Opening up at open mic

Most weeks, I go to Coffee Shop in Walnut Creek, Calif. for their open mic. I enjoy the space because I get a chance to try new material, especially before taking it to comedy clubs and bars.

On this particular evening, I tried a new bit in my attempt to work out some identity issues I have.

I don’t have video, but I felt I wanted to share the audio. Enjoy if you choose to do so.

Fake Dog Song

Hosting Improv open mic at Bad Ass Coffee in Salt Lake City, December 2015. I thought the show was over, but the audience convinced me to play a song.

Me: What song?

Audience: Some suggestions. [I paraphrase.]

Me: No.

Audience: Joey Cougar & The Starfish

Me: Yeah, the drummer is in the trunk.

Specific audience member: You have a fake dog in your trunk. [I did.]

Me: Ok. I can either explain that in a story or make up a song. What do you want?

Wise-ass audience member: Tell the story as a song.

This is the result.

Paper Moon

Last night, The Falcon and I went to the Paper Moon, Salt Lake’s preeminent lesbian bar. The bar holds open mic nights every Thursday starting around 9:30 or 10:00 pm (“Lesbian Standard Time” as they noted last night). I have a fear of not knowing what to do in new environments, so I convinced The Falcon to arrive at the bar at 8:15 pm (Mountain Standard Time). Few persons were there. Four women were playing pool. Two persons were at the bar, speaking to one another. Four men were wearing all black attire and were adorned in a way that I thought they would burst into spontaneous renditions of Dropkick Murphys songs with a side order of brawling. They requested “Vacation” by The Go-Gos. Go figure.

I ordered a Guinness in a bottle (which I believe is an early Christina O’Aguilera song) for myself and water with ice for The Falcon. We sat and talked until a comedian I recognized came in and joined us at the table. We all talked for a while until the next group of comics walked in and the open mic hosts arrived.

The open mic started with three lesbians playing a mix of original and cover songs (I recognized a song from Tegan & Sara’s The Con). The voices were smooth and beautiful. I flashed back to grad school when I spent much of my time at open mic nights performing originals, covers and improvised songs. The first comic went up and presented a stark contrast to the soothing beauty of the music. Four other comics went up and then it was time for me to move to the microphone.

I read a piece I created the day before entitled “The Mayor Apologizes.” The piece is a press conference involving a pit of King Cobras, some finger-pointing at an ex-con giraffe, deformed elementary school pole vaulters, disfigured babies and the invasion and near-immediate demise of a malevolent warlord.

It went as well as can be expected. In fact, I was pleased with the feedback from the audience.

I hope to make it back to the Paper Moon for open mic in the future as I find the friendliness highly appealing and conducive to trying new pieces and bits. Sadly, the late-night nature of the event could conflict with my professional life. I can barely stay awake today and I’m not even working.

If I find the will, perhaps I shall record the bit as a radio broadcast.


Is Kim Jong-Ill?

22 August 2011

I am in a band called Joey Cougar & The Starfish. We formed in Salt Lake City, UT. We went on tour the summer I had a vasectomy.

Somehow our drummer, Kelly Styxxx, booked us this gig where we were headlining an open mic night. I am not sure people were pleased to see a headlining band during open mic. The guy prior to our performance looped his music and played a didgeridoo. He was a hippy and I wanted to throw a hard biscuit at his face.

For tonight’s post, please enjoy this brief video of us playing our song, “Is Kim Jong-Ill?” at Johnny’s on Second in Salt Lake City.

Am I convulsing with anger in this clip? You decide.