Mar 11 - 05:35 PM

Reggie, you understand, in the way that Mr J does not.

Mr J is upset because he sees a projection of his own ego taking a bashing.

Reggie has been there, and gone way beyond that.

When I was a kid, I knew a violinist in an Aussie country town, who in the days of only 2 weeks holidays, would save up all year to spend the 2 weeks at The Brisbane Conservatorium of Music for lessons. He had been playing for at least 30 years by the time I 'discovered' his 'talent' ... He was so desperately keen, practiced a LOT, and had many violins that would have bought several houses overall, and which my dad drooled over - my dad considered himself privileged to be offered a chance to occasionally play on some of them - as Ben said, "they sound really good when you play them!". He was so loved by his community, that he was the leader of various musical efforts in the town.

But my dad said that he was almost impossible to play with in an ensemble, as he had no idea of bowing a piece consistently, or even playing it twice at the same tempo, and phrasing, and my dad swore that this guy could 'slide a note on an open string". If you are not a violinist, you may not understand just how good at being a bad violinist you have to be to achieve such an accolade...

Cast not stones at those you think less than you. Just make yourself do better.

As my dad said, "Any fool can play loud and fast. It takes talent, study, and practice to play slow and soft".


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Subject: RE: BS: Open mic acts that completely blow
From: Acorn4
Date: 20 Mar 11 - 06:41 PM

The Open Mike at our local had a slightly different problem. It is run by a guitarist and keyboard player who are both excellent musicians, but concerned to just act as hosts, do a few songs and encourage other people, providing them with backing if they wish.

There are a lot of good singers who turn up. but until recently they all wanted to go on late rather than early. Being ourselves rather on the quiet side we used to volunteer for an early slot, but, after us, there would be the hosts playing until around 10.00 then everyone wanting a slot, resulting in the fact that some didn't get a chance to play and would go home moaning.

I don't know quite what the cause of this was - do get enough ale in to get the Dutch courage to go on ? Desire to be the "star turn"? Thinking the audience would be more warmed up?

Recently, it has gone far more smoothly, I think possibly because people cottoned on that you got more songs if you went on early. Whatever the reason, I'm glad it's resolved itself for the sake of the two who run it who do a great job.


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Subject: RE: BS: Open mic acts that completely blow
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 20 Mar 11 - 07:02 PM

When young, I used to not really wake up till nearly 10 am - I had been at work for some time before then, so that caused some difficulties :-) and used not be able to fall asleep till easily 2 or 3 am - or sometimes, not at all - I would stay awake all night a couple of times a month regularly. I was under a lot of stress those days too, from certain areas...

Nowadays I find that I often start to fade after 9 pm - might have something to do with regularly coming awake at 4-5 am !!! (funny, I remember my dad complaining about that too, but he was a pilot in the RAAF in WWII, and ran a paper run after that so I thought that might have had something to do with that ...) so now I find waiting for the promised slot for the 'lower down the pecking order musos' at certain events to be sadly a bore - really, I just can't perform when I'm falling asleep!, and coffee only does so much... the problem is that 'social politeness' insists that I not throw a tantrum and get on earlier - well, I probably COULD do that... ONCE .... :-)

Funny, I don't seem to be in front of an audience much these days, and I often find myself leaving early regularly now, even when I really want to watch certain performers later in the evening...

But who cares?

"I don't know quite what the cause of this was - do get enough ale in to get the Dutch courage to go on ? Desire to be the "star turn"? Thinking the audience would be more warmed up?"

Ego ... and a bit from column A, a bit from column B, a bit from ...

"Recently, it has gone far more smoothly, I think possibly because people cottoned on that you got more songs if you went on early."

Actually, the trick is that some probably discovered for themselves that if you just go with the flow, you are not working as hard, and if you do that, you don't improve as rapidly. Go on early, and WORK THE AUDIENCE - that's a performing skill in itself, and like sex, the more you do it the easier it is, and the better it gets. (At least, that's what my music teacher Mrs Palmer told me ....)


