Lottery Success, Last Slot First Choice, Happy Bday Mario

Red Devil Lounge open mic 09/18/2012

The lottery! It was wonderful to arrive at the Red Devil at 6:00 PM and walk in, sit
down and socialize! The seating is now booths, which are comfortable and inviting
and very classy, and a good place to have a conversation with your glass of lager
(please note the reference to the song Thunderegg performed later in the evening) or
your friends and acquaintances. The drawing for time slots was efficient, with KC
having an opportunity to be on mic during the entire process and to get things off
to a warm start. A nice-sized crowd came early and stayed in touch with the
performances throughout, and there was happiness and conviviality in the air.

Notables who came and did not play included Jeff Desira, who was undoubtedly there
in support of his friend Alex Jimenez (who presented a fine rendition of Pearl Jam’s
“Elderly Woman Behind the Counter In A Small Town” in tribute to the upcoming birthday of featured performer Mario Di Sandro, as well as one of his own tunes.) New faces on stage included The Sweet Trade, Andrew Castro, Matt Chaumont, Cloning Dolly (who captured
attention with their rendition of Ray Charles’ “What’d I Say”), Megan Van Vleet (her tune “I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead” scored with the crowd) and Hypocrite (intelligent and moving rap.)

Megan Van Vleet (above)

I want to call particular attention to two performances from this night: Sean Tabor
just has a way of putting across songs with confidence and soul. This outing, he
rendered “Stand By Me” and his own “Easy,” and he is easy to like, and the audience
agrees with me about that. And Tommy Phan’s songs are at once simple and complex,
with very intelligent lyrics that the audience really hears because of the clear way
he presents them.

Sean Tabor (above)

Tommy Phan (above)

Before the break (excluding anyone I have already mentioned): David Colon (who
brought the keyboard for Mario’s set, for which I thank him so much) did two
strong, smooth songs. Salem played Spanish/classical pieces on nylon-stringed guitar
and did them well, and with style. Thunderegg did the aforementioned “Glass of
Lager” (I assume this is the title of the song), a thoughtful yet somewhat comedic
meditation on drinking. Junkyard Academy spiced up the proceedings with their
superior showmanship, and Liz O took us to the break with her “Hit Me High” and
another tune that was a paean to her guitar.

David Colon (above)

Junkyard Academy (above)

Mario Di Sandro: Mario’s easygoing way makes a comfortable context for songs that
are honest, passionate and autobiographical. Even at their most poignant and
serious, they radiate good will and self-effacing charm, as does Mario himself. His
singing is soulful, sometimes plaintive and sometimes just plain rocking, his guitar
work rhythmic and modern when he brings his looping pedal into the mix. Yet at
heart, it is about Mario’s songs, which are are stripped down chordally, with
engaging and beautiful melodies, especially in the memorable choruses, and they lend
themselves to accompaniment. During his feature, Mario had the musical support of
his friend Jesse Diaz, who contributed lovely lead guitar for one song, Kara Gosling
on shaker for one, and some anonymous keyboardist on four of them. With his birthday
coming up, Mario also had the support of the entire audience, who sang “Happy
Birthday” to him on the way to the ceremonial lighting of the fourth disco ball (a
patented KC Turner Red Devil Open Mic ritual before the feature.) Mario is
well-loved here, certainly, and I wonder if he knows how seriously his music is
taken by those who know and love him. We certainly feel his joy every time he takes
the stage!

Mario Di Sandro (above)

After the break: Peter Chung continues to wow us with his virtuosic guitar work and
his precise singing, here playing for us the first song he ever wrote. Pam Bennett
sang a cappella, and when released from accompanying herself on guitar she was able
to dig into the emotion of the songs with real passion and verve. Aaron Ford favored
us with two of his best, “500 Days” and “America” (with Brentando singing backup)
and was his usual solid, expressive self. Brentando, sporting a new haircut (such
that a few people actually did not recognize him, until he began to sing, of
course), always nails it perfectly, and did so again here. Tyler (last name unknown)
did rap, and his fast flow was a hit (thank you, Jamie, aka Hypocrite, for your
assessment), and Kara Goslin, fresh from her shaker accompaniment of Mario, finished
the night with two affecting and quirky folk-style songs, “Missing” and “Sepia
Time.” And because she played the last slot, she will have the privilege of
selecting her slot next week!

