9/9 marked my triumphant return to the Open mic scene in Astoria, Queens. Sadly/happily, there was no video recording equipment that night, and so those memories must remain in our brains/hearts. It was an exceptional kick-off, at a new home not far from my last open mic (around the block in fact). The new place is better, bigger, and has a very warm atmosphere. It also has a dope-ass backyard for people to chill and drink and smoke. With fall here, it’s perfect. There has been so much great art shown, and there is going to be much more in the future. Our performers are some of the most talented individuals I have come across. I am so grateful to have such a place, and to be surrounded by such people.
9/16/15, we did indeed have recording equipment, and captured some really amazing performances. Varying styles were displayed, each one tremendous in its own right. God damn these artists are good.
To get it started, Erich Rastetter (my fellow Owl) and I played some originals, some covers, and I decided to share with you our cover of Neil Young’s Harvest moon. I hope you enjoy it.
Next, a hilarious joke by Joanie, who would occasionally step up and tell one throughout the evening. Believe it or not, this is the tamer of the jokes she told. “Yo babe, how much you charge for a lay?”. I CANNOT stop laughing right now.
Wow, this was full of energy. As I am writing this, I am feeling the entire room and how everyone got into it. Here is Zach Fineblum, with me initially and then most of the crowd by the end, with Don’t Let Me Down, by The Beatles. Fantastic job by Zach, and great spontaneity!
Billy Conahan came up next, a.k.a. Chilly Bonahan a.k.a. Millie Monogram (sorry Billy lol). Schooling us proper on that hip hip. Gotta love him.
The bluesman, as I enjoy referring to him as, Matt Loguidice followed Billy. Every time I see this guy my jaw drops. His riffs are so tight, his voice so soulful. Watch this man set fires.
Marissa Dwyer, a singer/songwriter whose writing comes from a place of raw and emotional truth. You can feel it on her voice as you take in the lyrics. Pete O’Neill provided great backing bass, and gave the song a huge presence with his wonderful backing vocals.
A smooth transition right into a solo Pete O’Neill, giving us an original bass arrangement. Check out the harmonies he is creating, and the intricate design of these melodies. They are truly impressive, and dance in and out of your ears in a most enjoyable way. Really good stuff.
Lastly, my favorite closer EVER, Andy Sydor. He’s better than Mariano Rivera. Here he is calmly and powerfully sending us off into the night. His voice gets inside you, the honesty in it. The sound of those nylons strings, just perfectly matching. He is my folk hero. Who’s Bob Dylan?
What a night! We are back in two days on the 23rd, so I hope to see more people out there, both on and off stage. Thank you to the audience, Igor, Andy #2 (bartender) and Hellgate on the park’s owner, Paddy.
Oh and here is Zach Fineblum and I being whales. Just because.
Light and Harmony
-Owls for Olive (Justin)