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Subject: RE: BS: Open mic acts that completely blow
From: Don Firth
Date: 20 Mar 11 - 07:37 PM

Quite possibly the motive for wanting to go on later in the evening is that in major multi-performer concerts and recitals, it's generally assumed by most people that the major acts go on in the last half of the program, with THE major act coming at the end. It may be a "status thing" with some people.

'Course that could torpedo someone who's pretty good, but they wind up having to follow—well, let's put it this way:    I think most people consider me pretty good, but in a multi-performer concert, I'd rather not have to follow Gordon Bok.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Open mic acts that completely blow
From: Little Hawk
Date: 20 Mar 11 - 08:32 PM

It is a status thing with some people, definitely. I've seen it occur quite a bit at open stages where you have slots available over, say, 3 or 4 hours. The ones who want to be "stars" don't want the early slots.

It's also strategy to play when you think you'll have the most audience, and that could be in the middle of the night...or it could be at the end...depends on the venue and who is coming. If it's mostly just performers who are coming, then your spot of greatest potential audience is neither early nor late, but somewhere near the midpoint.


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Subject: RE: BS: Open mic acts that completely blow
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 20 Mar 11 - 09:07 PM

If you want to avoid real stinkers at an open mic, don't make it open. That's simple.


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Subject: RE: BS: Open mic acts that completely blow
From: Amergin
Date: 20 Mar 11 - 09:28 PM

The real stinkers are not the ones who are less talented, less skilled, less whatever...the real stinkers are the ones who make it uncomfortable for everyone....those who expect everyone to love them...but do not hold the same respect for any one else's performance...


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Subject: RE: BS: Open mic acts that completely blow
From: josepp
Date: 20 Mar 11 - 09:43 PM

I'm thinking that maybe they should pass out chits with the performers listed on them. Then there's a rating system:

"I thought this performer was excellent and would love to see this person again."

"I thought this performer was pretty good and wouldn't mind seeing this person again."

"I thought this performer was okay and could take this person or leave him/her."

"I didn't care for this performer but others might like him/her."

"I thought this was the performer from hell who couldn't carry a tune on a stretcher which is what it will need when s/he's done bollocks it up and I never want to even think of this person again much less him/her perform."

Now anyone can have an off-night so you get three chances to strut your stuff but if you get a stinko rating consistently, adios. Make sure every artist understands this going in and that it is the audience who decides not the establishment or the host. So if you get barred from performing there--blame yourself for blowing donkey balls. It won't stop crappy acts from showing up but it will keep them from returning.

I doubt people would be mean about it. A new act or a nervous act would likely get a pass. But a crappy or annoying act would get the heave-ho and, let's face it, if people don't want to see him then why should they see him?


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Subject: RE: BS: Open mic acts that completely blow
From: Bobert
Date: 20 Mar 11 - 09:50 PM

Open mics - go early...

Festivals - go late...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Open mic acts that completely blow
From: Little Hawk
Date: 20 Mar 11 - 09:57 PM

I was troubled by the fact that a local open stage I went to for years continued allowing performances by some teenage kids who showed up in the later years. They called themselves "The Weasel Brothers". Their only intention was to be really loud and obnoxious and get attention, because there was no craft whatsoever in their "musical" performances, and they knew it. They couldn't play or song worth a damn, didn't care, and were just there to raise hell. They strictly wanted to show off, bug people, and make a spectacle of themselves...kind of like a kid who hurls spitwads in a study hall or knocks over garbage cans on Main Street.

I didn't like the fact that they were allowed to do that over and over again by the host, whose response was that he couldn't refuse anyone the right to "perform" at an open stage.

The Weasel Brothers were one of the reasons that place slowly declined and began to lose some of its faithful attendees. In my opinion, an MC has to know where to draw the line, and I'd have drawn it there.