Peter Chung (above)

Brentando (above)

Kara Goslin (above)

Bloggishly,
Alan

If you would like to see all of the photos please friend Red Devil Open Mic on FACEBOOK.  If you want to hear/download the recordings of the night please visit KCTURNERPRESENTS.COM

PERFORMANCE TIP OF THE WEEK:

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2 Yr Anniversary Highlights, Rolling Stone Magazine, Lottery Sign Up Begins Next Tuesday

Red Devil Lounge open mic 09/11/2012

KC Turner (above)

Photo Credit: Christopher Howard – Rolling Stone Mock Up: Lewis Sparky Nowosad

BIG NEWS:  We have a new sign up format.  Please see Performer Info for details.

Highlights/Review by Alan Monasch

To celebrate featured performer Jasmine Pritchard is to celebrate the Red Devil Open
Mic itself! What better way to mark the second anniversary?

I heard that over 150 people attended, and I know that Jessica Nguyen of Banh Mi
Love You Long Time brought three times the sandwich-fixings she usually brings and
sold it all out. Here is a list of people who came but did not play, and what an
incredible list this is!: Peter Finch, Brianne Lucke, Trick Stephens, Andrew
Guevara, Anna Elizabeth, bartender Josh Schiaretti, Suzanne Kramer and Michael
McGovern of the Sugar Ponies, Scott Mickelson, Brentando, Kate Kilbane and Dan
Moses, Johnny Nash, Brian Bergeron, Sam Whitehouse Gibson, David Polo, Aaron Ford,
Dean Harlem, Christopher McMahon, DJ BadDJ, Lori Kober and Jasmine’s contingent
including JoJo Arcilla Anya Javellana, Sam Whitehouse, JP Pritchard, Beverly Rama and Molly Kozma. And this is only the people I saw and noted,
so it is not an exhaustive list.

PHOTO: IRAN RAMIREZ

Ryan Clark enjoying his Banh Mi Sandwich (above) PHOTO: Emily Sevin

And there were the photographers, Emily Sevin and Christopher Howard and Iran
Ramirez, who honored the evening and the event by capturing it with their cameras
and gracing us with their view of the proceedings.

And there was KC Turner himself. Because I am writing this blog entry, I get the
pleasure and honor of thanking KC on behalf of the entire music community, this
friend I love so dearly, this man I respect and admire so much, for what he has done
for music in the Bay Area (and for music altogether) by way of the Red Devil Open
Mic, for the way he has forged community and built a music scene, artist by artist,
fan by fan, with his keen mind and his immense heart. Thank you, KC, for this two
years of hosting the open mic that has given so many of us our start in music and
made a strong community that sustains us. You know you have our very best wishes,
today and every day!

Alan & KC (above) PHOTO: EMILY SEVIN

There was so much music! The feature was an hour later than usual and we went until
1:30 AM, so there was room on the list for more performers than ever. Trent
Boeschen, who re-impressed even the people who were already so impressed with his
playing, stayed all night and elevated the playing of all; his name will come up
again later. Now here we go:

Before the break: The night was kicked off by a songwriter who shall be nameless
(but who oddly responds to my own name), assisted and elevated by Trent Boeschen,
master drummer. Peter Chung’s wonderful and skillful jazz vocal and guitar styling
was augmented by Trent’s drumming. Salem continued to show his great versatility
with a nice turn on bass. Tommy (last name unknown) attracted attention with his
fingerpicked folk followed by an engaging modern tune, playing off Trent’s
percussion. Alex Jimenez put his clear, strong voice and acoustic guitar to “Devil
in the Wishing Well” and a stirring cover of “Wichita Lineman,” to the loud delight
of the crowd. Elizabeth Anderson scored with a reggae tune on ukulele that used
Trent’s percussion perfectly. Patrick McCauley and saxophonist Kyle  nailed both their songs (the Los Angeles one and the police one) decisively
and the crowd exploded at the end. Susan Heffelfinger honored the event and KC with
a sweet anniversary song (even taking a turn on kazoo) after doing her smoky blues
song, with Trent on the smoky blues drums and with the accompanist, this time on
guitar, whom I sometimes think of as “myself.” Mick Shaffer acquitted himself really
well on his inaccurately self-described “irony-free love song” followed by the
rocking “So Far Away.” Johnny Lawrie, whom I am happy to say will be playing at the
Human Be-In, put Trent through a festival of tempo changes, which Trent handled with
ease and grace, on Johnny’s two energy-infused tunes. Max Walker impressed with his
tone on the Fender Jaguar through the miked Marshall amp.

