After a few crazy years of partying and bar hopping, the Open Mic has decided to move back home with its mother. “Songfair,” Jezebel Music’s weekly open mic night, was dedicated to New York’s songsters and the art of song. Held at the Lucky Cat, Sound Fix Lounge and Public Assembly, this event saw an incredible amount of talent and had a blast to boot. If some enterprising song nut wants to re-launch the Open Mic and has a worthwhile idea on how to make it a big party then contact email@example.com.
Otherwise, go to JezebelMusic.com to see current shows.
Read The Open Mic's Diary...
October 6, 2008: After a lovely surprise visit and performance from past Songfair host, Jay Hammond, we welcomed Mikaela to the Public Assembly stage. Singing over pre-recorded R&B tracks, Mikaela helped open the night with some much needed soul. Next was another femme and newbie, Anjela. A pop singer and trained dancer, Anjela rhythmically sashayed across the stage (I was pleasantly reminded of the Ms. J. Jackson of yesteryear) while also singing to her original music and doing mind-bending gymnastic dance moves. And while I love the boys, it’s great to be getting some more female involvement. Ethan Piper showed up to wail on his electric guitar (Plug in my friends! Get loud enough to battle the burlesque show next door! And how Lynchian the evening becomes when you see one of those tassle-nipped glittery Belle’s saunter by?) and was followed by the always raucous Jim Williams on acoustic. Jim’s “Peg Leg Maria” was the perfect segue song into Frank Lorentz’s set of acoustic everyman rock and roll. Elvis Costello decided to visit the sound fair in the form of LJ Murphy, a one-man phrase making machine whose songs were catchy enough to elicit a sing-a-long from the get-go. Regulars and old favorites on the scene, Dexter Scott (On electric!!! Can you tell this excites me?) and Michael Romano gave solid performances as the crooning troubadours they’ve come to represent. And last, Mike Baglivi (sans the rest of the Baglivi band) jammed out some well-crafted tunez that also called the audience to audible action. It was a totally fun night featuring regulars and new faces that just re-affirmed what we’re trying to do with the Songfair, that is, provide a place for musicians to practice their jams in a great setting supported by other musicians. We encourage ya’ll to bring more friends, more musicians, more weird instruments, and even more maniacal gusto than you already have to each week’s open mic.
>>View the Slideshow from October 6, 2008.<<
September 15, 2008: Last Monday’s Open Stage was both a farewell and a welcoming as we bid goodbye to host and guitar master, Jay Hammond and welcomed me, Erin Smith. The evening started off a little slowly but as Jay wrapped up his lovely acoustic meanderings, a Japanese Pop Star by the name of Michiko Yoshinara took the stage, all pink satin and butterfly hair clips, and sang two insane songs over a pre-recorded CD (yes, you can do that too!). After her electric dancing, Dexter Scott wound it back down with some mellow acoustic music and subtle, affected singing. Next was Ethan Piper piping (ha!) out his bluesy rock like the last man on the mountain. Michael Romano brought us back into acoustic contemplation with his steady, driving songs. Dafé, accompanied by a sweet, young-republican-looking guitar player, covered Marc Cohn with passionate crooning. And lastly, Mike Baglivi, our very first full band on the P.A. stage (!), plugged in and jammed out several indie rock tunes (even busting some strings) that had us listeners sashaying like it was 1996 again.
Notes from Song Fair, formerly at Sound Fix:
August 25, 2008: From Host Jay Hammond: Well it was great to be back at Sound Fix after a long time away last night. There were a number of familiar faces, but some very talented new ones as well. Julia Weldon graced our stage for the first time. Check out her song Marian for a tragic/beautiful love ditty.
July 28, 2008: From Host Jay Hammond: Peppered among the steadily growing regular crowd at Songfair on Monday were some notable newcomers. Jeremy Joyce writes country-tinged ballads that will make you long for simpler days. Pauline Pisano came along with friend/songfair regular Danica Dora and wowed us all with her commanding vocal prowess. Though not exactly new to songfair, Jared Glenn was back last week with some brilliant materiel. Thanks to everybody and see you next week!
July 21, 2008: From Host Jay Hammond: With over 30 people on the list at Sound Fix last night, highlighting a few of them in a couple sentences seems like a task that's bound to leave some people out, but here goes! The open mic doubled as a launch party for the new website. To help celebrate the occasion we had some Jezebel favorites grace the songfair stage, including Wakey! Wakey!, Lowry, Craig Chesler, Bryan Dunn, John (of The Loom), the Japanese gypsy rock of Kagero, and many others. Though it was incredible to hear all of these great artists, we had a plethora of new talent as well. A few acts of mention would be the creepy roots music of M.Lamar, and the Electro-Pop of The Spookfish. Thanks to everyone that came out last night to help celebrate!
