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  1. #1
    Sgt. At Arms Worf101's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Troy, New York

    Open Mic Night Hell....

    Much like hangovers, food poisening and other avoidable maladies, Open Mic Night is an experience one actively tries to forget. But like many self inflicted wounds, time has a way of dulling its sting. So eventually one day you wind up back in a place you swore you'd never return to doing something you promised God and your loved one you'd never do again. Open mic night is such a thing for me.

    Now a little background. I play for pay. I sing lead and play bass in an RnB band. We do a fair amount of covers but we've also an album of originals and have two new albums coming out this Spring (one live one studio cuts). Between playing and listening to music since I was 8 I guess I'm a bit "jaded". I not only know when something's being played well I also know when it ain't. Bad or poorly played music is an anathema to me. Worse than chalk on blackboard, more painful than a Celine Dion Barry Manilow double bill, more tortured than the look on Cher's children's faces everytime their mother decides to go on tour with her ass hangin' out. Bad music hurts.

    And unlike most other musician's I've no natural filters to protect me from this sonic kryptonite in that I don't drink or do drugs. I've nothing to dull the pain other than the dozen or so monitors blaring ESPN in the background. Like many ill phenomena in this world the denizen's of Open Mic Night fall into several categories:

    1. "The Hapless Hosts" - These are the poor slobs who for some inexplicable reason have agreed to hosts this weekly mish mosh of sonic cyanide. These are the folks I truly feel for, for they are stuck doing this week in and week out until attendance drops to the point where the exercise is euhtanized. In addition to providing some decent music through the night these poor souls have to emcee the show, manage "the list" (more on this later), backup the tone deaf and the rhythmless and then allow their own gear to be beat on by mindless cretins. Trust me, there's not enough money in all Christendom to get me to do this job. I'd rather stick needles in my eyes.

    2. "The Born Again Bluesmen" - These guys are usually some of the more pathetic wretches on OMN. Back in the 80's they were gods walking the earth. Spandex wearin' big hairdo flufflin' local rock gods who knew they were too good for this town and too good for you. Mere minutes and inches from "makin' it big". Fast forward 10 to 15 years and all of a sudden Mr. "next big thing" is now Mr. "Failure to Launch". He know's he's too old to "rock", the tight jeans and open to the navel shirts just illicit laughter from his kids so one day he has a revelation... Since he can't rock, god must have meant for him to sing the blues.

    Doning his grand father's beat down fedora and Wait's like warble "Tommy Love" morphs into "Blind Lemon Pledge". He groans and moans his way though tunes about lost love, bad liquor and crooked dice with all the sincerity of a man still livin' in his mom's basement. To aunthenticate his personae he finally stops dyeing his hair and wearing a girdle. He takes off his hat to wipe his forehead now unashamed of his pony tail and bald spot. Two songs by this guy is about all I can stand.

    3. "The Chanteuse" - Diva's, drama and dramamine, take your pick. Rarely if ever is she "who she is". She's either a wannabe Aretha, wannabe Madonna, wannabe Janis, wannabe this one or wanna be that one. She's been singin' in the living room all her adult life. The worst of her lot shows up with no band, no charts, no clue as to what key she sings in. Like the Princess she is she expects you to read her mind and know the semi-obscure drivel playing in her head. "Oh come'on, you guys can figure it out!" Err no babe, we can't.

    4. "The Tortured Soul" - Two days out of therapy and still in his mom's basement, this guy uses his beat up Martin as a brush to paint potraits of personal dispare and misery. Songs of gut wrenching pain and loss so dark as to make Van Gogh seem cheery. All the stage presence of a wood knot, two takes from this guy and you're lookin' for shot of rot gut with a prozac chaser.

    5. "Metal Men" - Bad music is bad music, but some bad genres are worse than other's. God as my witness nothing is more painful to listen to than a bad metal band. Overly loud guitars, fake adnoid producing vocals, double kick drum fury poncuated by gestures straight out of the "Air Guitar Shredder's Handbook." And they take themselves sooo seriously. Black sun glasses, scowls and tattoo's completely unintelligible vocals. Music to kill pets by.

    6. "Country Cousins" - The country bar down the road closed so this gig beats not playing at all. Musical talent can range from the sublime to the ridiculous.

    7. "The List Hawk" - This person can be from any of the categories listed above but in addition to their own particular brand of musical mayhem, they also have appointed themselves as "independant list monitor". They know that the later they go on the less people there will be to benefit from their musical magnificence. They want the performance list followed come hell or high water or there will be hell to play. They don't want to go on first, no one witll remember them, they don't want to go on last, no one will hear them. They don't want to follow that band cause they're too good, they don't want to play before this band cause they're big or too loud or to whatever. Folks like these cause men to murder.