Trent On Drums (above) Photo: Iran Ramirez

Susie Heffelfinger (above) PHOTO: EMILY SEVIN

Max Walker (above) PHOTO: Emily Sevin

Patrick & Kyle (above)

Donovan Plant, once again with master bassist Nick Gutierrez and anchored by the
ever-incredible Trent on drums, galvanized the crowd, particularly with his
“Invisible.” On both her tunes, “With You” and “I’m There,” Julie Mayhew continued
to hone her performing skills, backed, for the first time, I believe, by Trent.
Julie also spoke about the open mic and what it has meant to her and to the
community. Nick Guzman told us that he would be playing at the prestigious Bridge
School event, then whipped off great versions of a Ray LaMontaigne song (thank you,
Sean Burke!) and The Proclaimers’ “I’m Gonna Be (500 MIles).” Newly-engaged Melissa
Lyn, backed on drums by newly-engaged-to-her Ryan Clark, did her jazz-edged personal
music, to huge crowd acclaim. Then, Addison Nimrod took the stage; I showed him that
there was only one possible response I could make in my notes to his incredible
metal assault, and it was this: “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!” Pam Bennett was a perfect act to
follow Addison, and she got a good response to her well-written and well-played
songs, the first of which was an energetic and upbeatish number I assume is called
“I Choose To Love You” (and Pam, please correct me if I am wrong and I will say so
in my next blog entry.) The Homey Nolte did his thing on “Do My Thing,” a rap
extravaganza that definitely won him fans. Emily Rath tore it up on piano with two
songs, the second of which, her cover of “Let’s Get It On,” had everyone moving,
grooving and cheering. Then Brent Shinn closed out the first part of the show and
wowed the crowd by reprising his wonderful “Mother Nature” and then playing and
singing the hell out of his “You Know Me.”

Nick Guzman (above)

Emily Rath (above) PHOTO: Emily Sevin

Melissa Lyn & Ryan Clark (above) PHOTO: Emily Sevin

Jasmine Pritchard: Yes, Jasmine is KC’s assistant, and she manages the band Sage,
and she knows and is loved by those whom she has met, which is almost everyone in
the universe. But did everyone know that Jasmine could sing, and not just sing but
cause breath to catch and hearts to stop with her one-of-a-kind voice and with
strong, emotional ballads rendered dramatically and perfectly? All while managing a
cast of collaborators, including Donovan Plant (superb guitar work), surprise guest
soundman-turned-performer, guitarist and harmony singer par excellence Dan Foldes,
sensationally-sensitive singing revelation Sean Burke and a
previously-obliquely-mentioned keyboardist who shall remain nameless but whom I like
to think of as “me.” She got every ounce of emotion from each of the songs she
presented, from “Can’t Be Love” to “Somebody That I Used To Know” and everywhere in
between, and the crowd was in the palm of her hand, so connected to her and hanging
on every word, cheering in the midst of songs when Jasmine hit particularly poignant
phrases so sure-voicedly. Jasmine is everything the open mic is about, community,
uproarious fun, humor high and low and just plain musical joy! Jasmine has a singing
future ahead of her, to be certain, and her people, meaning all of us, are lucky and
proud to be here to witness the launch and rise.

