Music in the City by the River: Grand Rapids Live

I have been trying to do different things with my time and energy. My life has started again and I am hoping to take the good from my old life and bring that forward. I want to leave the bad parts of my last life behind. #thankful49lives #findingthejuicy

In my old life, I would “relax” by working on the computer and binge watching netflix or prime. Not a bad thing, necessarily. But it’s not conducive to me doing things differently. I want to find local talent for MFR so I have committed to going to at least one open mic a week.

If I wasn’t working in Grand Rapids, it would be hard to go to an open mic every week. Lansing does not offer that much selection. Grand Rapids, though! There is an open mic every night of the week in the City by the River, Grand Rapids.

I want to offer a review or a discussion of each of the open mics that I attend in the next couple months. Not only with this help me work on my writing (and hopefully, get better at it!) It will also give me a topic to discuss and enjoy and find the juicy in.

I stole the title of this blog from one of the performers at last night’s open mic and Poetry Slam Competition at Stella’s Lounge.

https://www.stellasgr.com/

Every Monday night, Stella’s Lounge and The Drunken Retort host an open mic. Every other week, it is also a Poetry Slam competition. #supercool

The hosts were Rachel Gleason and Fable the Poet. Rachel was a sexy butch woman, although, I suspect she would identify as queer. Either way, she was funny as hell, had some excellent tattoos, soul reaching poems, biting wit, and a great spirit. Her poem was “I wanted to write a love letter to the City by the River”, or something like that. It was wonderful.

Fable the Poet was a fierce and fabulous man that spoke a poem about being a black man in Grand Rapids. It was raw. It was hard to hear (as a white woman). It inspired me to want to do more, better, fight harder, make the injustices more visible. Because maybe I can because I am a white woman with a little bit of privilege. I wanted to say, but not me. That’s not me. But he had more to say. He finished with…if you don’t say something, it is YOU. He said it much more eloquently. He was profound and compelling. #fire #spittruth #blacklivesmatter

Check out The Drunken Retort, open mic/poetry slam here and maybe you can join me next time? I might even perform…YIKES!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1544851055761733/

I love going to open mics. I have now gone to several different opens mics at a variety of venues. Each one has a different flavor, a different energy. This particular open mic/slam was loud. The hosts were a little profane (my favorite kind!). They were brash. They were loud. They were queer friendly (obvi). They were woke. They were real. They told us that we were NOT required to listen to awful performers. We were given small cow bells. the instructions were this: If someone is performing that you don’t like, you can ring the cowbell. If the performer gets 3 rings, jingle, jingle, jingle your way off the stage.

It happened that someone sucked. There was one ring. There was two rings. There was three rings.

It felt a little harsh. But is that my internal message of always needing to please others even when they do not deserve the accolades or the applause. Honesty is okay. Honesty works for me. I appreciated the honesty and the fact that we did not have to sit through anymore of that rotten music.

I highly recommend going to the Drunken Retort open mic/slam and Stella’s Lounge (great burgers!!!). The hosts of Drunken Retort were wonderful and perform at other venues and are worth seeing. The open mic had a great vibe. It was fun and engaging. It is important to get there early if you want to have a seat, seating is limited.

I will rate the open mics with a juicy factor. The highest rating is 5 juices. I give The Drunken Retort at Stella’s Lounge 4 juices on the basis of

  1. entertaining & engaging hosts
  2. good food at the location
  3. good rules
  4. interactive audience
  5. only two women performers

Tonight (since I am late in getting this blog out), I will be at Creston’s Brewery for another open mic. Stay tuned!

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