Saturday, March 21, 2015

The mic is open again (again)


Pat O is in for another weekly update of our progress.

Geoffrey fast asleep in the sanctuary again.

Mario and Jeremy G and Jenna come in and we go to the Gate for one last review of their time in New York this time.. We start with talking about the line between absorbing the lessons and gifts of another culture and cultural appropriation. Colonial acquisition as it were. It’s not always easy. But on the other hand, culture is an ever flowing stream, always being touched and changed by what flows into it. It never stands still. Mario’s analogy of not having to be in love with the dancer who performs Romeo if you’re Juliet does and doesn’t apply. Performance is in some respects a putting on of a persona. The experience of the open choir is an entering into. They are different. We also talk about the meaning of community, especially spiritual and intentional community.

Early in the day, I met with representatives of a Georgian choir and a Ukrainian choir that had connections back to Bread & Puppet. The Georgians had wanted to be part of our No Place Like Home Concert last December. Now they’d like to do a benefit concert for Ukrainian victims of the ongoing war there. Inevitably  questions of partisanship arise again and conflicts arise. The idea of a pan-slavic concert won’t fly. No Russians. OK, so we’ve got issues. I send them away to work through these before any more conversation.

Sam G continues to work with me on our post-Shakespeare birthday after party sonnetathon. We’ve got some great ideas surfacing already. He's working on a social media proposal as well. 

After several weeks off due to weather, the Open Mic is ready to open again. I want to go upstairs and see a performance but just as I’m helping RL set up, my heart stops as Amanda walks in. All the way from Portland.  With my old occupier friend Jason. A complete  surprise. So she will sing.  And I’ll talk with Jason about the months since I’ve seen him. How it was on Staten Island following the shooting of  Eric Garner and the whole Black Lives Matter uprising. Jason finally had to go back to back to Massachusetts to think things through.

It's quite a night.
RL makes up a song on the spot about Amanda. A lot of spoken word up front. The self-styled king of the open mic Peter Pan back again.
Peter Pan
 And our man Dion with a tight solid set.
And of course Joel Gold with another of his magical mystery tours.

There’s a fresh young singer from Texas named Micah with original songs and her beaming father.
Then Amanda takes the stage. With a voice I once described as smooth as spun silver that kinda shines like autumn gold. She sings her I don’t know where this love will go and her ghost song from Eureka Springs. And for RL, her Tin Man song. (

Then I do my set. And invite her up to join me on the well  song. And explain that in many ways, we wouldn’t even be here tonight if it wasn’t for her. (See the very first blog entry) Singing in a church with no heat and no bathrooms. It’s a joy to sing together again.
Amanda and Bob

Mandola Joe has returned from hibernation.
Mandola Joe
 Tonight with a guitar and an Irish song for St. Patrick's Day. And the two Davids (S and L) add their own unique stylings.
David S
David L
A young Michael blows us away with his guitar.
As does NEB from France with his songs.
Country Joe calls Michael up to accompany him and takes us to cowboy saloons.
Michael and Country Joe
And every one left joins RL on Stay Awhile.

The Mic was open again. Amanda was here.
Amanda and Bob

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