I'd have said, "You guys aren't real musicians. You're not trying to play real music. You don't get to play here."


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Subject: RE: BS: Open mic acts that completely blow
From: josepp
Date: 20 Mar 11 - 10:12 PM

We do have a coffeehouse near where I live where you can't get in on open mic until you audition for the owner in private. If he likes you, you get in. He says he won't have assholes and no-talents driving away mch needed customers. Unfortunately, I've never performed there because we can't set up an audition date. Either he's busy or I'm busy but I understand where he's coming from.


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Subject: RE: BS: Open mic acts that completely blow
From: Smokey.
Date: 20 Mar 11 - 10:12 PM

They should re-introduce jeering, booing, and the throwing of rotten fruit and vegetables - far too much mollycoddling goes on in the entertainment business these days. Good old fashioned humiliation is what's needed. Standards would rise, and many delusional hopefuls might lead more productive lives as a result.


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Subject: RE: BS: Open mic acts that completely blow
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 20 Mar 11 - 11:45 PM

"They should re-introduce jeering, booing, "

he Fooles Troupe have stolen and old line ...

"Don't Applaud - Throw Money!"

"and the throwing of rotten fruit and vegetables"

The Fooles Troupe eat .. well, not actually GOOD, but a lot of vegetable stews ...


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Subject: RE: BS: Open mic acts that completely blow
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 20 Mar 11 - 11:46 PM

"They should re-introduce jeering, booing, "

The Fooles Troupe have stolen and old line ...

"Don't Applaud - Throw Money!"

"and the throwing of rotten fruit and vegetables"

The Fooles Troupe eat .. well, not actually GOOD, but a lot of vegetable stews ...


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Subject: RE: BS: Open mic acts that completely blow
From: Smokey.
Date: 21 Mar 11 - 01:05 AM

Aye, it takes a good turnip catcher to make a decent living at folk music.


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Subject: RE: BS: Open mic acts that completely blow
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 21 Mar 11 - 02:15 AM

... unless you be a bunch of turnip heads, like The Fooles are...


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Subject: RE: BS: Open mic acts that completely blow
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 21 Mar 11 - 02:27 AM

I know this is not exactly the right thread to post this....but this morning I got some rather bummed out news!!

With all the bummers in the world today, add this one: Garrison Keillor, has announced that he is retiring from 'A Prairie Home Companion'..in two years.

For what its worth, I think he is a National Treasure, and his writings are superb, even rivaling one of my very favorites, Mark Twain.
He will be missed.

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Open mic acts that completely blow
From: GUEST,999
Date: 21 Mar 11 - 02:34 AM

Ya still got two years, GfS.


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Subject: RE: BS: Open mic acts that completely blow
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 21 Mar 11 - 02:48 AM

I posted this once before..it now hangs in our local music stote..it is original, and also VERY true:


                  The Ten Commandments for Musicians

I AM the heart and soul within you, You shall not imitate other player's licks, or singer's voices, thinking they are better than your heart!

You shall not sing from your heart in vain, nor in vanity.

You shall not make yourself an idol, in your own eyes, nor for anyone else.

You shall not bear false witness to how much you know about anything, therefore blocking new input.

You shall take breaks, and use that time to focus, and not ask people 'Did you like it?' (Besides, you might want to give the audience a break, from putting up with you, for not obeying the first three!)

Honor sound, and your tunings. You can always tell a 'purist', they're always out of tune! It shows arrogance. (See 1, 2, and 3).

Thou shall not murder your partners, by drowning them out! BLEND!! Nor shall you be suicidal, and proud of it!

Thou shall not commit adultery, or wish for it, as a reward for a good gig. When you have that much to learn, your music isn't saying much from the heart! (See 1,2,and 3.)

Thou shall not steal licks, and then announce A 'NEW ORIGINAL SONG' you just wrote. If stealing is in your heart, please don't play, or sing!…Matter of fact, SHUT UP!

