Monday, November 28, 2005

Nov 29-WOW is the only word

I really don't know where to start.
I felt like crap this Tuesday. Still sick, nursing a bad back, November is not my best month anyway, and to top it off, I missed my bus. Damn.
Oh well, get on with it.
So one of the bands that coes thru the Brownstone has taken some of the mic cords..So I only have one and have a three person group coming down to feature. Sucks.
Working on compiling my own equipment, then I will need a car to cart it all in. (hey you, yeah you, if you got an extra car sitting around-holla at me)
Now the night wasn't bad. Slow start, light crowd. Very subdued energy. Phaedra thought it was due to my heavy drinkers not coming out, and you know what? She might have been right.
All that being said there were still over forty people there when we got started and the night peaked at around 60 so it was another one of those instances when I have to remind myself that 40-50 people out on a cold Tuesday evening for poetry is NOT a "bad" or "slow" night.

With that, the open mic list was almost full with over 14 people signed up to read. I like these nights since with all the slams and shows, some nights the poets only get to read one poem all night. So on nights like last night, they can go back to being the show and rip their two poems and feel good about coming out and sharing part of themselves with the people.

My new hipsters Andy and Corey were in the house. They are like 16/17 and brought their girlfriends with them..Cool..And at the bar trying to give them space? Their PARENTS! Very cool. How chill is it for a teenager to take his girlfriend to a poetry spot and his parents be at the bar taking it all in? (mom, are you out there? How come we didn't do this stuff? Oh, wait, I remember now-because there were no poetry spots in Dayton and most assuredly not in the ghetto-all is forgiven mom :] )

So my features for the evening were none other than the great group camouflage Finesse. Three ladies from Cleveland, Ohio who I had heard individually but never in their group format.

With the weather being what it can be in northern Ohio, they were running behind so instead of going up in the middle of the night like most of my features, they closed out the night.

This is where the night got interesting.

With about 2 poets left on the open mic, the ladies go get their game faces on. Q-Nice and L.S from Chief Rocka Entertainment had come down with them from Cleveland and I asked them to warm the mic up for the features. (a little backstory- Q-Nice and Chief Rocka have been doing their thing for years..Well before I even thought of poetry. They used to come down from time to time and hit mics here when the scene was more vibrant but that was years ago. Now they run several shows of their own and stay quite busy. One of their shows happens on Tuesdays so they actually SKIPPED their own show to come down and check out Black Pearl. That was a huge compliment to me and all of us who attend and support Black Pearl. Plus a lot of cats just don't support one another in any way so to get love from out of town was nice and makes up for some of it that lacks in town)

All that said, they ROCKED. Jeff, one of the owners of the Brownstone, came down and was smiling and clapping and telling people that "those boys are good". Jeff NEVER is impressed with anyone that reads. So that was big.

Now while they were getting the crowd prepped for the main event, a gentleman came in the door and said hello, looked around, and asked if I would like for him to do a piece.

This man was none other than Umar Bin Hassan of THE LAST POETS!

He was in town and stopped in to holla at me. Once the other cats were done I asked if the features would mind if I let him talk and do a piece. Of course once they picked their jaws off the floor they said they would be honored.

I went to introduce him and you would have thought you were at a rock concert! People screaming before I said his name, folks scrambling to get their phones out and call people, others rushing out to the nearest store to get a camera!

So Umar did a fantastic piece that moved the crowd. He also promised to come back soon and do a show proper! So be on the lookout for that announcement.

NOW, we finally got to the feature, and somehow they managed to take things UP another notch. These three ladies did some fantastic work. Pieces that combined performing, theater, and poetry into one seamless tapestry! It was a great feature and an educational one as well. When the night was done, no one wanted to leave, everyone was talking to our out of town guests or soaking up some time from the living legend-Umar Bin Hassan.

In the end, it was a great night. My bartender herself even claimed it to be probably the best night since we started to have so few people witness it was a crime in her words. I thought the same at first and then thought, no, the people who needed to see this and witness it were the ones who were there.

Thanks to everyone who came out from all over the city and state, and for those who did not make it out I hope to see you next week. You never know what you might be missing!

Other quick shout outs- Carl and Roots Records was in the house! Mix Master Ice was in the house! Donna Marbury! Some local theater big timers! Speakeasy this Friday from 11pm-1am at 2co's ! Jazz Slam this Friday from 8-11 at Columbus Music Hall! Studio 1014's own Robert Berry will have an exhibition at Norka Futon Dec. 3!

The Grand Slam

So here are the people eligible for the Grand Slam:

They have all been notified and given their required info.

The GRAND SLAM will be December 20, 2005 and will be a very unique slam. For starters, it is a closed slam, which means that only the people listed above can compete. Next, since the slam is for IWPS consideration, the rules and rounds will be different. They have been tweaked to fit the IWPS format a little better. What this means to you, the audience, is a very diverse and extrememly fun yet competitive show.

There will be some other surprises that night as well, including a musical guest, and a guest host!