Tuesday night Gina and I went out to our first open mic in a while as Arcati Crisis. Between a holiday break, my never-ending February malaise, and a death in her family, we’ve probably seen less of each other so far in 2010 than we have in any year since early in college.
As a remedy, our first order of business was to head to one of our favorite open mics – at Time Restaurant on Sansom Street.
Time is one of the nicest rooms hosting an open mic in Philly at the moment. Beautiful atmosphere, great wines and beers, an actual stage(!) with drums and an upright piano, and an always chill audience who actually listen. Plus, a super-cool pair of attentive hosts in Mark and Pete G.
Then there are the artists. Time tends to be a hub of cool musicians, and you never know who you’ll run into. Tuesday it was Cris Valkyria, Casey Alvarez, Dante Bucci, Victoria Spaeth, and a lot of other familiar faces. New ones too – Benn Rabb visiting from Connecticut, and the nicest possible dude named Nathan, whose CD (and last name) is still in Gina’s possession.
Unusually, there was only a single microphone stand around for the night.
If you’ve ever seen (or even heard) Gina and I, nearly every one of our tunes has heavy duty harmony throughout. When I saw the single stand, I had a prima donna moment where I was like, “How can we even do this? WTF?”
I decided to turn a weakness to a strength. What if we did our hardest core of hard core harmony tunes together – face-to-face on a single mic? Wouldn’t it just make the spectacle of us a little more spectacular?
Well, I think it did. And, honestly, it was a lot of fun. We’re so used to our unamplified, unmodified voices that many times striking a perfect blend through a PA system can be more than a little daunting. What better solution than to just put the two of us into a tiny space and let us feel things out?
We played a good set, and had a good time. If you’re a Philly songwriter – or, a Philly wine-lover who also digs singer-songwriters – Time on Tuesday nights is prime destination.
Time Restaurant. Tuesday night open mic starts around 10pm. 1315 Sansom Street, Philly, 19107.