Thou shall not covet thy neighbor's ax. The right sound is in your head, so get the right instrument that lets you speak the TRUTH...not that you got a 'prestigious' ax, to impress people, that if you were any good, you'd be able to afford it. (See 1,2,and 3.)

Sub-part B: Thou shall not fear, nor have bad attitudes about sound equipment, nor processors. If you don't think you're dealing with sound, shut up, and don't play!

Thou shall not precede a song with lengthy 'histories' of how you came to write it...just play it. If it is interesting, someone will ask you about it. They came to hear music, not how 'special' you think you are! (See 1,2, and 3.)

Thou shall use anything you need to make the song sound the way you hear it....the audience will be the judge of your 'taste'.

If you play stoned, remember, to YOU the song may FEEL great, even if the notes are all wrong! Learn the discipline of FOCUS instead!

Thou shall PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE, so when you perform, you can listen and speak to God, with your heart, and not be 'SELF-conscious', but GOD conscious'. Those who commit the sin of SELF consciousness, shall make mistakes. Your PRACTICE will set you're abilities free! Let you mind and heart be upon God, and let Him play through you. (See 1,2,and 3.) Play to God, thanking Him for HIS gift to you. The audience is only your witness, and they'll think its to them, and then you bring them with you....and remember, WE ARE ONE

Guest from Sanity


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Subject: RE: BS: Open mic acts that completely blow
From: Bert
Date: 21 Mar 11 - 03:16 AM

Have you noticed that the worst ones are those who arrive late and leave immediately after their own performance.


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Subject: RE: BS: Open mic acts that completely blow
From: Little Hawk
Date: 21 Mar 11 - 03:26 AM

Yes!


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Subject: RE: BS: Open mic acts that completely blow
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 21 Mar 11 - 04:52 AM

If it's "two songs" they'll pick the longest two songs they can find
For the final night of the BBC club in Cardiff there was such a turn-out that the limit was one song each.
The singer who said he would do "One thousand bottles of beer on a wall" was joking.


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Subject: RE: BS: Open mic acts that completely blow
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 21 Mar 11 - 06:40 AM

To be serious for a change, and from limited experience, I have been impressed with the standard of singing and playing of the young people (and some not so young) at our local acoustic Open Mic (every Tuesday 8.30 main bar Jagz, Ascot, UK). I'll draw a veil over some of the "here's one one mine" songwriting quality, but performance-wise they all seem very good & one can see people growing in confidence. Jagz policy is to encourage young talent to develop performing confidence. That's why I don't perform, just listen- I am no longer young, have bags of confidence but no talent. Mind you, when hardly anyone turns up to perform there is always the danger that the Kazoo of Doom, the Voice that Talent Forgot, or even, G*d forbid, the Washboard of Mass Destruction, might be tempted to grab a mike!
Tomorrow Kelly (daughter of Bill)Boazman will headline on keyboard and vocals, hopefully other acts will turn up.

RtS


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Subject: RE: BS: Open mic acts that completely blow
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 21 Mar 11 - 06:49 AM

....Bert, usually they talk through everyone else's act as well!

RtS


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Subject: RE: BS: Open mic acts that completely blow
From: Bobert
Date: 21 Mar 11 - 08:46 AM

One of GfinS's Ten Commandments reminds me of something I learned about 40 years ago playing at an Open Mic in Richmond and something that I have used over the years with so level of success...

We've all at one time or another found ourselves in the middle of and intro or first verse to only to discover, to our utter horror, that one string is flat or sharp and having to make the decision whether or not the song can be done well by playing around it, quickly surmising that the answer is "no" and...

...so this guy just stopped playing and somewhat apologetically said to the audience, "Sorry, but we tune because we care" before dealing with the tuning problem ... It seemed like such an honest, yet professional, way to deal with the problem and...

...I have had to resort to using that trick a few times over the years and it is comforting knowing that there are these tericks fort getting outta pickles...

Just thought this thread might be a good one to pass that trick along...

B~


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