July 14, 2008: From Host Jay Hammond: Someone must have deemed last night @ Sound Fix "fresh transplants" night because there were more wide-eyed NYC newcomers than this host could shake a stick at! (that's southern talk for....well I've never really known what that meant). Anyway, check out Ohio native Gary Jackson (who goes under the moniker Action Lives), and Miami native Dexter Scott (Like the TV Show) some brand-new-to-the-scene tunes.
July 7, 2008: From Host Jay Hammond: Monday was another successful night at Sound Fix. It was nice to see a number of regular Songfair goers return with some solid new materiel. The list has been filling up quickly! The newcomer of mention last week was by far Dylan Young. Dylan is visiting the city by way of Australia, and we were certainly lucky to catch a couple of his old-timey folk ballads.
June 30, 2008: From Host Jay Hammond: Not only was this week's songfair our highest attended thus far, but it was also the CD release party for the 2007 Williamsburg Live Songwriter Competition Compilation disc. To make sure we were celebrating this thing right, we asked a few of the finalists to come play at the open mic. Kelli Rae Powell, Rich Deans, Chris Maher, Jeff Malinowski, and of course last year's winner Olentangy John all treated us to stellar performances. It was a treat to hear the songs that got them so far in the competition last year, and to hear some new materiel they've been working on. Aside from the finalists, two members of the Brooklyn band Kittens Ablaze stopped by (cello in tow) to play a couple of their catchy folk infused indie-rock tunes. Check out some of the full band tracks for some carefully orchestrated gems reminiscent of Ra Ra Riot with a bit of Islands sprinkled on top.
June 23, 2008: From Host Jay Hammond: It's nice to see Songfair peeking its young little head out of its shell and beginning to spread its wings. (Wait, is it a bird or a turtle?) Either way, last night was very well attended, with a great mix of new and familiar faces. Greg Deane came back for his second week in a row, and silenced the crowd with his hummable melodies and strikingly original vocal delivery. This guy is as new as it gets (notice the week old myspace), but check out "we're in love" and tell me that's not a great song! Ian P. O'Neil, a newcomer, also treated to a nice set of tunes... gotta love songs about death.
June 16, 2008: From Host Jay Hammond: Oh how I do adore unfamiliar faces and unfamiliar sounds. Monday night at sound fix was another one of new an interesting music. Check out the indie pop of piano-songstress Danica Dora. With a voice like that and great songs to boot, I sense good things on the horizon. Joel Jones also treated us some old-timey blues/country numbers played on the tiniest guitar I've ever seen.
June 9, 2008: From Host Jay Hammond: Another slew of new comers treated us to an enjoyable evening of string/vocal cord rattling last night at sound fix. Katie and Rachel of the folk/country all girl band "The Havens" stopped by and treated to some great back-home numbers reminiscent of the Carter Family/Woody Guthrie. Dave Yang of the Brooklyn based rock quartet USVS also stopped by to play some of the band's materiel solo.
June 2, 2008: From Host Jay Hammond: The night went later than usual at sound fix this week. We had a hearty brew of talent, including the Bowerbirds/Bon Iver tinged ballads of Chris Kiehne. Chris treated us to a truly captivating performance, and I look forward to hearing more in the future.
May 26, 2008: From Host Jay Hammond: Another solid night at sound fix on monday. As the night came to a close, the last few performers seemed to fit together eerily well. Some highlights included the country/bluegrass songs of Austin McCutchen (Neckbeard Telecaster, Big Honey Moma), and the introspective/harmonically aware folk songs of Tai Wyban.
May 19, 2008: From Host Jay Hammond: It was great to be back at sound fix last night after a week away. We had some great local talent, including a couple members of the brooklyn based americana band Bel Air. We were also treated to some beautiful/campy songs by Washington D.C. songstress Maureen. Gotta love ukulele's!
May 12, 2008: From Guest Host John Atzberger: Last night's Songfair was a good one. There were a lot of folks playing who were missing their bands. Accolades to Austin McCutchen bringing his Midwest songsmything, and tough guitar. Bill Bartholomew played two tunes that were active and animated. Good tunes. Good night. See you next week. Try the Pickletini!