Jasmine Pritchard (above) PHOTO: EMILY SEVIN

Dan Foldes (above) PHOTO: Iran Ramirez

Sean Burke w/ Jasmine Pritchard (above) PHOTO: Iran Ramirez

After the break: I am going to restrain myself from saying everything I want to say
about Megan Slankard and Jeff Campbell showing up (heh, heh) for this event; I am
just glad to have heard Megan and Jeff play with Trent for the first time. That
stars of this magnitude play just like any other open mic participants, and to have
them stay to hear other performers, is a tribute to KC and the Red Devil Open Mic
and to Jasmine, and by extension, to our community. I believe Megan’s CD “A Token Of
The Wreckage” changes the very nature of pop and rock music, and that the song she
and Jeff did Tuesday, “Show Up,” the last song on the CD, is a perfect example of
why and how. Of course Megan and Jeff nailed it, of course Trent elevated it, and of
course the assembled went crazy.

Megan Slankard & Jeff Campbell (above) PHOTO: Iran Ramirez

Onward: Alejandro Adam charmed with his melodic rap. Ryan Clark, here playing with
the animated and very proficient Brendan Getzell on keys and aided by Trent’s
energizing drumming, rocked his two numbers and got a roar from the audience. Liz O,
backed by tambourine girls Julie Mayhew and Susie Heffelfinger. did the magic that
only Liz O can do. Chris (last name unknown) rocked his tunes. Kara Gosling got the
crowd going with her country styling and her wine sing-along (“Rose, chardonnay, cab
sauvignon…”) Rebecca, on piano, with Gary singing, did two uplifting numbers, the
first with the line “Your freedom is your right” and the second a Sept. 11 song
(thought it was, as she said, already Sept. 12 when Rebecca sang it.) Kevin, from
Alabama and on his way to play Portland, transfixed us with moody, delay-enriched
tunes on his Les Paul.

Alejandro Adam (above) PHOTO: EMILY SEVIN

The last five performers: Thunderegg (Will Georgantas), playing at the open mic for the
first time after being away in Greece and on the East Coast, reprised his very
popular “Not What I Meant.” Maria and Ben, with Maria holding down the bass and Ben
on acoustic, gave a sweet rendering of their tune, “Backpack.” Mario covered a Pearl
Jam tune in his engaging style. Courage did a notable and jangly tune called
“Distant” that I really hope to hear again. And Brian from Sacramento closed the
night with a rap tune with his partner.

Thunderegg (above)

In honor of the three-dollar beers that were available all night, I offer the
following two trivia questions, which may appear on a future version of this blog,
and which will let people know for certain that you were here for the second
anniversary:

1) What body part, suggested by a piece of Red Devil Lounge decoration,
was KC obsessed with all night?

2) By what double-entendre (that’s a hint, by the
way) term did Jasmine refer to her accompanists, Donovan Plant and Dan Foldes?

This night was about who we are and what we do, about the sheer joy of music and
connecting with each other. Next week features Mario Di Sandro and the first night
of the new lottery system, with the club opening at 6:00 PM. If you weren’t here for
tonight’s extraordinary show, please be here next time, because it is always fun,
the music satisfies and the people are warm and welcoming! Thanks again, KC, for
making and hosting this open mic, for gathering this community and for all you do,
May our third year be the best yet!

Bloggishly,
Alan

If you would like to see all of the photos please friend Red Devil Open Mic on FACEBOOK.  If you want to hear/download the recordings of the night please visit KCTURNERPRESENTS.COM

2 Year Anniversary: Tuesday September 11, 2012

Tuesday September 11th marks the 2 Year Anniversary of Open Mic at Red Devil Lounge w/ KC Turner!  $3 draft beer all night long, Banh Mi sandwiches, we go till 1:30am, House Drummer Trent will be keeping the beat for the WHOLE NIGHT! And to top it off, our dear friend Jasmine Pritchard is featured. Let’s have some fun! Sign ups/doors at 7pm.

Red Devil Lounge
1695 Polk St.
San Francisco, CA

Rob Cox, New sign up system, 2 Yr Anniversary UP NEXT!

