Here are some of the incidents from the Open Stage at Sidewalk Cafe on Monday, June 17.
During the cold open, Ben Krieger (you know, the host?) asked if anyone could help him with some back pain.
Ally jumped up, volunteering his services as a chiropractor, and had Krieger lay before us so he could do some work.
I couldn’t heard anything when Ally cracked the back, but Ben jumped up and headed to the mic with vim, vigor, and vitality.
Ally hit the stage soon after (Favoritism? Perhaps. Who are you to judge?) and started with a somber reading of the Box Tops’ “The Letter,” then moved to guitar, to sing, in honor of Bob Dylan’s 72nd birthday, “Knocking on Heaven’s Door.” No irony presented in his interpretation, but still funny as hell.
Inglewood started with “Saints Will be Saints,” to the enthusiastic reaction of some stranger up front. He’s black, so maybe he’s a rapper himself. Is that a racist thought? Yes. Yes, it is.
“Saints will be saints if you let them have your way.”
Rebecca Florence, an allegedly integral part of the Sidewalk community, yelled out, “Do the one with the callbacks. And the rock.”
“Medusa,” he called, and motioned to Krieger. “Let’s do this.”
“Inglewood!” they screamed up front. The lily white rapper was getting his due. When he shouted out, “I am rock, I am rap. I am hip hip that’s a fact. Inglewood up to no good. Always got you on your back.,” he didn’t ask for the audience collaboration; he didn’t have to. It came, nonetheless. The people, they had spoken, and what they spoke was the words to Inglewood’s jams.
Matthew DeMello on the keys, promoting his Sunday show. His first song: “There’s No Place Like Nowhere.” Beginning with an extended instrumental, the attendant flourishes and artistry presented DeMello’s skills – if you like those sorts of things. He only did the one number, Matthew’s material runs long.
Dan and Rachel did a single song, alleged written originally in Inuit. I don’t know if it had a real name, but I’d call it “Avalanch-ch.”
Kevin Brogan, an exceedingly awkward comedian, held his arms at absurd angles and did insult comedy into a mirror. He ended with, “This is my last bit.
“That was good,” some foreign boy to my right tells me.
I guess he was at that. He presented a very stylized persona, like Ed Grimley doing Bobcat Goldthwait or something else that is really nothing like that. It feels like he’s trying to hard, but maybe that’s just his character. Probably he’s brilliant, and I’m a fool for not liking him enough.
James Bannon returned to the scene after some small amount of time. “This is a newish one.” Speedy fingers work underneath his deep melodious pipes, extending phrases far too much for me to decode what he’s talking about. “It’s a long night under the Herbert”? Who knows? He followed with “Baby Steps,” about an ex-girlfriend of some sort. “Me and my god-forsaken jokes tore it apart…. tore out its poor heart.”
There’s an affect in his voice that I simply cannot understand. It sounds like a folk singer from before anyone knew anything about what folksingers did. There’s more Bannon to hear on Sunday night, at 8pm. I’ll be there; I have to get to the bottom of this…
Josh Brizanski sounded good.