May 5, 2008: From Host Jay Hammond: The second songfair more than doubled in attendance
compared to the first, and we had some really great folks come out. Ed Gorch of Knotworking treated us to a set of captivating songs, and we even had some visitors from the great faraway Australia. Check out bigstrongbrute for some interesting indie-pop. Hua!
April 29, 2008: From Host Jay Hammond: Given the repeated cancellations of the past weeks, and the rainy weather of yesterday evening, I would certainly call the inaugural songfair at Sound Fix a success. What we lacked in attendance, we certainly made up for in spirit. We cycled through the list a couple times, everybody playing 3 songs, and by the end everyone was crowded close to the stage in more of a “songwriters-circle” vibe. Some standout performances included the Guthrie-infused folk songs of Jon Fickes, and the electro-pop (reproduced buy one dude using a sequencer, and a small casio keyboard), of No Lindsay. I’m excited to see what this little Monday night at Sound Fix will turn into.
March 18, 2008: From Host Mike Schrieffer: First of all, to those of you that did not get to play this week I am truly sorry but the list filled up quite quick. Apparently the Lucky Cat open mic crowd isn't scared of a little post St. Paddy's day hangover. Like I hinted before, this Tuesday was our most attended night so far, with the list being closed at 25 people. Stand out performers of the night included Nicolette Chiriboga who absolutely nailed two originals on the piano. If you haven't checked her out please do, she has an absolutely fantastic voice. Another stand out performer was Hickry Hawkins, who stopped by on an off day from his tour to grace us with two country originals. As I said before, it's starting to get pretty crowded at the Cat, so come early, sign ups at 6:30!
February 26, 2008: From Host Mike Schrieffer: We had a night of firsts last night at the Lucky Cat... It was the first time Olentangy John busted out his fiddle playing skills in public, and I must say not too shabby buddy. We also had a new song debuted by Mr. Drew Nix, and in my opinion it's definitely a keeper. Just like Matt Hawkes who threw it down first on the guitar with an original, and then just killed it on the piano with a very tasteful Floyd cover. Other standout performers included Owen Roberts, Austin McCutchen, as well as Cuomo. Sign ups at 6:30.... See ya next week.
February 19, 2008: From Host Mike Schrieffer: Last night was hands down the best attended as well as one of the most talented groups we've had since I took over hosting in January. Beccy Owen, a UK native, delivered two elegantly sung songs on the piano early on in the night to get things going. I don't know how long she is in town, but if you have the chance you should definitely check her out. Next up, literally on the list was Julia Haltigan, who absolutely hit it dead on with two very cool bluesy songs. Other notable performers were Scott Gibson, Jason Von Kraut, Ethan Collister, and Nathaniel Day Orin... Like it said it was a pretty good night. Sign ups at 6:30, see ya next week.
February 5, 2008: From Host Mike Schrieffer: Last night was once again another extremely solid open mic at the Lucky Cat. With no shortage of talent, the night seemed to just fly right by. Standount performances last night included once again Lisa Jaeggi, who went in the four spot and quickly got the crowd right into it. Another standout performer was Ganessa James, who with brilliant guitar work, and one hell of a voice, flat out stole the end of the night. Hope to see you next week.
January 22, 2008: From Host Mike Schrieffer: Last night at the Lucky Cat once again drew a number of talented artists, even ex-host Ed Gorch showed up to play a few. Another highlight of the night would have to be Aaron Berg, who showed up to play a couple last night describing the songs as " love survival combo songs"
January 15, 2008: From Host Mike Schrieffer: Last nights open mic at the Lucky Cat though a little under attended at first, really got it going by the end of the night. It was nice to see some collaboration between artists, with Cuomo! And our new favorite Lucky Cat cello player Emily Price getting together and playing two covers. Another standout performance came from Sean Gibson, who drew us in with his first song, a bluesy original followed by a slower number that even involved Sean making up a pretty good bridge for it on the spot, words included.
January 8, 2008: From Host Mike Schrieffer: The warm weather definitely brought people out of the woodwork on Tuesday night at the Lucky Cat. The girls owned the night, with standout performances by Kristin Plater who belted out two originals that definitely got the crowd going. Other highlights of the night were Emily Hope Price, who entertained us with her cello playing as well as stellar songwriting. Last but not least was Lisa Jaeggi, who's strong guitar playing as well as powerful voice captivated the audience.
December 18, 2007: From Host Mike Schrieffer: The standout performer of the night was Drew Nix, you can find some of his stuff at myspace.com/drewnixmusic. Drew played two songs with Olentangy John Atzberger, and then we brought him up to play one more by himself. Drew has a good warm voice, well thought out lyrics, as well as versatility in his songwriting.