    8. "Los Hooligans" - High school or College buddies who had a band once and who haen't played a lick since theyre last reunion kegger at the frat house. They decide that they can still play and want you use your time and instruments to prove it. Guarenteed to get out of hand real effin' quick.

    Welp.. for reasons best left unsaid I wound up at OMN last evening I'll let you know when I recover...

    Da "Much Worse for Wear" Worfster

  2. #2
    Musicaholic Forums Moderator ForeverAutumn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    LMAO!!!! I can always count on Da Worfster for a good key board splattering laugh!

    I can recommend a good therapist if you need one.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Out there

    In my attempt to preserve this one...

    ...I'm going to say nothing other than... Worf, mind if I cut this out, frame it and hang it on the wall?


  4. #4
    Class of the clown GMichael's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Anywhere but here...

    First of all, funny as h.ll man. Tanx for the giggles. Now I have a question. What kind of person would not only subject themselves to this kind of torture, but take notes along the way as well? What were you thinking man?

    (Highjack alert) I once had a few friends over for a karaoke night. Most people suck at singing and they know it. But there always seems to be this one person who thinks they are great. They feel that if they had just known the right people, they could have been making the big bucks up on stage. Well, I like to record karaoke night so I can play it back for everyone, and they can get a good laugh. This one girl (who was worse than anyone else) started crying during her playback. When asked what was wrong she wouldn't answer. She wouldn't go near the mic again. It wasn't until a few days later that she admitted that she used to think that she was a great singer until she got to actually hear herself. Once she heard herself sing, she realized how very wrong she was and it crushed her spirit. To this day, she won't forgive me.
    WARNING! - The Surgeon General has determined that, time spent listening to music is not deducted from one's lifespan.

  5. #5
    Sgt. At Arms Worf101's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Troy, New York


    Thanks for the love folks. Just sharing some yucks. As for GM's questions. The guy engineering our new CD's was playing keyboards in the house band and he had the lastest copy of our CD. Soooo I said I'll come by, sing a couple then leave. I never got on because "the list hawks" wouldn't let me. The Chanteuse was singing when I left.

    As for the hijack. I was in a band that had a "chick singer" in it. All brass and attitude with no talent. After one studio session she was mortified at how sterile and bad she sounded. I replied quielty... "tape don't lie".

    Da Worfster

  6. #6
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Department of Heuristics and Research on Material Applications
    Mwa ha ha ha ha ha...Worf you've written some doozies in your day but this one is the best. Absolute best.

    Why? Because I've been on that stool waiting for a shot to go on stage in a place I never wanted to be at in the first place, and (full disclosure) because I've probably been one of the "Metal Men" and mebbe even a little "Tortured Soul". I lived in my future wife's mom's basement though

    Only difference between me and them is I knew my limitations (any pay I made rarely covered the gear I had to rent or repair). Everyone wants to be a rock-star. The good lord blessed me with gorgeous looks but alas, on my finest day my pipes could best be described as Whalberg-esque.

    I give you permission to throw me out the air-lock if I ever devolve into a "Born Again Bluesman".


  7. #7
    Sure, sure... Auricauricle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Great Post, Sir! Come here to Charleston, and take a gander at the scene....Lotsa bar-stool-rock-idols in the woods around here! It would make ye proud, fer sure! Thanks for the tummy ache!

  8. #8
    Rocket Surgeon Swish's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003

    Funny stuff dude! Someone just sent me your thread...

    ...because I mentioned being at an open mic night last night, and the guys playing (I think they were the hosts because no one else played during the 90 minutes we were there) were pretty dreadful. The only instruments available were a keyboard and an acoustic that was run through the so-so PA. Their song choice was nearly as bad as their ability, taking electric songs that had no reason to be replicated on acoustic.

    My friends were coaxing me to go up and play, but no effin' way. I have several tunes I could have done, but I don't sing very well and my voice was worse than usual as I had just returned from a conference in Atlantic City where I smoked a few strong cigars and had to talk loud to be heard over the music most of the time. Not that I would want to sing anyway, but last night was doubly bad for me.

    It was a pretty sad state of affairs, but at least I had some good beer and food to console myself. Around these parts, open mic is usually a joke, and mostly because of the song selections. It's always the same crap...Amy, Brown Eyed Girl, Peaceful Easy get the picture. Makes me want to plug my ears shut.
    I call my bathroom Jim instead of John so I can tell people that I go to the Jim first thing every morning.

    If you say the word 'gullible' very slowly it sounds just like oranges.

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