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)


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


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1 Comment

  1. Thanks for your kind words!
    -Junkyard Academy =8^)-


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