Red Devil Lounge open mic 09/04/2012 – by Alan Monasch

Oh, them changes…As we entered, we found a beautiful new banquette under the
downstairs window, as the Red Devil renovation continues, and then this word from
KC: “There will be a lottery system at the open mic starting on September 18!” No
details have been released yet (well, one detail: The bar will open earlier!), and
KC asked for input. As always, there were new faces in the crowd and new performers on stage. And there were familiar faces that we have not seen here in a while, much-missed people like Will Georgantas (Thunderegg), Aaron Ford and Johnny Nash.

Highlights before the feature included Patrick McCauley’s set, a rhythmic
philosophical and sociopolitical pair of songs that quieted the crowd, who then
burst into applause and cheers, Tricia Hall’s gorgeous new song, “To The Pacific,”
Scott Alexander’s self-described “non-repetitive pop” which was creative, funny and
engaging (as was his repartee with Peter Chung in the audience) and Mario Di
Sandro’s beautiful dark long drive tune and new fingerpicking style, enhanced by
Salem’s lead-playing. Mick Shaffer, all sartorial splendor, complete with Jerry
Garcia necktie, did two effective songs to good response and Jean Marc Enriquez
teamed soulfully with Ellisa to do the argument song. Then it was Sugar Pony time;
Suzanne Kramer was her usual engaging lead-singer self and Michael McGovern played
particularly well on their two songs, one of which was by Danny Uzilevsky. (Most of
us know that Danny is recovering from an auto accident, and the Sugar Ponies, who
had not heard this news, just happened to be playing one of his songs tonight! Just
as coincidentally, bartender Josh Schiaretti reminded us that half his remarkable
band, Sage, is half of Danny’s remarkable band, Chrome Johnson!) And just before the
feature, Brent Shinn completely nailed his instrumental piece and got the crowd
buzzing about it!

Patrick McCauley (above)

Mario Di Sandro & Salem (above)

Scott Alexander (above)

Trisha Hall (above)

Mick Shaffer (above)

Rob Cox: There is something magical about Rob Cox’s music; his voice is the kind one
can listen to all day and night. Whether it’s a rousing Jackson 5 cover, as was his
first song, or one of his emotion-rich originals (“McKinley” comes quickly to mind),
you just want to hear him and hear more. As a songwriter, Rob has full command of
melody, structure and lyrics, with a sure hand and a questing heart. As a performer,
he smoothly controls his voice and his guitar to give songs their best presentation.
“Solidity,” someone in the crowd called it, and it certainly is that, but it’s
fluidity, too, and openness. Rob was open to collaborating with others; Ryan Clark
distinguished himself with his deft, sensitive rhythmic stylings on cajon and Peter
Chung contributed melodically on guitar and particularly well-executed background
vocals, and Rob thanked them frequently for their good work.

Rob Cox (above)

Rob is a genuinely likable man who makes exceedingly good music to which people
respond, and the Red Devil crowd loved having him to respond to on Tuesday night.

After the break, we were treated to the frenetic, infectious punk energy of the
newly-shorn Johnny Lawrie, who gains fans weekly. There was another fine outing on
steel-string acoustic, two really nice songs, by Salem, and Maddy’s folk-inspired
tunes in her strong, clear voice. Then Mark with a good cover and an
original tune on electric guitar, and the last performer I heard before I left to
catch the last train, Julie Mayhew, who celebrated a year since she began performing
by playing both her original songs (one of her goals from the beginning) and doing
them well, giving us particularly strong choruses on her second, newer tune, and
showing herself and us how far she has come.

Johnny Lawrie (above)

Mark (above)

And we have come far, too, as we do every open mic night…Next week is the second
anniversary of the Red Devil Open Mic, with more of them changes: We will go until
1:30 AM. the featured set, by the wonderful and popular Jasmine Pritchard, will
start at 10:00 PM (I have the honor of accompanying Jasmine on some tunes), and
there will be three dollar beer all night. I hope you’ll be there!

Bloggishly,
Alan

If you would like to see all of the photos please friend Red Devil Open Mic on FACEBOOK.  If you want to hear/download the recordings of the night please visit KCTURNERPRESENTS.COM